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bear by san

March 2017



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sf doctor FANtastic!

"The most satisfying part is when Harry Potter whacks Tony Soprano."

Questions, part one:

In "Dog and Crow" are you planning to expand the legend that Matthias Corvinus descended from the Fae that had passed through the region?

Well, it's very up in the air right now whether I'll get to write any more Promethean Age books, as I currently do not have a publisher for them. In some ways, this is kind of an immediate relief, as I had managed to get myself pretty overcommitted with a schedule requiring three novels a year. So right now, my focus is on the Jacob's Ladder and Edda of Burdens books.

However, I should have the first three Eddas books put to bed by mid-2009, and the last Jacob's Ladder book completed by the end of 2009 (I hope), which will free me up to decide what I'm doing next. At that point, economics and creative impulse will have to be taken into account--it's possible there will be more Eddas books; it's a rich world, and there's a lot to recommend that course. I may also try to continue the Promethean Age series. I have book five written in a complete draft. It needs some revision, but it's ready to go. And I have book six started.

All of which backstory leads me to say, the short answer to your question is maybe. I haven't started working on Dog and Crow yet, though I have done a fair amount of preliminary research, and Matthias Hunyadi "Corvinus" is a fascinating fellow. One thing I do know about the book is that if it does get written, the title characters are, of course, Corvinus himself, and Stephen Bathory (Báthory István--that's Stephen Bathory the Fifth, for those of you playing the home game).  And of course his brother Nicolaus. (Bathorys and Hunyadis coming out my ears, yo) will also have a role. 

I also know that it will be a book about the realities of living with a Dragon Prince, and the legacy of a Dragon Prince.

Sarah says you wrote the sex in ACtW, and you say she did. Emma says you wrote the torture in Refining Fire, and you say she did.

So tell us, truly--Emma wrote the sex, and Sarah wrote the torture, right?

God, I hope there was no sex in Refining Fire. If there was, please don't tell me.

When you thought of the first Promethean Age story, did it come with the whole sekrit history attached? Did you realize it was going to have the great big cool panorama effect it's developing?

Well, no.

Okay, I started working on Blood and Iron when I was in high school. And originally, I thought what I had was three graphic novels, which were titled, in sequence, Shadowhand, A Glass of Rain, and The Wolf and the Heather.

And then this guy named Matt Wagner published a little something entitled Mage, I'm sure you've never heard of it. *g* And I realized that even if I found an artist--always a sticking point!--I would be treading in some well-work footsteps.

So I began to revision Shadowhand as a novel. The book went through multiple rewrites, many of them drastic, to reach its final form, and along the way had about four titles. (My agent and I still refer to it as "Bridge" when we forget ourselves, from the third of those--Bridge of Blood & Iron. Eventually, the shortened form prevailed.) The published novel includes the plots of the original Shadowhand and The Wolf and the Heather. A Glass of Rain wound up being much of the foundation for Whiskey and Water.

Somewhere along the way, what I realized was that I didn't have just a nice little urban fantasy that owed and enormous debt of gratitude to (ahem) Emma Bull's War for the Oaks and Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, but a secret history. It was about the time that I figured out the stuff about the Dragon Princes and the Prometheus Club, actually, which was what gave the book a sense of scope.

Initially, back in the day, there was just the Seeker and the Merlin and the Kelpie and the Wolf and the Dragon and the Queen, you see, and random other characters. The Merlin was male, and much younger--an engineering student rather than a geology professor. Matthew's role was filled by a vampire with some long-term psychological issues about Merlins, and he actually ties in nicely to the whole Dragon Prince mythology due to his origins. The funny thing is, I came up with him before the Dragon Prince thing clicked. 

If I ever get to write Patience and Fortitude, you'll get to meet him; his (current) name is Daniel Tescher, and he lives on Joy Street on Beacon Hill in Boston. There's also a drag queen werewolf... and of course the returning characters.

Anyway, to answer the actual question, once I had the Dragon Prince thing, it was obvious that I was writing a secret history, and I had to figure out who they were. I had the Pendragon, of course, and Vlad Dracula--who I had already extensively researched for other reasons. And then I went scouring history for a couple more that would make sense, around the right time periods to have one showing up every five hundred years, and found my bloody-minded folk heroes that way. And that gave me, well, two thousand years of history to talk about. Which is room for a lot of books.

I notice that your prose style is often very connotative (I guess that's the word), as opposed to always being completely concrete. Is this a conscious decision or just the way you write?

Hmm. I'm not sure I understand the question. Connotative in this case could mean, I suppose, allusive? In other words, I tend to demonstrate things by indirection rather than stating them outright?

In answer, it's just the way my brain works. I was a poet for years before I started being able to write prose fiction, and it's much easier for me to think in parallel than is sequence. The hardest thing for me to learn as a writer is to be concrete and linear, because for me so much of the important part of the story is the thematic argument. Which is probably why I often find a lot of popular fiction very flat and unrewarding. Most people seem to prefer linearity.

Blood and Iron is the book that most closely reflects the way my brain works, and even that, I've been over thirteen times (at least) in an attempt to make it as transparent as possible. The stories that really feel like me to me, as opposed to me translated for people who are not me, are--let's see. "L'esprit d'escalier: not a play in one act" which is in my collection The Chains that you Refuse, and which I really ought to webify one of these days. "Sonny Liston Takes The Fall" (in The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy) is a perfect example of how I generally sense and process information. That's the way I write when I'm not trying to make myself understood and speak a common language.

Of course, my best-received stories (such as "Tideline" and "Two Dreams on Trains") are often very linear. But that's because I work to make them that way, and force them to be as concrete as possible. Because that's where craftsmanship comes in, I guess.

How did you come up with the story "Tideline"? Does it belong to any of the universes your other stories are in? (As a side note: The end kind of almost made me cry a little. Maybe >.>)

Well, thank you.

No, "Tideline" stands entirely on its own, as far as I know. Maybe someday I will find a connection or write another story in that setting, but I have nothing else right now.

As for where it came from--the piece was inspired by a necklace made by Elise Matthesen, our own Lioness. The necklace is entitled "Sinner in the Hands of a Mildly Startled Buddha," and you may see a picture of it attacking me in the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden here, taked by batwrangler.

Is there anything mythological-y in the Promethian Age books that come just from your head as opposed to being an allusion to another myth (the references are making me geek out every few pages, btdubs).

The Dragon Princes are all mine. Well, not the actual Dragon Princes. but the idea of Dragon Princes.

Who is your favorite character in Shadow Unit? To write, and in general (if there's a difference).

Oh, god, I love 'em all. I have to say, though, that Brady and Todd will walk away with any damned scene you let them near.

Where'd you get that cool userpic with the cat in the CPU? And can I steal it? :D

It's a repurposed LOLcat. And sure. *g*

You can ask a question here.


And then this guy named Matt Wagner published a little something entitled Mage, I'm sure you've never heard of it


I could swear I used to own copies of those, but I'm never able to find them when I want to re-read them.
Funny enough, I actually know where the LOLcat you got that icon came from--the cat's name is Klimpen, and he's the cat of the founder of an online genre art gallery, Elfwood. Here is the original picture.

I was a community and staff member there for a long time, an even longer time ago, which is why I know such pointless trivia. *g*
These are great questions, and very interesting answers. I'm trying to figure out who we have to sacrifice to in order to get those Promethean books onto a publishing schedule at some point.

Not question-related: Wow, does that necklace ever bring out your eyes. Fabulous shot, too!
Thank you, for answering about Matthias Corvinus.

"Chill" is the book I can't wait to read, so I'm glad it's next in the slot. I also love the "Promethan Age" books, and I've been to Budapest recently and seen the dungeon where Matthias had kept the Dragon Prince inprisoned. Although I was born in Budapest and came here when I was twelve, I'm sure you know more about the history than I do.

I hope you will write all of them.
Oh, and according to one legend, Matthias Hunyadi had six fingers on each hand.
4. Yeah, that's what I meant. And yeah, I find that I end up reading your stuff with my poetry brain turned on. Especially when I read the story "The Chains That You Refuse" I had to stop almost every line and go "....oh, okay," and then keep reading.

7. I love Brady! And I could tell when I read "Knock on Coffins" that you seemed to have it easiest when you were writing with either him or Todd. It was nice, because I don't think I saw anything from their POV in "Breathe."
Oh, they're not particularly easier than any of the others.

They're just hams.

(Brady has no POV in KoC, does he? It's Hafidha and Todd and one scene from Chaz's POV?)
I swore he did have one...Maybe it was in Dexterity. I read those two fairly close together. I do know that he was featured more prominantly in KoC--maybe that's what caught my attention.
I believe he has POV in both Breathe and Dexterity, yes.
(wow, that was fast)

Yeah, that was probably it.
Oh, and I lied. Brady has one very brief POV in KoC, and Falkner has a slightly longer one.
I still sort of hope that Belvedere will try to find the surviving family members (if there are any) of Chalcedony war buddies, and trying to give them the appropriate necklace and telling them the stories that Chalcedony told him about her comrades... and their reaction... - after all he HAS been sent on errantry!

.. ah well... my greedy inner child is going "awww, just tell a bit mooooar, pleaaaaaaaaaase"

I already told you that I was in tears at the end ^^
Oh and I know own a Lioness pendant, due to you ^^. "The Voyage" ended up safely in Germany.
Please excuse the huge amount of spelling mistakes in both posts. I moved a bookshelf and my pc today.

Not that this has to do with anything.
Well, the thing is, if that's the story you want, that's what happens. *g* That's the lovely thing about open endings.
yes, but I can't imagine it so well on my own *puppy eyes*