Topic of the Week over on Fangs, Fur & Fey - Readers' Questions

x/posted from Fangs, Fur & Fey

Q. For those of you, especially debut authors, who sold series where the first book was complete but future books were not: How much freedom did you have with the writing of the second book?

Q. On pitching series, do you pitch the series in the initial query? Or is that something you extrapolate once you've been invited to send some material along?

I have a three book deal with Gollancz and my debut book is book one in a reasonably open series – That’s what I pitched to my agent, and once I’d finished book one – my agent took me on as a client before I’d completed the manuscript ;) - that’s what he pitched to publishers. Along with the completed manuscript, I sent one page detailing my ideas for books two and three (both very short three line paragraphs), a few one liners about possible further books, and also some other ideas I had, to expand the series/stories in my world.

In answer to the question about book two, so far, I’m being left to write it as per that short paragraph. As to whether this is normal or not, I don’t know, as I am a debut author. I think this is one of those answers that could vary between different editors and authors and publishing houses.

Q. How do you deal with writer's block?

This is an odd one, as I’ve found hitting a block where I can’t seem to write the next scene, or bit of dialogue usually has a particular cause (as opposed to the just not feeling like working one, cos I’m tired, or distracted by too many other things, like life, or the other job - and I can be world class at distracting myself *g*)

Frex – I was writing a scene where my MC is alone with another character, and I couldn’t think of a thing for them both to say to each other. So I took a walk, and pondered *read racked brain for solution* And I realised *I* the writer, knew exactly why both characters were alone together, regarding their motivations, and the plot development, but my UF has a strong murder mystery plot running through it ;) so of course, the character other than my MC couldn’t *talk* about their real reasons, because that would give the game away, so they had to have some plausible excuse. So in the end, I managed to find their excuse, and ... the words started to flow again ;) (sorry if that was a bit convoluted, but I don’t want to give out any hints *g*)

Q. My parents are visiting England, and asked if I wanted anything can anyone recommend some UF that hasn't been released in the US? I spent about two hours crossmatching and but had very little success.

As a Brit, I find most of my UF reading has been from the US, as currently UF in the UK is not as big. One UF Brit author that springs to mind is Mike Carey and his Felix Castor series - Mike is probably better known for his graphic novels – but his UF are wonderful books and are set in London (as are my own ;)) His MC, Fix is an exorcist, and has to deal with zombies, ghosts, demons, and a really different style of weres.

National Adopt a Vampire Month

For those of you who don't know, it's National Adopt a Vampire Month over at Jaye's Blahg. There have been plenty of great posts from my fellow authors who also write about those of the sexy, sharp-toothed persuasion *g*

And tomorrow Jaye is kindly allowing me to guest blog about why I think adopting a vampire could be one of those life changing things - well, that's how it happened for me anyway ;)

Jaye Wells is herself a writer and fan of the fanged, and her own book RED HEADED STEPCHILD is due out in September 2009.

To find out more, pop on over. Not only is the reading excellent entertainment, but you can win books! Yes, there are prizes, so what are you waiting for? Go now and enjoy!

ETA - September 2008:

Here's a copy of the post from Jaye's Blahg Go check out the rest of the posts back in March - great fun was had by all *g*

Just why should you adopt a vampire?

Going by all the fantastic posts so far, I'd be surprised if there is anyone
out there who hasn't already made the decision to adopt their very own
vampire. But just in case you need a bit more persuasion
information on the subject before taking that momentous decision, this is
for those of you who are still wondering what all the fuss is about.

Want to go on a world tour with angst? Take a journey with Akasha and
Lestat as Anne Rice tells us how The Queen of The Damned goes for world

Fancy a Greek god in leathers? Why not choose one of Sherrilyn Kenyon's
hot Dark Hunters.

If a mysterious castle, bug eating slaves and a pack of pet wolves is
your thing
, then you have to meet The Count himself - Dracula.

Maybe you need to work off some aggression by slicing and dicing?Grab your sword and turn vigilante along with Blade.

Feeling thirsty? Indulge in a bottle of synthetic blood with
Charlaine Harris' super hot bad boy viking, Eric.

Need a bit of creeping dread to get your heart thudding, as you realise
the slavering monsters are real?
Go Vampyrrhic with Simon Clark.

Does the thought of losing all that blood make you feel faint? Try a
date with Jim Butcher's sexy Thomas instead.

In the mood for some laughs with your fangs? Wander round San
Francisco with Chris Moore and his Bloodsucking Fiends.

Do those little grey cells need a work out? Go on a murder mystery
weekend with Vicky Nelson and Henry Fitzroy in Tanya Huff's Blood Ties.

Searching for your soul mate? Look no further than Christine Feehan's
romantic Carpathians.

Want to get up close and personal and indulge your Guilty Pleasures?Then dive into the wonderful seductive world created by Laurell K

Feeling oppressed and itching to rebel against the aliens? Follow
David Valentine into E.E Knight's conquered vampire earth.

Having a really bad day? Try kicking some serious arse with Nancy
Collins and her Sonja Blue.

But if those don't snag your interest, then keep looking because there are
more vampire books out there than you can shake a whole load of stakes at.
But, one last warning for any of you thinking about giving the vampires a
try - once they sink their fangs into you, and you have a taste of what they
can offer - well, there's no escape after that, they'll keep you under their
spell for all eternity.

And just to add to the persuasion information sharing for
those who might still be crouching behind that door, and wondering whether
adopting a vampire is the right way to go - If you've already succumbed,
then who was the first vampire you ever met?

Traditionalist with a twist

x/posted from Fangs, Fur & Fey

TOPIC: How do you pick the sort of creature/being you utilize?

Personally, I like to have my cake and eat it ;) I wanted to write about vampires, and faeries, and witches, and goblins, and trolls, and all those other creatures that fuel our fears and dreams in the myths and legends. So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve kept the majority of the traditional elements, (such as vampires surviving on blood and forgoing the suntan *g*) and then set it all in a contemporary London, along with my own little twists tweaks here and there.

My twists come when I spend time daydreaming researching my world. One of the myths I find fascinating is that of the sidhe fae wanting to seduce humans. When you look at it from the human side, it’s a great way to explain away that unwanted pregnancy, or the young man who runs away leaving his responsibilities on the farm behind – you can just blame it on something that you have no control over. But if you look at it from the sidhe point of view, it doesn’t stack up. I mean, if you’re such a beautiful being, living amongst others like yourself, are you really going to want to seduce some poor farm girl who happened to be feeding the hens. Is a faerie queen going to be so desperate as to steal away the lad that milks the cows? Nu-huh, somehow I don’t think so.

So I asked myself why. Why would this happen, what would encourage the sidhe to be attracted to humans, and how would it affect not just the sidhe, but also the humans, and other non-human races. How would this cause the world to evolve? How would they all interact together? What difference would technology make? And endless, endless other questions ;)

Then I got into daydreaming researching my main character. In the world I’d created, what race would she be? What problems would that cause her? How would she deal with them? What sort of job would she have? What emotional baggage would she carry with her from before the story started? Why would she be special to the other characters? And what would they want from her?

Which is how Genevieve Taylor, a sidhe fae, who works for came into being ;)

Suzanne McLeod
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