What’s in a name? Behind the words from The Last Wizard with Hallowell, Sasha, The Torians and more…

Ah, the joy of creating names in fantasy books is one of my favorite parts of world building and writing. 

In, ‘The Last Wizard at The End of The World,’ I created multiple new places and characters as Cirin and Arestus sailed across the western seas before crashing on Hallowell’s shores. A few of the names of places and characters were already somewhere within my brain or came easily as I wrote, almost like poetry flowing from a pregnant pen. Others, I struggled with. And, others, were easy as I named them after, or, rather, in tribute of places and people I love. 

It is truly God’s Country and is an area full of gentle, rolling hills, thick old growth woodth, shimmering ponds and pecan and peach orchards.

Hollonville Proper

Hallowell: Hallowell is a derivative of Hollonville as in Hollonville, Georgia. If you’re unfamiliar with the community of Hollonville, don’t fret, you’re not alone. Hollonville is a small community in Pike County in middle Georgia, off the beaten track of interstates and culled subdivisions. It is roughly in the area where Highway 362 intersects with several other two lane roads including Hollonville-Zebulon Road from the south and Kings Bridge Road to the north. In general, it is roughly an hour-plus south of metro Atlanta.

The countryside around the community features some of my favorite vistas on the planet and, if my ship were ever to come in, I would move heaven and earth to buy a farm in that area – and by farm I mean a house with land to hike and perhaps have a dog, falcons, and a horse or two. It is truly God’s Country and is an area full of gentle, rolling hills, thick old growth woodth, shimmering ponds and pecan and peach orchards. I discovered the area from years of driving from my home in Fayetteville, Ga. south to my grandmother’s and other Maguire relatives in Thomaston. 

Sasha: Ah, the great Sasha. The fear inducing She Wolf. The enemy who becomes faithful friend to our heroes. The noble, loyal beast. I’ve always loved the name. I am not a tremendous fan of Russian or Eastern European names, but this name is gorgeous. Though the adventures of Cirin and Arestus do not take place in our time and place, it is worth nothing that Sasha is Slavic for, “defender,” or “helper of mankind.” Just a helpful clue…

I also enjoyed employing it as the name of Cirin’s sister, of which little is said, but opens the door to a possible prequel one day of the great warrior.

Waverly Forest: Waverly Forest is a another salute to a Southern city. The town of Waverly sits along in eastern Harris County and has a population of roughly 700. I drove through there several times with my grandmother and my wife and always enjoyed the beautiful old South cadence when my grandmother pronounced it, ‘Way-vuh-lay Hull.’ 

It stuck with me. 

I had used the actual name, ‘Waverly Hall’ as an alias for a character in my ‘Alexandria Rising Trilogy’, but the gorgeous implications of the name were too good to use only once. 

The Torians: The Torians are the evil men and women corrupted by greed and power and under the leadership of The Witch known as Whitherbranch. I cannot recall how I arrived at the genesis of the name, but my wife was quick to point out that my innate American and Irish-American genes were at work with my anti-Tory sentiments when coining this name. 

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