Cleveland and Vegas Rock the World
I’ve been asked how I came up with the name Northern Knights for my debut book in the Lord of Columbia Series.
Trial and error of Amazon’s search engines.
Here’s a list of working titles:
1. Once: The Lost Book
2. Days of Gaia, The Uprising
3. Days of Gaia, The Revolution
4. Age of Columbia: Uprising (this name lasted until earlier this year)
5. Lord of Columbia: Northern Knights
I struck gold in Amazon’s search engines, as Northern Knights was a hotter search in the books section, especially when one clicked on fantasy titles.
Some have pointed out the rather unique coloring of the cover, which focuses heavy on orange and brown. While many urban fantasy titles utilize the color orange, with some sort of fire in the background, brown might be more unique.
The cover is a reference to my favorite NFL team, the Cleveland Browns.
The name Northern Knights, other than being hot in the search engines, originated from the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL, a team I followed since, well, they were christened the Golden Knights back in 2016.
I’ve also long joked the Browns should drop their meager moniker due to its identity of constant losing and adopt a new name. Northern Knights, I’ve always stated, would’ve been a top choice because:
1. Cleveland is the northernmost team in the AFC North Division.
2. The Browns play in the AFC North.
3. The name intertwines with the Cleveland Cavaliers and their G-League affiliate, the Canton Charge.
About the Browns
Orange and brown became a staple in the series after its initial drafts. I termed a coalition called the Liberty Flames, later changed to Freedom Flames since Flames is the nickname to Liberty University.
Despite black and yellow being true Libertarian colors (ironically, they’re the enemy colors in Northern Knights) I wanted to better utilize the flame within a wooden torch. Orange flames plus a brown torch made sense, and it allowed me to use the color scheme throughout the work.
About the Indians
One of my favorite characters in Northern Knights is half the Native American version of a Columbian, which I term Native Columbian. Similar to their real-life Native American counterparts, it’s the single character who is an unstoppable athlete, friendly, and outgoing. From a personality and talent standpoint, they’re the prototypical person everyone wants to be.
What’s funny is, this particular character appeared in another work that I released on my old blog (and in time, I want to release on this blog, too) but I loved them so much I wrote them into the Northern Knights plot.
About the Cavs
The term cavalier is used early and often. It’s the Columbian version of a warrior. Anyone in Northern Knights and subsequent books termed cavaliers are known for their bravery and willingness to achieve great things both on the battlefield and at home. In Northern Knights, if one calls another a cavalier, it’s the greatest compliment one can give and receive.
About the Golden Knights
I wasn’t going to have a sport in the plot in initial drafts. Instead, the initial plot had my main character already on the run from the enemy military whose leader wanted to kill him. While much of the backstory remained intact, the initial plot called for my main character to accidentally inconvenience the antagonist and keep getting in the way.
I changed the plot after writing myself into several corners and allowed my inner-J.K. Rowling to take centerstage. I structured the plot to where the main still got into the antagonist’s way but was a gifted three-sport athlete.
It wasn’t until I developed a college campus in an unoccupied environment did I implement a game I invented back in 2009, initially called warball, later changed to shotball. The game called for minimal rules, hard hits, and legal fighting. I’ve always thought of shotball as the intersection of American football, Australian football, rugby, and soccer.
When I had to create a twelve-team league to align with the sports subplot, Knights and later Northern Knights jumped out at me over other names. Other names considered were Sharks, Stingers, Stingrays, Kings, and Stallions.
Fun fact: The name Stallions went to another team.