meteordust: (kujaku)
Thoughts.

Spoilers )

Visitor

Jun. 6th, 2016 11:52 pm
meteordust: (kujaku)
The latest and seventeenth (!) book in CJ Cherryh's Foreigner series.

Spoilers )
meteordust: (kujaku)
A couple of weeks ago, I visited Galaxy Bookshop for CS Pacat's talk and signing for Kings Rising. I wish I had taken notes during it, but this is what I could recall after, from my imperfect memory.

* The three short stories that follow the books?
- The first is about Jord and Aimeric, called "Green But For a Season". It's from Jord's POV, set during Prince's Gambit. Interesting to see Damen through other POVs.
- The second is about Damen and Laurent, and will be similar to Chapter 19 and 1/2. (Which is sadly not included in my print edition.)
- The third can't be revealed yet.

* Commercial publishing versus online publishing? If she had been writing for commercial publication to start with, she would not have written this book. "The gatekeeping would have started in my own mind." Between online publishing and self-publishing, she sought out commercial publishers, but was told there was no market for it. Now, it's on the USA Today bestseller list.

* Who is harder to write? Damen. He's very different to herself. Also, Laurent drops conversational bombshells, but Damen has to come up with rejoinders. That's why in Book 1, there's lots of "Damen was silent" - often after she had struggled to come up with a response, for hours or days. "Living with Laurent is difficult. Being Laurent is easy."

* Which character came first? Damen came first. He arrived fully formed, a heroic archetype. He's put into a situation where he's powerless, and his abilities can't help him, so he has to find another way.

* Influences?

1. Books
- Dorothy Dunnett: control of plot, unwritten text, mastery of set pieces.
- Iris Murdoch: 30 books she loves, 30 no.

2. Online spaces - fanfiction, web comics, and web serials.

3. Media in Japan - better at epics than Western media, especially use of archetypes - individual humans with the power of archetypes behind them. Also, less inhibited, from the unconscious - that's very appealing. (Which was one of the most elegant ways to say "iddy as hell" that I've heard.)

* In Kings Rising, Nikandros is like how Damen used to be - was this intentional? There was a need for Damen to show how much he has changed. To go through culture shock. She was in Japan for six years, and after she came back to Australia, it took two years to adjust again.

* What was the most fun to write? Lots of Kings Rising, like the hijinks at the border, and the okton. Inventing a sport was great fun - now she knows how JK Rowling feels, and why she put Quidditch in every book.

* The hardest scene to write? The first sex scene. Usually, sex scenes are about catharsis, but the romance and action plots still needed to hold tension, so it needed both catharsis and tension. Also, Laurent himself was still tense in the scene. Every word mattered to get right, or it would all blow up. It took five months to write.

* Will there be more female characters in her new work? It was a conscious decision for Captive Prince to have a mostly male cast, for particular reasons. If she had to choose again, now - she'd choose the same, but she'd be unhappy to do it. It's important to question it, and to critically examine it. She loved Jokaste and the Vaskian women. Her new work, a YA project, will have more female characters.

* Re "Does Laurent Know"? - when did she know the answer to this question? From the beginning. She had to, to write it.

* Changes along the way? Originally, Book 1 was planned to be more sensual and sexual than it was. But Damen was not into that, and would have been very violent if placed into that situation, so that changed. Also, the romance was much more slow burn that originally planned, so the way it was paced against the plot had to be adjusted.

* Writing without the online community? The third novel was a lonely process. Writing depletes you - you're making something out of yourself, and need to replenish when you're empty. Feedback was this. Alternative strategies she found:

1. Writing group - for talking about a work's progress, rather than workshopping.

2. Blue sky writing - brainstorming and writing down everything that would be cool to include, eg sharing a horse and riding pillion.

3. Routines.
meteordust: (kujaku)
YAY!!!

(Guess what I'm doing the rest of today.)

Kings Rising book
meteordust: (kujaku)
In 2014, I read 86 books (half of which were Agatha Christie):

68 were fiction
18 were non-fiction
62 were novels
5 were collections
1 was an anthology
58 were by authors I had read before
28 were by authors I had never read before
6 were first novels in a series
8 were other novels in a series

Highlights )
meteordust: (kujaku)
In April, Galaxy Bookshop hosted a signing for Captive Prince by CS Pacat. For years, I've been kind of holding off starting the series till it was done, but it's looking very close to it now, and it seemed like a good time to go pick up a copy of the first book.

It turned out to be more than just a signing - CS Pacat gave a talk about the process of writing and publishing the series, gave a reading from an early chapter (the bathhouse scene!), and did a Q&A session.

* How to descibe the story? A friend suggested, "It's about princes in love!" So next time she had to pitch it, she said, "It's about princes in love!" The response was, "That's great! Who are they in love with?"

* She wrote 20,000 words of a draft that wasn't working and that she had to discard. In that first draft, she had taken pains to make Laurent likeable. But she realised that no, he actually had to start off being unlikeable. Still, when readers respond, "Oh, I'm hating him so much!" part of her thinks, "Noo..."

* She drew on her own experiences of attending a school that was very different from her suburb, for the idea of moving into a foreign world and not quite belonging, but also not able to go home again.

* Getting the book deal and writing the third book in one unit allowed her the luxury of going back and fixing things to make the plot work. If she had written it as a serial, she almost certainly would have hit a point where she got stuck and was unable to continue.

* Ways that writing a serial influences the story:
- You learn that the things you feel most vulnerable writing about are what readers respond most strongly to.
- Sometimes readers will develop a passionate caring for a minor character, and then you might reconsider their importance.

Also, spotted in the city, posters I never expected to see )
meteordust: (kujaku)
In 2013, I read 58 books:

42 were fiction
16 were non-fiction
42 were novels
0 were collections
0 were anthologies
20 were by authors I had read before
22 were by authors I had never read before
8 were first novels in a series
14 were other novels in a series

Highlights )

Disappointments )

This was also the year of:

* getting into romance (Jennifer Crusie's Strange Bedfellows and Bet Me, Lisa Kleypas's Friday Harbor and Travis series)

* getting back into Sara Paretsky (Fire Sale, Hardball and Body Work)

* getting back into Agatha Christie (finally reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and discovering the Miss Marple books)
meteordust: (kujaku)
I know, almost halfway through the year, but better late than never.

In 2012, I read 35 books:

22 were fiction
13 were non-fiction
7 were novels
2 were collections
0 were anthologies
15 were by authors I had read before
20 were by authors I had never read before
2 were first novels in a series
7 were other novels in a series

Highlights )
meteordust: (Default)
I loved Friday's Child, and I adored Cotillion, but now after reading The Foundling, I don't know if I'll ever find any other Georgette Heyer novel that can replace it in my heart.

Oh, *Gilly*.

The sweetest and kindest young man ever, and also the Duke of Sale. Orphaned from birth, and sickly in childhood, he has been protected all his life by his stern uncle and devoted servants. Stifled by their ceaseless concern, but too gentle to hurt their feelings, he dreams of life as plain Mr Dash of Nowhere in Particular.

When his cousin is blackmailed, Gilly is inspired to take on the challenge of solving the problem, going incognito, and having the first adventure of his life.

(And yeah, I've nominated the fandom for Yuletide.)
meteordust: (Default)
In 2011, I read 21 books:

9 were fiction
12 were non-fiction
7 were novels
0 were collections
2 were anthologies
9 were by authors I had read before
12 were by authors I had never read before
1 were first novels in a series
3 were other novels in a series

Highlights )
meteordust: (Default)
In 2010, I read 30 books:

17 were fiction
11 were non-fiction
14 were novels
3 were collections
0 were anthologies
13 were by authors I had read before
17 were by authors I had never read before
0 were first novels in a series
5 were other novels in a series

Highlights )

Disappointments )
meteordust: (Default)
Gakked from [livejournal.com profile] issen4:

SO, if you start with Diana Comet's Periodic Table of Women in Science Fiction (PDF) from Sandra McDonald's blog. And then you list them out in no particular order, so you have 117 women that are considered important in the SF field.

NOW, bold the ones you own books of, italicise the women you've read something of (short stories count) and star (*) those you've never heard of.

The list )
meteordust: (Default)
In 2009, I read 27 books:

20 were fiction
7 were non-fiction
18 were novels
2 were collections
0 were an anthology
14 were by authors I had read before
13 were by authors I had never read before
3 were first novels in a series
7 were other novels in a series

Highlights )
meteordust: (Default)
In 2008, I read 30 books:

24 were fiction
6 were non-fiction
21 were novels
2 were collections
1 was an anthology
17 were by authors I had read before
13 were by authors I had never read before
2 were first novels in a series
9 were other novels in a series

Highlights )

Surprise

Feb. 13th, 2009 11:22 pm
meteordust: (Default)
It was literally a minute to seven, and I was on my way out of Kinokuniya, when I glanced aside at the display rack by the door. DEXTER BY DESIGN, the cover said, and I had to stop and think about whether that was the new one, because the titles can be hard to keep straight, all those Ds everywhere. But a glance at the blurb confirmed it, and my inner voice did an "eeeee!" because I'd have sworn it wasn't due out for another month or two. I picked up a copy and marched back in, plunking my cash on the counter just before it closed.

Dexter was not actually in my designs for this weekend - I'm only halfway through Cherryh's Regenesis, and I have so much else to do - but. Shiny. I love the Orion trade editions, especially the spot gloss on the matte covers, and eeeee! New Dexter!

Dexter by Design
meteordust: (Default)
In 2007, I read 53 books:

41 were fiction
12 were non-fiction
34 were novels
4 were collections
3 were anthologies
29 were by authors I had read before
24 were by authors I had never read before
5 were first novels in a series
20 were other novels in a series

Highlights )

Recommendations )
meteordust: (winchesters)
What I find fascinating about the reaction to Nevermore, the first Supernatural tie-in novel, is that the fans don't ask, "Is it as good as the series?" but "Is it as good as the fanfic?" Which says much about the calibre of the writing in this fandom.

Musings )
meteordust: (Default)
The Outsiders is one of my ten desert island books. I first read it when I was a little younger than Ponyboy, who was and always will be fourteen. I adored him and Sodapop and Darry, wanted to be part of a gang as close as the one they were with Johnny and Dally and Two-Bit and Steve.

The other day I saw a new book with S E Hinton's name on the cover, and I picked it up. Some of Tim's Stories is divided into two parts: the first is a collection of interconnected short stories about two cousins whose lives are intertwined; the second is a series of interviews with the author. The stories are pretty damn good, and the interviews contain lots of fascinating stuff I never knew. Like how the original title for The Outsiders was Different Sunsets, or how she's written a screenplay for a paranormal western that she's going to novelise if it doesn't get made, or how the 2006 DVD release of The Outsiders: The Complete Novel restores twenty minutes of deleted footage. (Must get!)

On sequels and fanfic:

"I felt a lot of pressure to write a sequel. I still do feel a lot of pressure to write a sequel. If you go to fanfiction.net, there are more than two thousand Outsider stories, and a lot of them are sequels. I'm fine with fanfiction.net if that helps kids get the feel of writing, but to me The Outsiders stands where it is. I ended it at the right place. I'm not sixteen, no matter how well I remember being that age. I could not capture that moment again. But I may write a sequel and put it in my safety-deposit box to be opened after my death, just to keep another writer from doing a sequel after the copyright expires. As much as I don't mind fanfiction.net, I'm uncomfortable with the thought of somebody else seriously messing with my characters."

Yeah. When a book becomes an icon, no sequel can do it justice. Especially for a story so wrapped up in my own youth - it's like a faded photo, preserving a moment in time. I just want to imagine Ponyboy, forever, stepping out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, thinking of Paul Newman and a ride home...
meteordust: (Default)
Spoilers )

Oh. Wow.

Jul. 22nd, 2007 10:44 pm
meteordust: (Default)
I think we lucked out in this timezone - a 9 AM local release for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows means being able to wake up refreshed and spend the whole day reading, which basically sums up my yesterday.

I thought about posting something last night, after I finished, but my head was still too full.

No spoilers, just reactions, but cut for those who care about these things )

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