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Memeage

Because I know, in general, that people often find memes to be repetitive or not entirely interesting, it's all behind the cut.


If there is any question you would like to ask me about any one of my works, then go ahead! What I meant by a particular line, why I chose that characterization, what I was listening to as I wrote, what crack I was taking and where you can get some ... anything. Anything you might like to know about how I wrote it, I shall do my best to answer.


I'll modify that to say I'm old enough that crack isn't part of the equation, although lack of sleep might be. And I'll then append:

Or if there's any question you would like to ask me about the process, the bookstore, the business in general, and I can answer it, I'll also field those happily.

Taken from terri_osborne, and kradical, but seen elsewhere as well.



ETA: Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrated it late this year (ours being in the less chilly month of October <g>).

Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
twiegand
Nov. 30th, 2004 11:58 am (UTC)
I know you write a lot at night. Is this to reduce interuptions? I find that when others are around they invariably want to talk to me while I'm trying to concentrate on writing. Or can you raise two boys and write while they tear up the house playing and stuff?
msagara
Nov. 30th, 2004 10:49 pm (UTC)
I know you write a lot at night. Is this to reduce interuptions?

Pretty much, yes. That, and I have always had trouble with insomnia, so I might as well do something useful if I'm awake anyway <wry g>. I discovered early on that if I was trying to get something important done while being interrupted, I got grouchy, and grouchy doesn't make for a wonderful parent.

I also don't get phone calls (except my sister, when she forgets about the west coast time difference) late at night, unless it's an emergency (which almost never happens); the only distractions are the ones I choose -- like, say, LJ.

I think, when the kids are older, it'll be easier to say "this is writing time"; I know that when they're doing homework, and I work as well, it does work out because we're all working. But I'm lousy at saying "don't interrupt me" -- I realize that that's a me thing, and I admire parents who can set those rules and stick consistently by them.

Because consistency is important, and I know I'm never going to be consistent about that, night is the best time at this stage.
(no subject) - illaraphaniel - Dec. 3rd, 2004 10:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msagara - Dec. 3rd, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
drenilop
Nov. 30th, 2004 01:33 pm (UTC)
I've enjoyed seeing gender role tension done well in your Sun Sword series. Did you start out intending to explore the issues of gender role and social identity, or was that more or less accidental (a function of the plot shaping itself)?
msagara
Nov. 30th, 2004 10:54 pm (UTC)
I've enjoyed seeing gender role tension done well in your Sun Sword series. Did you start out intending to explore the issues of gender role and social identity, or was that more or less accidental (a function of the plot shaping itself)?

This is sort of an interesting question because one of the things that I did get criticism for -- especially with Broken Crown -- was the gender roles I'd chosen. But in that case, they were the natural fallout of what I think of as a quasi-medieval attitude. The culture itself defined the roles of women in it.

I didn't so much intend it to be an exploration, though -- it grew organically out of the constraints I'd placed on the culture itself. In Annagar, women have very constrained lives -- but so do almost all of the people who live there. In the Empire, those constraints don't exist in the same way, and I did consciously set out to contrast the two societies. The only reason there are Kings, as opposed to Queens, in the Empire is because the Kings are always god-born, and without a more incestuous interaction, if the children were women, they'd have more difficulty bearing the children; if the children are sons, they can choose wives who will bear their fathers' children.

This probably isn't much of an answer; I'm happy to hone it, but I'd need more specific examples to which to reply.
(no subject) - drenilop - Dec. 1st, 2004 02:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msagara - Dec. 1st, 2004 04:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - drenilop - Dec. 1st, 2004 03:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
lnhammer
Nov. 30th, 2004 02:35 pm (UTC)
I think I know the answer(s), but I'll ask anyway. Why graduate students?

---L.
lnhammer
Nov. 30th, 2004 03:15 pm (UTC)
RTA: Why paleontology grad students? (I really shouldn't post before first coffee.)

---L.
(no subject) - msagara - Nov. 30th, 2004 10:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lnhammer - Dec. 1st, 2004 12:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msagara - Dec. 1st, 2004 04:40 am (UTC) - Expand
next_bold_move
Nov. 30th, 2004 02:43 pm (UTC)
This is almost in the spirit of what you posted. I'm going to give it a shot...

Do you have a favorite scene? A favorite line? What are they?
msagara
Nov. 30th, 2004 11:05 pm (UTC)
This is almost in the spirit of what you posted. I'm going to give it a shot...

Do you have a favorite scene? A favorite line? What are they?


I don't have a favourite scene -- I think there are too many of them, and they all run together in my mind. (Do other authors do this as well? I can remember the events clearly, but without thinking, I no longer clearly remember which book(s) they occured in; they all blend together to become part of the overall story).

I like, in Broken Crown, the line "The Sun is in my eyes." I like it because I hadn't thought of it before Ramiro said it, but it was culturally perfect for the context. My first impulse is to choose lines that are all like that -- the things that people said that I couldn't have predicted but that had the ring of truth to them that made them perfect for the character or culture. Hunter's Oath, when Mari says "It's always the sons" was one of those moments. The entire epilogue of Uncrowned King, which came out of Kallandras decision to ignore Evayne's instructions for reasons of his own.

The last scene with Nicu in Sea of Sorrows. Kallandras' acceptance of the duality of his life when he sees what Adam carries in his hand after the flood. When Diora calls Margret Ruatha in Sea as well.

I look at those moments as gifts; as things that come unplanned, but follow out of everything that's already been established. The entire scene in Hunter's Death, when the bards sing, and Kallandras joins them. Oh -- and the baying of the hounds in Death as well.

It's almost because of those moments that I write at all -- there's something piercing about them, something that moves me because I didn't consciously choose them.
(Deleted comment)
msagara
Nov. 30th, 2004 11:20 pm (UTC)
In the SUNDERED books, what made the Light/Dark dualities powerful for you when you were writing them?

This is probably going to be a more rambling answer than I'd ideally like. I was interested in the concept of redemption when I was younger. I think my first attempt at a novel -- and many of my attempts before I reached the advanced age of thirteen, and no there's nothing at all in those books that's worth retrieving and they're never going to see the light of day because I already have hundreds of ways of humiliating myself in public, actually drew on Christian mythology. Given that we were not church goers, this probably seems a bit odd -- but maybe not; I read a lot of mythology when I was young.

To me, it wasn't that different from fairy tales. Okay, that was this post's digression.

I read a lot, and of course, as one does when one is young, retained only the things that were of interest to me. Possibly because one of the only real ways to show remorse in the Japanese myths and legends I read was to kill yourself, the idea of redemption really enthralled me.

But writing about the things that might lead you to require redemption also repelled me. Go figure. The reason that Stefanos wasn't human was because it added a layer of motivation to his actions that had nothing to do with humanity, and that was easier at the time for me. I would probably make different choices, now, but at the time I needed to at least not loathe the characters I was writing about, and someone who was essentially in thrall to his nature, as opposed to someone who has an open slate of obvious choices (i.e. an adult human), worked on that level.

Light and Dark were black and white. Forces in opposition. They defined lives, certainly, and defined the shape of the war; they defined loss. Two things had to be real, to give the ending its shape: one, the sense of loss and the pervasive sense of grief, and two, the desire to transcend that. You have to have something to transcend. It's not redemption if you haven't been living in the dark. So... I didn't want Stefanos to be misunderstood or miscast; I wanted him to be exactly what he was, which would more or less be evil.

And after that... there had to be something appealing about him, after all; there had to be something that he was drawn to, as well, some crack in the armour of eternal boredom.

And thank you, by the way, for being so willing to field questions--about publishing, about contracts, about romance novel placement, about so many things of interest.

Actually, I love answering questions -- when I have something the remotely resembles an answer <wry g>.
vsherbie
Nov. 30th, 2004 06:39 pm (UTC)
are you planning on tying the story of Cecily into the main plot line or leave it our on its own?
msagara
Nov. 30th, 2004 11:22 pm (UTC)
are you planning on tying the story of Cecily into the main plot line or leave it our on its own?

Oddly enough -- and I hope this isn't a spoiler -- there is a place for her in the future of the universe, but it depends, among other things, on the timing of certain events, and on something that Evayne took from the field before the battle in SUN SWORD. I wrote Memory of Stone with an eye to the Summer Court.
Cecily - celledhor - Nov. 30th, 2004 11:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Cecily - msagara - Dec. 1st, 2004 04:42 am (UTC) - Expand
rachelmanija
Nov. 30th, 2004 07:49 pm (UTC)
Do you have any good links or recommendations on informational books for a person considering opening an independent bookstore/cafe in a small (central-northern California) town which doesn't have a bookshop of any kind at the moment? Is that a totally insane idea? Do indie bookshops ever even break even, let alone make money?

(No, I'm not considering a career change, but someone I know is.)
coffeeandink
Nov. 30th, 2004 08:56 pm (UTC)
It may not be as useful, but a friend of mine opened an indie used bookstore in Greensboro three or four years ago, and it's still surviving, if you want to put your friend in touch with her.
(no subject) - msagara - Nov. 30th, 2004 11:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oyceter - Dec. 1st, 2004 03:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - msagara - Dec. 1st, 2004 04:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oyceter - Dec. 2nd, 2004 02:48 am (UTC) - Expand
melinda_goodin
Dec. 1st, 2004 03:01 am (UTC)
"Two things had to be real, to give the ending its shape: one, the sense of loss and the pervasive sense of grief, and two, the desire to transcend that. You have to have something to transcend"

Oh! You've just encompassed the whole reason why the last act in my book doesn't work. And now I know how to fix it! Thank you.

Melinda, blinded by the lightbulb that just went off over her head.
msagara
Dec. 1st, 2004 04:49 am (UTC)
"Two things had to be real, to give the ending its shape: one, the sense of loss and the pervasive sense of grief, and two, the desire to transcend that. You have to have something to transcend"

Oh! You've just encompassed the whole reason why the last act in my book doesn't work. And now I know how to fix it! Thank you.


I absolutely love it when something I say is useful in this particular fashion. It doesn't happen often, but thanks for pointing it out.
celledhor
Dec. 1st, 2004 05:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Cecily
I have only read it once and that was in one sitting. As you've said, many of your implications become clear upon a second read. I just haven't gotten that far yet. Too much else to read (currently Shadowmarch).
msagara
Dec. 1st, 2004 05:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Cecily
I have only read it once and that was in one sitting. As you've said, many of your implications become clear upon a second read. I just haven't gotten that far yet. Too much else to read (currently Shadowmarch).

That's only supposed to be true of the novels <wry g>. In this case, because it's clear at the end of Shining Court that they've undertaken the hunt that will once again give them the Summer Court, the end of Memory of Stone is supposed to imply the presence of Summer, the possibility of seasonal change -- and the survival of the artisan. That's all, really.
celledhor
Dec. 1st, 2004 05:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Cecily
In that case, I should re-read Shining Court as well. They were not read anywhere near in the same time so I probably miised many of the connections. Unfortunately (or is it Fortunately for you?), it's currently on loan. I may need a second set since they are frequently on loan. *g*
(Anonymous)
Dec. 5th, 2004 06:33 pm (UTC)
Character Question
Since you're being so obliging, here's a question for you. You've spoken earlier about needing lead time before you actually start writing, time to let the project percolate in your mind before you set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, whatever). But once you do start, are the characters fully-formed, or are there parts of their pasts (and thus their futures) which still come along to surprise you as you're writing? Take, for example, Meralonne, about whom there has been so much speculation among your readers. When he first appears in the Hunter series, did you just have in mind a mage with a certain personality, or was everything that has since been hinted at in later books all in place by then?

One reason I'm curious is that I was dumbfounded when I was reading Christopher Tolkien's books to find out that JRR had absolutely no idea who Strider was when the hobbits first encountered him at Bree. He'd gotten the hobbits there, and this unexpected character had cropped up and for some time thereafter his notes are peppered with comments like WHO IS STRIDER?!! Very amusing as well as surprising.

Cassandra
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )