word craft


School of the Dead

School of the DeadI have just received a gal­ley of my new book, School of the Dead, which will be pub­lished next year by Harper­Collins. The term gal­ley is a 17th cen­tu­ry word, from the French, galée, which, as the OED has it, is “an oblong tray of brass, wood, or zinc, to which the [printer’s] type is trans­ferred from the com­pos­ing-stick.” That tray was used to print the book.

It used to be that the gal­ley of a new book was like a long role of paper, more suit­ed to a Roman scroll than a book as we know it. Nowa­days, a gal­ley, when received, is clos­er in form to a mod­ern book.

By the way, you’re the first to see this new cov­er, revealed here. What do you think?

I am asked to read the gal­ley, and catch any mis­takes, glitch­es, typos that have crept into this, the first print­ed ver­sion of the text. I will be only one of a num­ber of peo­ple who will do so. I may, or may not find mis­takes. Some­times big errors are found in a gal­ley, some­times no errors at all. One needs to check.

This par­tic­u­lar book has at times felt as if it was begun in the 17th cen­tu­ry. No book of mine has had a more com­pli­cat­ed pub­lish­ing his­to­ry: It has been ignored, reject­ed, and accept­ed, at var­i­ous stages and mul­ti­ple times dur­ing its cre­ation, with even a lawyer thrown into the mix. A pub­lish­er once told me it takes about forty peo­ple to help cre­ate a pub­lished book. This book seems to have had a whole lot more. I had to rework my com­plex plot mul­ti-times so as to make it clear, plau­si­ble, its time­line con­sis­tent, but beyond all else, fun to read—a dif­fer­ent tale of/for Halloween.

Yet, here it is, very close to fin­ished form. I’m told that the advance read­ing copy will be avail­able at the forth­com­ing NCTE con­fer­ence in Min­neapo­lis come Novem­ber.  Pub­li­ca­tion is slat­ed for late spring, 2016.

Of course, the his­to­ry of the mak­ing of the book means noth­ing to most read­ers. The goal is sim­ply to have them enjoy a spooky, sus­pense­ful story.

The School of the Dead: I am look­ing for­ward to read­ing it for the first time—in print.

8 thoughts on “School of the Dead”

  1. I like the view­point — both the van­tage point, as well as the light and bright; we usu­al­ly think of the dead as dark!

  2. Con­grat­u­la­tions, Avi! I am always excit­ed to hear that a new AVI book is on its way into my hands! :o) Love the cov­er! First thing that caught my eye is the two shadows!

  3. My stu­dents are read­ing The Wind­catch­er, right now! My daugh­ters also had the gift of vis­it­ing you in Col­orado MANY years ago! I still use “The Break­fast Seri­als” as well. Excit­ed you have a new book and can not wait to read it.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent Posts