Grand Master Levi Emberhawk’s original name was Ja’korun. Everyone was going to call him “Jak,” but when you’re reading, it seems too similar to “Jet”… both three-letter names beginning with the letter J.
I thought “Jak” fit him so well that it remained his name all through the development process, right up until I started writing Sentinel. Because I wasn’t willing to sacrifice Jet’s name, Jak had to go.
The way I decided on “Levi” began with going down the alphabet and finding names beginning with letters I hadn’t used yet for characters, places, or anything frequently referenced in the story. I think the first letter, as the largest, is what our brains pick up on first, and the rest of the word becomes a blur when you’re reading fast.
And because The Sentinel Trilogy is a thriller, I wanted it to be as easy to digest as possible. Nothing ruins the fun of an exciting scene more than having to stop because of something confusing.
I chose “Levi” because it is common enough for people to be familiar with it, but not too common. It also feels like a strong name to me, and its historical significance in the real world could draw symbolism to Levi’s position at the Serran Academy.
… and I totally had the name “Levi” picked before I saw Attack on Titan. Levi Ackerman is an awesome character, but unfortunately he has no connection to Levi Emberhawk.
Who do you think would win in a fight? Levi Ackerman or Levi Emberhawk?