What’s In A Name?

Mrs. Publicist: Hi, there, Pete! Haven’t seen you in a while and we haven’t done What’s In A Name in ages, where Peter Abrahams aka Spencer Quinn discusses a character name from one of his books, sometimes a Chet and Bernie. I know character names are important to you, Pete. You’ve said you can’t write a character until the right name comes to you.

Pete: I’ll stick by that. One other thing – only characters who speak at least one word get a name. With rare exceptions.

Mrs. P: Such as?

Pete: A corpse.

Mrs. P: So what’ll it be today?

Pete: How about we take a look at Lotty Pilgrim, one of the central characters in Heart of Barkness, a –

Mrs. P: Now available in paperback!

Pete: – has-been or never-was country music singer. Lotty seemed like one of those names that hearkens back – kind of an echo of Dottie, as in the great Dottie West. As for Pilgrim, it more than hints at the wandering minstrel, and there are echoes of the old country song I Am A Pilgrim, recorded many times but never more beautifully than by the Byrds on their Sweetheart of the Rodeo album. I hear you thinking: Pilgrim? Maybe too on the nose? But we’re talking country music! That gives us a license to be on the nose. The famous Nashville songwriter Harlan Howard said country music was three chords and the truth.

Mrs. P: And as readers may not know, Lotty sings a Song For Chet. We’ll post it in a day or two, but meanwhile it’s on iTunes etc. and there’s a video on youtube. See you next month for more of What’s In A Name!



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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 at 8:37 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 Responses to “What’s In A Name?”

  1. Wose-The Small and Meek
    10:02 am on January 12th, 2021


    Heh! I was just thinking about “What’s In a Name” recently, and wondering if OFA ever discussed how he chose the name Spencer Quinn.

    Lots of wondering going on in my brain…Mr. Big, I was wondering what say you about the Flippity Fish…

    RIO! Your Friend will have her own dog sled team in no time! :^)

    Good day to all!

  2. B. Stover
    10:59 am on January 12th, 2021

    Interesting connections. I also like “three chords and the truth.”

    Good day to all.

  3. Herd of Hounds
    11:28 am on January 12th, 2021

    Good day to all.
    We think Mrs. OFA had something to do with the name.
    Yes, 3 chords…G, C and D7.

  4. Hobbit
    2:32 pm on January 12th, 2021

    Wose: The 3 flippy fish I ordered and paid expensive shipping have not arrived. I will have to search my email for the confirmation and contact them.

    When the day begins with waving the spray water bottle at Mr. Big, one or more of us will not be having a good day.

    I can always count on Sadie for being a good dog.

  5. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    5:40 pm on January 12th, 2021

    Big!…I bet he is soaking wet by now!…heh!heh!

  6. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    8:13 pm on January 12th, 2021

    One!…I had to guffaw! when I read that only characters who speak one word get a name. Except for a corpse of course!….snort!…I’m trying to recall an instance of this happening in the series…whiffle!

  7. Hobbit
    9:20 pm on January 12th, 2021

    Rio: ever since I soaked Mr. Big with a hose last summer, he has had a wealthy respect for water. He was very affectionate all day but I made a mistake of giving him a couple of treaties while he was reclining on Sadie’s bed. Now he expects to be served his dinner in bed. He watched Chessie being fed and her eating her dinner. He ignored my calls to dinner. What a lazy cat. Oh well, he must not be too hungry and he can afford to lose weight anyway. Despite his classification of me, I am his Boss not his Attendant.

  8. Riõ - The Evil Pug
    9:25 pm on January 12th, 2021

    Bed!…I expect to be fed breakfast in bed but it never happens…grunt!…What’s a Pug to do?…sniff!

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