Posts Tagged ‘What’s In A Name’

What’s In A Name?


April 20th, 2017 Posted 8:37 am

Mrs. Publicist: Whoa! We almost forgot What’s In A Name, our monthly feature where Spence discusses a name in the Chet and Bernie series. What’s it going to be?

SQ: How about we pull a little switcheroo and dip into the Bowser and Birdie middle-grade series?

Mrs. P: The one that adults can read only if they have fake ID?

SQ: Exactly. Let’s do Bowser himself, the canine narrator.

Mrs. P: But not a talking dog.

SQ: Never! The name Bowser might come for old French beau sire – fine sir – which is appropriate in the end, but what I like is the sheer energy of the name, suggestive of bounding. Also the Bow part – a name with the beginnings of a bark right in it! Bowser’s name was the first thing that came to me in the whole series.

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



What’s In A Name?


January 17th, 2017 Posted 8:44 am

Mrs. Publicist: Past time for What’s In a Name, but we’ve been pushed around by the calendar.

Spencer Quinn: Love’s not time’s fool, but publishing most certainly is.

Mrs. P: Huh?

SQ: Not important. How about we look at the Boutette Brothers from THE SOUND AND THE FURRY?

Mrs. P: Frenchie Boutette is the one who hires Chet and Bernie, starts the whole ball rolling.

SQ: But his real name’s not Frenchie. As he explains, “Just my nickname out here in the west on account of coming from Louisiana and all.” His real name is Baron, and he has two equally shady brothers named Duke and Lord. There’s something aspirational going on there, crazily and unreachably aspirational, that I thought fit the setting quite well.

Mrs. P: Meaning Louisiana?

SQ: More like the feeling of Louisiana, the living myth.

Mrs. P: But there’s also a fourth brother.

SQ: Ralph. Can’t say much here without spoilers, but Ralph is very different from the others. The name is very vanilla, as though the parents had given up on aspiration by the time he came around – or somehow realized this one wasn’t going to need the boost.

Mrs. P: Thanks, Spence. See you February fifteenth for another edition of What’s In A Name!


What’s In A Name?


December 16th, 2016 Posted 8:33 am

Mrs. Publicist: Uh-oh. Yesterday was the fifteenth, our normal spot for What’as In A Name, where Spence discusses a character name from the Chet and Bernie series. How about we do it today, flexibility being the spice of life?

Spencer Quinn: Um. Well, just in case curveballs are the spice of life, how about we discuss a character name from THE RIGHT SIDE, since we revealed the cover this week?

Mrs. P: Go for it!

SQ: Let’s start with LeAnne Hogan, the main character. Some names I can’t write at all, but LeAnne’s at the other end of the spectrum. It’s not a highfalutin name, but not trailer trash either. There’s no-nonsense mixed with a bit of the exotic, even some musicality, which really helped me define the character. (In a book I wrote called THEIR WILDEST DREAMS, there’s a teenager named Lianne – she helpfully wrote much of herself.) As for Hogan, it’s Irish, but that wasn’t the point. I was thinking of the those Navajo hogans, so enduring, of the earth itself. Also LeAnne comes from that part of the country. The reader doesn’t need to know any of this, of course, but her name becomes part of the spirit of the book.

Mrs. P: Does that happen with a character name in every story?

SQ: I – and I’m sure lots of other writers – wish.

Mrs. P: Thanks, Spence! See you next … year! – for another edition of What’s In a Name!



What’s In A Name?


November 15th, 2016 Posted 8:04 am

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

SQ: Well, since we’re close to the holiday season –

Mrs. P: – how about something from SANTA 365, the C&B e-short!

SQ: My thought exactly. Why not Elrood the Elf, a somewhat shifty Santa’s helper? “Elrood” sounds a bit like someone out of Tolkien, except slightly distorted in a funhouse mirror way.

Mrs. P: And it has “rude” in it!

SQ: You’re getting the hang of this! And “el” is Spanish for “the”. So it’s sort of “the rude one”, but let’s not push it that far. The point is, just from the name, we suspect trickiness in the offing.

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


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