Friday, April 24, 2015

U: Utothiaz

My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge this year is a mishmash of books, movies, writers and TV shows that have in one way or another taught me something about writing and helped me be a better writer. Some inspired my own stories and a few taught me what not to do. Each post is a one minute lesson on writing. Another great stop today would be the IWSG blog for some April inspiration. Today I'm going to feature a guest, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

U is for Utothiaz!

What the heck is that?

The Utothiaz (pronounced U-toe-thee-as) are one of the many races of aliens in my latest book, Dragon of the Stars. They are aggressive and stealthy in their war tactics, with a bold temper to match. Armed with one of the toughest ships in the galaxy, a war horse that can take a pounding, they are a formidable force.

They also cause a lot of problems for the people of Hyrath, and even more for the main character, Aden Pendar. He’s determined they will not best him though, which is why he seeks out a force even greater than the Utothiaz–the ship of legends, The Dragon.

The Utothiaz aren’t the only alien race in the story–there’s also the Khanze, Ormentas, and Biquentas. (Can you tell I have fun with alien names?)

And then there are the Kargrandes… What are the Kargrandes? Visit http://whatarethekargrandes.com/ for clues!

 Dragon of the Stars
By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057

The ship of legends…
The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter. But when the Alliance declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray and told he won’t make captain. One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

Purchase:

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

 Lesson: Have fun with inventing names for the places and people you create. Use mystery in your book promotion. Strive to follow the example of the Ninja Captain.

Have you figured out what the Kargrandes are? Is figuring out names fun for you or a chore? What do you think of Alex's idea of the Kargrandes mystery to get the word and excitement out before the Dragon of the Stars release?

Also today is National Arbor Day so don't be afraid to plant a tree.

82 comments:

  1. Well you can learn something new, hoping this alien race is our side in a fight and wish Alex much success on this book!!

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  2. That is a *great* name for a race of aliens.

    Coming up with names for me is part chore, part fun. I need about 15 new names for each book, so I start to feel as if I'm running out of suitable names (for the setting of my books).

    And I think Alex's Kargrandes mystery is brilliant!

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    1. I enjoy searching for names too, Elizabeth. I try to be careful not to use a name too similar to a previous book.

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  3. They sound like a formidable enemy and a good book! Names are always fun - I tend to go and look up foreign words and then combine different languages to get something new :).
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. That's a great idea, Tasha. I have to remember that.

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  4. Thanks, Jeremy!

    Thank you, Elizabeth. The Kargrandes idea was a joint effort between my publisher and I.

    Natasha, for this book, I took a British slant with the Hyrathian's names.

    Thanks again, Susan!

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    1. My pleasure to have you here today, Alex.

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    2. I like that you two support each other.

      Cool beaners.

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  5. why are not aliens no different from men, they too have weapons and wars, why?

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    1. The Hyrathians are human in appearance, but the other races are not. Just look at Star Wars.

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  6. Coming up with names is such fun! Alex's book is fantastic and his promotion of it brilliant. A great way to hook readers! :)

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  7. Hahahahaha! I think Alex came up with the name just so he'd have something to feature for U Day!

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    1. Glad that worked out, although I had no idea my book would be released in the middle of the Challenge.

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  8. Yes, you've definitely been having fun with race names. I confess, as I've been reading Dragon aloud to hubby, I've stumbled a few times over them. But, I'll get better. :)

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    1. Donna, sorry about that. Make up your own pronunciations.

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  9. Utothiaz sounds like a rare gem stone of some kind. I think it's yellow. Kargrandes? Why am I associating this with Taco Bell? Maybe something tasty to eat in the car? Or spaceship.

    Silliness aside, I think Alex is doing a brilliant job coming up with innovative ways to get his book in the hands of readers.

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    1. Thanks, Tamara. And it does sound like a gemstone.

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  10. Utothiaz sounds like a rare gem stone of some kind. I think it's yellow. Kargrandes? Why am I associating this with Taco Bell? Maybe something tasty to eat in the car? Or spaceship.

    Silliness aside, I think Alex is doing a brilliant job coming up with innovative ways to get his book in the hands of readers.

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  11. Alex, but are the Utothiaz handsome people? :) Love this. I will be saying it all day long and probably getting confused looks from others.

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    1. Not in a human sense! And have fun confusing everyone.

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  12. Alex did have fun with those names.

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  13. You definitely did create some cool alien-sounding names. Did you plan one for each letter of the A-Z challenge as you wrote? :)

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    1. No, but I do make sure I don't double up on letters when creating my names. That help spread them out a bit.

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  14. That is one of the best names ever for an alien race. I pronounced it different than that though lol

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    1. No worries, Pat. One of the more difficult names I've created. Although nothing can top Ernx.

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  15. They were some nasty foes. But ya gotta love the results the Dragon got. And I did.

    You were quite inventive with the alien race names. I think it would be fun to pick out different names for your aliens and world.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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  16. Good luck with Dragon to the Stars. I'm reading through it now. Well, not right this moment. You know what I mean.

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  17. Those are great names! Loved the book! The Kargrandes are really cool. :)

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  18. Awesome! I can't wait to read Alex's book.

    Thinking up names for people and places is a lot of fun. I got to do that with Ghost of Death. :)

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  19. Definitely on my TBR list.
    Great post! :)

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  20. I'm impressed with all the great names Alex came up with for the aliens and characters in his book. It's definitely an excellent book!

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  21. I'm impressed with all the great names Alex came up with for the aliens and characters in his book. It's definitely an excellent book!

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  22. Names. Names. Names. It's one of the things I get most bothered by when writing. Names for this. Names for that. Names for people. Maybe I need to consult you, Alex, on names. I have trouble naming an ice cream shop while you've come up with names for several alien races. Hmmm.

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    1. Always happy to help! Hope that ice cream shop is in space though...

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  23. Thanks for the pronunciation guide there, that was a mouthful.

    How did you come up with the names of those alien races???

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    1. Jay, I just brainstorm a list of strange names, making sure I use a different first letter every time. Then I just match them up.

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  24. It seems all alien creatures have unpronounceable names. Like Jay, I needed the phonetic help. :-)

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    1. Sorry, Lee! I try to keep them simple, but these were a bit more complex.

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  25. You are good at names, Alex. I should pick your brain when it comes to my one story. =)

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  26. I thought they were a fascinating race of creatures!

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  27. I'd like to know how hard it is to think up those alien names, Alex. I have enough trouble with character names in the real/contemporary world.

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    1. Patricia, takes me less than thirty minutes on average to come up with all of the names in a book.

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  28. Another great AJC/DOTS interview, Alex and Susan! I really liked how Alex led up to the release of DOTS. It was mysterious and fun. It was non blatant self-promotion for monitization.
    Alex has gotten better with naming things in each book, and I don't just mean characters and places. He's gotten more specific with naming alien objects, like the drug Ceteroll which he might have referred to as a chemical substance before. That's not the best example, but his details are getting better and better. I guess I'm just hungry to feed on more details like the Karagrandes in DOTS chowing down!

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    1. Thanks, Fundy! I really worked hard on the world-building for this one, plus trying to incorporate British names into Hyrathian culture, and it's good to know I did it well.

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  29. Hi Susan and Alex - well we are learning another language here .. I struggle with my one and only! Utothiaz ... I can say ... but an alien race - we've enough problems with the others .. unless it's a primeval goodly force .. let's hope so ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  30. So happy for Alex and his latest release!
    I've been meaning to post a picture of it with Stormy!

    Heather

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  31. I love making up names for my stories and your names are phenomenal Alex. The blurb on this also sounds killer so of course I'll be feeding my reading addiction today. LOL

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  32. I hope Alex's book isn't full of foreign words that it stumps my poor little brain. I know! I'll use a notepad as a book mark...

    Elizabeth Mueller
    AtoZ 2015
    My Little Pony

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    1. Not many! I try to keep them simple, Elizabeth.

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  33. Cute name with Utothiaz. I think that's half the fun of writing something science fictional; you can come up with unique names like in unique situations.

    betty

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  34. Ooh, the Utothings sound awesome - and scary when they're not on your side!

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    1. And in this case, they weren't on the Hyrathians' side.

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  35. Interesting post! Coming up with alien-sounding names or even just unique names can be a challenge. I now Google all my fantasy names to find something that's not on every MMO, video game, movie, etc., out there.

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    1. Lori, that's a good idea. There is so much fantasy out there now, and while the names are often really unique, certain variations do get repeated.

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  36. I've got my copy! Just waiting for life to give me some reading time so I can enjoy it! :)

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  37. I've never needed to come up with alien names... yet... but it is fun coming up with character names that are, (I suppose like every other writer must think) going to be remembered as at least a little unique :)

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  38. Those alien names do sound like a lot fun to create. :)

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  39. Ohhh those alien names must be so fun to create. Btw, I thought those Utoh-things were cool, till I looked up the site for the kargrandes. I love it. Good luck with the book, Alex.
    *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

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    1. Shantala, thanks!! Glad you liked the site.

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  40. amazing one,.

    the interpretation is of interesting.

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  41. They sound badass. And those are great names!

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  42. I love how our brains work, toying with names until they are perfect!

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  43. I bought Dragon of the Stars, great read Alex! I love the way"he seized the cup before it spun off the counter" is so reactive which reminded me of another book I read, "Admiral Starr crushed the butt of his cigarette out in the ashtray" two very different sentences which stand out.

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    1. Spacerguy, thank you! Glad you enjoyed it.

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  44. Sounds like Alex had loads of fun with the names/words/places!!
    But I suppose that's the way to go. Trying to come up with names shouldn't become a chore that weighs you down...

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    1. Michelle, it definitely doesn't weigh me down!

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  45. As a name nerd, I love coming up with names, and selecting middle names to go with first names. I think good fantasy and sci-fi names should be exotic but not unpronounceable. I've seen a lot of names that make it seem like the writer wanted to be as out of this world as possible, even if no one else could intuit the pronunciation.

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    1. That's why I've always tried to make my names simple.

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