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The Waxing Moon — Secrets

**Warning! Spoilers Ahead!**

Stop! If you haven’t finished reading The Waxing Moon, read no further. This page is intended for those who have read the book. It gives insight into the theme, symbolism and many other aspects of the book you may not have realized while reading.

If you have read the book, enjoy!

*Naming of places and things: Just as with The Hidden Sun, I used anagrams to name unique places and things. If you’ve not heard of an anagram, it is a word created using the letters of another word.

Bariwon: Rainbow
Erd: Red
Lebu: Blue
Grenoa: Orange
Lewyol: Yellow
Donigi: Indigo
Regne: Green
Tevoil: Violet
Rifna Erd: Infrared
Tular Tevoil: Ultraviolet
Procep: Copper
Pendeltune: Deep Tunnel
Plyese: Sleepy
Itamunno Kael: Mountain Lake
Mylnohe: Holy Men
Eddinh: Hidden
Nislles: Illness
Mortentaun: Tournament
Shoginoc: Choosing

*Return of Abrecan: I had no intention of bringing Abrecan back. However, while writing The Waxing Moon, I received a ton of people telling me how much they despised Abrecan. I had several readers get mad at me, telling me King Rayne was too nice in how he treated Abrecan at the end. So …I brought Abrecan back to face judgment, as it were. In the end, it tied in very well with the rest of the story.

*Bearach’s first invention: Starting on page 31, the crafter Bearach demonstrates his ability in mechanics by creating a way for the king to close the doors to the main hall using a level built into his throne. I needed a way to demonstrate Bearach’s ability early in the book, but wasn’t sure what to do. Then I remembered I had a boss who could close the door to his office by pushing a button on his desk. Though the technology was different, the result was the same.

*The meaning of the title The Waxing Moon: Starting on page 71, Savant Waylon explains some superstitions based on the different phases of the moon. The concept isn’t new, but I did add my own twist on them. In the book, a waxing moon is “a sign of change and growth”. Then on page 262, Snapdragon is looking up at a waxing moon. He realizes the choices he makes and the actions he takes define him as a person. He changes and grows with everything he does. So, therefore, the waxing moon is symbolic of Snapdragon’s changes in the book.

*The dead turtle story: On page 54, Blythe tells Snapdragon a story about a dead turtle. This was based on a true story that happened to me. When I was working in TV, I came to work on morning and there was a box with a dead turtle on a co-worker’s desk. We didn’t know what it meant or who put it there. We came up with all sorts of assumptions—none of which were right. As it turns out, a week previous there had been a segment shot using animals. The box with the turtle was left in a corner and wasn’t found by the cleaning crew for a week. Sad story, but it was a good object lesson for jumping to conclusions.

*People’s names: Again, as with The Hidden Sun, I chose people’s names based on the meaning of their names, with some minor exceptions. For example, Snapdragon was my way of sneaking a “dragon” into the story and it doesn’t seem out of place because his father is a gardener and gave his children odd names like “Sunshine” and “Oakleaf”. I won’t include any characters that were carry-overs from The Hidden Sun. They are explained on the “secrets” page of that book.

Creighton: From a surname which was derived from a place name, originally from Gaelic crioch “border” combined with Old English tun “town”. (He is from the town of Procep on the northern border of the kingdom)
Kerr: From a Scottish surname which was derived from a place name meaning “rough wet ground” in Old Norse. (He’s a miner and it rains a lot in Erd)
Blythe: From a surname which meant “cheerful” in Old English.
Seraphina: Feminine form of the Late Latin name Seraphinus, derived from the biblical word seraphim which was Hebrew in origin and meant “fiery ones”. (She has quite the fiery personality)
Bearach: Derived from Gaelic biorach meaning “sharp”. (“Sharp” is another word for “smart” which describes the creative crafter)
Waylon: Derived from the Germanic elements wela possibly meaning “skill” and land meaning “land”. (Based on his love of roads)
Grant: From an English and Scottish surname which was derived from Norman French grand meaning “great, large”.
Fallon: From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Fallamhain meaning “descendent of Fallamhan”. The given name Fallamhan meant “leader”.
Sverre: From the Old Norse name Sverrir which meant “wild, swinging, spinning”. (Based on his wild hair and appearance when he is first introduced)
Merton: From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning “town on a lake” in Old English.
Alethea: Derived from Greek αληθεια (aletheia) meaning “truth”. (She knows the “truth” behind how Merton rules)
Darius: Roman form of Δαρειος (Dareios), which was the Greek form of the Persian name Dārayavahush, which was composed of the elements dâraya “to possess” and vahu “good”.

*Are the numbers right? On page 84, it states that King Rayne meets up with three hundred men. He gives them their orders where “at least half of the men appeared surprised by what the king had assigned them to do.” When Rayne arrives in Procep, he has only one hundred and fifty men with him. Where did the rest of them go? The answer is on page 314.

*Tular Tevoil and Rifna Erd: The seven districts of Bariwon are named after the visible color of the rainbow. When it came time to give names to people beyond the mountains, or people “out of sight”, I used the colors of the rainbow our eyes can’t see: Infrared and Ultraviolet. I reference this on page 85 when Blythe says, “Not even enough light here to see the mountains—just a big, dark, black void. Like there’s something there, just beyond our ability to see it.”

*Nie Syll Esse explained: My wife once memorized a passage from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. It was English, sort of. It showed me how language changed over time. I had introduced the nislles in The Hidden Sun, and in The Waxing Moon, I explain it further. The tricky (and fun) part was to combine the two. “Nie Syll Esse” really means “None Shall Pass”, but can be pronounced like “nislles”, if you imagine the language changing over time. And “nislles” is an anagram for “illness” which is the reason the tunnel was closed off.

*Pseudo swear word: I try to write compelling fiction that doesn’t rely on sex, bad language or explicit violence (though I will admit my books can be a bit violent). I had one reader complain that The Hidden Sun wasn’t “real” to them because in real life, people swear. My answer? I had Grant say “sheep dip” as a swear word—which really isn’t a swear word, but kind of sounds like it could be.

*A peaceful torturer? When it came time to have Snapdragon and the rest be “put to the question”, I decided to have the man in charge be plain and void of emotion. To me, someone like that is much more frightening than the stereotypical big brute.

*The magic trick: On page 220, Snapdragon does a magic trick to explain his plan to Merton. I learned this trick when I was in Boy Scouts. It’s actually quite effective if you do it right.

*Testing for understanding: At one point, Snapdragon is assigned a protector who he doesn’t want. Snap claims he can’t understand the man and then has the other men in the area repeat the phrase “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. Why that phrase? It’s a sentence that uses all the letter of the alphabet. It’s found on page 240.

*How to get out of this mess? On page 200, Seraphina sums up their situation by saying, “We can’t leave here for fear of the Rifna Erd, and we can’t let the Tular Tevoil make it to Bariwon. Also, we are expected to believe these people from Eddinh.” She then asks Snapdragon what they are going to do. He responds, “I honestly have no idea.” When I first wrote that, I didn’t have any idea either—and I am the author!

*My favorite character: I often get asked who my favorite character is in these books. It may surprise you that it is a minor character: Garth. He’s Sunshine, Oakleaf and Snapdragon’s father. He’s an odd duck and looks at life differently. He also says things that are clever. For The Waxing Moon, my favorite line of his is found on page 283 when he says, “We’ve had good rain during Rayne’s reign.”

*An almost tragic ending: The first draft of The Waxing Moon had Snapdragon dying at the end. It would have happened on what is now page 313. I’ve not had problems killing off characters before, but this didn’t feel right. I can’t really explain it more than I felt like he had more to do.