Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Name in the Game

I had an amusing moment recently when I was speaking with an employee of Medallion Press as we prepared for an interview. She told me how they'd joked in the office about one of the words I use in my books. The Futhark Chronicles is the series I've written for Medallion with the first book, The Keepers of Sulbreth released January 1st, 2010.

Kristina told me the office jokingly substituted Futhark for a less kind word as in, "What the Futhark is going on?, What the Futhark does that mean?"

We both laughed but in actuality, Futhark is not a made-up word as they believed. I wasn't trying to be sly and clever when I used the word, Futhark. Futhark, more fully referred to as the Elder Futhark, is the most ancient form of a runic alphabet used by Germanic tribes in the 2nd to 8th century. Most knowledge of this ancient rune language is forgotten though a Younger Futhark is still in use today. The Elder Futhark likely derived from an even more ancient Phoenician alphabet. There are many books and websites describing modern runic languages and often speaking of the history of Futhark.

What does all this have to do with my book? Why did I select this word for the title of my fantasy series? Two reasons. i wanted a word with meaning but that would be different than those seen on the bookstores shelves. Many books have the word 'rune' in their titles. Many have the word, 'elf' in their title. There are many more common words to the fantasy genre but I wanted something more unique but still within the boundaries of genre knowledge.

The second reason is kind of the opposite of the first but it also made sense to me at the time of my choosing. If you google 'Futhark' you are led to all kind of sites dealing with the rune languages of yesterday and today. And you know what else is often on those sites. Buy links to my books. Right beside all those publications about Futhark the language is my fantasy novel. A few more connections can never hurt.

So everytime The Chronicles of Futhark appears anywhere on the Internet, all those invisible little veins and capillaries will lead to my books. The Keepers of Sulbreth is available now and soon so will the second book, Beyond the Gate, and then the third book, Beneath the Mountain and finally that fourth unnamed series ender. And all of them will have Futhark on the front cover.

Names can be important. Often a title leads one to pick up a book. Often the names of characters inside keep the story in one's thoughts for a long time.

So are there runes involved in this novel? Will the Elder Futhark play a part in this epic fantasy series? Well, you'll have to read it to find out.

Have you ever read a book with names that stuck with you forever more. And no fair saying 'Mr. Darcy.' Have you ever written a book where you researched the names before you started tapping away on the manuscript?


  1. Very cool stuff, Sue. And a nice little insight to the workings of your clever brain.

  2. Hey thanks for not saying a 'clever insight into the workings of my little mind.' LOL.
    I have had a few days in a row with no clever thoughts whatsoever.

  3. I almost always do research on the names. If I remember "futhark," I'm going to start using it. I, of course, will use it like Medallion Press did. What the futhark you talking about?

    Straight From Hel

  4. Too funny but it's like saying 'fudge.' If everyone knows what you meant you may as well release the stress by saying the real word.

  5. Very interesting. Pretty clever, too. And YAY! I learned a new word today. (wink)

    Marvin D Wilson

  6. My first novel, which I'm currently editing, was written without my knowing the name of my protagonist. No clue.

    Some months after the first draft was finished, I caught a brief science segment on the radio as I was driving. An astronomy segment.

    The presenter talked of the constellation Hydra and how it does not contain any major stars. The brighest is Alphard, known as "the solitary one".

    I couldn't believe. It fit. I had my character's name. And, as the story is Science Fiction, it fits within the genre.

  7. Okay, Old Silly, be careful how you use your new word or you might get yourself into trouble.
    KjM, talk about a lightning strike of creativity, that is a cool name and a great story to tell when it's a million copy seller.