rsz_elizabeth_corrigan_photo                    As part of the Raising Chaos Blog Tour, I’m so pleased to welcome my friend, author Elizabeth Corrigan, to my blog. Elizabeth is the author of Oracle of Philadelphia, and the newly released Raising Chaos, both in the Earthbound Angels series. I loved Oracle and looking forward to reading Raising Chaos!

I believe you’ll find Elizabeth’s post on Naming Characters highly entertaining, and I strongly recommend you check out her books. Just click on the covers:

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Enter the Giveaway:


I don’t know about Vicky, but many authors I know agonize over what to name their characters. I have one friend who reads lists of names searching for the perfect one and another who surveys everyone she knows, often to settle on something completely different. I’m not going to say I’ve never done this—I had a recent facebook survey to see whether I should name a character in my new adult fantasy Ysabel or Isadora—but for the most part, I find names easy. I just pick the first thing that pops into my head.  Sometimes this leads to things I’m not sure I’m 100% on board with. One of the main guys in my current work in progress is named Baurus, much to my eternal disappointment, and I have a future Earthbound Angels character named Devlyn. Nonetheless, I am overall grateful for the facility of my naming process.

As I was relating this post to the Earthbound Angels series, I realized I didn’t follow my usual pattern in naming the angels and their associates. Most of the names in Oracle of Philadelphia and Raising Chaos were chosen with care and have some meaning behind them.

I had to choose several names for the main character of Oracle, who we’ll call Carrie, since that is what she goes by when the story begins. I picked her first moniker because it was an everyday name that started with a hard “C” sound. I did something similar for all her historic titles—looked up a list of first names common to the period and picked one I liked that began with a hard “C.” Consequently at different times and to different people, she is Khet, Cassia, Callidora, and Caela.

Everyone comments on how perfect Bedlam’s name is—even my editor, who had some concerns about the anachronism of having a character with that name before a Bethlehem Hospital existed in London. But the funny thing is, when I started writing the book, his name was Bael. Or Baal. I hadn’t 100% decided on the spelling. I picked the name as a typical demon name, based on my repeated playings of Diablo II and my vague knowledge that Baal was a false idol worshipped in the Old Testament. My plan was to have Baal give a different meaning of his name to everyone who asked. But then I looked it up and realized that “Ba’al” was also a name for a lord or spiritual leader or god, and it fit in less well with my plans. Plus, Baal was the root of Beelzebub, and I already had one of those. Around the same time, I came up with the idea of calling him Bedlam, and it stuck. And I’m not sorry for it.

The angels and demons ended up being the easiest characters to name, because most of them already existed. I based my archangels on preconceived notions I had in my head and populated the rest of Heaven and Hell using the very useful Wikipedia entry on Theophory, or putting the word of God into a name, which explained to me at long last why angels have names ending in “el.” I actually discovered that my name—Elizabeth—has the same word in it, and I flipped it around to fit my pattern—Zabethiel—and gave it to Siren (whose name is a nod to the idea that all the angels are also mythological figures). For my own amusement, I started to give my angels all kind of names ending in “el,” regardless of their actual root. Rachel is not truly theophory, and I have characters showing up in later books named Raquel, which means “ewe,” and Asphodel, a part of the ancient Greek Underworld. The only name I have that means absolutely nothing is Keziel, which I picked simply because I liked the way the syllables sounded.

So it turns out I put a lot of effort into what I called my angels. But if you ever read anything else I wrote? Those names I probably just made up.

Contact Elizabeth:

Blog: (There’s an r in the middle of that.)


Twitter: @ercorrigan
Bedlam’s Twitter: @BedlamFTW

Follow the tour:


I’m a writer and author of novels, short stories and poetry. My TRANSCENDER TRILOGY blends science-fiction, fantasy, and romance in an exciting cross-dimensional adventure. My latest, The Weight of Air, is a short work of contemporary fiction presenting a tantalizing "Would I?/Wouldn't I?” dilemma.
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