Posts Tagged ‘What’s In A Name’

What’s In A Name?

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November 15th, 2019 Posted 10:23 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, when Peter Abrahams aka Spencer Quinn discusses a character name from one of his books, often a Chet and Bernie. What’ll it be today?

Pete: How about Heart of Barkness?

Mrs. P: The latest Chet and Bernie? Take it away!

Pete: Well, then, let’s take a look at Flaco de Vargas, the aging and half-blind wrangler at Rancho de la Luna, a supporting character.

Mrs. P: The one whose brother Hector co-wrote How You Hung the Moon with Lotty Pilgrim, whose secret past is central to the story?

Pete: Whoa! Spoiler alert. But yes – that’s him. Country music – and country music from down on the border – is pretty much always in the background in Heart of Barkness. The truth is I set out to write a novel reminiscent of a murder ballad. I stole the name Flaco from Flaco Jimenez, the great Mexican musician.

Mrs. P: What if I told you I hunted around on YouTube and found him playing on an actual murder ballad?

Pete: That would be great, but not exactly a surprise.

Mrs. P: Thanks, Pete! 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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August 15th, 2019 Posted 7:44 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, when Peter Abrahams aka Spencer Quinn discusses a character name from one of his books, often a Chet and Bernie. What’ll it be today?

Pete: How about Heart of Barkness?

Mrs. P: The brand new Chet and Bernie? Take it away!

Pete: Well, then, let’s take a look at Lotty Pilgrim, one of the central characters, a has-been or never-was country music singer.

Mrs. P: Country music? Bernie’s a big fan – as are you, I hear.

Pete: True. 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. Let’s go out on that, and 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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March 15th, 2019 Posted 8:16 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, when we discuss names. 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, especially since his name was suggested by readers yesterday?

Pete: I’m not the first artist (for want of a better word) to fall for the appeal of the name Iggy. In that I stand on the shoulders of Jim Osterberg, Jr. And may I recommend in passing Jim’s duet with Francoise Hardy of 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 HEART OF BARKNESS, now available for preorder. In the meantime, there’s always the e-short story pictured here.

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Audience Participation!

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March 14th, 2019 Posted 8:42 am

Tomorrow is the 15th of the month when Mrs. Publicist asks Peter Abrahams (aka Spencer Quinn) to discuss one of the character names from the Chet and Bernie series – or from any of his work, actually. Any name you’d like discussed for this month’s What’s In A Name?

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