As you know, for each book in the Aurora series I have given readers a look behind the scenes with regards to where some of my inspiration has come from. So, following on from the ‘What’s In A Name’ blog posts for Aurora: Darwin, Aurora: Pegasus, and Aurora: Meridian, it’s time to take a look behind Aurora: Centralis!
Given we’re well into the series now, it’s impossible to do these without any spoilers – so if you haven’t read this book yet, you’ve been warned! 🙂
Brody Walker – For Carrie’s son with Doc, I wanted to give him a good name that meant something to me, so – you guessed it – we have yet another JAWS reference in the series! I named Brody after one of my all-time favourite heroes – Chief Martin Brody, a man who must take on a killer shark and a town that won’t face the truth . . . I love Chief Brody because he is an ordinary man thrust into extraordinary circumstances and for the most part his struggle is one suffered alone. He, to me, is the epitome of the underdog hero. He also reminds me a little of my grandfather, so I guess that’s why he resonates with me too. A fitting name for character that has a large part to play as the Aurora saga unfolds.
Freya McKinley – For Carrie’s daughter with McKinley, I wanted to give her a strong name also. I first discovered the name Freya via an actress on an Aussie cop show ‘Water Rats’. I never really watched the show, but I do remember seeing the name of the lead actress and liking it. Years later when I came to write the book and I was looking for a name, I thought again of Freya, and then discovered that it came from the Norse Goddess of sex, fertility, war, and wealth. And that just seemed to fit in nicely! So while her twin, Brody, is named after a hero, Freya is named after a Goddess.
Captain Morrell – Morrell is the less-than-impressed Earth Duty captain that Harris crosses path with during the Fort Centralis lockdown. As with quite a few names in this series, I just looked around my study/office and pulled names from things I had sitting around. And the name Morrell was no different. It came from my bookshelf, where I had a copy of ‘Rambo: First Blood Part Two’, written by David Morrell. It seemed a fitting name to use for a tough army man. Captain Morrell only had a small part in Centralis, but he will be back in future books of the Aurora series.
Drazen – Another obscure Aussie reference here. When I was younger, sometimes I watched Heartbreak High on the ABC. On the show there was a character called Drazic (Drazic was the character’s surname), whom one of my best friends had a huge crush on. I hadn’t heard the name before, so I thought it would make a good moniker for Sharley’s ghost recruit. Of course, I didn’t want to name an Aurora character after someone in Heartbreak High… so I tweaked it a little, and Drazen was born.
Holly (nee Harris) – Holly is Harris’ sister. In the original draft of Darwin, her name was Cassie, but my editor thought it was a little too similar to Carrie (she was right!), so I changed her name to be Holly. When I knew I had to change it, I started thinking about names that had the same ring as ‘Cassie’. Naturally I started thinking of African-American actresses I knew of, and sure enough, Holly Robinson came into my mind. I was a huge 21 Jump Street fan in high school. And so, Holly-Hope came to be.
Captain Rovine – Rovine is the captain of the UNF Carcharias. He is only mentioned in Centralis (I really should’ve done this one in the Meridian What’s In A Name), but never-the-less I thought I would cover him off now. The name Rovine was another classic – let’s look around my office and see what I can find – moment. Again, I looked to my bookshelf and saw the novelisation of the film ‘Cliffhanger‘, written by Jeff Rovin. I took the name, tweaked it a little, and Captain Rovine was born.
Can you tell I was a bit of a Stallone fan growing up? I also have the novelisation for ‘Over The Top’ in my bookshelf as well. LOL.
Lieutenant General Wilton and General Berger – These are the two senior soldiers who assist Colonel Marchant in giving Harris, Doc and McKinley the briefing on the truth behind UNFASP. Now, considering I had dedicated the entire series to my two grandmothers, I figured I should probably name some characters after my grandfathers, right? Wilton was the middle name of my father’s father – Sidney Wilton Bridgeman, and Berger was the middle name of my mother’s stepfather – Henry (Harry) Berger Akerstrom. So these names are little tributes to the grandfathers I knew and loved. On that note and in reference to the comment above – it was my grandfather Harry whom Chief Brody from JAWS reminded me of. Harry was a fisherman, and pictures of him in his younger years reminded me of Roy Scheider (the actor who played Brody).
And there you have it, a glimpse into AURORA: CENTRALIS and the inspirations behind the names that helped shaped it.
Until Next Time!