Sunday, August 15, 2010

My new posts have generally been serious, so perhaps it's time to do something different. Odd names arrived in my life when I was young -- other than my own, which I never liked. My favourite comic in my pre-teens had Dan Dare, space adventurer on the front and a private eye called Harris Tweed on the back. I wrote some comics of my own at that age and wanted to have a PI with an 'object' name.

My mother suggested Toby Jug, so that's who he became. I didn't escape the name thing for some time. In my teens I hunted for all the library books featuring another PI, called Norman Conquest. He had a wife called Pixie and drove a Hispano Suiza roadster. I looked up the author and his books about a year ago, they were supposedly written (under a nom de plume) in the fifties, but with that car I'd place them closer to 1930. I even bought a used copy of one from Abe Books -- managed to read almost half of it.

Now I have a confession. I've always wanted to write a story about a character called Sam Handwich. Don't ask why -- it's just a thought that comes and goes. There is probably already such a character in a children's book, but what adult story would Sam fit in? Do you think there should be a contest for the story and character that fits the name best? I'd throw in a free e-book as prize. Promise that it wouldn't feature either Norman Conquest or Toby Jug.

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