Every little breeze seems to whisper, “Louise.” Birds in the trees seem to tweet-a #Louise
Grandma detested my Great Aunt Louise, her sister-in-law. Because my personality didn’t fall out of the sky, my mom, of course, thought that was hilarious and would egg Grandma on at times by singing Louise by Maurice Chevalier.
He’s actually French, and affected an exaggerated accent when performing.
I’ve mentioned ad nauseam over the past six years (my car’s sixth anniversary is Feb. 28) that my car is named Nicole Louise Cobb. Every car I’ve owned except for the first one is named for a person in the universe in which my novel is set. My first car doesn’t count; it was named Erin before Lorenzo’s first car was named Erin.
In Brown River Blues, the character of Nicole Louise Cobb detests her middle name.
“Louise? Your middle name is Louise?” Lorenzo said as he plucked her ID from under her stool and scanned it. The card bounced when it hit the ground, becoming coated in a thin, sticky sheen of alcohol and filth.
Nicole’s eyes widened as she pivoted right to face him. “How did you? …”
She snatched her license from his right hand and shoved it into a battery pocket inside the small black camera bag that masqueraded as her purse. She wouldn’t find it again until Tuesday.
“You’re welcome, Louise.” He ran his fingers over the residual condensation on his nearly empty beer glass. It did little to cleanse them.
“Shut up, Williamston.”
That isn’t in the book. It’s among the little things I write to get a better feel for my characters. I once had an entire collection of short stories called The Herald that I accidentally deleted. It was a character study for every person in the newsroom.
Whenever Lorenzo wants to get Nicole’s goat, he calls her Louise. It barely happens in the novel. My favorite is when he sings Chevalier to her, because his personality didn’t fall out of the sky.