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 book. Enjoy!
Chapter 9: The Edgaring
- Sometimes I get asked about what kind of research went into writing these books, and besides the standard “Well, I had to look up a lot of ways people can be killed, so I bet the FBI is after me, ha ha!” there was also a bit that had to be done regarding the historical figures in the Afterlife. I didn’t go too in-depth with any of them–I did not, for instance, investigate whether Abraham Lincoln was a fan of refereeing arm-wrestling matches, though I like to think that he was. But since the town of Croak is located in New York and is responsible for any deaths that occur in the eastern third of the US, I had to make sure that any historical figures that I included did in fact die in the eastern third of the US. That ruled out a whole bunch of people that I might have otherwise included, especially celebrities–<<who do get to make a brief appearance in Scorch, when the crew visits DeMyse.>>
- In earlier drafts, the fluffy white stuff in the Afterlife had a highly original name–Fluff–and the Grims were able to remove it from the Afterlife, set it up in the field, and play in it like snow. Look, not everything can be gold.
- Edgar Allan Poe has lost his cravat. A cravat is a “a short, wide strip of fabric worn by men around the neck and tucked inside an open-necked shirt.” I was worried that no one would know what that is, so here I have supplied the definition. Phew! I feel better.
- The whole explanation of the Afterlife used to be a lot longer and a lot more complicated, and made a whole hell of a lot less sense. I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: thank heaven for editing.
- Elysia is named after the Elysian Fields, a version of the afterlife in Greek mythology.
Got any questions about Chapter 9? Post them below!