Cat was kind enough to give me the heads up that pages to buy the first seven novellas of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, along with summaries, have been posted on Amazon. So here I give you the masterlist, 1-10, with short summaries.
The Mortal Instruments series may have come to an epic conclusion earlier this year, but author Cassandra Clare is far from done telling Shadowhunter tales….
Entertainment Weekly updates on Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy and shows the beautiful placeholder cover with an arrow for Simon. Also we can reveal our fourth co-conspirator, Robin Wasserman :)
palace-within-0ur-dreams said: Hey Cassie! When do you think the Shadowhunter Academy bind up will come out? I’m sure you don’t really know yet, but do you think it will be like the long wait we’ve had for the Bane Chronicles, or will it be a bit quicker? Thanks!
I think if my publishers heard it described as “a long wait” for the Bane Chronicles bindup they would rip out all their hair! Yes, TFSA will eventually be a printed, published book just like the Bane Chronicles (which is out November 11.)
its-mrs-t-herondale said: Hi Cassie! I love your books so much! I have a few questions though, Will Jace and Clary get married in TDA or already be married? Will Jem and Tessa appear in TDA? And, do you think you’ll make Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy into a book like you are with The Bane Chorincles? Anyway, I love you so much and hope someday you’ll come to Australia because it would be amazing to meet you!
Jem and Tessa, Jace and Clary, all appear in Shadowhunter Academy and The Dark Artifices. They are not main characters, but they are there enough for you to check in with them, find out what’s going on with them, etc. I’ll make a bigger post about this later, since up until “Will the cast from the movie return for the TV show” unexpectedly became my most asked question (answer: “I do not know!”) that was it. :)
Shadowhunter Academy will definitely be “a book.” I don’t have a publication date for it, but I would guess it would follow roughly the same timeline as the Bane Chronicles since it’s a very similar project. Expect to see Simon and of course Magnus and Alec, Jace and Clary, Izzy and Jem and Will and Tessa …
Robin Wasserman is a genius, and we tried to lure her to be part of the Bane Chronicles, but time did not permit! She is going to be a magnifique addition. In fact… with Maureen AND Robin… oh man, I am going to be totally shown up.
All of Cassie’s readers were super nice to me and Maureen, and embraced us and had fun with the stories. And we had tons of fun as well, though I was VERY NERVOUS. (I am now nervous again.) But… I hope they will be excited to have us again for the Adventures of Simon, I mean City of Shirtless Simon, I mean I forget what Maureen is calling it this week.
When writing the Bane Chronicles, I took R as my letter of the alphabet, and saw if I could make people like Ragnor and Raphael even more than they already did.
For Shadowhunter Academy, my letter is M! Now which characters’ names begin with M…
Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan . You can comment here or there . I have been asked quite a lot of times a) what the heck the Turn of the Story is, b) how they are supposed to read all of it where is a post with all the parts! and c) why I have done such a thing. So I decided to make a…
All of Turn of the Story. A master list of every part, plus an explanation of what I thought I was doing, plus fanart and questions answered and music. Everything. Link at will! Enjoy! Maybe!
Hello! I recently marathoned Turn of the Story and IT CONSUMED MY LIFE. No really. There is no 14/10/14 in my life because I was on the other side of the Border, inside Elliot's head for that whole day. I LOVE IT SO MUCH I CAN'T EXPLAIN! So now of course I want to buy Monstrous Affections, but I thought I'd better ask first if you prefer us to buy it from anyplace in particular? I know a lot of authors prefer us to buy straight from the publisher/from Smashwords so they receive higher royalties.
Angel, that is so kind! I am so pleased you enjoyed Turn of the Story! I am doing up a big post about it right now so this is a very well-timed ask. ;)
Thank you for wishing to buy Monstrous Affections. I am very grateful! (Monstrous Affections, downloaded illegally too often, and I know this is my fault for being an idiot, and I am so sorry to my beautiful editors Kelly and Gavin!)
As regards royalties, I will now drop some publishing knowledge! (I have no other knowledge of any sort and share only because I hope people may be interested. ;))
Monstrous Affections is an anthology, and anthologies don’t work that way usually: you get paid a flat fee for the use of your story for a limited time instead of with books, where you get an advance against royalties and royalties if all works out.
So, anthology writing is like this.
GAVIN & KELLY: Would you like to be part of an anthology? We will pay you five dollars.
(Note: SLANDER. It was obviously more than five dollars. At least ten.)
GAVIN & KELLY: Then we put the story in our collection of short stories, and after a certain amount of time has elapsed you have the short story back to do with as you like—put it in another anthology, sell it to an online venue, print it out and make it into a hat…
SARAH: Five shiny dollars!
Otherwise it’d be very tricky to work out royalties—split fourteen ways? Which writer attracted the most readers? Bigger royalties for the fancy people with their names on the front cover? Tricky!
Writing short stories is not something people do for the money, usually. (I mean, things may be different for those who the New Yorker keeps calling going ‘baby, baby please, I burn for your prose, I’ll do anything for a sweet sweet lit hit.’)
You do it because it’s fun to write them, and it teaches you to be a better writer to try different story forms.
And you do it because people pick up anthologies and go, ‘Ah, Patrick Ness/Cassandra Clare, very fine, I WOULD like this anthology, I admire his/her work deeply… hmmm, who is this ‘Sarah Rees Brennan’ personage? Oh well, I have the anthology, might as well check out her story. Hmmm, not so bad! Perhaps I will pick up this ‘Sarah Rees Brennan’s books one day…’
And that is the deal with anthologies. So it doesn’t matter to me financially where you buy it, since there aren’t author royalties, but I am still deeply pleased you wish to at all. (If the anthology does well it is pleasing, and people think: that lot, I should ask them to do more short stories in future…)
Anthologies let fans of one author discover more writers. And you hope they will discover you. ;)
For anyone wondering if it is normal to write a companion online novel for a short story… it is not, and I am a weirdo, as you can see from my description of how anthologies work I got it all backwards, and when I do my Monstrous Affections events in New York and Boston in the next two weeks, I hope I will see you guys there but I know you will all be LAUGHING at me.
Wait! My events! Yes! If any of you want a SIGNED copy of Monstrous Affections (I mean, signed by all the authors who will be there) ordering signed copies from the NYC and Boston bookshops is a good idea:
And same goes for signed Unmades… or any book I have written, but Unmade is the new shiny.
(If you leave a message I am happy to personalise or do whatever. Draw a picture. Draw a TERRIBLE picture. ;))
But if you only wish for Monstrous Affections, signed or unsigned/asap, follow your heart! Candlewick, amazon, the book depository, your local bookshop… Anyplace you wish to buy it is awesome with me, but you’re a love for asking. Thank you again. Sorry for writing you such a giant answer to such a simple and lovely question…
Elliot sat on the fence bisecting two fields and brooded tragically over his wrongs.
He had been taken away from geography class, one of his most interesting classes, to take some kind of scholarship test out in the wild. A woman in odd clothing had ‘tested’ him by asking him if he could see a wall standing in the middle of a field. When he told her “Obviously, because it’s a wall. Walls tend to be obvious” she had pointed out other people blithely walking through the wall as if it was not there, and told him that he was one of the chosen few with the sight.
“Are you telling me that I have magical powers?” Elliot had asked, extremely excited for a moment, and then he added: “… because I can’t walk through walls? That doesn’t seem right.”
From much later in the same text:
"…and Elliot had to try and explain being Jewish but not practising to an elf."
i was bored and listless and sleepy at work and started reading this and now i’m punched in the feelings
Speaking of the free book, as I just was, this was very lovely to see, because it is three different aspects of my writin’ being enjoyed, and what is not lovely about that? I’m so glad.
About book piracy. I just kind of want to hear your opinion on 1) people reading lots of books online and then buying those they like best in numbers they can fit into their budget; 2) people from overseas reading books online because they are just not sold over there and international shipping is too much pain in the ass for something you are not really sure is worth it as you haven't read it...
Piracy is a huge and complicated issue, but a lot of where it comes down to for me is “I enjoy eating.” I enjoy having food. I enjoy having lights that come on. I really, really enjoy feeding my cats. Forget my enjoyment of luxuries like Monster High dolls and sometimes going to Disneyland—I enjoy food, and shelter, and providing for the living creatures who depend on me. I am able to do this because people buy my books. I am a full time author, which means I have no safety net at all: I get what people pay for, and not a penny more.
From here, I am going to switch to the generic “you,” because I need to express some pretty broad concepts. I am not accusing you, the asker, of piracy. I have no information one way or the other, and I’m not trying to call anyone out. That said…
You’re not sure you’re going to like my work? I give away a borderline ridiculousamount of fiction, for free, with no DRM and no geographical restrictions. Both the Velveteen vs. books are available DRM free, again with no geographic restrictions. All the Velveteen stories are available free on my blog, where they were originally posted. I have short stories in publications all over the internet, many of which can be read, again, for free, without geographic restrictions or DRM. If you’re worried that you may not like the sort of things I write, there are ways to reassure yourself.
(“Liking one thing doesn’t mean liking everything” is an absolute truth. Stephen King is my favorite author, and I don’t like several of his books. I still bought them. I bought them, I read them, I disliked them, I got rid of them. Because I don’t pay for my movie tickets after the film; I don’t pay for my theme park admission based on how many times I barfed on the scrambler. I had the experience of the book, which I bought based on my preferences and my track record with the author. I paid for it because I wanted it. I was not cheated, even when the book wasn’t for me.)
There’s a way to read a lot of books and buy the ones you like best without piracy: the library. If the library in your area does not have all the books you want to read, either because of the country you’re in or because of budget restrictions, that sucks. That does not make it ethically right to download a bunch of books that were not intended for free release. Authors do get paid for library use: the library buys our books, and then, if those books are popular, they buy more. No one’s getting paid for piracy.
Everyone in the world, except for the first editor who opens the file, is paying for a book they’re not sure they’ll like. I’m not saying buy blindly, or buy everything, or that you owe me a living. But given how much you can get hold of without putting down a cent, I find “I may not like it” to be a little disingenuous as a defense of piracy. Either you know you like my work, and are trying to excuse not wanting to pay for it, or you haven’t taken the time to read before saying “hey let’s just steal stuff.”
Piracy is not a victimless crime. Piracy hurts people. There’s no way of saying “one hundred pirated books equals ____ sales,” because that’s not real math, but the fact is that books are not songs are not movies; most people don’t re-read, and buying a copy of a book you’ve already read will almost always come after buying a book you haven’t read yet.
I don’t make that much per copy, all told. It’s about fifty cents once you average it out. And that means that if someone were to illegally download all the Seanan McGuire books—not even the Mira Grant—when they otherwise would have bought them, they would only be depriving me of $7.50. Not a big deal. Less than the full cover price of one book, right?
Except that it’s never just one person. It never stops at $7.50.
I am terrified of not being able to pay my bills. I left my day job because trying to write and work for a corporation at the same time was literally killing me. It was destroying my health and my sanity, and I couldn’t take it any longer. I need to be able to eat and keep the power on and feed my cats and take care of my mother, and I do that by selling books. I am a businesswoman. This is my job.
How do I feel about piracy? I hate it. I give away so much, in part to keep people from wasting their money when they don’t know if they’ll like my prose. I am as generous as I can be. But I can’t be generous here.
I can’t starve myself to save someone else a dollar.
..but I can swear and TYPE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE UNTOLD GAVE ME EVERYTHING I WANTED AND THEN RIPPED IT AWAY AGAIN LEAVING ME WHIMPERING IN PAIN ON MY FAINTING SOFA LIKE ANGELA DEPRIVED OF A NAP AND/OR HOLLY’S BEAUTIMOUS EXISTENCE.
“I now believe the most dangerous time for a woman with online visibility is the point at which others are seen to be listening, “following”, “liking”, “favoriting”, retweeting. In other words, the point at which her readers have (in the troll’s mind) “drunk the Koolaid”. Apparently, that just can’t be allowed. From the hater’s POV, you (the Koolaid server) do not “deserve” that attention. You are “stealing” an audience. From their angry, frustrated point of view, the idea that others listen to you is insanity.”—
This is a weekly meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are as follows:
Grab a book, any book. Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you. Post it. Add your URL post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.
So it seems stalker might get off lightly. How would you feel about that, silly little idiot.
How I feel has nothing to do with it. I immediately sent this message to the NZ police and directly to the FBI and directly to the victims’ assistance counsel who has been keeping me up to date on everything, informing them that you, my stalker, have now broken the terms of your arrest.
The terms, as a refresher, were:
No using the Internet
No using post
No contacting Melissa Anelli or any of her family and friends
No contacting anyone in North America.
No one but my stalker would have had any information about the severity or lack thereof of her sentence. And after 6.5 years I can spot a sentence she has written from a mile away without reading glasses. I am publishing this so that it is well known that she has broken the terms of her bail. Because the last time I wasn’t silent about one of her messages, it led to her arrest. I don’t want this break of her bail conditions - while awaiting sentencing no less! - to go unnoted.
The Melissa of a year ago would not have published this. But I am so done. I have done everything everyone has asked. I have written the letters to the judges going over the whole thing in excruciating and personally painful detail. I have saved evidence with the organization of a librarian. I have answered every question and waited through every deferment and delay, and I am done just doing what is usually done in these instances. This is endless, and it is harmful, and it must stop, and “getting off lightly” would be a complete travesty. As is the fact that no one is monitoring her well enough to see how she is breaking the terms of her bail, and that no one is convinced she should be incarcerated in some fashion.
You know what I’m not done with, and can’t just decide to be done with? Being a victim. That is up to the people who work for the legal system of New Zealand. My being a victim. Up to them. How I deal with being a victim? Up to me. Whether I am continually victimized? Them.
And maybe making this public will make me less sympathetic to some judge down there and that will lessen her sentence for some completely non-sensical reason, I don’t know. But I am so beyond done with it being everyone else's call.
This is life with a serious stalker. Everyone who is worried about harassment on the Internet needs to see and know and understand this. This goes beyond getting hordes of hateful or threatening YouTube comments: this is about when someone gets in. We are talking about 6.5 years of constant threats and abuse that go offline and into the physical realm, stalking and harassment that touch everyone I know, that has not yet been deterred by TWO ARRESTS and the threat of jail. If you aren’t sure what this post is about, read this for a reminder.
Excuse me. I must now go and undo all of the small victories from the past few months, starting with the allowing of asks.
“All over the gray façade of his father’s house in scarlet letters he wrote: ELLIOT SCHAFER. He almost added: ‘was here’ but did not, partly because it was a little too clichéd vandal for him, and partly because it did not encompass all he wanted to say: was here, is no longer here, is somewhere almost unimaginably different, is all right.”—
I've always been That Person, so even though I'm likely the tenth to do so, I have to say that Verity Lambert was the first producer of Doctor Who. This is not meant as a criticism, since your post is wonderful.
I am glad you liked the post!
I do think without Verity Lambert, there would’ve been no Daleks, a different first Doctor, and the show would be an entirely different creation.
But as I discussed in the post as regards Schoonmaker and Scorsese, and Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, where the credit should be given and where it is given is a tricky and thorny boundary, where all opinions will differ and only the dead or silent know the truth.
I am however not a Doctor Who expert so I am also prepared to bow to expertise, and share it, as I am now doing. ;) See above! Not a doctor. (… who expert.)
“I feel like that’s the thing that’s holding back many young women writers, and many young women in general now—this idea that we don’t put our work out until we believe it’s immaculate, and there’s no such thing as perfection to begin with. Secondly, the lack of a perfected idea never stopped men from speaking out! To be successful I think you really have to shove yourself forward, and I consider myself really lucky that I’ve never held myself back in those ways. To a fault! I’m sort of a pamphleteer for my own work, standing on a street corner ringing a bell, shouting, “Look what I made! Look what I made!””—
I feel that Elizabeth Gilbert is right, but I wanted to talk a little bit about bell-ringing, and why women are held back, and how much people resist women shoving themselves forward—how much they resist women doing something that might lead to success.
Compliments are two-edged swords for women: thinking well of yourself is a dangerous activity people will try to stop you engaging in.
I remember vividly being sixteen and having a friend come up to me and compliment my outfit. ‘Thank you!’ I said. ‘Wow,’ she said, and blinked. ‘Normally people say—oh hey, I like *your* thing, but no, it’s cool you just said thanks! It’s great you’re so confident!’ ‘I’m sorry,’ I said. ‘No, I really like your top. I’m sorry.’
And from then on, I remembered to compliment back rather than act like I was so great I could just take a compliment. If possible, I complimented first, just to be safe!
And there’s nothing wrong with complimenting other people. And my friend is and was a lovely person. It wasn’t her fault she said it, or my fault I took it that way. It’s that this is a system that tries to get you coming and going.
THE WORLD: Have high self-esteem generally.
LADY: I’m so cute.
THE WORLD: Uh but don’t be vain!
LADY: I’m so smart.
THE WORLD: Do not be a stuck-up bitch!
LADY: I quite like my…
THE WORLD: Gosh you think HIGHLY of yourself, don’t you?
“Girls are trained to say, ‘I wrote this, but it’s probably really stupid.’ Well, no, you wouldn’t write a novel if you thought it was really stupid. Men are much more comfortable going, ‘I wrote this book because I have a unique perspective that the world needs to hear.’ Girls are taught from the age of seven that if you get a compliment, you don’t go, ‘Thank you’, you go, ‘No, you’re insane.’ “ - Lena Dunham
It’s not that guys don’t get insecure, too. Of course they do: they are human. But it’s true that girls are *taught* insecurity, via a barrage of social pressure… pressure from everybody.
A friend of mine wrote a post a few weeks ago talking about being a woman writer online, and the things you heard from people while… being a woman writer online. Two of those things were: it didn’t sell so she’s a failure, and the other was: it did sell and I liked it but it’s rubbish.
Those two things (she does sell/she doesn’t sell) can’t be true of one writer at one time: obviously she was talking about stuff that happens, across the board, to women writers. Several people, of course, rushed to inform her that she was a bad writer (so she deserves what she gets!) and a bad person (so she deserves what she gets!). Because of course, she had to be whining about how she was treated personally, and she had to be told she deserved it.
Pretty classic method of trying to shut someone up. And never mind that a LOT of women writers, with a lot of different careers, reblogged it: probably they were bad people too, or bad writers too, or whiners, or making everything about sexism, or when they thought it applied to them they were mistaken. (So silly.)
I see this all the time, from people who are openly like ‘Yuck, feminists’ in real life, to people online who are like ‘I am one thousand per cent dedicated to feminism, and I haven’t noticed that a huge amount of my hatred is devoted to women doing it wrong and I love no lady real or fictional as much as I love Bucky Barnes/Tom Hiddleston/Joseph Fink/Derek Hale/a member of One Direction chosen by lottery.’
And it has a profound effect on women’s ability to do their jobs. As Elizabeth Gilbert says, not being a bell-ringer for your work is holding you back: but being a bell-ringer for your work is something that comes with the risk of being attacked, feeling lousy… and stopping being a bell-ringer for your work, learning it’s too risky, sacrificing a bit of yourself to preserve the rest.
This training makes women very quiet for a while, because that’s how self-doubt works: you don’t think ‘it’s the world, the world’s all messed up.’ You think: it’s me. You think, I just have to do better. You’re ashamed that you didn’t do better before you spoke up.
But there is no way to do well enough: there is no time there won’t be pushback when you speak up, because the desire behind the pushback, conscious or unconscious, is not for you to do better. It’s for you to stop.
Emily Gould’s talked about the impact an online attack had on her professionally.
‘I felt fear doing events around publication. Not stage fright, fear for my physical safety. Instead of planning celebrations I was arranging with bookstores and my publisher for adequate security at events. I felt worried that the location of my apartment had been revealed in so many profiles. It’s not like I experienced physical trauma or was tortured but I felt under attack. This wasn’t something that “happened on the internet” or something that could have been avoided by “just unplugging.” Talking to readers, doing events, and promoting books online is my job.
I still haven’t sorted out what kind of damage was done.’
So ladies, getting harassed about thirty times more than dudes? And that’s just online… think about what happens in real life, like Joanne Harris having a publisher reject her based on her ‘lack of physical appeal.’
One cannot help but think ‘Gosh, if I was receiving thirty times less crap, I might have a better opinion of myself and I might get more done!’
And it’s not just online, and it’s not just publishing, sometimes it’s also your nearest and dearest who have an interest in shutting you up: the people you love and should be able to trust.
Zelda Fitzgerald had her work stolen from her by her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald, who frankly said he was just typing out her diaries sometimes, and she was depressed (who can blame her!) because stories written solely by her got more money when F. Scott Fitzgerald was listed as co-author… or when he was listed as the only author!
THE WORLD: But maybe you didn’t! Maybe your husband did it! Maybe your brother Branwell did it!
LADY: And also, work takes time, and I need to eat.
THE WORLD: And now you want to get PAID? Where’s your pride in your work, you money-grubbing ho?
LADY: Oh, *now* I’m meant to be all about the art?)
It is not just one’s husbands who snake women’s work: writing novels at all used to be sneered at as a lady thing, and then suddenly men started doing it and there was serious important literature, and women should stop doing that thing they invented! On a smaller scale but in the same vein, a woman called Victoria Lambert created Doctor Who, but no women have been allowed to write Doctor Who episodes for six years and counting.
It is not, of course, writing but all work done by women that is devalued in various ways: Female scientists’ contributions are overlooked and forgotten, teaching changed from a male-dominated job to a female-dominated job in the 1800s when people realised a) oh no all kids need teaching! and b) oh wait thank god we can just pay the ladies half as much… and it is still a female-dominated and thus underpaid job today, the games industry chases women away savagely (http://elizabethsampat.com/the-truth-about-zoe-quinn/), actresses are not given their own movies to lead (51% of the population, 10.8% of the lead roles in big movies!), women directors are just not given jobs (6% of 2013’s big movies had women directors), women take jobs as film editors instead of directors and then are not given credit for their contribution to films (e.g. Thelma Schoonmaker, who has edited all Martin Scorsese’s movies since 1980), women have 5% of Fortune 100 CEO positions, Taylor Swift gets it in the neck for writing songs about her own love life while Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, to name but one dude, can do the same thing for a decade and nobody cares.
It’s not easy to love yourself or what you do or what you have created. It’s not easy to promote yourself or praise yourself. The whole situation is fixed to make it difficult.
Bell-ringing is so complicated. A writer friend of mine asked for several promotions she knew male authors who sold less well than she had received: she got turned down. So she literally invented a new kind of promotion. They gave it to her in sheer puzzlement.
(It worked, and since then many people have been given that kind of promotion. Mostly dudes. The writer friend who invented it has been criticised a lot for not being a true artiste, and being arrogant. The dudes who got the promotion she invented have almost without exception gone on to win prizes women seldom win, be reviewed in many major publications that feature very few women, and talk about their own genius and get others to talk about it too.)
Dorothy L. Sayers, a badass writer who knew what she was talking about, said it was surprising anyone going through the wringer of sexism ‘retained any rag of sanity or self-respect.’
That’s why bell-ringing is such a complicated thing. It’s why shoving yourself forward is so difficult. ‘Well, just do it anyway’ is good advice, the only advice possible, but it’s also important to acknowledge what gets in the way of doing what we want to do. So that for every time we get pushback or feel ashamed, we remember to celebrate rather than be ashamed.
Despite the pressures of the world, so many women have done and made so many things! Just concentrating on writing, they: invented the novel. Popularised science fiction. Now, they’ve popularised young adult fiction and invented new adult fiction.
So, if you manage to get by and think you’re not so bad most days, that’s a triumph. If you manage to create something despite the voices inside and outside your head telling you not to, that’s amazing. If you make a mistake, own up to it, but know it’s probably not as bad a mistake as everyone is rushing to tell you it was. If you feel shamefaced about something you have done or made, that’s an injustice the world has put in your way—it’s not because you did or made something to be ashamed of. If you can create something, and believe in it and yourself enough to talk about it and think about how to get it out in the world… you have accomplished a series of amazing deeds. You have triumphed against a series of adversities.
They directed 21 Jump Street, a remake of a TV show, a movie which had no right to be hilarious.
And the Lego Movie, starring the once and future best Batman of all time. (Sorry I’m reading the future, Ben Affleck, but that’s the way it’s going to be.)
I felt like I kept seeing them take a premise that would work for a quick laugh or a quick buck and work harder at it than that, and seeing them trust their audience enough to get references and laugh in the same moment—in a medium that often doesn’t respect the audience.
People treat humour as if it’s less consequential than tragedy or gritty drama… as if it’s necessarily not smart. But I think it absolutely has to be smart to work—we all know smart people tell the best jokes.
And we all know in-jokes, which come from knowing people, are the best jokes—so for characters’ jokes to truly land, we have to feel like we know and care about characters.
The cheap laugh, like a lot of cheap stuff, doesn’t work all that well and doesn’t last that long and ends up not being worth it.
I thought Brooklyn Nine Nine might be smart, too, and have heart. And it does! I really like it.
(I know, I cannot turn the creepy writer brain overthinking off! I am very annoying to watch TV and movies with.)
If you could hug any Doctor Who writer, which one would you hug? I think personally I would go for Robert Shearman, he looks cuddly and that beard would probably feel nice rubbing on your head. Russell T Davies also looks quite huggable but his propensity towards suits and lack of facial hair might not make it as pleasurable as Mr Shearman.
I would like to hug all the women who have written for Doctor Who since 2008. All of them! I would start with…
What, nobody? That can’t be right…. (goes off, puzzled).
Now that the Lynburn Legacy is finished, what can you tell me about the titles of each book contained within? Unspoken, Untold, Unmade... I recall Cassandra Clare played some role in the naming. But would do they meeeeean? (Also, I joined Tumblr, just now, so I could 'Ask You Anything'. This is what my life has become!)
Huzzah, welcome to tumblr!
Well, Unspoken was originally called ‘Listen for a Whisper’ because I am terrible at titles.
And then when it sold, my editor said gently to me that we’d be changing the name.
Right, I said. Good call, I said.
Any suggestions? she asked.
I… don’t… I said. I’ll think about… that…
Great, she said.
I sent her a few lists of names. They weren’t… I’m terrible at titles. (Like, whose genius idea was it to call The Demon’s Lexicon The ‘Watch Out The Bible Belt Burn This On Sight’ ‘Word People Aren’t Immediately Familiar with?’)
They don’t like anything! I cried. INJUSTICE! I was in France at the time, at a writers’ retreat with Cassie Clare, Holly Black and Robin Wasserman. They were in the pool. I sat beside the pool, contemplating the bees.
Nothing will make them HAPPY, I said. They don’t like ANYTHING, I said. And I still have to think up a Gothic-sounding SERIES title, I continued.
What about Unspoken? asked Cassie. Because they communicate without speaking!
Sure… I said. I mean, I’ll SUGGEST it. But they won’t like it.
What about the Lynburn Legacy for the series title? asked Robin. Haha, or something better than that.
Look… I said. Enjoy all your big heads full of IDEAS and all, guys, but let me just write an email and you’ll see how this goes over.
Great ideas! said my editor. Now we’re all set!
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR BRILLIANT IDEAS AND THANKS, JERKS, I said.
And they were all like:
After that, I wanted titles that both began with ‘Un’ (symmetry!) and that were to do with words, because so much of the series is about words, and writing, and communication. ‘Untold’ worked perfectly because there was so much that needed to be told, and hadn’t been—between Jared and Kami, in Kami’s family, and in the town. ‘Unmade’ for a long time was called ‘Unbroken’ but then the lady who wrote Seabiscuit took the title.
I was mad. I cursed the name of the lady who wrote Seabiscuit!
But then, ‘Unmade’ occurred to me. I like it, because promises are made and unmade. And so are people.
… Really, Unbroken was always too cheerful a title…
And so this is the story of the titles of the Lynburn Legacy. Don’t ask about the time someone suggested the title ‘Unvanquished’ because it was a real bad time.
jon and lillian <3 I was converted after unmade :D
I am so glad you liked them! When writing parents in YA fiction, I tend to think about two things a lot…
1) Law of conservation of characters
No book, movie or TV character can have as many friends as a real life person. It would be totally confusing.
This is (partly) why so many characters are loners, are orphans, are only children: every character takes up a bit of space, takes up some of the reader’s attention, and eventually the reader does reach burnout and go—another new character, I can’t remember all these names, it is hard to attach, it is confusing! (e.g. how the new characters in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire are often greeted warily as additions to the huge cast: or how the main character often ends up with the first girl or guy we’re introduced to: likely to be the one the reader/viewer connected with most.) Families in fiction are taking up valuable real estate.
But I wanted to do families in the Lynburn Legacy—parents and siblings—I mean, there’s a family in the title. Kami’s quite clearly a product of her particular family—a happy stable one with its own particular problems. Lillian’s a product of her family, too.
(Much discussion under the cut, primarily of Jon and Lillian but also of other characters, with minor but not major spoilers for Unmade.)
I <3 Unmade, but still need more (not just complimenting you, it feels like actual need--I've developed Lynburn Legacy dependence & can't move on)! Do you think you'll ever (officially or unofficially) write a years-into-the-future, ridiculously-cheesy-tying-up-of-all-possible-ends happy-ending epilogue to Unmade? Something like middle-aged Harry Potter, or Clockwork Princess' deathbed/bridge? Maybe that's not your style, but if you did, I'd cry w/ happiness.
I am so glad you liked Unmade!
As you can tell from this short story, I have ideas for years more of adventure for a lot of these characters:
So flashing forward decades would mean showing the Lynburn Legacy characters with characters readers weren’t familiar with at all, and beloved couples broken up and nobody would know why, and more people dead and nobody would know how, and new happinesses achieved and people wouldn’t know how that happened either.
So I don’t think people would like it. ;)
Like, you can imagine how well Harry Potter or Clockwork Princess would have gone down with brand new characters or tons of extra information that hadn’t been given in the books before.
' “All was well…” murmured Harry Potter out loud.
"Eh, sure, aside from the near certainty of environmental collapse coming at us all like an apocalyptic express train," said Zanzibar Pilates, the rookie Auror Harry had taken under his wing. "And the extremely troubling lack of diversity in all fiction, including children’s fiction, which brainwashes children into believing in a false ideal of this world and leads to intolerance, self-hatred and despair. Though at least that situation has improved slightly since your day!"
Harry frowned. “My day?”
Zanzibar patted Harry on the shoulder. “That’s the great tragedy of growing up, I guess: you stop being a rebel with a set-in-his-ways uncle and you start being somebody else’s stuffy uncle.”
"Ron and Hermione’s kids think I’m cool!" Harry protested.
Zanzibar Pilates shook his head sadly to see such delusion. ‘
' “It is great to see you, Jem, especially when you are looking so fine and foxy,” said Tessa, holding Jem's hand on Blackfriars Bridge. “But there are a few things I have to tell you. One is that I am already in a romantic relationship with Charlotte, who is now a sexy vampire.”
Jem looked around, very startled, to see Charlotte approaching in the gathering dusk.
"The other is that I have been practising my warlock powers, and I now generally present as various different Tessas," said Tessa, and multiplied so Blackfriars Bridge was now filled with more than thirty Tessas.
Most of them looked just like Tessa, but one was a pillar of fire with Tessa’s features, and one was a car that had a suggestion of Tessa about the windshield.
"I know you must be a little taken aback," said Tessa. "But I’m really hoping we can still make this work."
Jem looked from the pillar of fire, to the car, to the many Tessas, and to Charlotte. She was a fine figure of a vampire.
"I’m honoured you thought me worthy of these challenges," said Jem slowly. "I can only hope I’m able to rise to the occasion."
"I have every faith in you, darling," said his betrothed. "To the Tessa mobile! Away!" ‘
So… I am very sorry to disappoint you, and I’m not saying I wouldn’t write about the Lynburn Legacy characters in the future, because as you can see, I would really like to write about the characters extensively sometime in the future. ;)
But I think an epilogue would disappoint you right now, because you’d just be sitting there going ‘What? WHAT? Who in the name of juju beans is Zanzibar Pilates?’
I am, however, very glad that you would like more story…