The Husk Chronicles, Episode Three — The First Reveal! (of the cover and such)

If you’ll look to your right — go on, twist your neck a lit­tle, get some exer­cise — you’ll see a fair­ly odd-look­ing gen­tle­man of the plas­tic face and blank eye­holes vari­ety.

Yes, he’s not much to look at, but it’s unde­ni­ably creepy, which makes it the per­fect cov­er for Husk.

Once again, as he did with Shelf Mon­key (and many oth­ers since — check out his web page for some hints on how his career took off after work­ing with me, and yes, I do attribute his suc­cess direct­ly to me), design­er wun­derkind David Gee delved deep into my man­u­script, sink­ing through the lay­ers of sub­text and fight­ing off the twin demon leviathans of Bad Puns and Awk­ward Metaphors to arrive at images at once eso­teric and yet ide­al­ly suit­ed to the sto­ry.

I think it works, in oth­er words. And while it may under­go changes before the final proof, I got­ta say, I’m in love with it. There is some­thing unique­ly off-putting about a blank Hal­loween mask. It gives you a sense of men­ace, a mild-man­nered vis­age that dis­guis­es untold hor­rors (or, once you pick up the book, told hor­rors). Is it my hero Shel­don? I don’t think so, but if it helps you, well, this ain’t a movie, give the char­ac­ters any face you want. And even if, as my wife sug­gests, it looks a lit­tle like the guy who plays Phil Dun­phy in Mod­ern Fam­i­ly, well, Ty Bur­rell was in the remake of Dawn of the Dead, so there’s still a zom­bie par­al­lel.

There’s also some cat­a­logue copy, writ­ten by me and cleaned up by the copy elves at ECW. Sad­ly, I am not able to put a pdf on a web­site, and the cat­a­logue itself isn’t up yet to link to. So below, true in verse but lack­ing in the visu­al plea­sure of the well-for­mat­ted page, is the copy:

An out­landish­ly fun­ny, unam­bigu­ous­ly bloody nov­el about fame, love, reli­gion, pol­i­tics, and appetite.

It is one thing to die, alone and con­fused, trapped with your pants down around your ankles in the filth­i­est bus restroom in exis­tence. It’s quite anoth­er thing to wake up dur­ing the autop­sy, attack the coro­ner, and flee into the win­try streets of Toron­to.

It’s not like Shel­don Funk didn’t have enough on his plate. His last audi­tion, for the real­i­ty tele­vi­sion series House Bin­go, had gone dis­as­trous­ly wrong. His moth­er was in the late stages of demen­tia. His sav­ings were deplet­ed, his agent couldn’t care less, and his boyfriend was lit­tle more than a nice set of abs. Now, Shel­don also has to con­tend with decom­po­si­tion, the scent of the open grave, and an unend­ing appetite for human flesh. Plus anoth­er audi­tion in the morn­ing.

For Shel­don to sur­vive his death with­out lit­er­al­ly falling apart at the seams, he has to find a way to bal­ance fam­i­ly, career, and can­ni­bal­ism, which would be a lot eas­i­er if he could stop eat­ing hoboes.

Husk, the sto­ry of the every­zom­bie.

Corey Redekop has been many things: actor, wait­er, disc jock­ey, cam­era­man, edi­tor, lawyer (almost), and now the fabled tri­fec­ta of publicist/librarian/author. His debut nov­el, Shelf Mon­key, is either a work of insane genius or an intol­er­a­ble left-wing screed, depend­ing on which review you read. Stun­ning­ly hand­some, supreme­ly tal­ent­ed, superbly gift­ed at hyper­bole, Corey abides in Fred­er­ic­ton, New Brunswick.