I always get questions about how I choose the names for my characters.​

So, here are my answers in a true Behind the Scenes moment!

Naming Characters

For the fictional characters, Azti, Zolin, Tomantzin, Meztli, etc. in Blood of Toma, I went to several websites like www.BehindtheName.com and www.MexicaTribe.com and did a blanket search on names with a certain ethnic origin, so in this case, Aztec or Nahuatl. Nahuatl is the name of the language the Aztecs spoke. I found names ending with the "tzin" (pronounced simpleton style "seen") meant they were honored names signifying  fondness, respect, or reverence but could mean a parent or an original if speaking about places instead of people.

  • FUN FACT: During this search I also found that the Aztecs did not refer to themselves as the Aztecs but rather as the Mexica during this time period - The name Mexica actually came out of a civil war a few centuries before the Conquistadors arrived. They called themselves the Aztecs (people from Aztlan) until the civil war sometime in the 1300/1400s.  Mexica means "sons of Mexi" or Huitzilopochtli (the sun god, god of war).

I scrolled through countless names looking at meanings and names after certain gods/goddesses. I had an idea of the name of the book - Blood of Someone - and I wanted the name for the main character to flow with it. I found Tonantzin which was a male name after the Mother Goddess Earth and should only be used as a last name. (Author Confession: I really liked that name so I changed the "n" to a "m" and hoped it would pass for a female name.) The name Tomantzin was too long for the title but I loved her (his) name meant Honored Mother since the character was the New Fire Sacrifice (Author Confession: which was also usually a man not a woman). I gave Tomantzin the nickname Toma and presto! Blood of Toma became the title and Toma was the name her loved ones called her.

  • FUN FACT: Here are some guides for pronunciation: 
    • "...TL" at the end of a word - the "L" is silent
    • "HU" - sounds like a "W"
    • "LL" - sounds like the English "LL"
    • "X" - sounds like "SH"

For the Conquistadors, I searched for names with origins in Spain. For Arrio's name, I knew I wanted it to have the lovely rolled "r" sound, and so I narrowed it down to names containing the double "r" and finally picked Arrio. I liked the way it rolled off the tongue :)

For the real historical figures during the time period such as Ixtlilxochitl II, Moctezuma/Montezuma II, Chaucomauc, Cacama(tzin) and Hernan Cortes, I simply googled their names and all the different spellings and picked one I liked with the exception of Chaucomauc - his real name was Tetlepanquetzal. I had no idea how to pronounce that name and could not find a pronunciation guide for that name, so I went with Chaucomauc instead which is a variation of the name of the temporary king, Cuauhtemoc. Cuauhtemoc stepped up when Moctezuma II was killed and ruled until 1521 when the Conquistadors finally overthrew Tenochtitlan.

For more cool facts behind this time period and the book in general, sign up HERE to get an email once a month for 12 months with a freebie linked. The first one is a really cool map .pdf of the region the story takes place in! Click the map below if you want to sign up!

If you thought this Behind the Scenes tidbit was cool - please help me spread the word about Blood of Toma on your social media accounts and leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Many Thanks and Happy Reading!