Y'all gratified me with questions about Booth, so I shall gratify you by answering them.
Q: You said in the introduction that Booth was your most autobiographical protagonist. Why did you chose to make him a male character?
A: ( cut for length )
Q: will there be more?
Q: do you plan on trying to shop around a second volume of Booth stories when there are enough?
A: I can't see any reason why I wouldn't.
Q: Do you envision the stories as eventually forming a complete mosaic, or are they written as new facets evolve, or is neither of these an applicable question? Also, am I the only person who would like to have seen them illustrated by Edward Gorey?
A: They're written as I find ideas for them. I was actually surprised at how nicely the ten stories in The Bone Key
fit together into a narrative arc.
In its original publication in Alchemy
, "The Wall of Clouds" had an epigraph from The Iron Tonic.
I decided against putting that in The Bone Key
because (a.) I didn't want to deal with the permissions headache and (b.) it didn't feel right somehow. But, yes, they're very Gorey-esque in my head.
Q: Have you ever thought about writing Booth a novel? It seems like Bone Key was only the beginning of the story, like one giant exposition.
A: No. There won't be any novel-length Booth stories.
My personal feeling is that horror, as a genre, is ideally suited to the short story. And that goes double for the James/Lovecraft style stories I write. I couldn't sustain Booth for a novel--not in the sense of sustaining the character, but in the sense of sustaining the incident
. Long novelettes, yes. Maybe even a novella. But nothing longer than that.
Q: Also. Is there a reason you chose not to have continuously recurring characters that play a central role, besides Booth? I know Blaine shows up in a couple in memories and dreams and such, and...whatshisface shows up in "The Venebretti Necklace" and "Wait for Me," but I mean on a slightly larger scale.
A: Because they wouldn't fit?
If I'm doing them right, Booth stories are fairly tight, compositionally speaking. There's Booth and the Eldritch Horror of the Week and the character(s) involved in the Eldritch Horror. (I figure these stories are as close as I'll ever get to writing sonnets.) Also, all of the Booth stories are designed to stand alone, so other characters can recur
, but they can't have continuity
Q: I would love to know what the Bone key opened. More childhood background on Booth would be cool too.
If you've read the stories in The Bone Key
, you essentially know as much as I do.
Q: I could never quite figure out when the stories take place. Are they between the world wars, or after WWII, or in some alternate history that doesn't involve either?
A: To me, it's always been obvious that they're set between about 1920 and about 1935 (the same era as Dorothy Sayers' books). This is yet another of those things I didn't set out to make mysterious, but also, the point of the stories is so emphatically NOT to be historical fiction that it's never felt necessary to specify.
And one more so I don't lose track of it.
Q: When you can only write longhand, do you have a pen/paper preference, or will any old thing do?
A: Well, in a pinch, anything that can be deciphered later is a win. *g*
Given my preferences, however, I am exceedingly fussy. ( cut for geekery )
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