Lucy Knight - The Name

Photo by Hassan Pasha on Unsplash

The themes of light and dark – both literal and figurative – are repeated all throughout story-telling and, for a series all about mythology, I wanted my lead character’s name in particular to reflect that relationship/conflict. However, I didn’t want that reflection to be so on the nose that it felt unnatural. Also, there was the tiny fact that this was my lead character’s name! I’d be typing it thousands of times. I needed to love it.


“Lucia” is derived from the Latin “lux”, meaning light. It isn’t the only female name with that definition, but shortened to “Lucy” it had the relaxed, everywoman feel I wanted for her. Looking at who she was styled after, I also wonder if the two-syllable convention of “Nettie” and “Tracy”, not to mention that they rhyme with “Lucy”, also had something to do with it.

There was also something classical sounding about “Lucia”, at least to me. While it’s a popular first name in Spanish countries, to me it conjures up ancient Rome – it’s the Latin origin. For a book about mythology, that feeling fit in perfectly. 

There is, of course, also the nation Saint Lucia and the actual saint herself. Lucia of Syracuse is the patron of the blind – and authors. That’s rather apt given my years of blundering from idea to idea until the fictional Lucy showed up – but it’s merely a happy coincidence.


I chose “Knight” principally as a homonym for “night”. Again, there are a lot of surnames with dark undertones, but “Knight” did double duty, being both direct yet subtle. The K at the front distracts you from the very obvious word for darkness behind it.

Of course, knights themselves are famous for their fortitude and honour – neither of which Lucy has at the start of her story. And in chess the Knight – which comes in black and white – can only move in a crooked line. As mentioned above, that fit with Lucy’s path. The name was perfect from so many angles.

It's In The Stars, Man

But there’s another reason that I was drawn to the name Knight – one I did not realise until well into the series.

Starman, the DC Comics superhero known as Ted Knight, is a member of the very first super-team – the Justice Society of America. And while I’ve always loved Ted, it’s his son Jack who I see woven into Lucy.

Jack is a reluctant hero. He is forced to assume the family moniker when his brother David, who is the more natural heir to their father’s Cosmic Staff, is murdered. The Starman series (1994-2001 – written by James Robinson) is some of the finest storytelling in any media. I’ve re-read my issues perhaps a dozen times.

Lucy appeared to me in 2006 and in hindsight I can see Starman’s influence. It is at once a superhero book, yet nothing like a superhero book – swap out “superhero” for “fantasy” and you can see what I’m trying to do with this series.

Bonus Round

This isn’t the first time I’ve used a JSA hero’s surname for a lead character. In Finding Home the protagonist’s name is Kevin Garrick, deliberately styled after Jay Garrick – the original, and my favourite, of all the Flashes.