Let The Birthday Bonanza Begin - Giveaway Of The Weeping Empress

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Today is the first day of July and you know what that means, it is the first day of my Birthday Bonanza giveaway event. To kick us off is a giveaway of The Weeping Empress by Sadie Forsythe. Before I go to the giveaway though here is a guest post that the author kindly put together for us to enjoy.

Why do fantasy authors insist on using names no one can pronounce?

Have you noticed this? I imagine most fantasy readers have. I’ve been party to more than a few forum discussions on just such a gripe and I’ve been just a vocal on the subject as everyone else. I hate it when I can’t pronounce a name. Granted, while reading it is easy enough to simply gloss over it and still identify the character. But you’re in for an embarrassing afternoon if you want to tell someone else about them.

Here’s the rub. The question in the title is a direct quote from a commenter on my book’s page99test.com submission and it wasn’t the only one. WTF? I am exactly what I have disparaged? How did that happen? Talk about a sucker punch to the pride. I feel like I should have to go back and apologize to the forum I commented in. But I honestly didn’t know.

The three main characters in my book are named Chiyo (Chee-yo), Muhjah (Moo-ja), and Senka (just like it reads, Sen-ka). They aren’t the only characters in the book of course, but I wouldn’t say any of the others are any harder to pronounce. None of them are all consonants and umlaut or anything. Never the less they are unfamiliar.
I’ve always thought it was disingenuous to write about distant lands but still name your characters Jamie and Jessica (ignoring for the moment that my favorite sci-fi novel, Dune, uses that very name). You only have to travel as far as Arizona to find people named Angwusnasomtaqa. It’s a Native American Hopi name meaning Crow Mother Spirit. If that’s the case what is the likelihood of an alien planet or foreign country choosing the same phonetically grouped titles as the northern half of Earth? Not high I assure you.

On the other hand, readers need to be able to relate to characters and a name is usually the first introduction they have in a book. Make it too foreign and it becomes difficult to engage with them. It’s only fair to keep the audience in mind.

There is more to a name than the letters that form it though. I (just to use myself as an easy example) put a lot of thought into the meaning of a name. Chiyo is originally a Japanese name that means a thousand generations. It seems appropriate for a woman who is swept from her home and finds herself in a strange time/place. Senka, who prefers to keep himself hidden, has a Serbian name that mean shadow. It is a description of him in and of itself. If you know that from the start you know a little about what to expect from him.

I really appreciate it when names have meanings. I’m an admitted word nerd, but I think it also shows that an author put time and thought into the character’s character. So the next time you raise an eyebrow at an odd name spare a moment for a Google search. You may find a clue hidden in it that just might enrich your reading experience.

About Her Book:

The Weeping Empress
Chiyo Alglaeca was happy in her life. That is, until it was all taken away. Forced into notoriety, stalked by a mysterious cult, hunted by the emperor, and facing betrayal at every turn she clings to the only safety she can find: two enigmatic men and the sharp bringer of death, Salvation. The Weeping Empress explores the devastating effects of loss, the hunt for redemption, and the price of destiny. It questions the true meaning of evil and asks what monster is not also an innocent?


GIVEAWAY TIME!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


The giveaway is international so you have no excuse not to enter, plus how awesome does the book look? Very is the answer your looking for! If this book isn't your cup of tea though come back soon for more giveaways and your bound to find something that you will love.

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

12 People dared to comment.:

marsLOL said...

Cool giveaway! Happy Birthday(?) In that case, I'd answer, a BOOK! Because we both LOVE books! :D Have a great and VERY happy birthday! :>

Michael Cargill said...

That's a good point about unpronounceable names actually, it drives me mad. I don't want to feel as if I am deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics when reading a book.

Those three character names aren't really something I would complain about to be honest. It's probably one of those things where no matter what you do, you won't please everyone.

Jenn Nix said...

I would like a bookstore for my birthday next year. :D I'd have plenty of books then.

Miss. Lucinda Fountain said...

I would like to thank you for an apsolutely increadible book giveaway, that i would love to have the oportunity of reading and reviewing! It has been on my to-read list for ages now, and as my 21st birthday is coming up on the 19th July: it would make a fantastic present!
Thank you so much once again. x

Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk
GFC - lfountain1

Anne Nelson (Angel Anne Reviews) said...

I dont tweet, so I shared on facebook and google+ Thx for the giveaway.. Good luck everyone.

Anne Nelson (Angel Anne Reviews) said...

oops, I would love books of course!!! And this is MY birthday month... woot woot *keeping wingz crossed for books*

Julie Rainey said...

For my birthday I'm planning on hanging out with some friends, a rare instance in my life, I just want it all to go well and maybe not be so ungodly hot. :)

Kathy Palm said...

My sister always asked me how to pronounce names because she wanted to say them correctly. I always told her to give the name your own spin. Writing is art and open for interpretation. It's a different journey for everyone and saying names "correctly" doesn't matter. I put this book on my wish list.

Kathy Palm said...

My b-day sadly isn't until December, but looking on at that one with a bit of terror -- the big 40. All I want is cake and maybe go see a movie, but love money to buy books!

DoingDewey said...

Definitely some books, of course, and possibly some new photography equipment :)

lostinsidethecovers said...

I asked for the new Christopher Moore book, Sacre Bleu! :) Happy Birthday and thanks for the fun giveaway bonanza

miscellaneous said...
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