Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Things You Learn

The main character in Ghost of Ping-Ling is named Dillen Applebee. He was called Dillen Applebee even before I started the book in 2001. I love that name, it conjures up a certain rustic simplicity, a wholesomeness, and most importantly, a sense of being absolutely ordinary.

BUT, I am now informed by my American friends on OWW that "Applebees" is a large chain over in that part of the world, selling pancakes or coffee or something (I can't remember exactly what). After the third reviewer told me the name had thrown them straight out of the narrative, I decided it had to go - as difficult a decision as that was.

So, Dillen Applebee is Dillen Applebee no more. After much exhaustive thought, and much scribbling and scratching out, I finally came up with a name that I think carries that same sense of homeliness and simplicity. I'm happy with it - I think it'll do nicely.

From now on, he shall be called Dillen McDonald.


  1. Thanks, Peter, that was the best laugh I've had all morning!

    Good Lord, I've got to get caught up in my OWW reviews, I'm missing all the fun! ;-)

    I'll be visiting Dillen Whatshisname before the end of the week.

    Have you considered Dillen Hardee?


  2. Applebee's has everything:

    Great post on the Hobbit - I find it troubling to think so many classics might not find a publisher today. How many didn't find one back in those days, too?! We'll never know.