I was wondering what inspired you too write this beautiful series of novels and how you came up with the character names?
I started reading the ancient chronicles with my dad when I was quite little and loved the novels, and even now much older I still enjoy them just as much.
Dear Alexander, what a lovely image that evokes, you and your father reading the books together; and I’m so glad that you’re still enjoying them (I take it you’ve caught up with the three later ones, VIPER’S DAUGHTER, SKIN TAKER & WOLF BANE).
I’ve described how I came up with the idea for the stories in details on my website, so rather than repeat myself, I suggest you go to wolfbrother.com, then enter the Cave and click on Why I Wrote Wolf Brother. As for the names, the short answer is I made them up. But it was more complicated than that. I took sounds or inspiration from various old languages: for instance, Hord, Saeunn, Thiazzi and Fin-Kedinn are Norse in feel, while Eostra is based on Anglo-Saxon. I also adapted names from Inuit – for instance, Tanugeak and Inuktiluk – and from some Native American languages: Maheegun, the leader of the Wolf Clan, means “wolf” in Cree. I made up the names Torak and Renn – but after WOLF BROTHER came out, I was told by an Inuit girl that Torak means “perfect” in Greenlandic; and I later learnt that Renn means reindeer in French (spelt “renne”; that must have given my French translator a headache!).
So as you can see, I’ve been a bit of a magpie. I should add that it has generally taken quite a long time to come up with exactly the right name for everyone, as each name has to fit the character and clan. And funnily enough, the hardest of all was Wolf. I thought of all sorts of names for my wolf cub when I was embarking on WOLF BROTHER – and it was only after three days and dozens of variants that I realised that he doesn’t have a name; it wouldn’t make sense to him. He’s just Wolf!
Thanks for getting in touch, and I hope you continue to enjoy the stories of Torak, Renn and Wolf.
With very best wishes, Michelle