The dreams about failing high school calculus HAVE GOT TO STOP. Especially like the one I had last night, in which I dreamed I was failing high school calculus and then woke up to discover it was true. ARGH.
Made progress on the new wolf book yesterday. Let's be generous and call it 500 words. Which is 500 more words than I've written in a kind of appallingly long time.
The indefatigable fidelioscabinet
has found an awesome photo-reference for Mehitabel.
This is Natalia Alexandrova Pushkina, the younger daughter of Aleksandr Pushkin, and if I could have had her on the cover of The Mirador
, I would have been a very happy Mole. (No, it isn't an exact
match, but it's really startlingly close.)
I'm not bothering with segues today, but if I were, this would be a good one to my first Q&A question:Q: I am super interested in what you told the cover artists of ACE. From the previous posts, I am inclined to believe that you had very little input in the whole cover art business, but you did mention that you described the tattoos and they listened. Would you have wanted the cover art done any other way? If you had said you weren't satisfied, what would have happened?
A: My input extended only so far as the artist and the production team decided to listen to me. (I did object to the cover of The Mirador
because I found--and, honestly, still find--the size and shape of Mehitabel's head disturbing. It did me no good.) When they asked me questions, I answered them and was delighted when my answers showed up in the cover art: Felix's tattoos, the cityscape behind Mildmay--the cover of The Virtu
is probably my favorite for precisely that reason--Mehitabel's dress. In three of four cases, my descriptions of the characters were followed: Kay, for instance, does
look like David McCallum on the cover, and that's exactly how I described him for the artist. Mehitabel is the exception there.
Okay, that's an honest answer to your question, but I want to be clear that it isn't a complaint. I think the covers for these books are fantastic. They're compositionally strong--which many fantasy covers aren't--they have coherent color schemes, they give an impression of lush baroquerie which is exactly what's called for. Most importantly from the purely mercenary point of view, they do exactly what they're supposed to do, which is catch people's attention. I've gotten emails from several people who have confessed to picking up Mélusine
on the strength of the cover alone. The fact that devoted readers (and the neurotic pink circus poodle of an author) can list everything the covers get wrong is, well, par for the course.Q: How did you choose the titles of the individual books of DoL? The main reason that I can think of is because most of them are the places all the events which transpire in, but then Virtu throws a wrench right at that reasoning, and it's really gnawing at me like a rat.
A: I did not choose the titles. Ace did. My titles were Strange Labyrinths, The Labyrinth's Heart, Labyrinths Within,
and The Labyrinth of Summerdown
. (I've mentioned before that I suck at titles, right?) And even after they'd explained their single-word evocative-of-fantasy title theory, I wanted to call the second book Kekropia
and the fourth book Summerdown
, and got vetoed again.Q: ( spoilers for Corambis )
Q: I have been trying to find a paperback copy of The Virtu, and nobody seems to have one. Do you happen to know where I could find one? All the others in the series are available, but that seems to have disappeared...
A: The Virtu
is out of print in both hardback and paperback. I am really really sorry. My agent is making a formal protest on my behalf to Ace, and if/when the situation changes, I will definitely make an announcement.
Q: I have a question more about one of your short stories than about your books (which I liked a lot, but I can't think of any question that has not been asked yet): I enjoyed "A night in Electric Squidland" very much and remember faintly that you said you wrote or planned on writing more short stories with Mick and Jamie. If you have written and published them, is there a way for this fan from beyond the sea (Great Britain) to buy or read them?
A: I have not managed to publish any more stories about Mick and Jamie. (I have one written that no one will buy, and something else that seems to be the first chapter of a novella, and then three or four other ideas that are thus far obstinately refusing to be phrased in the form of a story.) Hopefully, this situation will change for the better.
Q: What's your preferred baseball team, if any? I only ask this because of, well, I suppose an auxiliary reference question--the writer Ynge, is it a reference to Brandon Inge?
A: I forget where I got Ynge's name, but no. It wasn't that.
I was raised an Atlanta Braves fan. Now, mirrorthaw
and I follow the Milwaukee Brewers on the radio. But I'm more a baseball
fan than I am a fan of any particular team.
[You can still ask your question(s) here.
ETA: The Sekrit Origin of the Virtu revealed!
(Hint: it isn't the toaster.)