10 Random Things about The Fall
1. I wrote the Fall before Masque of the Red Death.
(in no particular order)
2. There is a version in chronological order. In fact, several times during the editing process I put the scenes in order so that I could make sure everything was consistent. There is a chronologically ordered word file on my computer and a color coded file in a big binder on my bookshelf. I also have a calendar of every single scene with Madeline/Roderick’s ages, and the day/month of the year to be sure that the setting details were right.
3. The first draft of the story was only 30k words. This is my shortest rough draft, and oddly enough The Fall is my longest published book. Guess I added a lot in revisions!
4. Cassandra was named for the prophetess who is doomed never to be believed in Greek Mythology. Madeline says in the book that her dog is named for “another doomed twin.”
5. At one point I had to use a thesaurus for other words for darkness.
6. Originally, like in Poe’s version, Roderick’s friend (Poe’s narrator) had no name, but in later versions it was awkward for him not to have a name, so I called him Noah and joked that he had joined ‘a sinking ship’ when he came to the House of Usher, and then remembered that the Ark didn’t sink at all, it just had a lot of animals on it. The name stuck, though!
7. Writing this book exacerbated a slight sense of claustrophobia that I’ve always had.
8. My concept of the structure of the book is that Madeline is buried alive and her life is flashing before her eyes. I don’t think you have to get that to understand/enjoy the book, in fact it might actually be frustrating to some readers, but that’s what I envisioned.
9. Unlike Madeline, I actually hate gardening. I have some friends who totally consider it their creative outlet, but I already have a creative outlet, and I really hate touching dirt with my hands.
10. There are small homages to many of Poe’s other works (and other gothic works) within the Fall, including the Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart, Ligeia, Berenice, and the Pit and the Pendulum. There are also multiple references to The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Bonus #11, in the first draft of the Fall, Dr. Winston’s first name was William, as a sort of reference to Poe’s William Wilson…but later when I wrote Masque of the Red Death, there was Will, so Dr. Wilson was renamed Victor. You can guess that gothic reference!