The Gideon Mountains, the mountain range that separates the Staspin Waste, Brevia, and Stlaven is lovingly named after my middle brother, Gideon, who shares my love of fantasy, especially dragons.
The Zebulun River is the namesake of my youngest brother and is rather fitting. Like a river, he never stops moving, can be surprisingly destructive, but you love him anyway.
A knight from King Arthur’s court who dies in Arthur’s final battle. However, the significance behind the name had little to do with its choosing. I just liked the sound.
Genvissa is another figure from Arthurian lore who arranges a truce between her warring husband and father. When I was searching for a name for the young healer in the prologue of The Secrets of the Vanmars, I stumbled across this name and fell in love with it.
Originally spelled “Amytans,” this also comes from Arthurian Legend. Amytans is a wise man who rebukes Merlin in a lesser-known Scottish poem, Lancelot of the Laik. When searching for a name for my ancient wizard, I chose Amytans, but was forced to alter the spelling when my editor chided me for “so obviously naming him after Amy Tan” (the Asian novelist whom I had never heard of at the time).