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. To read the spoilers, highlight the blank spaces marked with <<hi>>; proceed at your own risk if you haven’t read the entire series. Enjoy!
Chapter 8: The Smackening
- Kilda is named after St. Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. I visited it when I was living there, but it didn’t have any special connection to me–I just liked the name, and thought it fit with her perky personality.
- The hub was originally as folksy and vintage as the rest of the Bank, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of it being cooler and futuristic. With the Smacks and the jellyfish and everything that happens in there–why shouldn’t it look like CTU?
- Why the jellyfish? I get asked this a lot. The jellyfish because they satisfied all of the requirements for what I deemed to be the perfect death-sensor: a living thing grounded in this world but with an extrasensory twist, that lives all over the world, that has existed for eons, and that fits with the creepy, ethereal aesthetic of the Grimsphere. Plus, there’s just something unknowable about jellyfish, isn’t there? What are they planning?
- Smacks look like Macs. Because PUNS.
- Driggs mentions that his previous partner decided to go to business school instead of sticking around and becoming a Senior Grim. I had a whole plan to bring this kid back in subsequent books and give him some sort of earth-shattering plot development, but that never happened. Sorry, dude. Although he does serve as a nice bit of <<foreshadowing, re: Ayjay’s fate.>>
- The passage where Uncle Mort acts all nonchalant about Lex’s natural abilities is a good example of him knowing so much more than he lets on, but not saying anything. If you’ve read to the end of the series, you can tell here how many secrets he’s holding back.
- Only one person has called me on this, but I’m going to bail myself out right now from any future mistake-finders: I am aware that there are no Boston Red Sox games that are played that early in the morning (11:54am). Except there actually is: the one that occurs on the same day as the Boston Marathon. It starts at 11am, allowing it to end with enough time for the crowd to leave the park and watch the runners go by. (I did both this year, and not surprisingly I found the marathon infinitely more enjoyable than the baseball game.) But the scene in the book takes place in the summer, not April. So I used a little bit of creative license here. Sorry, baseball.
- Hey there, <<potted plant! See you again in Scorch, when you become a whole lot more important!>>
Got any questions about Chapter 8? Post them below!