Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Paul Touch

  If you've read my book, 'The Greater Number' at, you probably noticed a bunch of cheesy, corny plays on words and other such nonsense.  These little touches let you know you're really reading something by me.  Whether it's a blog, a song, poem, story or book, I always throw in my eccentric details.  There's also plenty of homages to some of my favorite things in TV, movies, music and literature. Following is a partial list of those from my latest novel.
  Hewlett's last name, "Fen-Chang" is Chinese for grave.  Desmond's last name, "Azabache" means black.  Then there's the terrible groaner, "Helen Hiawatha" (Hell and high water).  "Sierra Dophlet" is an anagram for "praise the Lord".  If you can't figure out Father Mucker, I'll give you a hint: he owns a painting company called Moe Faux.  Enma, Yanluo and Yama are all names for Death or the Grim Reaper in other languages.  As you may know, "Kojira" is the Japanese name for the giant lizard we know here in America as "Godzilla".  I made up the name Liam Moor during a visit to the mail room in the building I used to work at.
  Both "Jasmine" and "Basmati" are, of course, types of rice.  The room number in Code Gray where the Ng family is staying is 4077 like the MASH unit in the TV show.  When I had to come up with a bunch of names for the people on the bus in the Himalayas, I started thinking about chairs.  Therefore, I came up with Miriam Divan, Shirah Couch, Julianne Davenport and Beau Ottoman.  "Clark Lutes" is an anagram for lackluster.  The tour guide is Ling-Yu Fu, which if you take into account the fact that in China, you put the family name first, becomes Fu Ling-Yu (fooling you).
  "I'm hurting in places I'd need three mirrors to see" is a paraphrase of something Steve Urkel said once on 'Family Matters'.  Roger Titian's wife is named Paula (politician).  Ashland, Oregon is where one of our favorite authors, Neale Donald Walsch lives.  This zombie apocalypse doubles as a holy war being led by the monk, "Hadji", which is an anagram for "jihad".  "Japanese Institute of Science and Microbiology" is shortened into JISM, which I don't want to have to explain to you.  "Hiranaka Ansadora" sounds a little like "hear a knock, answer door".
  The story of Kojira and Shavonte is taken straight from the Chris Farley movie, 'Tommy Boy' so it's no surprise that Shavonte gives Kojira the nickname, "Tatami (a Japanese table) Boy".  There's a chapter in which a group of survivors is stuck in the Himalayas, surrounded by zombies and out of food.  I called this chapter "Alive Again" which is a tribute to the movie 'Alive' which is about a group of survivors stuck in the Andes with no food.  Both groups struggled with the moral dilemma of cannibalism.  Both "Oregon Entrails" and "Organ Trail" are in the fond memory of a computer game I used to play in the classroom in the 4th Grade called the "Oregon Trail".
  "Cyril" is the name of a church not too far from where I live.  "Edger Holts" is an anagram for two of the deadly sins: Greed and Sloth.  "Love is all good people need" is a quote from a Mother Love Bone song, appropriately titled, 'This Is ShangriLa".  "Great googully moogully" is from a Frank Zappa song.  A line about a phone booth looking bigger on the inside than it does on the outside is a tribute to 'Dr. Who'.  There are lots of bits that I got from books by Jonathan Maberry and Sylvia Browne.  There's a line about Sasquatch pulling zombie arms out of sockets, which is a tribute to Chewbacca from Star Wars.

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