Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Things that Never Occur to You

From an AV Club interview with Donald E. Westlake, from 2006:

AVC: ...It's more than 20 novels into the series now, and we still don't know [Parker's] first name.

DW: Well, he wasn't supposed to be a series. He was supposed to be one book, and if he was only going to be in one book, I didn't worry about it. And then an editor at Pocket Books said "Write more books about him." So I didn't go back at that point and give him a first name. If I'd known he would've been a series, I would've done two things differently. First, I would've given him a first name—I don't know what the hell it would be, maybe Frank—but I probably wouldn't have named him Parker, because that means for 27 books, I've had to find some other way to say, "Parker parked the car."

12 comments:

Adam Ross said...

At least he didn't name him Parkedhisass, because "She parked her ass next to Parkedhisass" just sounds awful.

bill r. said...

Yeah, that wouldn't have worked at all. It's also good that he didn't call him "Shottheguy". Because a sentence like "Shottheguy shot the guy" would drive we, the readers, nuts!

bill r. said...

It would "drive we nuts"? I'm a moron.

Adam Ross said...

That could be an alternate title to your upcoming book, Movies and the Watching of Them: Drive We Nuts.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I would've just name him Johnny Fuckwad and called it a day. "Johnny Fuckwad" works with everything. It's one of those names you can't go wrong with. Maybe I'll make it my new pseudonym.

bill r. said...

And then on the cover of each new book in the series, it could say "A Fuckwad Novel".

Adam Ross said...

Isn't there a Cagney movie where he plays a character named Johnny Fuckwad?

Jonathan Lapper said...

I think that was Public Fuckin' Enemy or maybe I'm thinking of White Fuckin' Heat. I get 'em mixed up.

bill r. said...

No, it was The Roaring Fucking Twenties. Or Yankee Doodle Fucking Dandy.

Adam Ross said...

I remember now, it was Angels With Dirty Fucking Faces.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I don't know how many times I've said to someone when they get wise with me, "Well aren't you a Yankee Doodle Fucking Dandy!" Actually, I think I say, "Yankee Fucking Doodle Dandy!" Just depends on my mood where I want to place the "fucking."

bill r. said...

It ruins the flow if you place it after "yankee". Don't ever do that again.

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