Author Q&A: Katharine Kerr

Time for a novel characteristic on the blog! I'm hoping to brand this a monthly thing, but for that to give I require authors to interview. So if you lot know of anyone who would hold out willing to respond a few questions, ship them my way!

So every bit this is our foremost writer Q&A, it's only plumbing fixtures that nosotros receive got my favorite writer every bit the foremost victim interviewee! That's right, Katharine "Kit" Kerr graciously agreed to respond 5 questions well-nigh her by together with electrical flow work, alongside other things.

Kit's foremost published volume was Daggerspell, which spawned a 15-book serial that most of her readers only cite to every bit "The Deverry Series." In add-on to this epic fantasy series, she has written several scientific discipline fiction novels, together with most late has been working on a laid of urban fantasy novels laid approximately Nola O'Grady, a psychic investigator for a surreptitious regime means that fifty-fifty the CIA doesn't know exists. The foremost book, License to Ensorcell was released this February, together with the latest was only released this week: Water to Burn. The adjacent volume inwards the serial is due out inwards February. Also of note, all of the Deverry novels are right away available inwards e-book format inwards the US!

Are you lot ready for some questions?

Q: After decades of writing fantasy together with scientific discipline fiction, what led you lot to your latest serial of urban fantasy?  Was it a genre you lot begin to write intentionally, or did it only evolve into what it is now?

A: I intended to write inwards the genre.  I'd pretty much done what I wanted to do inwards Epic Fantasy, together with Hard SF is non actually my thing.  The thought of Urban Fantasy intrigued me, though I wanted to do something rattling dissimilar from what I'd seen already published.  No zombies require apply, for 1 thing!  One dark I heard a vocalism inwards my caput maxim "I'd only gotten out of the shower when the angel appeared", together with Nola introduced herself to me.  We were off together with running.

Q: You oftentimes tell on your weblog that your characters write the story for you, together with that you lot often don't know where the story is headed until they tell you.  How does this approach to writing behaviour upon the editing process?  Do you lot respect it to a greater extent than hard to modify things when the characters led you lot inwards that direction originally?

A:  This approach makes the revising physical care for to a greater extent than difficult, I suppose, but I've ever written this way.  I unremarkably revise a volume several times earlier an editor fifty-fifty sees it.  Once I receive got a heap of material, I receive got to shape together with prune it.  My petroleum drafts are like neglected gardens -- overgrown together with likewise crowded.

The characters tin hold out rattling insistent, together with they unremarkably win.  Ari, for instance, was supposed to expire abode to State of Israel at the terminate of License to Ensorcell together with rest there.  He insisted on coming back, together with every bit he unremarkably does, he got his way, because I could non write a give-and-take of the Big Farewell Scene, spell the Big Return Scene practically wrote itself.  This left me scrambling to explicate how he managed to come upwards dorsum against all rational police push clitoris procedures.  (It becomes clear at the commencement of Book 3.)

Q: Your Deverry serial has been released inwards a few dissimilar editions.  How receive got the books changed betwixt publications?  Are at that topographic point soundless things you lot would modify well-nigh them today given the chance?

A: Only the foremost 2 books receive got changed.  Since Daggerspell was the foremost volume I ever had published, it was clumsy inwards places, together with Darkspell had existent problems inwards 1 section.  When Bantam offered me the jeopardy to revise, I jumped at it.  All the other books are the same inwards all editions, although the HarperCollins versions receive got British spelling throughout.  I would definitely rewrite Darkspell's "1060's" sections if 1)I had the chance; 2)it wouldn't hold out sort of empty-headed of me, subsequently all these years of it existence out inwards the revised edition.

Q: You are a rattling song supporter of, a distributor of e-books.  How do you lot experience e-books receive got changed the marketplace for your books?  How do you lot meet e-books changing the aspect upwards of publishing? 

A: I haven't actually seen plenty yet to respond those questions!  I similar BookViewCafe because it's an author-run, all volunteer co-op.  I definitely approve of authors taking accuse of their books.  But it's way likewise shortly to meet if it volition succeed inwards whatever large way.  E-books inwards full general will, I think, supplant for sure kinds of volume marketplace paperbacks -- the "fast reads", the sort of things that no 1 reads to a greater extent than than once.  They soundless receive got existent disadvantages, however, fifty-fifty for that sort of book.  You can't sell a used e-book, nor tin you lot give it or lend it to a friend.

Q: Several of your books are out of print.  What is your persuasion of this practice?  Do you lot experience it benefits or harms the writer when a volume goes out of print?  Does it modify anything for you lot or are you lot far plenty along inwards novel fabric that it doesn't actually matter?

A:  It definitely harms the writer because the o.p. volume stops bringing inwards revenue.  If the book's a stand-alone, that's bad enough.  With a series, however, having some but non all books expire out of the impress is frightening.  If readers can't respect the entire series, they won't purchase whatever of the books inwards that series.  Soon plenty the whole thing disappears.  When you lot consider that a well-written serial takes years of an author's life, that's actually sad.  It gives the writer a feeling of existent futility, sort of similar a divorce would.  Years of your life receive got disappeared.

Not that publishers care, of course.  They line books out of impress rapidly when sales drib below a for sure level.  I've known authors who had the foremost or minute volume of a trilogy pulled o.p. fifty-fifty when the publisher knew that Book three was going to hold out published soon.  Which meant, of course, that Book three was an abject failure -- together with the publisher blamed the authors.  However, this is 1 house where e-books mightiness actually aid authors.  Keeping an e-book "in print" costs the publisher nothing.

A giant give thank you lot you to Kit for answering my questions together with hopefully enlightening some of my readers on the writing process, the difficulties authors aspect upwards inwards the volume markets today, together with what a fun soul she genuinely is.  And if you're an writer who would similar to participate, delight experience costless to ship me an e-mail!  That's all for now!  Look out for some other post similar this, hopefully adjacent month!


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