Well, my goose is cooked now.
Local chiropractor Dr. Bruce Narvey has been giving me regular attitude adjustments since I was pregnant with our youngest son, who turned 30 last January! Dr. Narvey has served our family through thick and thin—even going above and beyond by treating Hubby in a Winnipeg hospital following his 1995 arm amputation. And if all that isn’t enough to earn my undying loyalty, the fact that he reads my books ought to be.
Why then, one wonders, would I name a villain after him?
On my last visit to his torture chamber—I mean, office—our conversation sounded something like this:
“I have a bone to pick with you. Just one.”
When a chiropractor has a bone to pick, it can’t be good. Where exactly did he find this bone?
“Yeah. I finished the book. It’s very good. But…”
I always dread the but.
“Did I get something wrong?” My mind skimmed the details of the novel, wondering which historical fact I may have misrepresented.
“Well, I can’t help wondering why the one real jerk in the book has the same name as me.”
I laughed. I remembered naming that character. I knew he was going to be a mean one, but Mr. Grinch had already been taken. Ebenezer seemed too obvious, as did Adolf, Goliath, and Lucifer. Then too, there’s the trick of giving your character a name appropriate to the era and ethnicity. I usually look up the most popular names for the year of a character’s birth and choose from that list. This time, I thought I’d try a little subliminal psychology. I figured if the name sounded like brute, perhaps readers would be subconsciously predisposed to fear him. Hence, Bruce was born.
And honestly, it never occurred to me. But sitting in his office, the opportunity seemed too good to pass up.
“Well,” I said. “You must have a little bit of bully hidden under the surface, or you wouldn’t enjoy cracking people’s bones.”
This is not a wise thing to say to a man who’s about to crack your bones.
“I do not have any bully in me whatsoever. And I am most certainly not a Nazi sympathizer.”
Oh. I’d forgotten that detail about my fictional Bruce. And about Dr. Narvey’s Jewish heritage.
We laughed and teased some more. I got my adjustment and walked out better aligned than when I walked in, and with a blog post already beginning to write itself.
Today is Remembrance Day. One reason I like writing novels about life here in Canada during World War II is because of the heroes who fought to end the atrocities overseas. It occurred to me that if no one had prevented Adolf Hitler from completing his mission, Bruce Narvey and I would not be picking bones or laughing together. He would not be my chiropractor or my friend. The Narveys and their people would have been wiped off the planet before Bruce was even born.
And I stopped laughing.
Lest we forget, indeed.