Recent guesting about

Apologies again, folks, for not updating here much. Between my day job and my new trilogy deadlines, I don’t have a lot of free time for blogging. Still, I’ve done a little blogging and interviewing in order to promote the Dreamblood duology, so here’s a roundup of stuff I’ve said elsewhere, in no particular order.

“The Unexotic Exotic” at The Book Smugglers.

People who read these books may be able to identify with a few traits of each of these characters, but no one will match them all. And that’s fine — because in theory, readers can identify with any character who’s written well enough. In theory. We see the uglier truth in reality, however. We see that boys balk at reading books with girl protagonists. Publishers hesitate to put characters of color on book covers for fear white readers won’t buy them. Even those characters who make the cover are almost never fat, or queer, or old, or visibly disabled. There is a crisis of connection in English-language fiction, and it exists because we — speaking as a lifelong book lover here — have been conditioned to have trouble relating to people substantially different from ourselves.

Instead, at best, we exoticize. At worst, we hate.

This is what the Dreamblood books face. And although I really just want to write a good, exciting fantasy tale about ninja priests, I’d be stupid if I didn’t acknowledge this reality and design my worldbuilding accordingly.

Interview in the Book Smugglers’ monthly newsletter

The Dreamblood is my effort to write traditional epic fantasy, just to see if I could. Problem is, most modern epic fantasy bores me to tears! Too much of it feels to me like it originated as a D&D campaign, with stock characters who have to grind through a stock setting, a magic system that’s supposed to be logical but is really just complicated, and a very foregone conclusion. I would’ve gotten bored halfway through writing one of those. So I had to write the kind of traditional epic fantasy I could enjoy: with a setting that looked nothing like medieval Europe, characters who don’t fit the usual archetypes, and magic that owes less to 3D6 and more to social science and non-Western beliefs about the supernatural. My favorite epic fantasies all do this, as do my favorite ancient epics, so I tried to emulate those.

“Five Things I Now Know About Being a Professional Writer” at my agent’s blog

Sometimes it’s laughable to think of myself as powerful; unless they’re mega-bestsellers, writers are pretty much at the bottom of the hierarchy in the publishing world. But the fact remains, we have more influence than any individual reader. We have — and it’s hard for me to even say this word, because it still feels kind of egotistical to think this way — fans. And ultimately, if our work gets enough attention, we have the power to change the genre itself.

All reviews that I’ve seen so far of The Killing Moon are here. Lumped in a few of The Shadowed Sun, though there aren’t many of those yet. I’ll round them up later.

The Killing Moon made NPR’s summer reading list!

And I made Bookpage’s Ten Women to Watch in 2012!

Did two podcast interviews at Geek Girl Crafts and Reading and Writing Podcast.

OK, back to work for me!

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9 Responses »

  1. I got the Dreamblood Duology as a gift recently, and I’m halfway through the first one already. I’m really enjoying it so far and I’m glad I’ve discovered you as an author and look forward to reading other things by you in the future. I’ve been seeking out female authors recently — as a woman I’ve grown tired of wondering if the (heterosexually married, according to the book jacket) male author has ever met a woman before in his life.

    (So, how did the ancient Egyptians brush their teeth? Did they use twigs from that one tree whose name I can’t remember? Or did they have a different method?)

  2. I really don’t have much to add other than saying I love your work and I’m glad you’re getting the recognition you deserve. So many fantasy novels are dry, black and white, good versus evil, blah, blah, blah that it is so refreshing to read a story and not know how it will work out. Keep up the good work.

  3. I’m one of your fans!
    I enjoy your work, and I hope you keep writing!
    :)

  4. I really enjoyed the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms triology and was excited to see (at the end of The Kingdom of Gods) that you had another triology coming out. We were at the beach when I finished, so when we were in the bookstore I was SO excited to see your two new books already out! I’m beginning The Killing Moon this week. I noticed that the first two came out very close together. Any estimates on when the last one will be done? I know you are very busy!!!

    As an avid reader of fantasy and science-fiction books, I really enjoyed your work and the way you portrayed your characters. Thanks!

  5. Sorry! I misread that, I guess you are working on a triology now that is not part of Dreamblood. Yay! :) I’m excited!

  6. If you don’t mind me asking (as I strongly suspect you’ve been asked this in abundance), what are some epic fantasy that you enjoyed? Some non-D&D, non-black-and-white ones you enjoyed. I’d love to add them to my reading/thinking about lists.

  7. Anonymous,

    They wiped them clean with a rag or strip of papyrus. :)

  8. Carrie,

    There are only two books in the Dreamblood. :) It’s a duology, not a trilogy!

  9. Fuuma,

    I have indeed been asked this many, many times, and I tend to give different answers every time just to keep myself from getting bored. If you listen to/look at a few of the interviews I’ve done, you should get plenty of suggestions. :) (Whoa, I need to update that list; I’ve done about 5 more since.)

Dreamblood Book One:

The Killing Moon

The Killing Moon

Read Sample Chapter 1


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