Oh, Sister

Last Saturday, I was honored to be a part of the St. David’s Society of Minnesota’s Prynhawn Llawen – a lyrical celebration. After sharing a few portions of SISTER OF GRENDEL and talking a bit about the novel, I savored the rest of the program and the social time. Member Richard Lewis Rames asked me about the source of my protagonist’s name. I swallowed a last bit of currant-rich Welsh cake and launched into how after writing for months about Grendel’s Sister, I “asked” her to give me her name. At my computer, I put my hands to home position, closed my eyes, and typed a few strokes. When I opened my eyes, “Rhesotis” gleamed back at me from the screen. Honestly. True story. Just another part of how this story more often felt like an experience of channeling than crafting. My agent Diana Finch recommended reversing the “h” and “e” for the reader’s ease, but other than that, it stuck.

Richard listened politely, but I had a sense he was disappointed when he started to frown.

“Oh,” he sighed. “I thought for certain it was an anagram for ‘Oh, Sister.’ “

I took a step back. It hadn’t dawned on me. Then we laughed. After decades of living and bending over this tale, of calling upon Rehsotis for more strength, clarity, and creative vigor, not once did I rearrange the letters of her name into such a fitting declaration.

At every reading, book club conversation, discussion about SISTER OF GRENDEL, more is revealed. And it’s because SISTER OF GRENDEL is manifest and pulsing on its (her) own out in the reading world.

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