Maybe telling you my story will help explain. My husband is a big fan of speculative fiction. When the World SF convention was in Toronto, he came home with a big smile on his face, telling me he bought me a present—then the kicker—I don’t get to find out what it is until next year. Okay, you don’t do that to little Miss Curiosity. I quizzed him endlessly, but to no avail. He’s a trial lawyer…nothing penetrates his armor!
The year goes by and I eventually forget about the present (I’m sure it was lingering in my subconscious.) One weekend, while up north at my parent’s cottage, he hands me a fantasy novel and recommends I read it. I’m like…wait a minute…I’m Ms. Suspense! But, being the trusting wife, I dig into the novel, Laura Anne Gilman’s STAYING DEAD. I enjoyed it, found the pacing strong, the characters fascinating. Then…in comes an older woman, an interesting villain…and her name is KimAnn Howe! I start laughing and realize what he has done. During an auction to support medical benefits for writers, my husband bought me a Tuckerism.
A "tuckerism" is the use of a friend's name as a character, place, equipment name, or the like in a story. The term is derived from the actions of Wilson "Bob" Tucker, who initiated this practice in SF books. For example, some of the Star Trek™ novels from Pocket Books are alleged to have names of the author's friends for minor characters.
I was so touched by his gesture. And this character—KimAnn Howe—who was supposed to show up in just one novel has turned into a strong presence in five novels! Okay, does that mean technically I’m multi-published?
Would you like to be a character in a novel? To celebrate making the final four of the American Title competition, I’m running a Kill Me Off contest. Just send me an e-mail via my website www.kjhowe.com with the phrase Kill Me Off and your name. The lucky (???) winner will have his/her namesake suffer an untimely demise in my next novel. And, no, you cannot nominate your boss or mother-in-law! J Yes, I know you won’t last five novels, but I promise to make “your death” memorable!
Here’s to Tuckerisms!