As you know, I love using allusions and easter eggs in my books. In ‘The Alexandria Rising Chronicles,’ I used symbology, names and numerology from the works of T.S. Eliot, Dante, Tolkien, Carroll and even the show, ‘LOST’ as inspiration.
When I began writing ‘In Pursuit of The Pale Prince,’ it was a different world. I was world creating from scratch so while I had a few footholds in our reality, I had to create others, including names of characters and places.
The River Orth.
Not so was the case of Digby and Tyrian. They are the two outliers.
Digby is one of Georgia’s lost towns. A nameplate marks where it is. There is nothing else. Not a Digby gas station, much less a city hall or monument. It is one of the many disappearing communities in the post-mill and post-agriculture driven Georgia. It is one of the many rural places that only have a name. Even a google search leaves little, or almost nothing, except for an entry on the noted webpage Vanishing North Georgia by the talented and tireless Brian Brown.
Even on that site, with its great repository, it only has two lines. (And for what it’s worth, Vanishing North Georgia and its sister sites are worth a click.)
Yet, Digby is a good name. It is strong and faintly English in sound. Depending on which etymological source you refer to it is a mash up of Old Norse and Old English which means something to the effect of town, farm or dyke.
I discovered Digby last year during one of my frequent journeys from Fayetteville, Ga. south to Thomaston to visit relatives. The countryside in and around Digby is gorgeous. Long, open pastures only dotted by old growth Oaks and Poplars. The occasional Magnolia crouched in the shade. A few peach and pecan groves and placid glistening ponds.
What better name for one of the northern kingdoms than Digby?
Tyrian was an easy choice It is an intentional homage to the king in C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Last Battle,’ the final book in, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia.’ Tyrian is an honest chap with a noble heart who is not the most fierce warrior, but is the most honest and pure of heart. It is, again, a good name for a northern kingdom. As an avowed Lewisian, it is not the first time I’ve used a Lewis name in one of my books and will most likely not be the last.