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Friday, August 13, 2010

Interview with Hilari Bell :D

1) Did you try and express a hidden meaning with TICKSTER'S GIRL? If so, why?

Not really a "hidden meaning" in Trickster's Girl, but I am trying to pull off kind of a subtle "mirror" theme thing in the two books. In Trickster's Girl, what Kelsa needs to learn is to let go: of the quest, of her grief for her father, her anger with her mother...she needs to learn to stop trying to control all of life and let it happen, sometimes. Jase, in Traitor's Son, needs to learn to take control, and to take responsibility for himself, and for the parts of his world that he can effect--which includes the quest. So they're both doing the same thing, but overcoming opposite weaknesses to do it.

2) How many books can your readers expect after this one?

The only two books in this series will be Trickster's Girl and Traitor's son--which leaves me kind of baffled what to call it. Can you have a two book "series"? A duology?

3) What made you think of placing your story in the year 2098?

The exact year, 2098, has no special meaning. I just wanted it to be far enough in the future to be a bit different, but not so far that too much would have changed. Because if I let it be too far in the future, with too much change, then the story becomes, at least in part, about the future--and I wanted this story to be more about Kelsa and Raven.

4) How did you come up with the different technological advances? (e.g. compods, levcars, etc...)

To come up with the tech, I just took some of the things I know are happening now and pushed them a little--we almost have com pods now, really. As for the lev cars, I knew I needed to do something to update our transportation, and since they have maglev trains...why not? It's not really a high tech story...although, in the next book Jase drives an "antique" mark 14 Tesla--an incredibly cool car!

5) Which character's personality did you think was easier to write? Kelsa's or Raven's? Why?

Both Kelsa and Raven came alive for me well enough that I didn't really have trouble writing either of them, though I'd say Kelsa was probably the easier of the two. Raven's got some...inhuman edges that were a little harder to bring off. He's not always a "nice" person. In fact, in many ways he's an untrustworthy so-and-so! And that is a bit harder to write.

6) Can we have insight on your writing schedule?

I write a book a year. I prewrite, figuing out my characters and plot and taking tons of notes, doing research etc. in the fall. I write the first draft in January, February, and sometimes into March. I take at least two weeks off, sometimes three or four, and then do the first rewrite, which takes a month. Then I turn it into my critique group and give them a couple of months to read it, while I try to get some distance from the story, so that when they tell me what's wrong with it I can see that they're right, instead of aruging! Then I think their suggestions over for a while, and rewrite again. Then I turn that draft in to my editor, who tells me what else is wrong with it. I think about her suggestions for a while, and then rewrite again, and send it back to her. Hopefully she then says it's wonderful (I can always hope for that) and gives it to the copy editor, who sends it back with all the punctuation and grammer corrected, and I either OK what she's marked or argue with her. Eventually after that I'll get an unbound ARC to read over to be sure there's nothing else that needs to be changed...and then my work is done! But you can see why it takes a year!

Thank you Hilari!

Be sure to check out TRICKSTER'S GIRL Coming out January 3rd 2011

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