Meet the heroine of Lion’s Prey Zara Coventry:
Hometown: Venice Beach, CA, USA
Ethnicity: African-American and native Hawaiian
Meaning of the name Zara: Derived from the Arabic Zahra (flower, blossom), which is from zahara (to blossom). Other meanings Bright, in the Hebrew tradition Princess
Tyler, the hero of Lion’s Prey, is only aware of the “bright” meaning which was given to him when he was “in country.” The evolution of Zara’s name in the series is a little backwards. Ordinarily, I look through baby name books and I had chosen Zara’s name when she was a minor character in In Like a Lion (Bk 1), but it wasn’t Zara. It was Jade. However, I already had two “J” names in the series, “Jake” and “John.” ILAL was about to go to print and I thought of my lovely Somali neighbor and decided to name the character after her, but I shortened the name to Zara instead of Zahra, mostly because when you’re writing a thousands of words long manuscript saving a letter or two speeds up the process.
I needed a reporter for the minor part I already mentioned, but there’s always a little part of me in my heroines and I had taken Journalism courses at SUNY Oswego as part of my BA in English as a Writing Art.
Meet the hero of Lion’s Prey Tyler Gunn (Mara)
Hometown: Dallas, TX, USA
Ethnicity: Ty like the rest of the Mara brothers is Caucasian. His heritage is Irish. The chimera shifting gene entered the family when a Mara married a Romani in the 17th century. The Romani people can trace their history to India and the first chimera shifter who was a merchant in what later became the Hindu Kush. The area is now mostly in Pakistan, but would have been in India before Pakistan became a country during partition in 1947. The Hindu name for the area before it was invaded was Paariyaatra Parvat.
Meaning of the name Tyler: In old English “Door Keeper,” or literally an occupational surname “a person who lays tiles.” I confess I just really liked the sound of Tyler or Ty for short, but in hindsight “Door keeper” or it’s variation “Gate keeper” seems appropriated given that Tyler views his relationship with his twin brother Connor as that of a protector (though he feels a lot of guilt because it’s a job which he believes he’s failed at)
Occupation: Army Ranger (Recon Ranger): Though when we meet Ty in this book, he’s not currently a Ranger, his identity is tied up with his years in the military. It’s all he believes he’s good at.