Behind the Book: CROAK, Chapter #4


Behind the Book is an ongoing series wherein I tackle a new chapter of Croak each week and give you all of the secret, behind-the-scenes tidbits and trivia that went into writing it. For an archive of past chapters, click here. Enjoy!

Chapter 4: The Titanicing

  • I wrote in the self-regulating Population sign because I thought it was just a fun thing to have, but later on it ends up serving an actual purpose that I hadn’t originally planned on. This sort of thing happened all the time in these books.
  • Pushing Daisies, Bought the Farm, The Big Sleep – yes, I like puns. Perhaps too much.
  • Okay, let’s clear up the controversy here and now: I do not hate Titanic. In truth, I love it. I love it very much. Lex hates it because Lex would hate it. But Gina saw it seven times in the theaters, owned both soundtracks and the sheet music, and may have even played “My Heart Will Go On” at her piano recital.
  • Like Lex, I do hate the color pink. As a kid, though, I loved it. My childhood bedroom looked just like the one in Mort’s house – lovely white furniture, frilly bed, and pink EVERYWHERE.
  • Deleted Scene Alert: Originally, when Uncle Mort drags Lex out of the house and through the town, they pass a pair of police officers who had spotted Uncle Mort speeding around on his motorcycle. Kilda intercepts them and weaves her memory-bedfuddling magic, causing them to merely wave at Uncle Mort and Lex as if there’s nothing strange or alarming at all about a man lugging a yelling teenage girl around.
  • Lex’s nausea as Uncle Mort carries her up the hill was something I added in fairly late. In earlier drafts, she was a bit too full of piss and vinegar, so much so that it didn’t seem plausible for Uncle Mort to be able to subdue her at all. Hence the removal of a bit of piss, a bit of vinegar.
  • I like to think that Uncle Mort brings all new Juniors up to Greycliff to give them the ole Grim spiel, but in retrospect that seems like a terrible plan. All it would take is one little push, and goodbye Uncle Mort.
  • In the original draft, the current last line of the chapter – Mort saying “I Kill people.” – was followed by him adding “You didn’t really think you were going to spend the whole summer milking cows, did you?” But it was decided that the end of the chapter would pack a bigger punch without it, so that line was moved to a few pages later.

Got any questions about Chapter 4? Post them below!


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