Posts Tagged ‘What’s In A Name’

What’s In A Name?


January 15th, 2022 Posted 8:03 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, when we discuss a name from the Chet and Bernie series. Good morning, Pete. It’s eleven degrees out there so I’m assuming no bike ride today.

Pete: Don’t bet on it.

Mrs. Publicist: Hmm. Before you go then, what character name should we talk about today?

Spencer Quinn: How about Brando?

Mrs. P: The cat belonging to Thad Perry, the troubled and troublesome movie star in A Fistful of Collars?

Pete: Exactly.

Mrs. P: Described initially by Chet as follows: “Yes, a cat. Not particularly little, by the way, in fact, kind of monstrous.”

Pete: That’s the one. In terms of plot, Thad Perry turning out to be a cat person is a big red flag, certainly in Chet’s eyes. But the name itself says Hollywood, entitlement, self-satisfaction. Plus there was a feline aspect to Marlon Brando – I’d go so far as to say feminine, but let’s omit that – and that fit nicely. Of course Marlon Brando was one of those movie stars who was actually an artist, and Thad Perry turns out – maybe surprisingly – to be that type, too. So there you have it.

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


What’s In A Name?


December 15th, 2021 Posted 11:37 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, and therefore time for What’s In A Name, where Pete discusses a character name from the Chet and Bernie series. Some very interesting suggestions came up yesterday and we’ll get to them in future, but right now, since I’ve just seen the manuscript of Bark To The Future, coming in August, how about we do Fritzie Bortz, the motorcycle cop and later – in Heart of Barkness – Border Patrol officer, who has a recurring role?

Pete: Sure! Fritzie is one of those characters I love to write. He has an unsure grip on reality, as though the signal comes and goes. Also he’s not very good on a bike, which led to the little contretemps in Heart of Barkness, resulting in his new Border Patrol gig.

Mrs. P: With a big surprise coming in Bark To The Future. But meanwhile I notice there are Z’s in both his first and last names.

Pete: Exactly! Love those Z’s! Only three syllables, but it’s like a tiny sound poem – or some quick lick a drummer might play.

Mrs. P: How did you think it up?

Pete: It just popped into my head. Names often come to me like that, even when I’m not writing anything.

Mrs. P: How about right this second?

Pete: Irwin Kirbaugh.

Mrs. P: Thanks, Pete! See you next month for more of What’s In A Name! And meanwhile, since I am the publicist, may I remind everyone that It’s A Wonderful Woof makes a very nice holiday gift. And you needn’t have read any of the previous C&Bs to enjoy it! The series can be read in any order.



You Make The Call


December 14th, 2021 Posted 7:44 am

Tomorrow is the 15th of the month, when we schedule What’s In A Name, Mrs. Publicist and Pete discussing as character name from the Chet and Bernie series. So this month – any particular name on your mind? It doesn’t have to be from the latest novel, It’s A Wonderful Woof. Anywhere in the series will do.


What’s In A Name?


November 19th, 2021 Posted 7:51 am

Mrs. Publicist: Not the fifteenth of the month, when we discuss names, but let’s play catch up. You’ve mentioned, Pete (aka Spence), how important names are to you, and that you actually can’t write the character until you have the right name. How about this month we talk about Iggy, Chet’s best pal, who plays – what would you call it? – an evidentiary role? – in It’s A Wonderful Woof, the brand new Chet and Bernie holiday novel?

Pete: Evidentiary role – nice locution, I’ll have to steal that. As for Iggy, I’m not the first artist (for want of a better word) to fall for the appeal of that name. In that I stand on the shoulders of Jim Osterberg, Jr. And may I recommend in passing Jim’s duet with Francoise Hardy on I’ll Be Seeing You.

Mrs. P: And what is the appeal of the name Iggy?

Pete: For me, the appeal was that the character came fully formed as soon as the name popped into my mind. Iggy’s all about id, lack of restraint, totally unselfconscious goofiness and yearning.

Mrs. P: And then to have him pretty much shut inside the Parsons’s house for the whole series so far, watching Chet through the window?

Pete: Makes the odd moment when they do get together –

Mrs. P: Like the bathroom scene in The Dog Who Knew Too Much?

Pete: – all the more explosive.

Mrs. P: Thanks, Pete. Iggy appears by the way in the digital short story below.


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