What’s In A Name: Leda
Ms. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, when we discuss names. Last time, Spence, in our discussion of Ms. Oxley, a minor character in A Fistful of Collars, you mentioned how important names were to you, and that you actually can’t write the character until you have the right name. How about this month we talk about a more important player in the Chet and Bernie series, namely – as it were, heh, heh – Leda?
Spence: That came to me right away – there were no other candidates for the name of Bernie’s ex-wife. At first, I was just attracted to the sound: strong, punchy, even a bit harsh. And of course if you had a South Boston accent that would be exactly how you’d say “leader.” That put me in mind of Orwell. So the name was carrying some connotative freight, but hidden so you don’t get hit over the head with it.
Ms. Publicist: Speaking of freight, we haven’t even come to the Greek mythology part yet.
Spence: An added bonus, that led directly to the swan fountain left behind by Leda on the back patio of Chet and Bernie’s place on Mesquite Road. Bernie – at least so far – hasn’t thought about the fact that in the myth Leda had a husband and that the swan was the seducer, and that therefore a stone reminder of her infidelity is splashing merrily away out back twenty-four seven.
Ms. Publicist: Will Bernie think about all that in some future book, say, The Sound and the Furry?
Spence: Good question!
Ms. Publicist: See you May 15, everybody, for our next installment of What’s In A Name!
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