March 12, 2009

Suh-Suh-Suh-Somethin’ from the Comments

Remember The Show with Ze Frank? (It’s ABSILUTELY and ONLY for grown-ups. But not, like MATURE grown-ups who mind pooping jokes and naughty language. It’s for the OTHER kind.) If you DO remember, then the title is a reference! Or an homage, possibly. If you do not, then… I made that clever blog title up. >.>

BOOK TITLE: I said that since this is a companion book that grew out of GODS IN ALABAMA, a good title might mimic the structure of that title, but using the word SAINTs instead of the words gods.…Saints in….SOMETHING. While I think you people are hilarious, and I DOUBLE HEARTED suggestions like Marla’s “Saints in Somnia” (Rimshot!) and Marty’s “Saint Booties Bar and Grille” (I would totally eat there) and Laume's “Saints in Schrodinger's Box” (or ARE they?????) we never QUITE got it, did we?

BUT THEN! Superman’s mommy suggested “Saints in the Backseat.” That’s really good. The word backseat has the right kind of dirtyness to it and it has the word I requested and the right structure...

But I am not crazy about the cadence. I don’t like the article THE in there. But Saints in Backseats doesn’t work---too plural and diffused and the sheer VOLUME of the S sounds makes me want to hit myself in the face with a stapler. You get more than two s sounds gathered together, and it starts to sound like a bunch of snakes making out. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THAT. I mean, how many times have you found yourself hollering,. HEY! SNAKES! GET A ROOM? Right? Me too.

Then I thought, what if I give up the idea of making it have the same structure as the other title and just use the words I like.


Only two S sounds.
Thematically appropriate.
I dig it.

I put it on the MS and e-mailed it off to my editor and agent today. We’ll see how it flies, eh?

APPROPOS OF NOTHING: In the last month, I have spent almost 300 dollars in co-pays for doctor visits, and a further 100 dollars on prescription medication, for a total of $400.

I THOUGHT TAMMY asked me to set my next book “north of the Mason Dixon line and/or west of the Mississippi?” I thought to myself, SMUGLY, Well! Backseats Saints is set MOSTLY in Amarillo, Texas and Berkeley, California. SO! DONE ALREADY! I psychic-ly live to pre-serve!

Two Broadway Show tickets (really good seats) can easily run 400 bucks.
A middle aged but decently producing Jersey Milk Cow can go for 400 at auction.
Giving 400 dollars to the Red Cross costs EXACTLY 400 dollars
A family Weekend getaway to a State Park costs about…400 dollars.

I realized she meant the book TOUR, not the setting. I need to LRN 2 REEEED, as the young kids say on the interwebs. I already do psychic-ly live to pre-serve though, still. For the girl who stopped swimming I went to New York, Illionois, Califoria, Oregon, and Washington and some other of those square states in the middle that do not have the word Dakota in them. I forget because of nine pounds of the mucus currently strangling my brain.

APPROPOS OF OTHER THINGS PREVIOUSLY APPROPO’D: Did I meantion Maisy missed school today?
Still sick.
Did I mention I went back to see my vet today?
400 cannot, it appears, buy “stop coughing.”

Posted by joshilyn at March 12, 2009 5:44 PM

Okay, I am going to apologize in advance for this because it is meaninglessly picky but I am a tax accountant and I cannot help myself. Giving $400 to the Red Cross does not actually cost $400 because you may deduct the contribution on your tax return, where it will save you (your marginal tax rate, say 28%) times 400 = $112; which means your $400 contribution only cost you $388.

I'm sorry, I had to do it. If I ever write a novel (highly unlikely) you may feel free to criticize it mercilessly.

Posted by: kmkat at March 12, 2009 6:47 PM

I was an English major, I am so not the math person, so am I misunderstanding kmkat's comment? Wouldn't $400 minus $112 be $288, not $388?

I DO like Backseat Saints more than Saints in the Backseat, though personally I find it just a teeny bit hissy still. Those darned snakes, they just won't stop.

Feel better soon, already!

Posted by: ccr in MA at March 12, 2009 7:09 PM

Joshilyn, are your Saints in Leather, by any chance?

As for that plague that's plaguing you and yours, HEAL! That's an order.

Posted by: Sandra Leigh at March 12, 2009 8:16 PM

As someone who DOES live in one of those square states with Dakota in it, can you stop here next time? Please? We'd love you up right, and not just you'd be the only author we'd see all year.

Posted by: Lisa at March 12, 2009 9:16 PM

Ahem ... Illinois is a pretty big state, and you, ah, barely stepped off the plane. Just sayin.

Posted by: Patti at March 12, 2009 9:52 PM

I am assuming that a month's worth of whooping cough will take at least 1/2 a month to feel better and about three months to totally de-phlegm. Just sayin'. I've had bad boughts of bronchitis that had me hacking up a lung well into May.

Hot. . .steamy. . .REALLY helps break up the gunk. By that I mean hot, steamy beverages and showers. Sounds like something your backseat saints might enjoy. :)

Posted by: Roxanne at March 12, 2009 9:55 PM

Hey, if "Backseat Saints" sticks, then we'll get to just keep referring to the book as "BS!" ;-)

Ooh, yeah, Roxanne. You just brought back bad memories of bronchitis bouts I had decades ago that had me coughing three months at a time. People accused me of having TB. The desrt-dry air in the college dorms was not helping!

Posted by: Brigitte at March 13, 2009 5:51 AM

How about Boston, Massachusetts? I would so come and see you!! :)There is a great independent bookstore called Brookline Booksmith that does author readings and signings. When you get your itinerary, you should post it on your blog so we could all come cheer you on. And I like the title. Feel better soon.

Posted by: Erin at March 13, 2009 9:44 AM

I like Backseat Saints! Hope you feel better soon!

Posted by: Jess at March 13, 2009 9:51 AM

I like Backseat Saints! In some ways, I think it's better not to exactly mimic the title structure of gods. Somehow that borders on cutesie, and your books are NOT cutesie.

What I don't like? You and Maisie still being sick. What gives? Do you need to make a sacrifice to the gods of MUCUS?

Posted by: Aimee at March 13, 2009 10:13 AM


I was I was, pinky swears.

I think 4 people came ALAS!

Posted by: Joshilyn at March 13, 2009 11:29 AM

Backseat Saints is a great title. And Berkeley, California? Woohoo! That's where I am! Now I really really can't wait to read it.

Posted by: Holly at March 13, 2009 12:31 PM

Appropos of nothing: TGWSS is a "Librarian's Pick" at the Bethesda branch of Montgomery County Public Library (MD) right now :-) I walked in and almost hugged the book when I saw it on display!

Posted by: BethR at March 13, 2009 2:06 PM

I'm glad you double hearted Saints in Schrodinger's Box. I hope your chuckle or laugh didn't deteriorate into a coughing fit. I'd feel bad. I'd feel badly? And if you need a new city to visit on this next book tour, may I suggest Reno, NV. It's only 100 miles away. I'll come see you. And take you to all the "Best Pick for (insert sin of your choice)" places to eat and drink. Further enticement - Lots of alcohol and pretty sparkly lights and dry air (good for phlegmy lungs) available in the area. I can even take you over the backdrop of mountains to see Lake Tahoe. I've got me a Subie. Sadly, it's not orange. But it does have 4WD.

Posted by: Laume at March 13, 2009 10:18 PM

Backseat Saints... uuuhhh would be out of their leather wouldn't they?

Posted by: Cele at March 14, 2009 1:04 AM

so as you're planning the itinerary for the backseat saints tour, please include louisville, ky's carmichael's bookstore, which was just named publisher weekly's indy bookstore of the year...

Posted by: dramamama at March 14, 2009 10:59 PM

I like Backseat Saints, except it reminds me of backseat drivers. My dh is a backseat driver who thinks he is a saint, not like yours who is a saint. Maybe Backseat Saints in Man World- too long-
Backseat Saints in Theory ?

Posted by: Kudzufan at March 15, 2009 2:17 AM