title talk

My MTV Books/Simon&Schuster editor (Jen Heddle) nudged me for a title for my YA novel (coming out Sept 2007). The original working title was STRANGER. I suggested THE UNINVITED, which got winnowed to UNINVITED. The more I think about it, the more it seems to sink into the heart of the novel, the more I like it.

In terms of one-word titles, however, I am now two for two. I would like to mix it up a little. Perhaps for my next one, I can come up with something extraordinarily long (as I eye Joyce Carol Oates’ recent YA novel on my nightstand: AFTER THE WRECK I PICKED MYSELF UP, SPREAD MY WINGS, AND FLEW AWAY.)

I am told that the cover is likely to feature either a man with wings (presumably based on my character Archie), or a guy with extensive and highly unusual tattoos on his torso (presumably based on my character Jasper). I kind of have a thing for characters with tattoos — when my other editor Liz and I were discussing cover ideas for BLOODANGEL, I suggested an adrogynous youth in a desert with scars or tattoos on his back (suggesting Ramsey Doe and his ‘wing’ scars, or one of the many people in the book who mark themselves up with a supernatural drug called jax which gets absorbed through the skin). Liz seemed to like this idea and said she’d take it to her meeting with the art people, who of course came up with something completely and utterly different.

The sequel to BLOODANGEL remains without a proper title. I submitted it to Liz under the title THE DREAM CHILDREN, but do not believe it will remain so for very long.

I itch to revise.

In the meantime I’m messing around with smaller projects, but without the all-consuming presence of a novel right smack in the core of my days, I get antsy. Pressure builds, and it’s a jonesing kind of feeling; the act of writing releases it, relieves it, but the relief only lasts for so long. This doesn’t mean I always want to write, or enjoy sitting down to write; half the time I’d rather read instead, have to force myself away from my books like when I was a kid in school impatient for class to end so I could climb back inside those pages.

If reading is like oxygen, then writing is like coffee.

I go too long without it, I get distracted and restless and cranky.


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