Names

Posted by: Barbara

Names - 08/30/09 10:57 PM

Just received this in email:
From: Ivan Malecki
Sent: Aug 30, 2009 4:07 PM
To: bp@barbarapaul.com
Subject: Ivan Malecki

Hello Barbara, My name is Ivan Malecki.
Searching in google my name, I found your books, and my name is equal to that show in you books :-)
have an explanation that this name?
--
Saludos

Ivan Malecki
"Ivan Malecki" was the name of Marian Larch's partner before I promoted her to Lieutenant. If I remember correctly, I picked "Malecki" out of the New York phone directory. I have no idea where "Ivan" came from.

This isn't the first time I've heard from someone with the same name as one of my characters. One memorable caller in Pittsburgh said her daughter was named Megan Phillips (protagonist of Your Eyelids Are Growing Heavy). The mother wanted to know whether the book was okay for a 16-year-old to read. That woman positively grilled me, until it stopped being amusing and I put an end to it. I don't know whether young Miss Phillips ever got the book or not.

Even the first piece of fiction I wrote unintentionally played the name game ("Answer 'Affirmative' or 'Negative'" in Analog). The story's punchline was keyed to a real-life major league relief pitcher with the improbable name of Dooley Womack. Would you believe I heard from three Dooley Womacks? And all three thought I had made up the name. Ah me.
Posted by: Christopher

Re: Names - 08/31/09 10:44 PM

I looked up Dooley Womack. His real name was Horace.
Posted by: Rita

Re: Names - 09/01/09 11:51 AM

Well, no wonder he changed his name. (But "Dooley"?)
Posted by: Kay

Re: Names - 09/02/09 02:39 PM

I'm guessing that even if you completely make up a name, including the spelling, there's going to be SOMEBODY out there with it.

How many Charl(es)ie Chans do you suppose there are in various Chinatowns?

There was probably a Holmes family somewhere in the British Isles with a son named Sherlock long before Conan Doyle thought of it.

Granted, most of our names are fairly common, but Google yourself some time and see what you get!