Names and Places of Author’s Imagination. 

Readers have seen the short publisher’s statement that places, names of people (alive or deceased) and incidents within a book are fictional. Any likeness purely coincidental
Well, I was reminded of this when my publisher inquired about a drug name I used in my upcoming title,  Dial QR for Murder. I made a derivative of a name brand prescription medicine to avoid any claims of infringement. 

I know there are authors who feel it’s okay to kill off a character with an overdose of OxyContin or other name brand drug. After all, lots of writers and TV shows do it. 

But consider this. 

Successful writers with large publishing houses have a whole legal team behind them. With that comes readily established licenses and privileges not extended by law to the general public. And face it–we writers are still the general public despite our fanciful notions of being famous one day. 

Mystery/thriller fans appreciate seeing fairly common methods of murder and mayhem. Yet, I insist creators get creative. Don’t be a fibber and purposefully use name brands and sweep it under the “Purely Coincidental” rug. Why not make up your own poison and name it? 

In my short story series, The Colored Doors, an illegal substance called X-ibit is wreaking havoc on the city. Crime and death rate escalate. How does this drug work? Who are the people making it, and who are those using? 

Wouldn’t you be more invested in the story to find out, rather than if police were simply battling crack- and meth-heads?

I believe both authors and their readers can benefit more from establishing fiction doesn’t always have to rely on reality. Because at the end of the day, reality can land you in court for trademark or copyright infringement. 

What do you think? 

Published by A.E.H. Veenman, Author

My passion for writing began with a hunger for books from fellow New Jerseyan Judy Blume, and Nancy Drew mysteries. And each Saturday, a side dish of The Hardy Boys whet my appetite for hunting down clues and solving crime. Thus began a three-course menu for becoming a writer. For hors d’oeuvres, I sampled women’s fiction for a bit with novels, All Waters Gathering (2008) and Carruther’s Place (2011). It wasn’t until I realized murder should really be on the menu when the main course became my thriller, Barbecue (2011). My plate’s not quite clean of things that go bump in the night—plenty of horror and creepy thrillers in the works!—but one must always save room for dessert. Rich and sweet came Dial QR for Murder, the first Digital Age Cozy™ in the Marjorie Gardens Mystery series. And I haven’t reached the icing on the cake just yet! I couldn’t have enjoyed this feast of writing from my home in Holland without my husband and our daughter—to who I owe thanks for all their patience and compassion when (at times) I bit off more than I could chew! A.E.H. Veenman is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Crime Writers' Association (UK).

One thought on “Names and Places of Author’s Imagination. 

  1. It’s more thrilling to to read a real drug… Like ‘what, you I see this every day and I can use this for that!?’ Well, that is from a reader POV. I think it is a writer’s job to do research if they are going to use a reference. But well, if a writer able to call his/her own mind blowing drug, then why not?


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