My book “No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart” needed a place to set some stories, and that place needed a name. “Whimsley” was a mixture of something whimsical and something down to earth, both of which those stories are meant to be. The whimsical-whimsley part is obvious enough. The “ley” is a reference to the many millstone grit towns of Yorkshire – Burley, Ilkley, Batley, Bramley, Barnsley and probably hundreds of others, but particularly Otley. Also, there’s the “sley — slee” similarity.
Once I’d used “Whimsley” in the book, it seemed like a natural name for the place where I keep my writing.