Yeah...I missed Throwback Thursday because of my Thanksgiving post yesterday, so I'm doing the throwback today. It's Day 10 of my 100 day blog challenge. Yay! 1/10 of the way through and I haven't missed a day yet or given up.
Today's throwback is actually a blog post I made way back in 2009. I'm updating it a little, but mostly it's the same.
Schnitzel With Noodles
My favorite things routinely end up in my books.
Here’s the thing… I use brand names. My books aren’t heavy with them, but they do show up. I think it makes the writing more real. If I would, in real life, say ‘I’m going to Starbucks’ then you can bet that I will use that type of reference in my books. None of the branded items in my books are things that I don’t use/talk about in my own life—at least, I don’t think so.
As an author, I need to use things I can identify with, things with which I am intimately familiar. But, BUT, my usage needs to be so natural that the reader isn’t overwhelmed by the brand name dropping. It comes down to natural dialogue and natural real-life action. In real life, people don’t walk around spouting brands all the time, but they could say ‘Throw that Kleenex and Styrofoam in to that Dumpster over there’. It’s perfectly normal… and Kleenex, Styrofoam and Dumpster, which are everyday words, are actually trademarked.
So here’s my list of regulars (they do not appear in EVERY book, but they show up a lot)
I love Starbucks. Starbucks ends up in my books all the time. It just seems like the perfect grown-up beverage place and really is identifiable to people across the board.
The same with Coke when it comes to identity. I used to drink soft drinks so therefore, my characters often drink them. And when it comes to cola…it’s Coke all the way.
(Don't even come at me with Pepsi. My characters would rather die in the desert, thank you very much)
And then there are Oreos. Either you love them or you don’t. I love them…especially with my Starbucks.
Strangely, growing up I used to like the cookie part and not care much for the filling. Now, I love the filling and end up feeding half the cookie part to my dog. She loves Oreos too but hates when I have Starbucks ‘cause then she gets none.
I spend a huge amount of my time on the internet. Both Google and Yahoo are often featured in my books because of characters using them for info. If I’m talking about a character searching for something and their search results, you can bet I actually went to Google/Yahoo and did the same search.
I know it's Inconceivable! but well, somehow, Princess Bride references end up in my books all the time. It’s one of my favorite movies and one I think a lot of people can identify so I feel comfortable using it. The same with Star Wars.
Kindle/tablet - of course. It's how I read. It's how lots of us read.
Water - Okay, not a brand but it's a common element. Water always shows up in my books. Usually because the characters live near or are visiting some place near water. Same with:
NYC or North Carolina - while not brands, they also show up in my books a lot.
And Keds, my favorite shoes. They show up, too…
And now, on with my Keds… I gotta run!
Love you more than coffee!