Monday, March 11, 2013

I am not dead yet. And on a related note ...

Hello again, everyone. I’m not dead! Isn’t that super?

As you can see from the image above, I’m back at work on a couple of things. Teh Novel is in what I hope to God is the home stretch, and I’m back on Masks stuff. As to where I’ve been … well, it’s long and complicated and I’m going to avoid discussing personal stuff on this blog for a while, but oh the stories I will tell when I finally stop avoiding. Hoo boy.

The part of all this that you need to know is 1) I hope to get back to posting chapters before the month is out; 2) I’m experimenting with a new art style that you may find intriguing; and 3) I need your opinion on something I’m writing. Yes, yours. Yes, writing.

You see, among the many, many things I am not talking about from the past few months, one of the nastiest ones that’s been holding up my progress on just about everything is that I’ve had to write a ton of promotional stuff for Teh Novel, trying to get it sold, and that’s all been hugely complicated by the fact that I haven’t got a title for it. The one thing all the beta readers agree on is that my working title, which was never much of a title anyway, is absolutely terrible. And I’m hitting the point where I really need a title that works with the rest of the work in order to finish the work.

But last month, I got a new library card.

I just moved to a new corner of the planet, you see, and there’s a splendid library ten minutes’ drive from my new home. I mean gorgeous. Books as far as the eye can see, a bookshop and a coffee stall, the comfiest of comfy chairs … I would live there if I could. I’ve lusted after a library card there for years. And now that I live so close by, I have the perfect excuse to get my seventh library card. (That’s cards for seven different library systems, not seven individual cards—I’ve had way more than seven library cards over the years, what with replacing worn-out ones and libraries getting new computer and check-out systems.) So I filled out the forms, picked the design of card I wanted (it’s got owls on it!), and proceeded to wander the shelves, gripping my shiny new library card and drooling like a kid in a newly opened candy store.

And one of the first books that caught my eye was this:

The Resurrection Kid: A Western Quartet. Something about that title just snagged me. It was the first thing I picked up. It had been a few years since I’d read Westerns of any sort, let alone the pulp reprints these turned out to be, but the title of the last story in this collection—“A Gun for the Resurrection Kid”—sank its hook into my soul and wouldn’t let go. You see, Teh Novel is very much concerned with resurrection, and it has a sort of post-apocalyptic pseudo-Western setting. Think The Hunger Games meets Firefly. And so I began experimenting with the word resurrection and all its variations. And I came up with two possible titles.
So here’s my question, fellas and girls … would you read a post-apocalyptic YA novel called either The Resurrectionist or The Resurrectionist’s Song?

A resurrectionist, for anyone who cares, is an old term for someone who digs up fresh corpses from graveyards and sells them to medical schools. (This was back in the days when there was a real shortage of cadavers, and not many legal ways of getting them.) Resurrectionists play a minor but significant role in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, among other works of literature. The first time I read the term and realized what it was, the poetry of it made me smile (pretty much the only time Dickens had that effect on me). And while nobody in Teh Novel actually digs up a grave, there are two characters who, for their own separate reasons, bring the dead back to life. I wouldn’t expect the average bookstore browser to know what a resurrectionist is, of course, but I hope the word would be intriguing as well as unfamiliar.

So what do you think? If you were a random reader, would you want to spend a few hours with a resurrectionist, or hear a resurrectionist’s song? I look forward to the comments.

And now, by way of an apology, here’s a little song just for you:


  1. The Resurrectionist’s Song. I have a halfway decent vocabulary and I didn't know the word "Resurrectionist".

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I don't expect most people to know what a resurrectionist is. That's one reason I like adding "song" in there.

      Do you think having a weird word in the title would be a dealbreaker? I say this as someone who has books on her shelf with titles like Tamsin, The Hobbit, Leviathan (Scott Westerfeld, not Thomas Hobbes), and Perelandra.

    2. I am dyslexic and I don't deny it. I read the whole book and the voice in my head said "Tasmin." I knew that wasn't how it was spelled, but that was how my mind insisted on saying it.

  2. I like The Resurrectionist's Song.

    1. Yay! Thank you! It's my favorite, too, even though I got it from a week where I was working off both Peter S. Beagle's The Innkeeper's Song and Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song.

      This says less about my reading habits than you might think ...