Rayne Hall is a fantasy and horror author who has had more then forty books published under several pen names, in several genres, by several publishers, in several languages.
Dahound fights to save the woman he loves from the evil inside him.
Do you write under your actual name or a pen name, and is there any special meaning behind your name?
Over the years, I've written in different genres and styles. To avoid confusing readers, I use different pen names. Rayne Hall is the name I use for my fantasy and horror fiction.
I chose “Hall” because it's easy to pronounce in both German (my mother tongue) and English (my writing language). It's brevity is useful for Twitter and for book cover design. It's a the surname of some of my ancestors, so it feels right.
When I was casting for a first name to use, a friend had a dream in which I was using Rayne, and told me about it. It seemed a good omen.
“Rayne” is a medieval women's name, although not many people know that. Some people assume that “Rayne” is a man's name, because it rhymes with “Wayne”. This suits me well, because if people don't know my gender, they can't pigeonhole me, and this gives me the freedom to write what I like. This is especially important for horror fiction, which some people think of as a man's genre. My bestselling book “Writing Fight Scenes” - a guide for author - attracts a lot of praise from reviewers who laud how well “Mr Hall” understands the anatomy of a fight. I wonder if they'd be equally enthusiastic if they knew I was a Ms.
What are the names of your main characters and what can you tell us about them?
The main character in Storm Dancer is Dahoud. He's a troubled character, a former siege commander who needs to atone for his dark past. He fights to protect women from war's violence, but he his possessed by a demon. How can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?
Do their names have special significance to your story or were they just names that you liked?
“Dahoud” is an old Arabic name, dating back thousands of years. It's the same name as David (the king) in the Bible. The fantasy world of Storm Dancer is based on the Bronze Age period in a Middle Eastern-type setting, so this is perfect.
Other character names in Storm Dancer are also ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, Hittite or Persian, some are medieval Turkish and Arabic. Some are made-up fantasy names, inspired by the names of those cultures and periods.
The same applies to the names in The Colour of Dishonour: Stories from the Storm Dancer World. The tales feature some of the same characters. The other characters also have names that are compatible with the culture.
Some of the stories are inspired by myths and classics of literature. For example, the story “Kin” in The Colour of Dishonour is loosely based on a section from a Shakespeare play. My choice of names is a nod to Shakespeare. Widow Leah is King Lear, and her daughters Mahlega, Gonila and Komal represent Regan, Goneril and Cordelia.
What are some fictional names of places where your characters’ stories unfold?
Djildit, Tajlit, Quislabat, Koskara, Zigazia, Darria, Samil, Ain Elnour, Oubar, Ain Muzab, Ain Narnat.
How did you choose the names for your fictional settings? Do they have special significance?
Inventing place names can be fun. When I needed a place name for an oasis town, I happened to be listening to the catchy Egyptian song “Nour El Ain” by Amr Diab. I jiggled the syllables and it became Ain Elnour.
The town name Oubar is inspired by Ubar, the mythical city that had sunk into the sands.
For other places, I consulted maps of North Africa and the Middle East. I looked for small villages with interesting names and changed a few letters to make them different.
Thanks for sharing!
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Don’t forget to check out the Indie Giveaway for a chance to win an ebook of Rayne's novel, Storm Dancer, along with 10 more awesome ebooks by some great indie authors! Also up for grabs are 3 print books and a $20 Amazon card!