Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the delivery man


Well, the pages for my next novel, Stick, and lots of cool news, came yesterday.

Although I was braced for the worst, the pages look really good. But, that's a tentative assessment until I read every word on them over the next day or so.

Advice to all aspiring, soon-to-be authors: always read everything.



So, I'm holding off judgment until I get stabbed in the eye by the first typo or misplaced line break, or until I flip the last page over in complete satisfaction.

So, here is the book.

Notice that it's wrapped in a big rubber band. A lot of writers have asked me about that -- how manuscripts go around when you have to send paper. And this is it. A big rubber band.

My first impression was -- it's a small book. Very short for me, coming in at just 300 pages. But, those pages hold a lot of stuff.

Also, it came in this bubble mailer from the UPS guy. He left it in my driveway, though. I think he was afraid of my dog, who keeps getting out of the backyard looking for something to spawn with. Most UPS guys aren't okay with that.

Okay. First thing... I pull out the dedication page. Check. Then I look at the inside title page.

I love this. Stick figure kids (the brothers, Bosten and Stark), standing in the sea, holding up a matchstick for the "i" in the title. Brilliant, clever, beautiful inside title.

And here you can see the first part of the book, too. The book is divided into three parts -- first, next, and last -- and "first" is called saint fillan's room.

Now, for a couple very short inside teasers:

Stark McClellan, the narrator, hears the world in a different way. As a result, some of the words he hears, and some words he thinks about get, as he explains it, stuck in his head... and stuck in strange places on the page.

That's why you see some weird-looking spaces and fonts in his story...

And, finally, this little bit is pure dialogue. With no quotation marks or nothing. Just the way Stark hears what's going on. That's all I'm going to say.

There are no spoilers here... no nothing.

You'll have to see how the gaps get filled in when the book comes out.