Posts Tagged ‘What’s In A Name’

What’s In A Name?


January 15th, 2019 Posted 8:30 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 Brando?

Mrs. P: The cat belonging to Thad Perry, the troubled and troublesome movie star in A Fistful of Collars, one of my favorite C&B’s?

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.: I can think of other feline-type movie stars, but are there any canine ones?

Pete: Steve Buscemi.

Mrs. P: Thanks, Pete. Maybe our readers can come up with some more. See you next month for more of What’s In A Name.


What’s In A Name?


December 15th, 2018 Posted 8:34 am

Mrs. Publicist: 15th of the month – when Peter Abrahams (aka Spencer Quinn) talks about a character name or two from one of his novels. Got anything from RUFF VS. FLUFF, which will be your next published book? Which, I should point out, is middle-grade although adults with fake ID can read it. Those in need of fake ID please meet me being the 7 Eleven after this is over.

Pete: Well, how about the eleven-year-old twins from the book, Harmony and Bro, since they’re the leading human characters in the story?

Mrs. P: The leading animal characters being the narrators, Queenie and Arthur.

Pete: Exactly.

Mrs. P: Two narrators and twin main characters – do I see a pattern?

Pete: There are certainly patterns in my work, some even intentional. Anyway, Harmony and Bro obviously aren’t identical twins, but fraternal. In fact, Harmony’s a year ahead in school, a source of endless frustration to Bro. Her name just popped into my head. It seemed absolutely right to me. Ideas coming out of nowhere – that’s always been the very best thing about this job. For the other twin, I knew I needed something contrasting. He’s the brother. Hmm. How about Bro? I liked it! And right away I knew that hidden in his bro-ness was something surprisingly sensitive. Also – Bro wouldn’t be his real name, just the name everyone calls him. Therefore he had to have a reason for avoiding his real name. The threads of story started their weaving.

Mrs. P: What’s Bro’s real name? Why doesn’t he like it?

Pete: The answers are in the book!

Mrs. P: Now available for preorder, which is my job to say. See you next month for more of What’s In A Name, and happy holidays!


What’s In A Name?


October 15th, 2018 Posted 7:55 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, so time to discuss a character name from one of the books by Peter Abrahams aka Spencer Quinn. How about we do Arthur, who narrates half of RUFF VS. FLUFF, first in your new Queenie and Arthur series? And let me add that although it’s middle-grade, adults with fake ID can read it, too, and it’s available for preorder. Okay, Arthur – that strikes me as a somewhat different type name from Chet, narrator of the Chet and Bernie series, and even more so from Bowser, narrator of the Bowser and Birdie series.

Pete: You’re so right! First, I really can’t write a character until I have the name. Sometimes I use a fill-in name for an early chapter or two, but by then, thank the lord of fiction, the right name comes. Arthur is not an energetic dog like Chet and Bowser. He’s no athlete, not in particularly good shape, perhaps somewhat lazy. A tweed jacket, pipe-smoking type – but only metaphorically. I thought the name Arthur suggested all that. Lurking in the background, I suppose, is Arthur the elephant from the old Babar series – do little kids still read that? The point is there’s something heavy about the name, at least for me. As for Arthur’s heart – also lurking in the background is the dude who pulled the sword from the stone.

Mrs. P: Are you saying that in the end there’s something heroic about Arthur?

Pete: No spoilers!

Mrs. P: In that case, see you next month for another edition of What’s In A Name!


What’s In A Name?


August 15th, 2018 Posted 8:28 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month and therefore time for What’s In A Name, where Peter Abrahams (aka Spencer Quinn) discusses a character name from one of his books. What’ll it be this time, Pete?

Pete: How about Queenie from RUFF VS. FLUFF?

Mrs. P: Great! First I should explain that RUFF VS. FLUFF is the first in the new Queenie and Arthur middle-grade series. Adults may read them, but only with fake ID. (To get your fake ID come to the alley behind my office building after hours.) Pub date is March 26, 2019. Available now for pre-order – then you don’t have to worry! And now – Queenie.

Pete: Queenie handles half the narration in the series. Arthur does the other half. Arthur’s a dog, Queenie a cat. You never want to be too on-the-nose with a name, but … “Queenie” came to me right away and felt inevitable.

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


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