Thursday, October 29, 2009

But His Speciality Is Onomatopoeia

I spent Tuesday in Houston talking to high school students about Life As We Knew It and The Dead And The Gone (and I told them stuff about This World We Live In, because I can't resist).

The students and faculty were absolutely wonderful and I had a very good time.

The only problem was the students were better educated than I am. That's not surprising, given the quirks of my education, but when people are better educated than I am about the books I write, it can be a problem.

Several of the students asked me about the foreshadowing in LAWKI.

Who knew there was foreshadowing? It was news to moi (see, that one year of French still comes in handy).

In TW, there's a lot of stuff I think of as echoes, which I guess is foreshadowing only in reverse. Backshadowing. Anyway, one thing happens and then later on something else happens and if you think about it (and I did) you can see that there was something earlier in the book that wasn't exactly like it, but kind of sort of like it. Give or take.

But I never thought about that in LAWKI or d&g. I just wrote them.

Scooter, on the other paw, knows all about foreshadowing. He's the kitten king of foreshadowing, as you can tell by this photograph.

While I had a great time every single place I went to the past six weeks, after trips to Virginia, New York City, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas, I'm happy to be home.

I think Scooter and his shadow are happy about it as well!

ETA: This piece from Publishers Weekly on what teens read and why and how is so interesting, I'm providing a link. I'm sure Scooter won't mind.


Elaine Marie Alphin said...

I'm overjoyed to see that you had such a terrific time, and also that you seem to be feeling much better! I'd been concerned after your post last week. Enjoy the wonderful school visits (even with devoted readers who read more into your books than you knew you put into them), but do take care of yourself!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hallo Elaine Marie Alphin-

Ooh, I like your photograph. Is that new? I'll look at it in greater detail as soon as I finish this comment.

I took care of myself pretty well in Houston. I steadfastly refused to stand up for more than a moment at a time.

I'm almost finished with school visits and the suchlike, and will spend all winter doing nothing but sitting!

Susan said...

Hello, I just wanted to say that I love your books and am deeply looking forward to reading "This World We Live In"
I read "Life as We Knew It" last school year and today I finished reading "The Dead and the Gone"
Both books gave me chills and I believe I cried a few times while reading both of them (mainly D&G though)
Keep doing what you are doing! I love reading these books!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Susan and thank you-

I'm looking forward to reading (well, rereading) This World We Live In myself. I have to admit, I read (well, reread)the last few pages a couple of days ago right off the computer and it gave me chills.

Then again, I love the ending (otherwise I wouldn't have reread it!).

Anonymous said...

IF there was to be another book, "Backshadow" would be a great title in my over-inflated opinion.

On a short trip from NY to FL a number of years ago, I felt woozy when I got off the plane. The flight attendents said that I should have some Coca-Cola for the salt in it, as there is some strange flying dehydration people often get. It worked. (Or maybe it was Pepsi...oh oh...) W. Slezak aka downiaut Down I Aut? Oh. I get in Sit Down I Aut.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good Sunday morning W. Slezak-

I like the title Backshadow also. I wonder if there's a book named that.

People do dehydrate on airplanes. Of course the food they serve (pretzels, incredibly salty turkey sandwiches) doesn't help!