January 30, 2012

A little tangential Mongo and some Ask Robin


Note that I could die for Mongo Fangirl.*  But if I write another word of SHADOWS right now I will explode into messy little pieces.  And I am going to my singing lesson tomorrow.  And probably bell ringing tomorrow night.**  I’m starting to get all strange and lumpy from being bent over my computer so all-consumingly.*** 

               I have no brain to organise a blog post, but I might be able to blither along a little.  So let’s have a couple more Ask Robins for framework.  Which I may or may not manage to answer sensibly.

I realized during this readthrough that I had been taking for granted that the different ways to be a vampire meant Con is the vegetarian of vampires. Rarely killing, rarely human meals, etc. But this time through, I realized that he made no such statements. Am I reading too far into his beneficence?

Yes.  He’s a vampire.  He’s a proper vampire.  What he doesn’t do is torture people, the way Bo does.  The thing about Con is that he has a genuine sense of honour.  He accepts the obligation accepting help from Sunshine has put him under . . . and then later recognizes that an alliance is the best chance for each of them to survive Bo’s vengeance.   Despite the charge between them being allied with a human woman does not make him happy.  

            What I don’t know, and one of the (many) reasons I’d love to write that missing sequel to SUNSHINE if it ever came through the mail-slot and landed on the door-mat†, is what effect a long-term alliance with Sunshine would slowly wreak upon him.  Because it would.  I have a better idea of what would happen to Sunshine if she continued to hang out with him, although I’m sure there would be surprises in the telling because there always are.††

My question is: Was Pegasus intended from the outset to be a multi-volume story? 

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  Here clearly speaks a reader who does not read the blog.  PEGASUS started life as a short story.  As a story for ELEMENTALS SPIRITS:  AIR.  Waaaaaaah.  

I ask because I have found you notable for avoiding the ubiquitous trilogies, sequels & series that have dominated the fantasy industry since Tolkien.

Nearly all your tales, even if set in Damar, are uniquely fresh, creative & different.  Esp. the new kinds of magic in each, like the weather control in “Water horse” and the honey-based magic in Chalice. 

Whimper.  You know I do hope this doesn’t mean that the second two gliggerfrandanging volumes of frelling PEGASUS are going to be stale, lacking in creativity and over-familiar.†††  And if I live long enough I’d like to write another story or two in both the Water Horse and the CHALICE worlds—among others.  On the one hand I like the way most of my stories have tended to burst out of new holes in the walls between the worlds, but on the other hand . . . I’d quite like to have a chance to consolidate a bit, get some decorating done, put down carpets and put up bookshelves in some of these worlds.  I’m a nest-builder (you should see my house(s)).  I’d like to do some nest-building in my stories.  

I have read Beauty and The Beast 3 times and I am going to read Rose Daughter soon! Since the story of Beauty and the Beast is such an old tale I was wondering where you got your information from, which you used to base your books off of. Reason being I always love to see where a story first came from. I would be thrilled if you could tell me the books or other sources where you got your ideas from. 

This is one of the questions that comes up over and over.§  Beauty and the Beast was my favourite fairy tale when I was a kid, partly because it was the only one readily available to a kid growing up in the 1950s, which was not generally a hotbed of fantasy literature anyway, where the heroine did something besides wring her hands and wait to be rescued by the hero.  If there is an original source for my Beauty and the Beast(s) it’s the Andrew Lang retelling which I read for the first time at about the age of six, and obsessively for years after that, even when I pretty well knew it off by heart.  Since then I’ve read every version of B&B I can lay hands on, but my Beauty and the Beast is a part of me, like an arm or a leg.  Or like the ground a rose-bush is planted in:  I can’t do without it, it nourishes me.  I used to say—truthfully—that I was jealous of readers who ‘went’ to BEAUTY as an escape from boring ordinary life, because by writing the story I’d exorcised the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST in my head.  It grew back.  Then I wrote ROSE DAUGHTER.  This time there wasn’t any nonsense about exorcism.  My Beauty and the Beast is still in the back of my mind or the bottom of my heart, full of roses and romance.  If I’m very, very, very, very, very lucky I may get to write it a third time.  Or a sixth or a sixtieth.  Most of my stories are more or less versions of Beauty and the Beast.  In the afterword to ROSE I say that someone has declared that each author has only one story, it’s how they retell it.  Yes.  Mine is Beauty and the Beast. 

* * *

* mockorange:

I am absolutely adoring all these Mongo snippets. Clearly he is going to steal the whole book.

Thank you.  Adoration is always welcome.  I kind of adore Mongo myself.  And he does keep getting in the way.  I told you the other night that he’d just party-crashed a scene he had been specifically ordered out of.  I am so glad he is not my dog.  But then I don’t need to save the universe, just write about it.

** Yes.  My bells woke me up this morning again.  Sunday mornings are just going to be hard for a while.

*** Stranger.  Lumpier.

† Although right at the moment I have a powerful desire to have a late-life career change to something easier and more suited to someone of my advanced years, like shark-wrestler or cat burglar. 

†† I am going to write ALBION^ one of these days—you know, the not-a-sequel to SUNSHINE, but in the same world—and I’m not quite sure of the timeline.  I’m not sure if the heroine might have heard of Sunshine and we might conceivably get some news of her that way—except it wouldn’t be reliable news, it would be myth and gossip.  But myth and gossip can be pretty cool.  And I’ll take what I can get.^^ 

^ It was next after the SINGLE VOLUME version of PEGASUS, you know.  And I was looking FORWARD to it.  ^%$++@}~#??£”&£”!!!!!!!!!!!!             

^^ If I could impeach the frelling Story Council I so would.

††† Us authors are mostly a pretty neurotic bunch.  Make a note.

§ Julia, wearing her OCD research-librarian hat, found where I’d answered the question about Aerin’s dream and Hetta from Pool in the Desert before:  http://robinmckinleysblog.com/2010/11/30/further-manifestations-of-creative-reader-baked-goods-ask-robin/

What interests me is (a) it’s exactly the same question (as Julia remarks).  So it has to have come from the same person.  But I delete Ask Robins as I answer them, and furthermore, the one I answered a few days ago is fairly recent—certainly not from 2010.  So, a mystery:  did the person who sent it (since I’ve deleted it this time too I can’t check for clues) miss the answer the first time and resend it, does he/she not read the blog^ or has sodding Outlook found a brilliant new way to persecute me by suddenly coughing up new copies of years-old emails?  Now there’s an awful thought.  (b)  I’ve got a lot crankier in the last year and a bit about Hetta and Aerin’s dream . . . because I’ve had several other people make the same assumption and can’t remember one who has said, erm, actually, that’s not Hetta in Aerin’s dream, is it?  There ought to be one.  As I said in my (cranky) answer the other night, I read stuff wrong in other people’s books all the time.  Life is short, and when you’re reading a story for escape you aren’t paying diamond-laser attention.  Which is as it should be.  But there still ought to be one person who is interested enough in the question also to notice that it’s not Hetta in Aerin’s dream.

            Or possibly I’m just losing my mind.  This is always the best guess concerning any lapses and/or mysteries during the arduous novel-finishing phase, and especially the super-arduous novel-finishing-against-a-ghastly-deadline phase which is the (arduous) novel-finishing phase to be avoided when possible.

^ Oh . . . gods . . . or does my little copy and paste ‘read the blog’ answering email not go out for some reason?




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