About the novel

Though it was not the first novel I wrote, Doppelganger (to call it by its original title) was the first novel I sold. The seeds of its inspiration were two absolutely miniscule things. One was a throwaway line in the Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show; if I’m remembering correctly, at one point he runs into a pair of twins and makes a crack about the “doppelganger special.” The back corner of my mind that’s constantly noting down ideas thought that word might make a good title. The other seed was a throwaway line in the musical Les Miserables, wherein one prostitute calls another “crazy bloody witch.” The back corner of my mind latched onto the word “witch,” and mused on the fact that female magic-users in fantasy are so often sorceresses or enchantresses or workaday mages, less often witches. Doppelgangers and witches: that’s all I had when I started.

Those seeds got into my head when I was seventeen. They sprouted little tendrils and warred with the tendrils coming off another novel idea; the other novel won and got written first. But having successfully completed one 126,000-word manuscript, I was not so intimidated by the thought of trying another, and so I dived into the bits of Doppelganger I had built up, and ran with them until I hit the end, which came just before I turned twenty. I didn’t sell it until some time and multiple revisions later, but nobody ever said breaking into publishing was easy.

I sold Doppelganger to Warner Books in December of 2004; you can read the saga here, in the “My First Novel” set of essays.

What’s with the reissue?

Two years after the original release, my publisher decided to repackage the books with covers and titles that made them more obviously a pair. (My heartfelt apologies for the confusion this has created.) The differences between the editions are minimal; the most significant one is the use of the word “triquetra” in place of “triskele.”