Monday, October 17, 2011

Pocket Coyote gets medieval!

I’m up to my eyeballs in revisions this week—getting everything done for the collected edition of Masks—so this week I’m making do with an interesting photo and a few random observations/teasers/spoilers from the later chapters of Masks.

First, the photo! That is Pocket Coyote sharing the frame with the lovely Jeri Westerson, author of the Crispin Guest “medieval noir” mysteries. Ms. Westerson is the only living mystery author whose books I collect, and it’s partly because of her richly drawn medieval world and her alternately poignant and hilarious character interactions. Even when I don’t care about finding the murderer (which is frequently the case even in the most well-written murder mystery), I’ll keep reading to find out what happens to Crispin, a disgraced former knight with a penchant for wine and Aristotle, or his sidekick, Jack Tucker, a street urchin and former thief who’s trying to grow up just like Crispin (much to Crispin’s chagrin). If you enjoy a good medieval murder mystery with a dollop of sex thrown in, I can’t recommend this series enough. And no, I’m not being paid to say this—unless you count a nifty plastic souvenir sword that doubles as a ballpoint pen.

Ms. Westerson was signing books and giving a presentation on Canterbury Cathedral at Book Carnival in Orange yesterday. After much wheedling, I managed to get a photo of Pocket Coyote lounging among Ms. Westerson’s collection of “visual aids”—he does seem to have his eye on the sword, doesn’t he? In retrospect, I’m glad I got him out of there when I did.

And now, random things I noticed while revising:

1. I really seem to like the word “vicious,” but only in revisions. It shows up twice in red ink and not at all in black. Odd.

2. Once the Masked Rider starts talking, he really doesn’t know when to shut up.

3. Rae has one of the more interesting methods of dealing with her childhood traumas. I sort of wish I could do something similar, but unfortunately I don’t have the cooperation of the Angel of Death.

4. I can check one more item off my bucket list; I got a superhero to make a “your mom” joke.

5. In writing “Talisman,” I almost had Trevor use just five smooth stones in his sling, a la David and Goliath. I eventually rejected the idea because I couldn’t think of a way for him to take out all his enemy’s footsoldiers with just five rocks and still have enough ammunition for the final fight. Evidently I forgot that I’d already done a David-and-Goliath homage at the climax of Masks. Next time someone asks, this is why Trevor uses more than five rocks in “Talisman.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

6. My favorite line from the climactic chapters of Masks: “Ain’t you read your fairy tales? The little girl lost in the woods is dangerous. Your enemies don’t know their stories. Otherwise they’d know better than to let you near the witches and the wolves.” I may have to put that on a T-shirt …

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