As I mentioned last week, I’ve been working on a new edition of A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder that, among other things, restores the infamous missing epilogue, plus fixes various issues with the layout from the most recent edition, which was a scan produced by BookSurge of the original DarkTales edition of Crows. This edition is now available at my Lulu storefront and should become available at Amazon.com and other outlets over the next few months. I also plan to do a Kindle edition once the ISBN and distribution is finalized. In the meantime, please visit my Lulu store and check it out there!
Another thing I changed is the teaser excerpt at the beginning of the book. The original one emphasized the book’s more horrific turn as it nears the end of the story:
His mouth opened, forcing hers to open, too …
She felt the first clammy, sticky bubbles of slime coming out of his throat, dribbling into hers. Salty mucous, gunk like the stuff that had slurped out of the dashboard of their car after it had died by the side of the road. Her stomach heaved, heaved so hard she thought it should be strong enough to knock him right off her, though of course it wasn’t, that was just a desperate fantasy as the stuff choked her. She couldn’t breath; he had gummed up her nose with snot, her mouth was full of it. He wanted her to swallow, that was it.
Swallow, and breathe, and be like him
What can I say? Back in the day, I liked to go for the gross-out, as they say. But the new teaser is from a scene earlier in the book, one that several readers have particularly liked:
Nick Garson had watched, with a sort of detached interest, as his hands had reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his gun and started shooting at the man in the bulldozer …
It wasn’t until the bulldozer crashed into the pit that Nick began to think that maybe this was something he could get in trouble for; so he tucked the gun back into his jacket and went back to his car, thinking that he would just be moving along back to Buffalo, leaving no one the wiser that he had ever been here.
There were still a lot of loose bullets on the driver’s seat. He scooped them up before he sat down, and then watched his hands reload the gun. He wondered why they were doing that; maybe they were expecting to be called on to shoot someone else.
His two little friends were just sliding the clip back into place when he heard the sirens approaching. Somebody must have heard the shots and called the police. Bad hands, Nick thought. Bad, bad, bad! Loading the gun when they should have been helping him drive away!
The cop car came tearing in from the north, braked rapidly and stopped at an angle at the side of the road. Two policemen got out, looking around cautiously. They had their own guns out; he could see the weapons in their hands.
One cop reached into the cruiser and pulled out the radio mouthpiece and started talking into it, while the other kept his gaze flicking around the scene. They seemed quite wary. Reasonable, Nick thought, considering that there had been gunfire. Funny; he felt more like a witness than a perpetrator, as if he should run over to them with his palms in the air and say I saw who did it, officers, it was these hands here!
Of course, he wasn’t about to do something crazy like that.
An improvement? I think so. But still, in the end, this remains a horror novel, and that nasty mucousy stuff from the first teaser still plays a surprisingly major role in what happens at the end.
Don’t forget to vote for the November scene-of-the-month — it will be posted next week!