FAQ you, you FAQing FAQ!

As some of you may know, I started a new full time job recently. Yay, regular income and cheap health insurance! And the job itself is great so far, but since I’m still kind of a full time writer, time has just become my most valuable commodity. So to maximize my free time — so I can use it on writing, natch — I’ve decided to put together a Frequently Asked Questions.

Much of the FAQ will refer back to questions I’ve already answered here, in posts and comments. I’m also going to tackle a few questions that I seem to get more often by private email for some reason — not sure why. (Though maybe the fact that such questions usually involve either sexuality, gender, politics, or race is a big clue.) And I’ll also answer some basic questions about the Inheritance Trilogy, for those readers who can’t be bothered to read reviews or summaries for themselves. (Yeah, I get a few of those, too. I don’t even know. But I might as well answer them all at once rather than waste my time doing it individually.)

But here’s where you come in. Like I said, I’m a busy girl — so let’s crowdsource this baby! I’ve mentioned what I’m planning to include, but you, dear readers, have a better idea than I ever could of what sorts of questions you’d like to see permanently enshrined in the FAQ. So please throw me your questions in the comments.

A few ground rules:

a) Only questions about the Inheritance Trilogy, please — no questions about the fantasy genre as a whole, or about me, and no questions about the forthcoming Dreamblood books. I don’t mind the personal questions, but that’s not the point of this FAQ. I love genre questions, but this FAQ can’t be a bajillion words long. And I’ll do an FAQ for Dreamblood when circumstances demand.
b) It’s OK if your question has already been answered in a blog post or interview that I’ve done. The whole point of an FAQ is that this is something frequently covered; I’m just trying to consolidate the information in one spot.
c) No, I’m not going to provide a detailed, annotated summary of The Kingdom of Gods. Quit asking.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll add all your questions to the FAQ, note, due to length considerations. And I won’t be answering the questions here, now; that will be done in the FAQ. But where the questions do indeed turn out to be ones I’ve had to answer several times, and when I manage to come up with an interesting summary answer, I’ll add ’em in.

So, FAQ me! And thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

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8 Responses »

  1. Greetings!

    I ran up on your book, The Broken Kingdoms at the public library the same week I decided to leap into the 21st century to begin blogging. Hence, my venture to your site/blogs.

    I told my partner that I was glad your book didn’t have the”African American” sticker on its binder and launched into a long tirade about this. As a schoolgirl in the mid-1970s I was grateful when my branch library in Detroit first created the Afro-American section of the library. It didn’t serve to ghettoize the literature but made people more aware of the presence of black authors’ works in the library. Over the decades I have felt a vibrational change in what the “African American Interest” label means in libraries and bookstores. It’s code for: NON-BLACK PEOPLE NEED NOT BROWSE FOR ANYTHING GOOD OVER HERE.
    I hate it! One of the great joys of being literate is the hunt, the search, for satisfying reads without concern for the race of the author. I read books by black authors, asian authors, latino authors, white authors, etc. (Only the african-american ones are segregated)

    I realize that you posted “Don’t Put My Book in the African American Section” 7 months ago, but I think you should have a bit about that in your FAQ.
    All best to you, Ms. Jemisin. After The Broken Kingdoms I will have to go back for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and be ready for the third book!

  2. Questions for the FAQ!

    1. On a scale of aluminum to zinc, how awesome is your series? (Objectively speaking, of course)

    1. How long did it take you to draw your awesome cover art? (that castle is amazing!)

    1. When will book 4 of the trilogy be coming out?

    but seriously,

    Q: When researching/planning this series, to what extent did you want to “tell a story” versus “set a great example for new models of gender and race characterization in mainstream fantasy literature”?

  3. OK, here’s a few from off the top of my head:

    – What kind of influences did you draw on while developing the world and characters? Did you base your gods on any real-world mythologies?

    – How are the 100K kingdoms like our own world, and more significantly, how are they different?

    – If humans were created in the gods’ image, how does that reflect the gods’ relationship with all the rest of the animal/plant/protozoan life in the world?

    – Why did you choose the protagonists/narrators that you did?

    – Almost all the action of the first two books takes place in the city of Sky/Shadow. Why did you choose to keep your characters and action in an enclosed space?

    – How does the completed trilogy differ from your original vision for the story?

  4. I don’t have any faq related comments, but did want to take the opportunity to tell you how much I loved these first two books, and how much I’m looking forward to the next. I’ve bought copies for my daughters (they loved them), persuaded friends to buy them (ditto)and will be bringing them to my book group next week as a recommended read. Best of luck with all your writing and that pesky full-time job.

  5. Wonderful books! I’m looking forward to #3 (hopefully in the near future!) I really enjoy that universe and I’m looking forward to spending more time in it!

  6. I very much enjoyed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and look forward to the sequels.

    My question is this: why 100,000 kingdoms? Why not 10,000 or even 1,000? Is there some significance to the number?

  7. Good afternoon… I first wanted to congratulations on your success with your first two novels. However, the remainder of my comment is not pleasant. I enjoyed Book 1. While not a narrative style I would normally prefer, the novel was fast paced and visually stimulating. Some characters intrigued me more than others, and the gods were beautifully depicted. Due to my enjoyment with Book 1, I purchased Book 2. I regret the money spent. Book 2 disappointed and frustrated me. As an author, you should be ashamed of yourself. I felt that the misery and bittersweet ending was only a desperate attempt to cull extra emotion from the reader – despite the fact that the emotions inspired were negative. The ending was sporadic, rushed in the extreme. The Book 1 characters seemed changed, rewritten personalities to suit the rising popularity of your novels. Yeine seemed nothing like Book 1, Sieh struck me as foreign, and Nahadoth seemed shallow and petty. The ending struck me as an “after thought”. Considering the tenor of Book 1 and the relatively happy ending, I felt confident in expecting the same or better from you in Book 2. I feel disgusted by the change in story line. I’m not sure I would be willing or able to read Book 3. You have broken a trust between author and reader and have made trusting your style and plot impossible. It was drama and sadness for the sake of controlling the reader and getting a reaction. You did not stay true to your characters. You did not stay true to your writing. Though I wish you success in your future books, I could not stay silent at the completion of your novel. I expected better. You should have given your readers, your customers, better.