I love hearing how other authors go about this mysterious craft. Tell us about your writing habits. You know, any special place you need to write, goofy hat you need to wear, superstitious coffee cup you have to have before any words will ever flow?
RO’L: I typically write in the early morning and also at naptime, and on big heavy days I write again in the evening.
Ha, ha, kids. Of course. I knew that. All right, then, tell us, where did CoM come from? What was your inspiration? Did it start with plot, with character? What drove your story?
The characters came after. I really didn’t expect to have so many sides to portray. I thought it was going to stay simple. But once I delved into the conflict, I knew Trzl’s perspective was going to be so skewed that I had to add the (also unreliable) voices of her antagonists, her allies, and her son. In a nutshell, I think the story is about seeing every side of a coin, and not giving up on yourself even if you have given up on the world at large.
RO’L: I’m tempted to say Kierstaz, because she’s just so fierce and rugged, but I think I’d have way more fun with Gernan. He’s pretty much a jack of all trades/master of none who has more plans than he’ll have time to execute in his lifetime. I think he’d be an all out riot as a friend. I’d ask him to take me exploring in the cliffs, because there’s got to be all kinds of cool things up there that I haven’t thought of.
I can definitely see that. Although, I wouldn’t mind spending the day riding and picnicking with young Mikel. *ahem* So If you could be one of your characters, who would it be and why?RO’L: Oh, this one is easy. I’d be Malcom. Because he gets to do and see everything ever, and because even though Trzl fails in so many aspects of life, she IS a strong, protective mother. Malcom’s life is posh because of her awesome supermom abilities.
Moving on. You’ve got a pretty involved world with several different cultures — tell us a bit about your world building. How do you approach it? How much detail do you work out that readers will never see?
I actually don’t think there’s much detail I’ve worked out that readers won’t get to see at some point. I can’t always mention details within a certain setting or POV — I have to keep it trim and focus on the characters at hand — but it will be relevant to one of my characters later on. Anything about the Drei, the Desert People, or the gypsies, it’s foreshadowing, because their cultures and history is super important to the final climactic events…later. 🙂
I need music to work by. Is there a soundtrack for CoM? Music that inspired you?
RO’L: There is! The soundtrack is actually going up today as well, on Let’s Get Nerdy [http://letsgetnerdy.blogspot.com], so hop over and check it out. There is a lot of music that can apply to the story because it is emotionally all over the place. Trzl is an idealist who makes every wrong move in the book and ends up falling on her face. But she gets up again, even though she’s somewhat dragged back into the fray, and she learns how to live and be herself again. Then there’s Hodran, who’s pretty much a self-important playboy turd. His kind never invokes much that’s good (duh). And Mikel, a big know-it-all who thinks the world would be so much better if everyone would just be a goody goody like him…until he loses everything and becomes all about survival and bitter realism. So yeah, a lot of spectrum. I pretty much drank music while I was rewriting it, ha.
Coldness of Marek Blurb:
The First in the Serengard Series
Release Date: August 6, 2013