22.) I was just curious as to (very loosely) how One-Eyed Jack fits with the Promethean universe. Will we be seeing familiar characters?
One-Eyed Jack & the Suicide King is set in Las Vegas (mostly) in 1964 and 2002. That puts the present-day narrative of the book in between Blood & Iron (set in 1997) and Whiskey & Water (set in 2004).
There's one character in it who will be familiar to novel series readers (He's in Whiskey & Water.)
Three others, Tribute, Jackie, and Stewart, will be familiar to readers of my short stories, as some or all of them appear in each "House of the Rising Sun" (which is actually a chapter from OEJ), "Sonny Liston Takes the Fall," "One-Eyed Jack and the Suicide King" (also a chapter from OEJ), and "King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree," which will be forthcoming in an Ellen Datlow anthology in the not-too-distant future.
I wanted to get Pinky Gilman and Maria Delprado into it (yes, that is a Promethean Age story), but the opportunity for legal action just never presented itself.
OEJ, essentially, expands the Promethean Age universe a lot, and shows some of the stuff that goes on that has nothing to do with Faerie. The further adventures of the New York City crowd will be chronicalled in Patience & Fortitude... if I ever sell it.
23.) How is your acoustic guitar practice coming along? Do you have any long-term goals in mind for it -- say, playing a gig with </a></b></a>coffeeem? Are you interested in learning the electric guitar or any other instruments? Do you wish you'd done some part of it different?
I suck, and I don't practice enough, but I really like doing it. I have had the guitar out this week, though, so I don't suck as much as I have been sucking. I need to rebuild my calluses again. Le sigh. No long-term goals. No plans to learn any other instrument, though my dad will frown at me if I don't at least take a crack at the banjo he gave me one of these years.
Yeah, I wish I'd started when I was five.
24.) Since you pointed out that your questions are tending toward your processes instead of your work -- what was your process for writing "Sonny Liston Takes The Fall"? What are you most proud of about it?
I got the idea for it, did a ton of research, put John Gorka's "Dream Street" and Mark Knopfler's "A Song for Sonny Liston" on repeat, and wrote the bastard. Then I put it up on the Online Writing Workshop, got some excellent crits, revised it a bunch, and sent it out to find a home.
It's one of the ones that I'm happiest with, because it's one of the ones that reflects my own uninterpreted thought process best. When I'm not running it through filters for the deductive folks, adding transitions and so on, that is how my brain works. That story feels right to me, not as if I have translated myself into another language but as if I managed to get what was in my head on the page.
The story shows to bridge the gaps in the narrative, and sort of hangs there shimmering and elusive--and hopefully, eventually, satisfying.
It's my favorite of all my work. And Barry Malzberg once told me he liked it, which may be the high point of my career to date.
25.) Just for fun -- let's say your friend the film director makes a short film of "Mr. Earbrass Writes a Novel." Whom do you cast as Mr. Earbrass? If they use a voice-over narrator, whom do you cast as the narrator? Or does the whole project fill you with a vast, vast reluctance?
Mmmm. The Unstrung Harp--the only true book on the life of a writer. I think in my head I hear it read aloud in Boris Karloff's voice. And Steve Buscemi or John Malkovich would make a wonderful Earbrass.
26.) Please, please, please, for the love of God -- does it get easier to sit down and make yourself write? Or at least easier to make the words come out once you're done procrastinating?
I'm so terribly sorry. In my experience, it gets harder. On both counts.
27.) Is there going to be a follow-up to "Seven for a Secret"?
Well, Bill bought another novella from me, so I suspect I have to write one. It won't be an immediate sequel, though. I'm always, as a writer, more interested in the choices than the explosions.
28.) How do you recommend going about getting more of a grounding in critical thinking about literature, particularly genre literature, from the perspective of a writer?
In one's copious spare time, read critcism. I recommend starting with Joanna Russ.
29.) You've said how much you hate/hated writing Blood and Iron, which makes me all the more curious--what was your favorite scene?
Hmm. Either the bit in the cave with Mist, or the one at the edge of the loch with Whiskey. Though Morgan steals any scene you give her.
30.) I'm doing a lot of assuming here, but based on your writing and whose character LJ you manage, I've noticed Chaz seems to be your favorite SU character, at least to write. What is it that draws you to him? Is he your favorite to read as well? Any SU characters that won't, for the life of you, ever talk?
Your assumptions about who manages whom's character livejournal is not founded in fact. *g* Emma and I both do all the character journals.
Sometimes, both of us are playing all the characters simultaneously in the same comment threads.
I contemplate bribing Leah with cookies to come help out when she's a little more settled in as staff, but I suspect, like a sane person, she'll resist. They may have to be really good cookies.
Actually, of the lot of them, I think Todd is my favorite character, both to read about and to write. (That sort of seems to be the consensus, really: Todd is a gas. He writes himself--almost literally.)
But secondary characters are almost always more fun than protagonists. Protagonists get so much hell. And Todd is definitely in somebody else's movie, here. But he's totally okay with that.
31) Was season 1 always going to end with the idea for Refining Fire? Were there any very early ideas for the series as a whole that were eventually scrapped or developed into something completely different? (Different character names, different characters, &c).
Emma and Will did almost all the character development work before Sarah and I came on board. I think I named Daphne, and I seem to recall that Falkner was originally a male character before we decided, screw it, we are not really the FBI, we can have as many girls as we want.
Oh, and Chaz had a pet penguin.
Okay, no, he really didn't.
Refining Fire was the first thing we wrote. It wasn't the first thing we finished: Sarah got "Dexterity" done while we were working on it. So yeah, it was a goal we were always writing towards. I campaigned heavily for the real-time release schedule, as I recall, and probably my cocreators wanted to drown me in a hat over it.
32.) I remember hearing something, I think from EBull, about you either writing fanfiction or entertaining the idea. For which "fandoms" would you write/have you written?
Tah dah! You can find all my fanfiction here. I'm the weirdo who didn't start writing fanfic until she was a published author. Well, I think I wrote some Man from UNCLE and Knight Rider treatments longhand in my notebooks as a kid, but it wasn't anything like 'zine or internet fanfic in that I had no idea anybody else was doing it, I actively avoided showing it to anyone, and at the time I was thinking of it in terms of students copying masters to learn the craft.
Yeah, I was a weird, intense kid with no friends. Why do you ask?