Sunday, August 11, 2013

Deadhand Control: What's in a Name

The Kickstarter Project for Deadhand Control is well underway. I'm posting regular updates about the project. Video updates are exclusive, only available to backers. But, other updates are available to everyone ... like this update.

Why Undead Bar Association Book #4 is titled Deadhand Control

There are rules for titling books in the Undead Bar Association series.

1. Two word titles
2. One of the words starts with the letter "D"
3. If the book is told from the heroine's perspective, the "D" word comes second. If told from another character's perspective, the "D" word is first.

So, looking at the title, you know the story of Deadhand Control won't be told from the heroine's perspective.

But, why Deadhand Control?

In this story there are bad guys and a good guy with abnormal hands. The evil Vildru sorcerers have rotting left hands; they lose a chunk of flesh each time they cost a spell. On the good side we have Colonel Ranald Mackenzie, who lost two fingers of his right hand during the Civil War, and was nicknamed "Bad Hand" by the Indians.

So, the name fits in part because it refers to multiple characters.

There's also a legal term, Deadhand Control. Here's the definition from Black's Law Dictionary, 8th Edition:

deadhand control. The convergence of carious legal doctrines that allows a decedent's control of wealth ot influence the conduct of a living beneficiary; esp., the use of executory interests that vest at some indefinite and remote time in the future to restrict alienability and to ensure that property remains in the hands of a particular family or organization.

The rule against perpetuities restricts certain types of deadhand control, which is sometimes referred to either as the power of the mortua manus (dead hand) or as trying to retain property in mortua manu.

That's the legal definition and a giant hint about the book's plot.

There you go: birth of a book title. Later this week, I'll post something about some of the history in the story.

26 days left to pledge to the Kickstarter Project for Deadhand Control. If you want to receive all the updates, particularly the research videos, you need to pledge.