Friday, April 6, 2012

The Drache Girl: Hero and Hertzel

Hero and Hertzel Hertling are twins who appear in Senta and the Steel Dragon.  They first made a small appearance in The Voyage of the Minotaur, and by The Dark and Forbidding Land, they had become Senta's good friends.  The twins, along with Senta and Graham, form a core of characters for The Drache Girl.

In addition to watching the relationships of kids at school, I think I owe a debt to J.K. Rowling for the way these kids connect in the book.  Of course in the later books their relationships change as they do for all of us in real life.

I have always like the name Hero for a girl, no doubt from my love of Shakespeare and A Midsummer Night's Dream.  I picked out Hertzel's name from a baby name website.  I just needed something to go with Hero.  The twins are Zaeri, which is my fantasy stand-in for Judaism and they have escaped Freedonia, which is my stand in for the Third Reich.  Hero is shy and delicate and I had plenty to draw on for her.  I don't know where I got the idea for Hertzel to be mute, but it just seemed to fit.

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