An Interview with Mike, Linda & Louise Carey(0)
by Rebekah Lunt
When I finished the last page of The City of Silk and Steel, and started to think about the review I would write, (which can be seen HERE) I quickly started to become distracted. I loved the book and it had been a very satisfying read, but once I was outside of it again, I began to wonder about its creation and the logistics of writing together with two other authors. As much as I was interested in the creation and foundations of the story, I became curious about the experience of creating it and working together to achieve such a seamless chorus of voices and tales.
So, it was with great pleasure that I was able to interview the writers of the book, Mike, Linda and Louise Carey, and I hope that the questions and answers therein will enable you to enjoy and engage with the book even more than previously.
N.B. Some of the information contained within the questions and answers might be considered by some to be spoilers, so if you haven’t already read the book then read on at your own risk…
I am aware that Mike and Louise have written together previously but what inspired you to write together as a unit of three?
Mike: It just sort of came together that way, with nothing so grand or glorious as a plan. I came up with an idea, which was the seed for what became Seraglio/City, and I pitched it – but I pitched it as a comic book series, and it was very different back then from what it would eventually turn into. Prince Jamal was the main protagonist! Anyway, I couldn’t get any interest in it as a comic book, and eventually I dropped it into the Basket of Dead Ideas. Then one night the three of us had a conversation about the 1001 Nights, and what we loved and hated about it, and somehow in the course of that conversation Seraglio got resurrected and dusted off. We decided to write it together, and to approach it from a very different perspective. And the inspiration, if I can call it that, was to use the Arabian Nights Entertainment as a formal model – to borrow its radical shifts in style and content, its digressions, its nested stories. But we would do it entirely (or almost entirely) from the perspective of the female characters. Because what bugged us about the Arabian Nights, even allowing that Scheherazade is a somewhat empowered heroine, was the sexism. There’s a lot of stuff in there about the unfaithfulness of women and there are a lot of bad women who get punished. We wanted to write a homage that would also be a riposte.
What drew you to this particular sub-category of the fantasy genre?
Lou: I don’t think we really approached it with the sub-genre in mind. We’re all fascinated by stories, the ways in which they are told and how they interact with and fragment reality, and the Arabian Nights style structure of the book allowed us to explore this in some interesting ways.
Lin: Partly it was the huge scope of the Arabian Nights stories. In modern terms, they actually range over multiple genres: there’s romance, horror, adventure, even a whodunit, where two men confess to the same murder. We loved the idea of having that whole range to draw on. Then there was the chance to take on the djinni (or jinn as they’re called in some versions): terrifying, totally arbitrary creatures who could equally easily grant your dearest wish or reduce you to a smear on the ground. And just a bit, I suspect, it was the visuals. Mike and I both grew up with Arabian Nights picture books: no group of stories have been so gorgeously drawn by so many great illustrators. Vast desert sands, jewelled turbans, rocs and ifrits and the aforementioned jinn… So when the idea came up, we could visualise it straightaway.
Did you each have specific characters or voices that were more ‘yours’ than the others?
Mike: Oh yeah! Very much so. Once we had our three leads – Gursoon, Rem and Zuleika – it was immediately obvious that each of us had a favourite. Lou created Rem, and always had a very clear idea of who she was and where she was coming from. Lin liked Gursoon, the wily elder statewoman, and I wanted to write Zuleika. Yeah, I know. To hell with subtlety. I was tickled by the idea of this concubine who’s also a death machine. But also I had what I thought was a great idea for her backstory and I wanted to be the one who got to write her origin, as it were. So for those three, it was sort of a case of one of the three of us taking the lead and defining the territory. Other characters evolved in a more haphazard way. Anwar Das wasn’t even a named character in the original outline. He just happened, and once we had him we decided to make full use of him.
Lou: ‘My’ character was Rem. Although dad wrote her narrative sequences, The Tale of the Librarian of Bessa (Rem’s backstory) was mine. I think I related to her the most because, like her, I spend a lot of my time in very old libraries late at night (Oxford is great for that sort of thing).
What were the challenges of writing a multi-charactered, multi-layered, multi-storied text as a team of three? Did any of the struggles of the women to cohere as a group derive from any of the issues you faced together?
Mike: No, I don’t think our art was imitating life in any significant way. But it was a more exacting process than writing alone, certainly. Writing always includes an element of triangulation, for me. You have a clear sense of some things, a much vaguer sense of others – and for the vague ones, things will tend to get clearer as you approach them. So you reach a certain point and you finally know how this or that beat will play out. And then you go back and harmonise all the stuff that’s behind you, so it fits together smoothly. But if you’re collaborating, it can never be that simple. You can’t mess with your co-writers’ beats, so every new insight leads to a summit conference and a new version of the plan.
Speaking of the struggles of the women – the harem which grows into a city – I found this aspect to be a really satisfying examination of the possibilities of a feminist/womanist type of utopia. I really enjoyed the realism within the fantasy, and that nothing was simple and often required significant sacrifice – even to the point that whilst utopia was not necessarily maintained (or achieved in some instances) each story and character achieved its own appropriate completion and didn’t result in complete entropy or dystopia. Is the woman-centred aspect of the story something you intended?
Lin: Very definitely. The Arabian Nights inspired us both in terms of setting and in the structure: the multiple-stories approach worked well for us, allowing for a lot of self-defined tales within the larger narrative so that we didn’t have to meet up and harmonise every single chapter. But the stories in the Arabian Nights are mostly male-centred, with women seen as rescue-fodder or rewards for the heroes. And (as Mike’s said), the ones that show women with a bit more agency are often downright misogynistic: the woman uses her power to cheat on her man or betray him. So a huge focus in this story was the question: what would all these women do if they were set free from the men completely? What would they want for themselves?
There have been historical “City of Women” stories before: the oldest one I know of was by the medieval writer Christine de Pisan, and there was also a Country of Women created by the fabulous Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, in the 17th century. Both of those showed the women running a rational, peaceful society, each living very much by the values of their own age. In our case we pretty much agreed on what our utopia would look like (eg it would still have men in it, just not running everything; and plumbing and nursery schools would be more important than palaces of justice). But as soon as you start thinking about how you might really build a utopia, you come up against the real-life problems you’d face, and the fact that you have to keep on working endlessly to maintain what you’ve built. This was a fantasy, so we allowed our women to achieve their utopia and to enjoy it for a while.
Lou: From the very beginning, I was drawn to the story by its strong female characters and reversal of patriarchal conventions. Initially, though, our cast of main characters was much smaller. In the earlier stages of planning, the only characters we had really fleshed out among the women of the harem were Rem, Zuleika and Gursoon. It was mum who first began developing the other women, like Farhat and Umayma, into characters, and we soon realised that this large cast was indispensable for conveying a sense of scale, of the growth of an entire city. I think this was when the novel really started to take off, and one of my favourite parts of the writing process was coming up with the back-stories and characters of all the women, trying to imagine how they had joined the harem, and why each one would decide to join in with the attempt to retake the city.
Did you find it difficult to keep the voices authentic?
Mike: I’m not sure what authentic means in this instance. We were writing in a modern idiom, but with shout-outs to more archaic forms of language, in an attempt to pastiche nineteenth century English translations of a text that had been compiled over centuries from folktales amassed in Arabia, India, Persia and probably half a dozen other countries. The 1001 Nights was already a palimpsest, and the time it referred to was a semi-mythical one, so it felt like it was enough to capture the flavour.
We did take voice very seriously, and we probably spent more time on that one thing than on anything else. We tried out several different approaches, one of which was a much more faithful copying of the narrative voice from the Richard Burton translation. But it really didn’t fly. We needed something that would feel like that but would be a bit lighter on its feet. And the fact that Rem stands out of her time and looks directly at the modern reader, speaking to us partly as a contemporary, enabled us to have our cake and eat it.
Were there any issues of cultural belonging or ‘appropriate’ respect for a culture to which none of you belong? Or did you find that the cultural inheritance of One Thousand and One Nights has allowed this literary context (ancient eastern cultures) to become a substitute cradle for this genre? I am thinking of the effect the Grimms and the Shakespeares of the western world have had on our literature and comparing that to the effect the One Thousand and One Nights had on not just the eastern world but on ours too so that the context of The City of Silk and Steel is as familiar as gingerbread houses in the woods and witches gathered round a cauldron awaiting a king-to-be.
Mike: Well, indeed – and see previous answer. We were writing within a cultural tradition, but it’s a tradition that, by the time it reaches us, is at least twice removed from its own roots. The original core text, the Alf Layla, is eighth or ninth century. It probably originated in Persia, and with a different title, but once it got going it ricocheted around the Middle East like a rubber bullet. And everyone who got hold of it and translated it added in stories from their own culture, and changed the emphasis of some of the stories that were already there. Then when it came to the West, the best part of a millennium later, the same thing happened again in a more extreme way. The very first European translations, which I think were French, added vast amounts of material in – and the new stuff was some of the most popular! Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, for example, is generally thought to have been a European addition. So that was the source material, and it’s a glorious mish-mash of stuff. We certainly weren’t aiming to strip away those layers of interpretation to get back to the truth of the original tales or the original historical era. If anything we were adding our own layer on top of what was there.
Now a question just for Louise! Writing with a partner is becoming more common but I believe this is the first instance I have come across of a whole family, or three people, writing together. For you, as the daughter in this team of three, and working with your parents, did it pose any particular challenges to you which were different from writing with a peer?
Lou: I’ve never actually co-written anything with someone who isn’t my parent, so my experience of writing with mum and dad felt like the norm to me! There were some challenges which I think were unique to the experience though. Nagging, for example, was a bit of an issue. When ‘have you finished that chapter yet?’ became as regular a refrain at home as ‘did you remember to tidy your room/ hoover the carpet/ do the dishes?’, it made it difficult at times to work at my own pace. I suppose the gap in experience between me and my parents also made a difference. Since they’re both writers, I often felt that I should defer to their creative opinions. Luckily, they were always quick to remind me that the novel was a joint enterprise, and they never let me take a back seat in the planning process!
And finally, come on guys, are you a perfect family or what?! Having assumed no-one has ended up under the patio or disappeared in mysterious circumstances, how on earth have you managed to maintain the well being of your family dynamic at the same time as wrangling a book to completion?!
Lin: Well, just being in a family means you occasionally want to murder each other, right? I mean just the daily hassles, like the assault course to get to the cupboard and the vanishing keys which were there last night and the jamjar that someone put away empty, I mean, not even a SCRAPE! And I just did the shop! What kind of IDIOT?… So we long ago developed coping mechanisms. Mine is a time-out with a Terry Pratchett book and large quantities of chocolate: an hour of that and I’m quite civilised again.
[Mike unloads the tension by retro-gaming: he can slaughter Professor Robotnik in about six seconds, especially when I’ve just eaten the last biscuit in the pack. Louise is currently too overworked to unwind properly, so she has to make do with rolling her eyes and making a really cutting remark. It’s worked OK so far.]
The City of Silk and Steel is out now.
Where Your Nightmares Begin…(0)
This July, Pan Macmillan are incredibly excited to be publishing The Sleep Room by F.R. Tallis. This is a taut and well written page-turner which will appeal to fans of Susan Hill and Christopher Ransom.
F.R.Tallis is a writer and clinical psychologist. He has written self-help manuals, non-fiction for the general reader, academic text books, over thirty academic papers in international journals and several novels. Between 1999 and 2012 he has received or been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the New London Writers’ Award, the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the Elle Prix de Letrice, and two Edgars. His critically acclaimed Liebermann series (written as Frank Tallis) has been translated into fourteen languages and optioned for TV adaptation. The Forbidden, his ninth novel, is a horror story set in nineteenth-century Paris and this, The Sleep Room, is his tenth. @franktallis
Dark Continents and Silent Studios Release Contamination(0)
Contamination, a book written by author Dave Jeffery based on an original story by filmmaker Jason Wright marks a return to the horror that children of the 80’s grew up on.
Protagonist Dean Sharp wakes up from a drinking binge to find that overnight, the world has changed. People are dying in the streets as mobs wander aimlessly through town looking for the next fight. Men and women tear into one another on sight, and even children join in the fray.
“Contamination was a story I had been writing for a while, and wanted to make into a film, but there were so many other things going on, we didn’t have time,” Jason Wright explained. “It made sense then to make it into a book first, and then film it later so people would have time to read it and experience it before it was filmed.”
After being introduced to Jason at a festival by mutual friends, Dave Jeffery sat and talked with the filmmaker for hours about the project. Together they spoke of the outline for the book, and the direction it would take.
“When Jason first showed me the outline for Contamination, I couldn’t help but see it as a pulp project,” said Dave Jeffery. “The story had a gritty, brutal aspect and played with chronology which made it interesting to take on.”
Wright, with his company, Silent Studios, will begin filming of the movie version in 2014. But to release the book, the team needed a publishing house.
Jeffery, whose novel Necropolis Rising hit the #1 position in the UK last year, approached his publisher, David Youngquist at Dark Continents Publishing about getting the book into print. After Skype meetings with both Wright and Jeffery, Youngquist gave the green light for a May 2013 release of the book.
As a small press in the era of instant communication and technology that allows people to work together from opposite sides of the globe, Dark Continents is always looking for innovation and ways to reach more people and develop more markets. A partnership with a film studio provides just that, by getting Silent Studios further into the literary world and Dark Continents into the realm of film.
The birth of Contamination is unusual in the writing realm, with a novelist and filmmaker working together on the project. But as Youngquist said, “The writers in Hollywood are always complaining they don’t have enough fresh ideas, so why not have a novelist involved from the beginning?”
Contamination will be released in May 2013 in stores as paperback books, and as downloadable files for your e-readers. Get a copy and follow the fast paced story as Dean Sharp tries to sort out reality from his dreams and sanity from madness, while the fate of humankind hinges on him.
White Witch of Devil’s End DVD(0)
White Witch of Devil’s End is a spin-off from the highly regarded Jon Pertwee Doctor Who story The Daemons and will star Damaris Hayman reprising her role as Miss Hawthorne.
At the grand age of 84 (in June this year), you’d expect Damaris would be happy to be enjoying retirement quietly in her Cheltenham home … but no! When approached by producer Keith Barnfather about the idea she jumped at the chance. “I shall retire, I think, in my coffin! Miss Hawthorne was my all-time favourite role and I was enchanted by the thought of being her again for a little while.”
“I was amazed and delighted that, as an octogenarian, Damaris was prepared to take this on,” says Keith. “We had recently recorded an interview with her for our Myth Makers series profiling actors who had appeared in Doctor Who and I already knew she still had a hunger to act. But I really didn’t expect her to be so keen.”
Although eager to take the project on, Damaris knew she had to pace herself, so in an innovative move, director Anastasia Stylianou decided to film the drama in a “talking head” style – adding dramatic cutaway material to bring Damaris’s words to life!
Says Anastasia; “I knew it would be a challenge. We needed to film a 50 minute drama at least, so I decided to make an asset out of a limitation.”
Primary filming has already taken place at a cottage near Damaris’s home. The crew collected and returned Damaris each day – allowing her to return home each evening to recover and study the next day’s script!
“We used autocue to help Damaris,” says Keith. “It was an impossible task for any actor to learn so much dialogue. Damaris was a true professional and took to it instantly.”
With a planned release date of 31st October, which is appropriately also Halloween, Anastasia hopes to have the project completed for the 50th anniversary celebrations. “It’s just getting all the dramatic cutaway material ‘in the can’ that is crucial. The drama is really an anthology – a set of connecting stories about Olive’s life told, as it were, in her own words.”
When considering who to approach to write these stories which would exist within an overall theme, Keith immediately thought to contact old friend David J Howe at Telos Publishing. “I thought it would be fantastic to ask individual writers knowledgeable in the occult and magic to write each story and David, through Telos, knew so many of the best young talent in the country.”
“I was delighted when Keith got in touch,” says David Howe, “and immediately started to think of who might be a good fit for the project. Along with my partner, the award-winning author Sam Stone, we contacted several authors who we felt would be sympathetic to the material and were pleased to get them all on board for the project.”
“I took on the task of outlining the whole story,” says Sam Stone, “and then asked the writers to come up with ideas which fitted that framework. We needed to tell stories at different points in Olive Hawthorne’s life, and the writers rose to the challenge and delivered scripts which exceeded all my expectations. I then worked with them to refine the scripts into the completed screenplay.”
The writers involved in the project are, as well as David J Howe and Sam Stone, Raven Dane, Debbie Bennett, Jan Edwards and Suzanne J Barbieri, with a final script-polish from Big Finish writer Matt Fitton. All have brought a unique perspective on Olive’s life, and the end result is an anthology of tales which will surprise, entertain and hopefully move the viewer.
Does Damaris have any regrets about throwing herself into such a big commitment? “Definitely not! I was enchanted to work with Anastasia and Keith again, who are great friends anyway. After a lot of working together consulting over the scripts, I’d subsequently never enjoyed filming more – and I can’t wait now to see the final result.”
The DVD can be pre-ordered from Galaxy 4 HERE
Strange Chemistry Signs Danielle Jensen in Three Book YA Fantasy Deal(0)
Strange Chemistry, the YA imprint of Angry Robot Books, is delighted to announce the signing of Danielle Jensen, in a three-book World English Rights deal concluded by Strange Chemistry’s editor Amanda Rutter and Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.
The first of the three books is called Stolen Songbird and will be published by Strange Chemistry in early 2014.
Danielle Jensen said: “I am beyond excited to begin work on the trilogy with Amanda and everyone else at Strange Chemistry. It is a dream come true to see my novels on their way to publication.”
Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance.
But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.
Fantastic Literature’s May Booklist is Out Now(0)
The May booklist “Maypole E13” is online now with nigh on 450 books, magazines and paperbacks in superb condition.
The list includes early UK firsts of Philip K. Dick, Frank Herbert and Kurt Vonnegut as well as some superb paperbacks. Don’t miss out!
Freda Warrington’s “Gorgeous Grave-throbber” Tour(0)
To celebrate the return of the critically acclaimed Blood Books in collectable paperback and e-book edition, Titan Books and Freda Warrington are serialising two rare and risqué stories set within the universe of the Blood Books across a series of websites and blogs.
We’re publishing the fourth part of a short story called Little Goose. Read the rest of the tale here: http://titanbooks.com/blog/freda-warringtons-blood-wine-tour/
Little Goose: Part 4
By Freda Warrington
Her designs grew wilder. Eggs of dark pink tourmaline cupped in storms of jet. Snow-white jade, cracked with veins of blood ruby.
One day her father came unannounced, and I must be stuffed like a corpse into a cupboard. Yet I have ways of watching unseen, and I saw.
He stalked the gallery, a forensic examiner. He frowned. His nostrils flared as if he could smell me. Rebecca watched in silent annoyance as he perused her workbench; the designs scattered everywhere, the new pieces taking shape in chaos. He picked up drawings, judged and set them down again, lips pursed.
‘You have done all this in so short a time?’ he said.
‘Why?’ Her voice was high and taut. ‘Is the work substandard?’
‘No. No.’ Then, harshly, ‘How long have you been taking drugs?’
She was indignant, outraged. ‘I’m not taking anything!’
‘Have you looked at yourself in the mirror?’
She clutched her dressing gown to hide her throat. For she had indeed the look of one who makes love to a vampire, then rises from bed to work the night through. Drained, pale skin. Eyes like feverish rubies deep in purple-brown pits. ‘I’ve been working hard, that’s all.’
‘You will burn yourself out! What is it that keeps you awake, speed, cocaine? For God’s sake, Rebecca, what’s happening to you?’
I chose my moment. Stepped out of the shadows, strolled up the gallery stairs in my robe, dishevelled, cool and ironic, as if in a movie. I said, ‘Rebecca, are you not going to introduce us?’
She looked mortified. There was a terrible silence. At last, in a small voice she said, ‘Father, I’d like you to meet Sebastian.’
It was worse than I had expected. When he looked at me – I say looked; really it was like being X-rayed – he saw what I was. Not literally, perhaps, but so keenly that he was half a whisker from the truth. His eyes burned me black.
‘I knew it would be something like this. Knew. I see it all. He’s the one forcing you to work too hard. He’s the one who procures the drugs, yes?’
‘No! He is my inspiration!’
A hissing sneer of contempt. ‘I know him, and dozens like him. They’re all the same. They want to feed off your glory, your money! “One more objet, dearest, for us. A few extra works, and we’ll be rich.” He’ll bleed you dry!’
‘Get out!’ she screamed. ‘You’ve never let me live my own life! You have to let me go!’
‘Make a choice,’ he said, droplets spitting from his lips. ‘Go on seeing him and you will never see me again.’
In answer, she drew close to me and slid her hand through my arm. ‘You make a choice, Daddy,’ she answered. ‘Let me grow up, or get out. They’re not all the same. Everyone I’ve ever loved, you’ve driven away! Well, not this time. Not this time.’
White-faced and vibrating with emotion, her father left.
And I would have been proud of her if only, sadly, he had not been so right.
Apart, they were paralysed.
For weeks they sulked and grew gaunt, while their workbenches lay idle, and their phones rang unanswered. I know, for I watched them both, even when they had no idea I was there. They wasted in every sense. Yet neither, straight-backed and stubborn, would give in.
I haunted the old man’s house. He was there at his workbench, playing a file, not on gold but on his own callused fingertips. Staring at the dark.
‘Go to her, Bartholomew,’ I whispered. ‘Take her in your arms and tell her you’re sorry.’
He started, but looked at me without surprise, didn’t even ask how the hell I got in. Hoarsely he said, ‘She sends you as a go-between?’
‘No. I came because I can’t bear to see her pining.’
‘She has her lover, what use has she for a father? I have only loved her all her life. I only taught her everything she knows.’
‘And this is how she thanks you,’ I added. ‘Have pity on her. She can’t work.’
‘Can’t she.’ A sneer of grim pleasure.
‘Nor can you.’
‘You only care for her work, for the wealth and glory you leech from it! I know you were forcing drugs on her. Nothing else could make her look so ill. I know your sort, predators on my daughter. Happy now, are you? You cut the goose open in your greed and look! No more golden eggs!’
‘I am irrelevant,’ I said softly. ‘It’s that your daughter dares to defy you, that’s what you can’t accept. It’s that she dares to step from under your wing and be an artist in her own right, to be better than you. And you know you’re in the wrong but you can’t admit it. You’d rather torture her for the rest of time with your hubris than admit you’re wrong.’
With a roar he leapt at me and I, taken by surprise, defended myself. The file jabbed into my eye. Searing pain jolted through my skull. My hand sprang out to grip his throat. What must he have seen? My white face, my eye socket a gelid mess with the file sticking grotesquely from it. And I, not screaming but enflamed, monstrous. For then he was unmanned. He turned purple, he screamed, he twitched and I – I swear I did not mean to harm him but the pain, turning from fire to ice as my unnatural body pushed out the foreign object – the pain took over and I had him to my lips, my mouth full of his neck, his neck a spouting hose of blood, delicious, hot…
The first book in Freda Warrington’s Blood Books series, A Taste of Blood Wine, is out now from Titan Books, £7.99. Read the rest of the short story Little Goose here: http://titanbooks.com/blog/freda-warringtons-blood-wine-tour/
© Freda Warrington
An Interview with Raymond E. Feist(0)
by Craig Knight
Thirty years ago it began with Magician and rather fittingly concludes with Magician’s End. Did you ever imagine the Riftwar Cycle would be so successful and span so many books?
Not until I got deep into the Serpent War saga. Then it started to dawn on me we might end up doing all 5 Riftwars. Didn’t know how many books that would take at the time.
How do you feel now that the Riftwar Cycle has come to an end and you reflect on the series and its conclusion?
It’s too soon for anything like perspective. I’m pleased the series found an audience and that for the most part that audience stuck it out. I find like any project I can look back and think of a couple of things I could have done better, but that’s always the case. On the whole I’m pleased with how things turned out.
Looking back at the entire series, is there anything you would have done differently with the benefit of hindsight?
Appropriate follow-up to the previous question. Nothing major. There are a couple of places where I think I could have made a different choice. And some stuff that got put in that never went anywhere. In Shadow of a Dark Queen I introduce Miranda through the gimmick of her saving Erik and Roo while she’s disguised as an old crone, a whole spy disguise thing I basically dropped as soon as Miranda came on stage. I could have cut that entire bit, for example.
There are quite a few plot strands to resolve from the previous books, not least being Pug’s prophesised demise. What can readers expect to encounter in Magician’s End?
Without getting into spoilers, I hope the reader finds the conclusion makes sense given what has occurred in the previous books. There will be some triumphs among all the ashes, and a few happy endings for some characters. What I hope the reader finds satisfying is the explanation of why things went the way they did.
Has writing Magician’s End been more difficult or challenging than previous books as you seek to bring things to a conclusion?
Not really. The most challenging aspect was the wrapping up of loose ends, some of which go back to Magician.
Will you be bidding a fond farewell to Midkemia or do you think you’ll return at some point in the future?
Never say never. Midkemia is a virtual world, and I’m writing basically a history of an imaginary place. Lots of things went on after the Rifwar Cycle, though not on that comic scale, of course. I certainly could do more stories in Midkemia.
Do you have any other projects planned that you can tell us about?
At this point I’m in discussion with my publisher about what’s next. We’ve more or less agreed in principle to a new series, The War of the Five Crowns, which appears to be a trilogy. The first book is entitled King of Ashes.
I’m sure all your readers will want to express their heartfelt thanks for giving us such a fascinating and enjoyable story over the years. Do you have any words for your fans before we get to grips with Magician’s End?
Yes, please. Thank you for the support. Without your affection and spending your hard earned money on my stories, I’d be doing something else. So, again, thank you all very much.
Check out our review of Magician’s End HERE
In Memoriam: Deborah Miller(0)
Visual Effects Master, Ray Harryhausen, Dies Aged 92(0)
The inspirational visual effects wizard has died in London at the age of 92, according to the BBC.
His hand-made models and frame-by-frame animation style have graced movies since 1949 and influenced many directors from Steven Spielberg to Tim Burton.