The Book (Part II: The Re-Bookening)

Plus an invitation

Well, here we are: Somehow, despite all my attempts to prevent it, Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers will be unleashed on the world in less than two weeks.

So many things happened before this book got out! People changed jobs! The file got corrupted between copy-editing and printing, and it all had to be re-set! I made an entire human child with my body! There was a mistake on the cover! Every time you thought it was done and nothing more could go wrong, something else, unbelievably, went wrong.

The Exorcist, famously, was cursed. A freak fire destroyed the whole set. Half the actors had deaths in their families while shooting. Two of those actors were dead before the film was in theaters — and both of their characters had died in the film as well. People kept getting injured. The rig that was supposed to lift Linda Blair into the air broke unexpectedly. Ellen Burstyn has a permanent spinal injury which she incurred (on-camera!) when a different special effect went wrong. Hiring practices, it seems, could have been improved, because one of the extras in the hospital scene — chosen because he actually worked in a hospital — was an actual serial killer.

Even after the movie was released, churches warned people not to go see it, because its curse was supposedly powerful enough to affect onlookers as well. There were freak accidents in and around theaters, churches getting hit by lightning while The Exorcist played across the street, a woman who broke her jaw while watching it because she passed out and hit her face on the seat in front of her. Maybe half of this was marketing hype, but Ellen Burstyn is still mad she got injured, and nobody hires a serial killer for the press. Not enough things could go wrong for this movie.

You really don’t want to open your book with a chapter where you outline every misogynistic and/or irresponsible thing about The Exorcist, is what I’m telling you, but I did, and my deeply, deeply cursed book is coming to your bookstore on August 13. I have awakened the demon Pazuzu, and now I needs must do His marketing.

As a celebration (and at the publisher’s request) I’m going to do something a little different for our next issue, and do a live horror watch on Twitter.

Next Saturday, August 10, between 3 PM and 5PM EST, I’m going to watch and live-Tweet Scream — the most financially successful slasher film of all time, and the first to be successful specifically because teenage girls made it a hit — and I encourage you to Tweet along with me. The movie’s on Netflix, and if you cue it up, we can all watch along and appreciate what is actually, under its five metric tons of Ninetiesness, a surprisingly decent movie about abusive relationships, toxic nerd rage, and female coming of age.

I find hashtags goofy — you can just @ me and I’ll RT stuff — but if you want one, we can unite under #DBBMLive.

Come to Twitter! Which is a horror movie of its own! Spread that curse around! And, if you start to feel lightheaded, aim for something with cushions.

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