Tuesday, September 18, 2012


So what was hardest to write in the novel, people ask? The Beginning! Definitely.

In fact, there were more than eight versions of chapter one.

In my first version, a strange Echo came to fetch Will in the middle of the night (that character was cut from the novel).

In another version, there was no Gravestone Book. The conversation about all those children disappearing and no one remembering anything… it all took place without reference to the book, which records it.

Only the last version included the crystal ball clock, now featured on the cover. Readers find that amazing. That’s the best part, they say, unable to imagine chapter one without that glowing basketball with its secret holograms.

Ironically, in the end, chapter one doesn’t begin the novel. To immerse the reader in the strangeness of the Echo realm, I invented my pen name persona, Dew Pellucid, and wrote his letter to the reader.

“Dear Un-Pellucid Reader,” it begins. “Far, far away, in a land few Sounds have ever seen, stands the palace of Agám Kaffú... The walls are carved from gleaming ice that never melts, and the floors look like silent ponds you can walk on.”

Dew Pellucid is a mystery and remains so until the end of the novel. Who this old Echo is, you may ask? To quote his letter to the reader, “You’ll have to find it out in the proper way, turning page after page in this strange story.”

I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes peek at The Sound and the Echoes. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post? Do you like the way the book starts? Would you come up with a different opening? And what was your favorite part?


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