LevGrossman

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Julia’s Name; Etc.

The people have spoken! And they all disagree with each other!

Which is as it should be. But you’ve narrowed down the list considerably, while still leaving some discretion to the author (me). Thank you.

Of the finalists, I was sorely tempted by Ogden, since it has nice associations (Ogden Nash) and a perfect etymology (the Internet seems to think it’s an English name that originally meant ‘oak valley’). But would anybody really name a child Julia Ogden? It doesn’t quite trip off the tongue. I always get stuck in the middle — those adjoining vowels, with a glottal stop (or whatever it is) in between them.

Julia Pierce got several votes, but it’s just a little too … Brosnany for me. Dryden is nice, but I agree with whoever pointed out that it’s too close to ‘dryad.’ Barbour — also nice, but it’s an Iconic British Lifestyle Brand, and I have a coat by them, and I can’t name Julia after a coat. Reese: that’s my accountant’s name. See above.

Bottom line, I’m going with Wicker. Short, sweet, euphonious, distinctive, natural but not too dryad-y. I know no coats or accountants named Wicker. Yes, there’s the association with The Wicker Man, now permanently tainted by the wickedy-wack Nicholas Cage remake, but I can get past that. Julia Wicker.

Let’s say Ogden’s her middle name. It’s a family zithromax tablets online name. Thank God that’s settled. Julia Ogden Wicker.

I have no other news to relate. The Magician King appeared on some year-end best-of lists, which made me very happy. I gave some interviews. I’m spending a lot of time plotting out the last Magicians book, scene by scene. I’m about 3/4 of the way there — I want to have a really solid plan in place by the end of the year, so I can then go to Australia and write the hell out of the thing. (That’s not a figure of speech. I’m really going to Australia. It’s summer there.)

It  sounds kind of prosaic, but outlining is a big part of the process for me. I’m not an improviser: I like to have a lot of the structural interconnections in a book mapped out before I start writing. Then I can switch them around and add more as I go — it’s like the book is a brain, and it’s forming little neuronal pathways (neurologists, feel free to write in with everything that’s wrong with that analogy). That’s part of the point of novels for me: they’re little worlds where everything is woven together with everything else, everything is linked, and everything pays off.

Except a few things that are artfully placed to remind us that in real life, hardly anything pays off.


21 comments on “Julia’s Name; Etc.

  1. M says:

    i got a B- in my neurology class
    i remember nothing!

  2. Freda Lisgaras says:

    Hooray! Excellent news! So very pleased.

    Although I have felt so presumptuous in asking such a question. It’s like, there’s reader response theory, but this is ridiculous. Julia Wicker is excellent.

    I cannot wait for the next book.

    You will love Australia! If you come to Melbourne, please will you come and speak to the organisation for young writers I am on the board of? Again, I presume, but it would be most excellent.

  3. Little My says:

    Also, if you brush past wicker your clothes often get caught on it.

  4. Joseph Weston says:

    Coogee Bay, Sydney is a great stay. I suggest the Coogee Bay Hotel, yes, named and spelled the same way as the Bay for which it is located. Simple, quiet, and yet lively. There, I would say, you can write the hell out of anything with or without the prefect amount of distractions and idea giving events.

  5. George Ryals says:

    The magicians and the magician king was fantastic. I’m the freak who bought the paper, kindle, and audio versions. I LOVE the narrator in the audio version. He did a fantastic job. I’m ready for book three and the movie! I vote for Andrew Garfield as Quintin.

  6. Greg says:

    The *last* magicians book? Noooooo it can’t ever end!!
    Seriously though, can’t wait for the third. Good luck with the process!

  7. Steph M says:

    I love it! Wicker is white a WASPy sounding, just like Julia (before she went dryad, of course). Really looking forward to the next Magicians book!

  8. Heather Head says:

    Oh, hurray! Wicker is just exactly right. Julia Ogden Wicker. Perfect.

  9. Jane says:

    Julia Wicker got into Wicca and became a Wicked Witch.

  10. funny; i nominated a bunch of tree-related names and also Dryden, which was not tree-related, and it got vetoed on the basis of sounding too tree-related. go figure. (BTW, according to the Interweb, Dryden means “dry valley” and thus reminded me of the Donne poem.)

    i love your take on Ogden; i.e. i agree about the pronunciation issue and think it’s great as a middle/family name.

    i think i’m going to have to start using “go to Australia” as a euphemism for… something.

  11. Nancy says:

    Great name choice! Very interesting to see a glimpe of your writing process.

  12. K. M. Walton says:

    Wicker is perfect. Nice choice.

    My sister lives just outside of Sydney! I found Australia incredibly lovely. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time there.

    I CAN NOT wait for the next Magicians book!!!

  13. M Blockley says:

    Wicker is perfect, because twisted.

  14. Ned says:

    Now here I am listening to Kriss Kross.

  15. […] in December on his blog to provide a last name for one of his main characters, Julia.  The result: Julia Wicker. Gal named Wicker winds up becoming a witch.  What are the odds? […]

  16. Anthony says:

    Love this style of writing! Wish more would do it!

  17. Great name choice! Very interesting to see a glimpe of your writing process.

  18. Also, if you brush past wicker your clothes often get caught on it.

  19. Excellent examples! Does anyone know the name of the font used on the Instrument website for the main title and headers?

  20. Julia says:

    My name is Julia Whicker, with an H. I liked The Magicians. I think about it a lot. I wrote a story that was published in Unstuck, the new scifi/fantasy journal, this last year, which now I guess I am making into a book because some people in NYC want me to. But it a crazy magical story, so thank you for making my name seem more magical, even by association.

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