To go along with my series, I’ve put together some goodies about my vampires, including my visual inspiration for the characters, the meaning of their names, and some info about the dogs in the books . Enjoy!
There have been many sources of inspiration for my writing. I’ve been inspired by models or actors, or people walking by me on the street. Here are my inspirations for some of the Amsel characters.
Photo credits: Chris Datolla ©Rick Day; Martin Pichler ©Kosmas Pavlos; Michael Medugno ©Matt Timmons; John Pearson ©Richard Truscott; Joerg Finsterwalker and Shari Piessens ©Wiener Models; Ole Syrstad ©Anders Solberg; all other models, photographers unknown.
WHY ON EARTH DID I NAME THEM THAT?
Here’s some fun info about the names I’ve used in REMEMBER HIM and NOT HUMAN ENOUGH. Do I think of all of this beforehand? Um…no. As is my usual odd luck, I chose names and then found out later that their meanings are somewhat connected with the story.
CARTER — I chose Carter because of my love of Egyptology. Howard Carter was the archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun.
FREYR — (pronounced FRAYR) This is the name of the Nordic god of virility and prosperity. He was usually pictured as a fertility god, and was said to “bestow peace and pleasure to mortals.” He’s typically shown with a huge, erect phallus which, I have to admit, amused me a great deal.
AMSEL — derivative of the name “Anselm.” St. Anselm was Archbishop of Canterbury (AD 1093-1109). Interestingly, his infamous “dilecto dilectori” (love letters) lead some scholars to believe that Anselm was a homosexual. One of his letters begins: “Greeting from Brother Anselm to his honoured master, best beloved brother and most attached friend, Master Gundulf. Though I desire to write to thee, soul most beloved of my soul…I know not how best to begin my address. For whatever I know about thee is sweet and joyous to my spirit: whatever I desire for thee is the best which my mind can conceive. For I saw thee such that I loved thee as thou knowest; I hear thee to be such that I yearn after thee…whithersoever thou goest, my love follows thee; and wherever I remain, my longing embraces thee.”
SECUNDUS — from the Latin for “second,” referring to the second brother.
ALDER — from the Old Norse “Eald” (old) and “Here” (army), referring to the older, more violent brother.
DRUBICH — A figment of my imagination. There is no town in Germany named Drubich. At least I don’t think so…
STEFAN (pronounce Stef-in) GEBHART — from “Stephen” (crowned) because of his bright blond hair; “Geb” (gift) and “Hard” (hard), referring to Stefan’s…virility, to put it mildly.
SAMAD ALEFFENDI — Samad is an Arabic name meaning “eternal”; Aleffendi is a derivative of “Al” and “Effendi”, which means “the master”. As you read into NOT HUMAN ENOUGH, you’ll understand this reference.
LYULF — a compound the Old English words for “flame” and “wolf”.
ERZABET — Erzsébet Báthory (1560-1614) was a Hungarian countess who is considered by some to be the first female vampire.
THE CANINE CLAN
In REMEMBER HIM, I introduce four Great Dane puppies. They also appear in NOT HUMAN ENOUGH, and will appear in Book 3. Here’s a bit of an explanation of the names. Again, because of my love of Egyptology, some of the dogs’ names are borrowed Pharaohs, Queens, and gods of Egypt.
• RAMESSES THE GREAT — (Ramesses II) Pharaoh, 19th Dynasty, 1279-1213 BC. He had over 200 wives and consorts, 96 sons and 60 daughters.
• NEFERTARI — Wife of Ramesses II; means “beautiful companion”.
• TITUS — Emperor of Rome, AD 79-81, who completed the Colosseum; a nod to my study of Classical Art.
• POPPY — Chosen for its whimsical sound, mirroring Greta’s vibrant, outstanding personality.
• AMENHOTEP — (Amenhotep III) Pharaoh, 18th Dynasty, c. 1390-1350 BC.
• HATSHEPSUT — Pharaoh, 18th Dynasty, c. 1479-1458 BC. Though she was female, she is regarded as one of the most successful pharaohs.
• HATHOR — Egyptian goddess of fertility, music and feminine love.
• CLYDE — As ridiculous as it sounds, I named him after a Looney Tunes character.
• MERITAMEN — (Meritamun) 13th century BC. Daughter of Ramesses II and Nefertari; her name means “Beloved of Amun”.
• AMUN-HER-KHEPESHEF — (Amun-her-khepsef or Amonhirkhopshef) 13th century BC. First-born son of Ramesses II and Nefertari; name means “Amun is with his strong arm”. He was crown-prince of Egypt, but died long before his father.