Posts Tagged ‘What’s In A Name’

What’s In A Name?

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April 19th, 2018 Posted 7:23 am

Mrs. Publicist: Past time for this month’s What’s In A Name, where Peter Abrahams aka Spencer Quinn discusses a character name from one of his books. Pete, we’ve never done place names. You make up a lot of places – the Valley, say, in the Chet and Bernie mysteries, 0r –

Pete: Or St. Roch in the Bowser and Birdie middle-grade series!

Mrs. P: Which, I should point out, adults with fake ID are also reading. Tell us about naming St. Roch.

Pete: Well, Birdie and her family live in bayou country, so I wanted something French. And St. Roch is the patron saint of dogs. The series is narrated by Bowser. And while there is a St. Roch section of New Orleans, there’s no St. Roch in Louisiana.

Mrs. P: So – a perfect storm.

Pete: I think of it as a perfect calm.

Mrs. P: See you next month for another edition of What’s In A Name. Maybe the readers have a suggestion.

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What’s In A Name?

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March 16th, 2018 Posted 9:30 am

Power is back! So, a day late, here’s What’s In A Name, wherein Mrs. Publicist and the writer discuss a character name from one of his books.

Mrs. P: What’ll it be this time, Pete?

Peter Abrahams (aka Spencer Quinn): How about Dr. Machado?

Mrs. P: The somewhat unhelpful shrink from THE RIGHT SIDE?

PA: Certainly unhelpful from his patient LeAnne’s point of view. Machado means ax or hatchet in Spanish and Portuguese.

Mrs. P: So – a crude kind of tool for doing delicate work?

PA: Exactly! You don’t need me anymore!

Mrs. P: See you April 15 for more of What’s In A Name!

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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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