Q: The protagonist in Emissary is named Hyam – a Hebrew name derived from the word chayyim, meaning “life.” Was your choice of that name significant?
Thomas Locke: Yes. Hyam was used in 17th and 18th century England by the Jewish community. In 1655 the Protestant ruler of England, Oliver Cromwell, abolished all restrictions that had formerly governed Jewish life.
In response, many families of that generation named their firstborn sons ‘Hyam,’ for this new gift of life and freedom in their adopted homeland. It is a name that has always resonated with me, and I loved being able to apply it in Emissary.