There are always practical matters to attend to in the course of publishing a book. What if, God forbid, the URL corresponding to your chosen title is already taken? When this conundrum arose for Margaret Atwood while writing her latest novel, MaddAddam, she opted to throw in a couple extra letters. “[S]omeone already had the domain for ‘Madadam,’ and I didn’t like the idea of my book title being used, possibly, for a porn site, as has been known to happen,” she writes in an essay posted on the online publishing platform Wattpad.
A long-time fan of Wattpad, Atwood has partnered with the site to release an essay on the book’s development as part of MaddAddam’s sizeable promotional campaign. Last fall, Atwood teamed up with U.K. author Naomi Alderman to publish “The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home,” an apocalyptic short story exclusive to Wattpad.
For keen fans of the trilogy, Atwood offers details about the characters and their motivations, as well as her own reasons for writing the book. “We live in extraordinary times,” she writes. On the one hand, we live in an age of astonishingly capable technologies, but, on the other, “we are destroying our biological home at breathtaking speed.”
“On the third hand (for there’s always a third hand), the democratic form of government we have extolled and promoted in the West for centuries is being undermined from within by super-surveillance technologies and the power of corporate money,” Atwood continues.
Read the full essay here.