Now you know that as a chemist, my ears perked up when I read such a title! Gas...smell...chemistry...OH MY!!!!
So lets read some of the "behind the scenes" goodies about what is already on my "going to devour list".
The Smell of Gas by Erin O’Riordan and Tit Elingtin (Melange Books, April 2011) was originally titled Whip. To me Whip suggested the quick, often cruel twists of fate that happen to some of the characters in this pulp fiction-style crime thriller. The original title also referenced a scene from Chapter 19:
“You know,” he said softly, “if there is a God, God is a woman.”
Diana wrinkled up her mouth. Tim thought her perplexed expression was adorable. “Why?” she asked, sitting up.
“The whiptail lizard,” he said. “Can I tell you about it in the morning?” He yawned.
“No,” she said. “You can’t just tell me that God is a woman because of a lizard and then roll over and go to sleep.”
He sat back up. “Okay, okay. I’ll try to give you the short version.” He yawned again, just to make sure she understood. “First, you have to grant me that when we’re talking about God, we’re talking about the creator. A God who made the world and everything in it.”
“You mean like in the Bible,” she said. “‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’”
“Right,” Tim said. “The heavens, the earth, and all the living things. Now, the living things, they come in basically two varieties. Some of them are little one-celled organisms that are asexual. They don’t have a male and a female; they just reproduce by dividing. And maybe those creatures are created in God’s image: no male, no female, just one. Then there’s the other variety. Everything that’s not a one-celled organism, or maybe a plant that’s asexual– aren’t some plants asexual?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “It’s been so long since I’ve studied biology. It was never one of my best subjects, anyway. I’m more of a math person. That’s how I ended up in retail. But go on.”
“Either way, everything that’s not asexual has two sexes, male and female. Most of the time it takes one of each to reproduce. Then there’s the whiptail lizard. This is a lizard that lives way the fuck out there in the middle of the desert, and sometimes it’s hard to find another lizard to mate with out there. Therefore, what the female whiptail can do is sort of make her eggs start dividing on their own. She makes daughters, clones of herself. It’s called parthenogenesis.”
“Cool,” Diana said.
“Yeah,” Tim continued. “The female whiptail lizard can make babies without a male. But nowhere in nature do you see a male than can reproduce without a female.”
“Don’t male seahorses give birth?”
“They give birth, but they can’t make babies without the females’ eggs. The point is that if we accept nature as God’s creation, then it’s ridiculous to think that God could be a male without a female. Asexual, yes. But not a male. It goes against our entire experience of life on Planet Earth. That is, if you think that God would’ve created nature in Her own image.”
Diana smiled. “That’s really deep, Tim. But you forgot about the other possibility. Maybe there’s a God and a Goddess, and they need each other. That’s what some Wiccans say.”
My husband and co-author, Tit Elingtin, suggested The Smell of Gas as a title. He figures it’s a concrete, sensory memory. Go ahead: close your eyes and think of the smell of gasoline. It’s a smell people either love or hate. In the novel, gasoline plays a key role in the pivotal scene. We changed the name, realizing it might turn some people off, but it would definitely get their attention.
The Smell of Gas at Melange Books http://www.melange-books.com/authors/erinoriordan/oriordanthesmellofgas.html
Erin O’Riordan home page www.aeess.com
Pagan Spirits blog http://www.erinoriordan.blogspot.com
The Smell of Gas Official Book Blurb: Love pulp fiction? Just try putting down The Smell of Gas. TSOG is full of saints and sinners you'll love to hate. There's Brigid, the high school basketball player and secret heroin addict. Fred, a Catholic lesbian teen, loves Brigid, but doesn't know about her affair with Edward, a married Evangelical preacher. Sex, ethics, religions and mythologies clash as you dig deeper into their connection to the death of a young couple.
About Erin O’Riordan: Erin O'Riordan lives in the Midwestern United States with her husband and co-author Tit Elingtin. Her erotic stories, essays, and film reviews have been published in numerous magazines and websites. She loves myths and folklore and refuses to choose any one faith. A trap designed to catch her should contain dark chocolate, espresso drinks and Christian Bale movies.