Friday, March 18, 2011
Toby Ball, Author
|Toby Ball by Lisa Nugent
I’m often asked about the names that I use in The Vaults
(and will use in my next book, Scorch City
, due in August). I saw picking names for the characters as part of the effort to create the city where The Vaults
is set – a dystopian, multi-ethnic, 1930s American city where corruption is rampant. I wanted the names to convey a variety of European ethnicities. Where do they come from? The quick answer is that if you follow international soccer, most of the last names will be familiar to you: Frings, Henry, Bernal, Puskis (changed from Puskus), Van Vossen, Altabelli, Pesotto, etc. National team rosters are a great resource for last names, some so good that they seemed too good to use – Morpheo, for instance.
A few others had different origins. Feral Basu, for instance, started as Feral Singh. The idea was to have a character with a nickname that indicates the fear he invokes in his acquaintances but also conveys a mistaken sense of savagery. Feral is very dignified despite his capacity for violence. I changed his last name from Singh to Basu. Both are Indian last names, but Basu seemed like it would be harder to definitively place (the mayor can’t figure out his ethnic background).