What’s In A Name?

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October 15th, 2018 Posted 7:55 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, so time to discuss a character name from one of the books by Peter Abrahams aka Spencer Quinn. How about we do Arthur, who narrates half of RUFF VS. FLUFF, first in your new Queenie and Arthur series? And let me add that although it’s middle-grade, adults with fake ID can read it, too, and it’s available for preorder. Okay, Arthur – that strikes me as a somewhat different type name from Chet, narrator of the Chet and Bernie series, and even more so from Bowser, narrator of the Bowser and Birdie series.

Pete: You’re so right! First, I really can’t write a character until I have the name. Sometimes I use a fill-in name for an early chapter or two, but by then, thank the lord of fiction, the right name comes. Arthur is not an energetic dog like Chet and Bowser. He’s no athlete, not in particularly good shape, perhaps somewhat lazy. A tweed jacket, pipe-smoking type – but only metaphorically. I thought the name Arthur suggested all that. Lurking in the background, I suppose, is Arthur the elephant from the old Babar series – do little kids still read that? The point is there’s something heavy about the name, at least for me. As for Arthur’s heart – also lurking in the background is the dude who pulled the sword from the stone.

Mrs. P: Are you saying that in the end there’s something heroic about Arthur?

Pete: No spoilers!

Mrs. P: In that case, see you next month for another edition of What’s In A Name!

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Beginnings (More)

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October 14th, 2018 Posted 8:36 am

On Sundays we’ve been doing beginnings – all the Peter Abrahams books in chronological order, including those written under the Spencer Quinn pen name. Here from 2015 – #34, SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY, most recent in the Chet and Bernie series – which can be read in any order (see Bureau of Imagination Regulation section 18, subsection 22). HEART OF BARKNESS comes July 2.

[“Light-hearted, humor-filled…the ending of this book is especially touching. Most readers will want to read it over (and maybe over yet again, to be sure they are understanding it). It’s beautifully written and very emotional.” (Examiner.com)]

Home at last! We’d been away so long, first in swampy country, then in a big city – maybe called Foggy Bottom – that confused me from the get-go. Is there time to mention the air in both those places before we really get started? Soggy and heavy: that sums it up.

Where were we? Was it possibly … home? Yes! Home! Home at last! Our home – mine and Bernie’s – is on Mesquite Road. Mesquite Road’s in the Valley. Quite recently I might have heard that the Valley’s in Arizona, but don’t count on that. What matters is that right now I was inhaling a nice big noseful of Valley air. Light and dry, with a hint of greasewood and just plain grease: perfect. I felt tip top. Bernie opened our door, kicked aside a huge pile of mail, and we went in.

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HEART OF BARKNESS Cover

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October 13th, 2018 Posted 8:39 am

We’ve just seen a preliminary version of the HEART OF BARKNESS cover art. Although we can’t show it to you (Bureau of Imagination Regulation section 73, subsection C (5)) We think you’re going to like it!

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HEART OF BARKNESS Question

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October 12th, 2018 Posted 8:24 am

This one is starting to come up (for obvious Conradian reasons): “Is there a river in it?” And the answer is yes! Sort of! There is a river, although almost totally dry except for a puddle. Chet enters it and has a realization. (HEART OF BARKNESS – July 2. According to the Bureau of Imagination Regulation, it is now available for preorder.)

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The Books



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