Posts Tagged ‘What’s In A Name’

What’s In A Name?

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February 15th, 2018 Posted 8:29 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month and time for What’s In A Name, where Peter Abrahams, aka Spencer Quinn, discusses a character name from the Chet and Bernie series. Here’s one I’ve been wondering about – Georgie Malhouf in THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH.

Pete: President of the Great Western Private Eye Association?

Mrs. P: Exactly. The one who offers Bernie five hundred bucks to give that memorable keynote speech at their convention.

Pete: Well, Georgie’s one of those characters we don’t know what to think of for a while, so I thought I’d give him a name to match. “Georgie” is a somewhat comic name for a grown man. Nothing to fear from a Georgie. But “Malhouf” has bad in it.

Mrs. P: Mal being bad in French?

Pete: Précisément! “Houf” reminds us of “hoof” – so bad foot, like – watch out, he kicks! That’s the side of Georgie we see more of as the story progresses. But the comic part never vanishes completely, and is still there at the end when Bernie makes him eat the –

Mrs. P: No spoilers! See you next month for another edition of What’s In A Name!

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What’s In A Name?

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January 16th, 2018 Posted 8:49 am

Too late for What’s In A Name? It should have been yesterday, the fifteenth! And once we could land men on the moon! (Twelve in all. When will the 13th be there?)

Mrs. Publicist: How about Boutette, the surname of that somewhat iffy Louisiana family in THE SOUND AND THE FURRY?

Pete (in his Spence voice): Good choice. I love the Boutette brothers! Baron (aka Frenchie), Duke, Lord, and Ralph.

Mrs. P: Ralph being the good one.

Pete: And he’s also the one that’s missing. I could have written a whole book of just the 3 iffy brothers talking. But you have to stay away from that sort of thing in the novel-writing world.

Mrs. P: Or else?

Pete: Or else the Department of Imagination revokes your card. But back to Boutette. Boute means “end” in French and so Boutette kind of means “little end.” That below-the-surface association always helps me with a character.

Mrs. P: Even if you’re the only one in on the secret?

Pete: Especially!

Mrs. P: Hmm. See you next month for another edition of What’s In A Name!

 

 

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What’s In A Name?

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November 15th, 2017 Posted 8:16 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, when we discuss – if we remember – a character name from Spence’s work. Pete (which is what I call Spence), you’ve mentioned that you can’t write a character until you have the name. But what about the dog in THE RIGHT SIDE?

Pete: Very astute! When the dog first appears in the story, she has no name.

Mrs. P: But did you know the name from the get-go?

Pete: I did not. In fact, not until the scene where the dog gets named – by Harvey, Marci’s first husband, who knows how to make the piercing two-fingers-in-the-mouth whistle that gets the dog to come running. LeAnne hasn’t felt the need to give the dog a name, but there’s something proper about Harvey – and he thinks one up. I was thinking it up at the same time!

Mrs. P: And you and Harvey chose Goody.

Pete: We did. It doesn’t suit her at all, but by the end of the book it couldn’t be anything else.

Mrs. P: As readers will discover. Thanks, Pete, in your Spence role. See you next month for more of What’s In A Name!

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What’s In A Name?

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May 15th, 2017 Posted 8:33 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, so time for What’s In A Name, where Spence discusses a character name from the Chet and Bernie series.

Spencer Quinn: How about we throw a curveball and go for a name from the Bowser and Birdie middle-grade series?

Mrs. P: I understand that adults can read them too.

SQ: But only if they have fake ID. One of the important supporting characters – supporting in a highly negative way – in BOW WOW, coming May 30 – is a bull shark. I had some experience with bull sharks during my spearfishing days long ago in the Bahamas. And at last I’m getting some mileage out of it!

Mrs. P: So the bull shark in BOW WOW has a name?

SQ: Mr. Nice Guy. It seemed right.

Mrs. P: Does Bowser encounter Mr. Nice Guy one on one?

SQ: No spoilers!

Mrs. P: Thanks, Spence! See you next month for more of What’s In A Name!

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