Today, as part of the Summer Solstice Blog Tour P.J. Hoover stops here on MPB, part of Team Dystopia, to talk all about the story behind her Character's Names
THE CHARACTER OF NAMES
THE CHARACTER OF NAMES
P. J. Hoover here, author of the upcoming dystopian/mythology YA novel, Solstice (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013), and today I’m talking about characters and their names.
Most authors love naming their characters. Each name has some story behind it that most readers will never know. For me, each story has a general theme for character names. Sometimes the theme is purely for fun (like surnames being the same as famous rock stars). Sometimes the theme is personal (like naming characters after kids and teachers from my youth). And other times, as in the case of Solstice, the names are clues to more. Most of the names have mythological roots in Solstice, and I loved dropping these small hints into the story.
I’m not really sure how to proceed without being totally spoilery here, so I’m just going to put it out there.
SPOILER WARNING! DO NOT READ THE BELOW IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED WITH THE TWISTS AND TURNS OF SOLSTICE!
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, here we go!
Let’s get it out in the open. We find out toward the end of the story that Piper is a reincarnation of Persephone. And while googling various names that Persephone has been known by, the name Proserpina popped up. So I picked a handful of letters out of this name and came up with Piper. I’ve always loved the name since Gillian Anderson named her daughter this back when she was pregnant during X-Files.
Shayne is Hades. And in Solstice, when I first wrote it, his name was Hayden. And then a handful of other “Persephone/Hades” stories started popping onto the market. In Abandon by Meg Cabot her main character’s name was something like John Hayden. I realized how unoriginal the name Hayden really was when coming up for a modern name for the god of the Underworld. So I changed it to Shayne. It has the name basic sound but is nice and different and not a dead giveaway from page 1.
A third spoiler: Reese is Ares, god of war. And once you compare the two names side by side, you can see how similar they really are. Easy name.
4) Piper’s mom (Who is not Tanni)
If Piper is Persephone, then her mom is Demeter. And another name for Demeter is Lucia. Only once in Solstice do I say this name. Piper’s dad (yes, Zeus) calls Piper’s mom by her first name, Lucia. It’s just one more hint to help the reader reach the conclusion they are already drawing close to.
Piper’s best friend is nobody out of mythology, but that doesn’t mean her name is for naught. In the event I ever write a sequel to Solstice, I have big plans for Chloe and her name will come more into play. But until then, she is only Chloe.
Piper's world is dying. Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom. Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.
P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013), takes place in a global warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade novel, Tut (Tor Children's, 2014), tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who's been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years and must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat. For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website www.pjhoover.com.