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 13: The Yoricking
- For the record, I don’t advocate underage drinking. It just seemed cruel to make Grims do all this, uh, grim work without some sort of outlet or substance to make them feel a little better. I personally never drank in high school. Drinking was for the cool kids. I was not a cool kid. I preferred milk, thank you.
- Some people don’t realize this, so I’ll just spell it out for you: “Corpp’s” is a punny homophone. Say it out loud.
- Deleted scene alert: Originally the scene where the gang gets together at Corpp’s was the first time that Lex met the other Juniors, and when she did so they all immediately launched into an I-know-more-obscure-trivia-than-you-do competition. The point I was trying to make was that they were all really smart kids, but it just ended up making them look obnoxious.
- Some people don’t realize this, either: Yoricks are named for the dead court jester whose skull Hamlet finds and yammers on about near the end of the play. (“Alas, poor Yorick!”)
- The concept of Loopholes came along very, very late in the drafting process — much later than it seems like they should have, given their importance. They were basically the missing puzzle piece that made the entire story arc come together, but that wasn’t clear to me until many revisions down the road.
- Grotton, like Norwood, is named after a town. When I was writing Croak, I did a lot of traveling back and forth between New York City and Boston, and when passing through Connecticut I always saw signs for Groton, and really liked the way it sounded. I added an extra t, though, to clarify the pronunciation.
- I don’t have a recipe for Yoricks, but you can improvise. Just pour all of your favorite desserty things into a blender and liquify. Mine would consist of Friendly’s Forbidden Chocolate ice cream, bananas, peanut butter, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. And Elixir, obviously. I have a special pipe that goes directly from the Afterlife to my kitchen sink.
Got any questions about Chapter 13? Post them below!