Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Suppose I Could Just Call It The Masterpiece

I have a problem, and I'm turning to you, my beloved slowly gained readership, to help solve it.

As most of you have figured out by now, I wrote Life As We Knew It, and as many of you know, I didn't give it that title. My editor did, and she also bestowed on it the very useful nickname of LAWKI. Thanks to the A in As, LAWKI is even pronounecable, and it's short and easy to type, so it immediately became the nickname of choice.

I named The Dead And The Gone, and after only a bit of dissent from Harcourt, it was agreed that should be its title. Then my editor referred to it elsewhere as The Dead & the Gone. I loved the &, but I didn't like that the stuck in the middle of all those other capitalized words. So I suggested the dead & the gone and that's how it's written on the cover of the Harcourt version.

But the UK edition is called The Dead and the Gone, presumably because they're a very formal people, thanks to having a queen and all that. And Amazon calls the Harcourt version the dead and the gone, which is actually how the title is printed once you get past the fabulous book jacket.

What I've been doing here is calling it The Dead And The Gone when I'm referring to the UK version (because up until five seconds ago, that's what I thought the UK title was, but it seems it's actually The Dead and the Gone. Live and learn) and the dead & the gone when I'm referring to the Harcourt version and the dead and the gone when I'm referring to that which Amazon has to sell.

And none of these are distinctive and pronounceable like LAWKI.

So I'm looking for a quick and easy nickname that I can use everywhere- on this blog, and in e-mails to editors and agents and such like. Lately I've been calling it d/g, which is quick and efficient, but not exactly evocative. Dead Gone is a possibility, albeit it a somewhat depressing one. I could dump the Thes and call it DAG or dag or even d&g, or I could get rid of all the words and just call it &, although most likely that would be a mistake.

Obviously, I am open to suggestions, and I'm turning to all of you, those with names and the vast army of anonymice, to come up with some. All I ask of the nickname is that it make sense. It doesn't have to use any of the initials, just as long as it's clearly referring to the dead & the gone. Blogspot has practically been begging me to run a poll on the left side of the blog, so I'll take the nicknames I can live with (including probably d/g and one or more of the DAG variants), and put them in the poll and let you decide for me. Please put your suggestions in the comments section, or if you're shy, e-mail them to me, and then I'll put them in the poll and then you'll vote and then I'll have a nickname that I can use and happiness will reign throughout the land (except the land where Queen Elizabeth II reigns, although I certainly hope they'll be happy there too).


Anonymous said...

My suggestion: dego (pronounce it day-go)... or even The DeGo.

~Jennifer T.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Ooh, thank you. I never thought of either of those (and most likely never would have).

I'm now even more excited by the thought of making all of you work!

Librarina said...

I was going to say that DAG was pretty good, but then I saw The DeGo, and I thought, "That's awesome!" The only other thing I can think of is to go with an inside joke kind of angle -- what about Fluicides? Good luck...

Marci said...

I will use Gone With The Wind as a prime example (and a title that you share two words with) and suggest DATG. GWTW does have the repeated W which gives it a ring. If you had come up with an A word instead of gone you would have DATA, but then you would only share one word with GWTW. So I nominate DATG, since changing your title to The Dead and the Albatross makes no sense and your publishers wouldn't like it. And you pronounce every single one of those letters, just like GWTW. If you want to make it more elegant, you can use D&TG, but somehow D Ampersand T G seems too far from the GWTW model when spoken out loud.

Anonymous said...

In my head, I've always refered to LAWKI as "Life" (because it didn't occur to me that LAWKI is pronouncable) so I would suggest "Dead" for this one. Morbid, aren't I. :)

Anonymous said...



Lee said...

I like DeGo too, although I would pronounce it "Dee-go".

Anonymous said...

I'm fond of simple things, so d&g works for me.

Mr. Cavin said...

I like Daggone!, but possibly that's just a little too southern for a New York book. So instead I humbly submit to your attention: DANG. All you have to do is elide the D in AND ("Dang, is maw dead an' gone?") then presto, it becomes instantly pronounceable.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

You guys are great (but you knew that).

So far the suggestions are excellent.

I'll give everybody another day or so, and then I'll do the poll.

Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

D&G or d&g works fine for me.

So does dego.

For everyone who hasn't read the book yet, I won't post spoilers, but I will say it's a wonderful read, and to me, it's even better than LAWKI.

So, anything you call it will be fine by me.

(Kylen here)