October 20, 2004


Yes. It's really a contest.

BACKGROUND: I have to change a character’s name in this novel. (Not gods. The follow-up book, tentatively title The Refrigerator Border Wars.)

I HATE THE FACT THAT I MUST CHANGE HER NAME. *pule* She’s a minor character, so I ought to just change it and SHUT UP, but but but. I do not WANT to. She IS Evelyn Crabtree. Evelyn Crabtree exactly sounds like her.

But she can’t be called that in this book because SOME DORK decided to make a lot of (admittedly FABULOUS) bath products and call his store Crabtree and Evelyn. You would THINK it was TWO dorks, wouldn’t you? One dork named Mr. Evelyn who joined forces with a Mr. Crabtree, and they conspired to RUIN MY BOOK by uniting their names forever in upscale malls all across America. I could have MAYBE forgiven them, because after all, they couldn’t have HELPED being born Mr. Evelyn and Mr. Crabtree. But - get this - they DO NOT EXIST.

The store was founded by ONE GUY. And HIS name was MR. HARVEY. He named the store after AN ACTUAL KIND OF TREE and SOME DEAD CONSERVATIONIST HE LIKED. What are the FREAKIN’ CHANCES? Why couldn’t he have picked Dogwood and Goodall? Weeping Willow and Bellamy? DILL WEED AND FREAKING JACQUES COUSTEAU? But no, he picked Crabtree and Evelyn, and now we hates him my preshusses, yes, we do. But we love his almond massage oil and ALL his gardenia scented craps. *sigh*

So I need a new name. Crabtree is NON-NEGOTIABLE because it’s a whole big family and I have 19 ZILLION of them running around and if I change CRABTREE I have to change EVERY OTHER CRABTREESES FIRST NAME to go with the new last name and it IS NOT BEARABLE. So EVELYN has to go.

CONTEST: Think up a new first name for Evelyn Crabtree. I am flummoxed.


1) A copy of Lani Diane Rich’s* funny and foul-mouthed Chick-Lit book TIME OFF FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR.**It’s not signed but I can FORGE her sig in it if you like. I can give her a really girly-curly signature using eighth-grade-cheerleader script that puts a heart instead of a dot over the i’s. *snicker* No, I am KIDDING. But I will send you the book.

2) Bragging rights, cuz I will use your substitute name in the book. You can get a copy when it comes out and take it to parties and get drunk and flip it open obnoxiously and say “See that name? I named that character. Used to be EVELYN, can you imagine? How dumb was THAT! Evelyn Crabtree! Yeah, like the STORE. HA! Lucky that novelist had ME around!”

Okay now the rules…

You can only enter ONE NAME per entry/e-mail. But you can have up to three entries, just in case you think of a better one later.

It cannot be Beverly. Well, it can. Go ahead and enter Beverly. But you will lose.
(I KNOW! It seems PERFECT on the surface---I mean LISTEN to it with the burr of the R and the nasty undertones of that center V….but it will cost you the contest. Because trust me, it can’t be Beverly.)

Your entry only counts if it is EMAILED to me (No comments section entries, although comments are as always welcomed and checked for 900 times a day)

In the event that two or more people send me the exact same name and I like it and use it, both/all the names will go into a Yankee’s cap my friend Matt sent me (so I could walk around New York and only look like a dorky tourist from the nose DOWN). My non-partisan seven-year-old son, Sam, will pull the winner’s name out.

If NONE of the names work for me, I reserve the right to pick my OWN substitute name and put EVERY ENTRANTS name in the Yankee’s cap and let Sam pick one. You STILL get the book AND bragging rights as described in the list of prizes. In other words, you can PRETEND you picked the name. I will back you up, should anyone ever ask me.

Now, to help you find the right name. Evelyn Crabtree is 15, pregnant, dirt-poor, barefoot, foul-mouthed, and from a small town deep in the wilds of Georgia. The year is 1976. So she can’t be named anything sophisticated. Avoid names like…GWYNETH VIENNA CRABTREE.

Ready? Go.

*The reason I am giving this book away is that I SKANKED an ARC (advanced reader’s copy). See, I could not BEAR to wait for the book to be released to read it. And it’s a Warner book. So I got Emily (my editor’s assistant) to snag me one, and I stuffed it unapologetically in my purse and dragged it off to my lair to read. When REALLY I should have bought one. Supporting her career and all, since I like both her and her writing. So NOW I will go buy one and give it away and keep my cheesily-skanked free ARC for MYSELF.

**Later I WILL have blog-based contests for signed copies of gods in Alabama , but it isn’t out yet. The ARCs are not printed yet, either, so I can’t skank one of those for you. BUT I WILL! WHEN THEY ARE OUT! FEAR NOT!

Posted by joshilyn at October 20, 2004 9:59 AM

Oh -- I love contests! This will be way more fun than arm wrestling.

Posted by: KarenB at October 20, 2004 11:47 AM

I'm waaaaaay too excited about this. By the way, your little chicken talons flubbed your email link, dahling.

Posted by: Mir at October 20, 2004 12:07 PM

Hehehe okay the link thingy is fixed.
Human hands, the man has. No talons. So.

Posted by: joshilyn at October 20, 2004 12:08 PM

How weird is it that we both offered to forge Lani's autograph on the very same day? (See my blog for explanation, or not.)

Posted by: Linda Sherwood at October 20, 2004 1:31 PM

I hope you get a ton of suggestions and you and Linda S. are a riot with the forgery ;)

Posted by: Linda Dupie at October 21, 2004 9:37 AM

...and the winner is...

Amy Thornhurst

Posted by: #3 at October 21, 2004 10:04 AM