On February 12th, Chuck Palahniuk released a new short story exclusively through Amazon's Kindle Single program. Kindle Singles are eBooks of short and novella length. The story is called 'Phoenix,' and it's so damn good. You also must agree too because, at the time of writing this, the story is ranked #2 overall in the Kindle Single's category and has a 4 star rating.
Last week, Chuck decided to start a series of essays explaining the construction and backstory of this short story. You can read Essay 1 here. And he decided to let a small number of fans submit questions to him. So without further ado, here is the first batch of Questions & Answers:
(Chuck's answers are italicizied within)
From Lisa K:
I couldn't help feel that there were parallels between Rachel and Belinda Carlisle. Rachel and Belinda were both under the impression that they were the keepers to be indulged but in reality were the kept. They each were the vehicles, albeit unwillingly, of their own demises.
Were Rachel and April both suffering effects from toxicoplasmosis? Was Ted?
Do you remember the Shirley Jackson ghost story, "The Haunting of Hill House"? It's never clearly established whether Eleanor is crazy or actually menaced by ghosts. That unresolved dynamic gives the story a longer life. And that's why I never wanted to walk Ted or Rachel through an aside where they get tested for Toxo. The writer, and my friend, Chelsea Cain, lobbied for a Toxo testing scene, but it -- to my mind -- would've slowed the story and explained too much.
There's a gaping hole of how Ted came to be part of Rachel's life. Are they both loner brainiacs that fate brought together?
They met on a blind date. Rachel instantly recognized someone she could dominate. Any details beyond that would've slowed the forward momentum. We already start with a long, long flashback. A second flashback would've dampened the escalating tension.