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Friday, 1 May 2009

Where do we go from here?

So: you’ve bought your copy of I Am Not a Serial Killer, you’ve read it cover to cover, you’ve used your favorites quote as an email signature, and you’ve filled the back pages with dreamy repetitions of your first name and John’s last name, just to see how it looks. That’s all very well and good, but where do we go from here? What’s going to happen next in the peaceful town of Clayton? Can you really stand to wait a year to find out?

The answer is, “I hope so,” because I’m not spoiling anything for you early. But I’ll give you some hints, and we can extrapolate beyond our data points to figure where, if he follows his current trajectory, our good friend John Cleaver will be a year from now.

1. The working title of the next book is Mr. Monster, and I don’t expect this to change. Mr. Monster is the name John gives to his dark side, taken from a letter David Berkowitz wrote to the police: “For now I say goodbye and goodnight. Police: Let me haunt you with these words: I'll be back! I'll be back! To be interpreted as — bang, bang, bang, bang, bang — ugh!! Yours in murder, Mr. Monster.”

2. Why is the second book named after John’s dark side? Let me quote to you John’s own words, from the end of the book: “I don’t think my Mom realized that a new person moved in with us that day, but it’s been with us ever since. My monster was out for good now, and I couldn’t put it away. I tried to—every day I tried to—but it doesn’t work that way. If it were that easy to get rid of, it wouldn’t be a monster.”

3. Who, you may ask, is the villain in the next book? Is it another demon? Is it a real serial killer? How would I justify the presence of another killer in such a small town? Let me assure you that all of these questions are answered satisfactorily, and I’m confident in saying that you’ll be quite pleased. As for who the villain is, let me redirect your attention to a) the title of the book, and b) the previous paragraph. Let me also assure you that none of this is a spoiler.

4. There is a scene in Mr. Monster, about halfway through, that caused my friend to say, “Dan, I never want to be alone with you again.” You’ll know it when you get there, and I apologize in advance.

5. As a final note, I’ll simply say that all of my early readers (yes, all of them, bar none) liked Book 2 better than Book 1. So if you really liked I Am Not a Serial Killer, please be advised that you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

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