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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Dag's Secretary: The Name Game

Well, it's down to two names. Care to express an opinion?

I've decided that her last name will be Riley, (thanks to kirylin) and usually Dag will address her as that. -- Unless he's using some typically sexist but good-natured diminutive endearment like "Sweetcheeks." But that still leaves her first name open to some question. I like Deborah "Deb" "Don't call me Debbie" Riley. It has a long line of possibilities, including the chance of making her initials D.H. Riley. That would be a good name for a future detective, wouldn't it?

But then there is Kate, and once I decided on Riley, Kate Riley just has that authoritative ring that makes you figure there is a red-headed powerhouse with, as Dag expressed it, "A size 12 personality packed into a size 8 miniskirt."

Of course, I'm still open to other ideas if you'd care to riff on this theme. Comment and let me know what you think.

Cross-posted to wayzgoose, nanowrimo2006, and restlesswriters.


Leila Riley has a lyrical tone to it. I'm kind of desensitized to Kate - I must know a thousand 20-year-old Kates.
Yeah. That's both an advantage and a disadvantage. I want the name to be appropriate to the generation, but not cliche. I like Leila Riley, but I'm not sure it's appropriate to the character.

I still like Deb, "Don't call me Debbie or I'll kick your butt", Riley.
I like it too. This snippet of conversation upon her introduction to Dag came to mind:
"Dag, I'd like to introduce you to Deborah Riley, one of my top students."

"Glad to meet you D...."

"If you say Debbie, it will be the last thing you ever say."

"All right, Riley. Why don't you say what you mean."

I'm tending that direction.
I love Deb, "don't call me Debbie" Riley!
I was leaning toward Deb Riley anyway, but this introduction really cinched it - that should REALLY be her name.
I like Deborah Riley. It's a name that commands respect.
It turns out she's taking an even more major role than I anticipated. She's my avenue to a sequel. "D.H. Riley Investigations." Poor Dag was just a (well-loved) stepping-stone.
Yeah, I have to go with the consensus on this one: Deb.

And I have to admit I was wondering this weekend whether you'd look to her for sequel fodder. After all, most of the successful detective novelists these days work on the basis of a signature character around whom they write many novels, and with what looks to be in Dag's not-too-distant future, that clearly wasn't going to work in this case.

That being the situation, if you want to leave that door open for Deb, I'd suggest making sure that Deb has some significant experience during the course of "Security & Exchange," of the life-altering sort that causes her to take up in Dag's shoes. Maybe it's some singularly important contribution she makes to this book's plot, maybe it's something that happens to her, but there should be something that she, in later books, can point to as why she got into the gumshoe business.
As usual, you've clearly hit the major pieces right on the head. First, this is Dag's only book, unless I go back and pick up earlier adventures. But I'm making it pretty clear that this is the only adventure of this caliber that he's had. He is one of the best when it comes to computer forensics and is an expert witness, but being out tailing the bad guy and getting into fist-fights isn't exactly what he's cut out to do. Not too many novels that can take place around his workbench with an open computer.

Second, Riley is taking on a much more prominent role in my thinking overall, starting with her saving Dag's life during his first heart attack. I don't know yet what the element is, yet, but somehow she will play a part in the keystone event of this book (without taking the emphasis off Dag). After all, Dag is going to spend about a quarter of the book in the hospital the way I've got it estimated at the moment (maybe only 20%). The action has to occur someplace.

Dag (from his bed): Riley, I need a pair of legs.
Riley (glancing down at her miniskirt): You know you've got mine anytime, Dag.
Dag: Well get them down to Stocks & Blondes and bring me back everything you can find out about Angel Woodward. What's her relationship to Simon Barnette?
I LOVE that conversation! And I have to go with the majority here on Deb, it just seems to fit too well to be cast aside.
Oh, I know two Debs and I've got to agree. Both are strong-minded stubborn red-heads - althought one is more moody, and the other is a sweetheart, but anyway, you just don't want to get on their bad side. Ever.
So maybe is only personal experience, but I think Deborah really fits x)