Random Trivia

WARNING!! There are spoilers mingled in with the trivia.

-- My very first draft of Eldala started with "It was a dark and stormy night."

-- Eldala started as a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel. I was supposed to write 50,000 words in 30 days. By day 17, I had 53,000 words.

-- My boys and I ended up in the local newspaper. A Phoenix reporter was doing an article on NaNoWriMo and found out what I was doing. She asked if she could send a reporter to our house.

-- Teleria is based on the country of Wales.

-- When I found the castle I had used for my story, I discovered that it's Conwy Castle and it's in Wales. (Read more here.) It's now the picture in the header.

-- I first read the word Teleria in The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander (part of the Prydain Chronicles). It was the name of a queen. When I looked it up, I found out that it's Italian for kitchen linen.

-- Brandon drew the map. Both of my boys came up with names. I do remember that Joshua came up with Korison. He also came up with the name Arathor.

-- The name Korison is based on the Star Wars planet of Coruscant.

-- I went through my world atlas to find names for places, people, and Baraca clans. Indonesia is a gold mine for fantasy names.

-- I never thought I'd have to make up a language.

-- The first time Arathor speaks the ancient language, I just said some nonsense words out loud. I added the exact meaning later. “Kel-lema menan-dai kah-gish tehai” roughly translated is "Wall of fire, surround my enemies." Kieran uses the same phrase at the end with Ciara.

-- "Jedzah mar kavah" means "heal the wound."

-- I made up the word Eldala and Malazia. I've since discovered that Eldala is not original. There's a book out there called "Storm Over Eldala."

-- Jessa's name was originally Mikayla and her character was originally based on Miranda Otto. Later I changed her to Madeline Stowe. It took several tries to get the woman I wanted. When I saw her in a J. C. Penney ad, I said, "There's Jessa!"

-- I once dreamed that I kissed Kieran. The beard felt weird. When I told my husband about it, he just laughed. Good thing he's not the jealous type.

-- I asked a friend what it was like to kiss a guy with a beard. Joe has never had one.

-- If I ever meet Steven Waddington (Kieran), I am totally going to freak.

-- Kieran was originally a potter. Then I changed him to a carpenter. I'm glad I finally changed him to a blacksmith - you know... big, muscular...hot.

-- I actually watched a DVD about a group of smiths making an iron rose.

-- Two years ago, we were at a Renaissance fair and I found an iron rose bud. I keep it on my fireplace mantle.

-- My mother painted the cover. Her signature is in the sword. My brother was a model for the hands.

-- I worked on the novel from 2005 to 2007. I first published it in 2007.

-- Brandon made up the gurithents and the harakan.

-- My husband described the sword fights. Some are based on fights from Ivanhoe (with Steven Waddington as Ivanhoe), Ever After, and Dragonheart.

-- Joe also wrote the blessing Arathor speaks over Kieran when he steps down and makes Kieran the king.

-- The battle with the Zagorans was inspired by a battle in the last book in the Prydain Chronicles, The High King.

-- For inspiration for medieval times, I watched A Knight's Tale, Lord of the Rings, Ivanhoe, and Ever After.

-- The scene where Jessa helps Kieran get ready for battle is based on a scene in Last Samurai. I love that scene.

-- I know more about medieval life than I ever cared to know.

-- I hadn't realized I would have to plan populations until the 3rd draft. That was also when I expanded the map.

-- Kieran and Jessa's tattoo is an actual tattoo I found online, minus the crown. You can see it here: Tree of Life.

-- Besides Kieran and Jessa, my favorite characters are Sahbel and Dorinda. I kind of like Gilrain, too. Stefan... I just wish he'd grow up.

-- I still cringe when I think of people reading the romance scenes.

-- While I wrote, I sometimes listened to music -- the soundtracks from Last Samurai, Lord of the Rings, Open Range, and Last of the Mohicans were my favorites.

-- To get myself in the mood to write the scene where Jessa thinks Kieran is dead, I listened to the songs from the dying scenes in Beauty and the Beast and Eragon. I was literally in tears while I wrote it.

-- I apologized to my characters on a regular basis, especially when I had to write the scene I just mentioned.

-- My kids want me to turn Eldala into a movie. I don't think so, but you never know what God is going to do.

-- The dedication at the beginning... "To my one true Eldala..." isn't just for my husband. It's mostly for God. Without him believing in me, I couldn't have written anything.