Saturday, November 10, 2007

Photography: The People's Art

This morning, I got an e-mail from one of the original Bolivian Hat recipients of The Dead And The Gone. He's partway through reading the book, and finding it, how can I put this, bleak and gruesome (actually that's how he put it; I think the book is kind of cuddly and lovable. Then again I think I'm kind of cuddly and lovable, yet there are those, I'm sure, who think me bleak and gruesome. But I digress).

Anyway, he was reading the infamous Yankee Stadium scene, when his wife happened by with a camera, and captured for all time his response to a particularly bleak and gruesome moment in the book (even I don't think the infamous Yankee Stadium scene is cuddly and lovable).

I guess The Dead And The Gone is truly a hair-raising tale!


Anonymous said...

A hair-raising tale? As one of the follicly challenged, I must read this book immediately!


(Hmm, Yankee stadium scene... something to go down in the annals of horror history with King's Lincoln tunnel scene from The Stand? I guess time will tell.)

Anonymous said...


btw, I'm re-reading Life As We Knew It AGAIN and I read a journal entry of yours a while back (unless I was dreaming it) that there were certain parts that you couldn't keep in the book & Stephenie Meyer who writes the Twilight series always puts down out-takes and stuff that couldn't be put in the book!! Maybe you should do something like that too!! It would be fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Stephenie Meyer, although a great success, is in desperate need of an editor who will make her stories readable. You can take at least two hundred pages out of any of her three books without much harm to the story.

Like Dickens, perhaps she gets paid by the word?


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Caroline and anonymous Glen-

I don't think I ever wrote there were certain things I couldn't keep in LAWKI, because I don't remember that there were.

My editor (who is very smart and did an excellent job)did have me tighten scenes, especially the pre-moon stuff at the very beginning. She also made me shorten the school board scene (since she believes school boards can turn into school boreds).

The only thing I can remember cutting on my own (and I don't remember if I mentioned this anywhere in my blog, so forgive me if I did) had to do with the girl Miranda hears is missing. In the first draft, I had some other kids missing as well, but then I came to my senses and realized with the world coming to an end, there really was no need for a serial killer subplot. So the missing girl turned out not to be missing at all, which frankly I think is a much better way (even if I did think of it all by myself).

I've had in my career a long string of excellent editors, which is essential for someone who thinks every word she writes is a masterpiece.

Do me a favor, and don't disillusion me. That's what reviewers are for!

Anonymous said...

You know, I'm beginning to both dread and long for this Yankee Stadium scene. Certainly, I'll be putting aside some antacids, kleenex and smelling salts when I read the book. ::winks::

(This is Kylen, by the way.)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I didn't want to disillusion you with my 'bleak and gruesome' comment, Susan. That was just my initial reaction at that point because it's SOOOO different from LAWKI - but I know that's the point.

I finished it now and while it certainly is dark, I was totally gripped by the story and hoped that everything turned out alright...which I won't spoil for anyone. :)

But Kleenex will come in handy.

- the anonymous hair-raising artiste

Gillian said...

I just finished "The Dead and the Gone"... I loved it! I think I will remember the elevator scene forever. That was marvelous! This book was a bit more brutal than LAWKI. But I enjoyed it just as much.

Thank you so much for the advance copy!!!

I've also just finished the audio of LAWKI and I really thought that was excellent, too. My teens in the library keep it pretty much checked out all the time.