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Author Topic: weird choice of detectives---why?  (Read 1222 times)

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B L McAllister

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weird choice of detectives---why?
« on: September 23, 2012, 06:40:48 PM »


The question "why did my wife and I choose to write books with "nudist" in the title, knowing that it will turn some people off?" has come up again (not here, one place where understanding is the name of the game). That question is particularly appropriate because neither of us is cut out to be a nudist, owing to excessive sensitivity to the rays of the sun. So maybe, understanding or not, perhaps this is one good place to include an answer. It's because I thought I was going to park the detective in one  place and have somebody else go out and collect evidence. That can work: just channel Rex Stout, who, I'm sure, will confirm that it can. Now, what's a good attribute I could use to do the chaining to the spot? Too fat has been used so well that I didn't want to rush in where... Well, you know. Actually, Nero Wolfe did occasionally leave his brownhouse and his orchids, once going all the way to Albania, but that didn't ruin the stuck-down idea at all. But no, too fat wouldn't work for me. I toyed with a few options, some of which also had already been used, and came up with the weird notion that a person who ran around off his home campus with no clothes on would get arrested, and decided that my detective could be a nudist. Of course he can (and does) leave home, by the simple device of donning suitable apparel (like, say, chill-proof stuff so he can be a caretaker at the Naturist establishment, which I wanted to locate in an area I knew a lot about, and all of those get quite cold in winter.)

The detective was going to be named Ned (for no reason i can recall now) and his leg-man was to be his nephew. You know how these things work out, though: the real brains of the detection proved to be Ned's best (and female) friend, who didn't have to be from a foreign country, but why not? So, she came from Hungary and occasionally lapses from ordinary English word-choices. Naturally, she is a nudist, also. I might have reconsidered Uncle Ned's role if I'd known there is another fictional detective out there named Uncle Ned, but I didn't find that out early enough. Likewise, I named his lady friend Carola without checking how a Magyar would spell it, and, in fact gave her a surname based on a mis-recollection of how Hungarian is pronounced--but I fixed that, and explained the first name's spelling by blaming it on a Customs Officer of some sort. (Probably wouldn't really happen, nowadays, but it used to happen occasionally.)

As writing went along, it became necessary for Carola to leave the "camp," briefly, but she simply wore clothing on the trip.. Similarly in a sequel, she and Ned (now married) both wore clothing for a rather unseasonable trip up a mountain. Given Wolfe's trip to Montenegro, I figured the precedent had been set.

Somebody may wonder how I got my co-author to agree to all this, and the answer is, she was busy, at first, and when she got un-busy, it was too late to turn back. Besides, she liked my logic, and I hope you do too, because as Milne observed to readers of Winnie the Pooh (not a mystery, though Milne did write one) "that's all the explanation you are going to get."

« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 06:57:13 PM by B L McAllister »
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Byron Leon McAllister.
Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.

Lynette

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Re: weird choice of detectives---why?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2012, 04:40:09 PM »

Hi Byron,

Thanks for the explanation. After reading your books, I wondered how you came up with the idea. Now I know. You handle the situation well, by the way.

Lynette

B L McAllister

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Re: weird choice of detectives---why?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2012, 05:21:07 PM »

Hi Byron,

Thanks for the explanation. After reading your books, I wondered how you came up with the idea. Now I know. You handle the situation well, by the way.

Lynette

Thanks!  A reviewer for a (British) naturist magazine liked the fact that instead of having a textile (nudist term for non-nudists) detect among nudists, it is consistently a nudist who solves the crimes. (He didn't review our short stories. Too little naturism there.)
Byron
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Byron Leon McAllister.
Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.
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