Thursday, June 28, 2007
CYBER-LAUNCH BOOK PARTY!!!
Welcome to the Cyber-Launch Book Party for Lisa Shearin's debut novel, MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND. I hope you've all sharpened your elven blades and put on your steel-tipped party boots. To kick off the party, I'll run a previously recorded interview with the esteemed author.
Kimber Asked: Can you share the journey you took in creating MAGIC LOST, TROUBLEFOUND? What first inspired you? Did it flesh out right away or did thedetails come later? How did the characters reveal themselves to you?
Let’s see if I can remember that far back. What eventually became MLTF started in my college days as a result of wanting something to read, but not being able to find anything in the bookstore that I thought I’d like. My roommate got tired of my complaining and said, “Why don’t you just write something yourself?”
So I did.
And it sucked.
But I kept going. I finished that one and wrote another book, a sequel to the first one. It sucked only marginally less, which meant (at least in my own mind) that I was getting better. Hmmm, maybe being delusional is a big part of finally getting published.
Those two books formed the base for what eventually became MLTF. Raine, Mychael, Chigaru and Phaelan were in those first two books (though vastly different than they are now). Piaras didn’t come into being until I was on the second draft of MLTF. (What can I say, the kid’s a late bloomer.) Piaras was just supposed to be a “fetch & carry” character—there for window dressing, maybe say a line or two, etc. Then in the scene around Chapter 6, when Raine comes home and is talking to Tarsilia, and Piaras goes to open the shop. . .suddenly one day when I’m working on that scene, Raine hears Piaras singing from the next room. The kid had a magnificent voice. That got Raine’s attention (and mine). A few days (or maybe weeks) later, when I was writing the scene where Raine is meeting Ocnus Rancil close to The Ruins. . .suddenly Piaras is there getting himself yanked into a dark alley. What the hell?? I’ve since learned that if a character gets yanked into an alley or thrown out of a bar, that character is worth paying attention to.
Kimber An asked: Some of our guests are writers. Can you share your process fortaking a story from rough draft to submission-ready manuscript? What's yourbest advice on how they can improve the craft of writing to meet publication standards?
For me, the first draft is for getting the story down, the second draft is for filling in the blanks, third draft is for buffing, polishing and making it pretty. Though most of the time there ends up being five drafts—each one adding more detail and texture to the one before. Later drafts are the real fun. Then I basically keep doing it until my gut tells me I’ve finally got it right. Between drafts, I like to let it sit and simmer for a week or two, then when I come back to it, it’s fresh to me, and more details reveal themselves. That’s the annoying part for me. I’m ultra-organized and methodical. My writing brain apparently is not. When I was doing the final draft of MLTF (Book 1), the first two pages for Book 4 came at me out of left field. Boom. There they were. So I stop and write them down. I’ve got notebooks full of scenes and dialogue that come to me like that. I write them down, knowing that somehow they’ll fit into a story somewhere at some time. My brain doles out ideas like puzzle pieces. It’s up to me to figure out where they go. Frustrating as hell, yet fun at the same time.
Kimber An asked: What experience do you hope readers will take away from reading MAGICLOST, TROUBLE FOUND?
I hope they have fun. That’s all. Just fun. There’s too much depressing crap going on in the world to have to put up with that in a book. I just want to give my readers a couple of days or hours (some of you have plowed right through it), of pure escapist fun. I cut my fantasy-writing teeth on David Eddings, Raymond Feist and Terry Brooks. I LOVED their characters. These were people you wanted to hang out with, and couldn’t wait to visit again in the next book. I’ve had people tell me they felt that way about the characters in MLTF. That is the highest praise anyone could give me. That’s my purpose right there.
Kimber An asked: Can you tell us a little bit about your next novel, ARMED ANDMAGICAL? When is it due out?
Armed & Magical is due out in May of next year. It picks up a couple of days after MLTF ends. Needless to say, Raine isn’t going to catch up on her sleep anytime soon. Let's see. . .by the end of page three, Raine's already got big problems—an assassination attempt on the archmagus, an encounter with an enemy from her past, and an entirely too public display of her Saghred-enhanced powers. Later. . .Tam has not one, but two, deep dark secrets from his past that he'd rather keep buried. (Of course they don’t stay that way.) Piaras is now a Conclave college student studying spellsinging, and that voice of his attracts way too much of the wrong kind of attention. Mychael has his hands full with Raine, and with trying to keep her from falling prey to the darkest side of the Saghred. Let the fun continue!
Thank you for sharing all that, Lisa! To read my review of MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, just scroll down this page to June 19th's column. The party will run through tomorrow night, at which time a drawing will be held of all the people who leave comments to this entry. Winner gets a signed copy of the book! Now, let the festivities begin!
WARNING: The normal laws of space and time do not apply to the Party Room. Watch your step!
SECOND WARNING: I write Young Adult, as well as Adult fiction. Please be respectful of my younger friends. Thank you!