Chachic's Book Nook

Queen’s Thief Week: Guest Post by Megan Whalen Turner

108 Comments

Do I still need to put up an introduction here? Okay, maybe I can just say that I literally jumped up and down when MWT actually replied after I asked her if she’d be willing to participate in Queen’s Thief Week. What could be better than a post from the author herself? :D Please welcome the brilliantly amazing MEGAN WHALEN TURNER!

_______________________________________________
The Evolution of Not-Telling.

Or, how my policy of not answering questions about my books began as self-serving and over time became something even more self-serving.

When I first started to receive letters in the mail (this was before everyone had an e-mail address, I know, Dark Ages) the writers often asked questions I was reluctant to answer. I had a vague idea that readers should have room to make a book their own, and see what they wanted to see in it, and I was leery of giving too many details about my world when I knew some of those details might change. When a story is inside my head, a character can have fourteen brothers or none at all. When I write it down, I have to pick one version and then stick with it forever, so I try to put those decisions off as long as I possibly can. (Trying to settle on Irene’s hair color was painful.)

That’s how not-telling began. I explained that I’d left Gen’s age vague on purpose. Readers could pick any age for him that they liked, and maybe they would change their idea as the story went forward, but if they wanted, they could always ignore the details in the story that they didn’t like and Gen could be any age at all. I said that it felt like cheating, to me, to try to add an explanation to something I’ve already written. I got my chance to write what I wanted to write. If I didn’t do it well enough for my readers to understand what I was trying to say, it’s not fair for me to try to take a second shot. When it comes to talking about what I am writing next, I told people that I think it’s teasing to drop hints about a book… for five years at a time. If I wrote books a little faster, I might be a little more willing to talk about what’s in them ahead of time. But I don’t, so I won’t. (Although, I will try to write faster, I promise, I promise.)

And then, the most wonderful thing happened. The internet arrived. There were reviews to read on Amazon, and at Barnes and Noble and at Readerville and then at Goodreads. With a little help from Google I could find all fourteen people who had read my book and see what they were saying about it. Someone founded a LiveJournal community just to discuss the series and Rowena was the first friendly neighborhood despot moderator. As I watched these clever, funny, thoughtful readers ask each other questions about the stories and sort out what they thought the answers might be… I thought to myself, “Boy, I am never telling these people anything.”

I would have liked to join the community right from the beginning, and I am always tempted when I am lurking to stick my oar in, but I still worry about authors getting in the way of readers. I never have joined. I comment from time to time, so Sounis will know I am around, reading, but I try not to be intrusive. I want people to think for themselves because I like thinking for myself. (I butted heads with an English teacher once when he tried to tell me that the ghost in a short story was just a hallucination. He had a lot of textual evidence. I didn’t care. It was still a ghost for me.) I would never want a discussion to stop because someone, somewhere, found what I said was the “right” answer.

And my reward for keeping my mouth shut?

Honestly, there is nothing so great as crafting a scene–going back and forth about whether a detail is too small or too obvious, worrying will anyone notice? Will they read it and go, duh? Should I just quit and take up knitting? And then watching as a reader lays out everything she thought about that scene and reveals that she thought everything I could have hoped she would. It’s the bomb. It really is. And I am never telling you guys anything.
_______________________________________________

Here’s Not-Telling the lion, MWT’s Mythopoeic Fantasy Award:

Thank you, MWT, for that lovely post! It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” Fellow fans, care to squee and fangirl with me?

About these ads

Author: Chachic

Welcome to Chachic's Book Nook! I'm a Filipino book blogger currently based in Singapore. My blog features all sorts of books that I read from various genres (fantasy, contemporary romance, young adult fiction). Click on About Me to learn more and check out my Favorite Books page for a list of books that I love. Thanks for dropping by! Chachic is pronounced with hard “ch” sounds, first syllable is pronounced like the dance cha-cha while the second syllable is like chick as in a baby chicken.

108 thoughts on “Queen’s Thief Week: Guest Post by Megan Whalen Turner

  1. Wow, I love this post!
    (And this whole feature actually!)
    I’m about to pick up The King of Attolia so I’m being careful with reading these posts because I think the great thing about me reading this series is that I have NO idea what’s coming next, so my mouth is permanently on the floor!

    But, once I’m finished I’ll definitely be coming back and reading through them :)

    And yes, I would like to squee and fangirl with you.

    Eeeeeeh!

    • Jo, I’m so excited for you to read The King of Attolia! I hope you get to read it soon. Don’t worry, definitely no spoilers in this post as it is all about “not telling.” :P

  2. I TOTALLY support this policy. Although, with 4 readers rather than 14, I tend to have some quite intimate discussions with mine and I do let things slip out. I *love* the interpretation the reader brings to the book. I love the idea that it is actually a *different book* in the hands of each different reader – that the actual “text” of the book doesn’t really exist. I am a firm believer in the “Death of the Author.”

    Also, I think that by the author shutting up and keeping her oar out, it makes the readers more confident in voicing their interpretations. I am constantly amazed at the wonderful things other readers notice in my own books that I have never noticed myself.

    Thanks for your lovely, honest lesson and for continuing to produce the brilliant reading material!

    • Hello, favorite author! Honestly, the comment sections of the Queen’s Thief Week are just as much fun as the posts themselves. I totally support your policy as well, as long as I’m included in those 4 readers so we can have intimate discussions of your books. :P

      I love authors who believe readers have an active role in interpreting the books, it makes me feel like an empowered reader. Yes to what you said about readers being more confident in voicing their interpretations (I believe I can site this book blog as an example). I keep saying my reviews are based on how I feel about the books and other people will probably have a different reaction because it’s true.

      • Yes, the comments are fantastic! I think you should give yourself a real pat on the back for enabling the conversation and exchange that’s going on. I’ve really been enjoying (and learning from) the experience.

        As to being one of those 4 readers… well, really I was just being cheeky and removing the “tens” digit from MWT’s equally ridiculous underestimate. Think of yourself in the more dignified role as one of “The First of the Few.”

      • I know, I really am giving myself a pat on the back. This blog event is the best idea ever! It’s been really great so far, I knew a couple of people would be excited about it but it’s even gotten bigger than I expected. I usually reply to all the comments on the blog but I haven’t been able to get through everything.

        LOL I know you were kidding about the 4 readers. I’m delighted to be “The First of the Few.” And you know I’m doing my best to encourage more readers to pick up your books. Oh wait, maybe I should be more clear for the sake of those who don’t know – ewein is Elizabeth Wein. Go look up her books, they are brilliant. :) Currently in the middle of Code Name Verity.

  3. Not surprising her comment policy considering the books themselves have so much space in them to fill in what you think. She doesn’t tell you everything and she doesn’t overdo anything. I don’t think I’d even ever thought about Gen’s age although he had always seemed young to me.

    • Abalyn, I agree, there’s so much room for interpretation in the Queen’s Thief series and I love how MWT lets use figure out the details for ourselves. I can’t believe you’ve never thought about Gen’s age, I’ve always wondered about it and the age gap between him and Irene.

  4. I’ll definitely join you in squealing. I’ve not yet read MWT (I know, I know), but I love this post SO much. Books belong to their readers, always.

  5. Other authors are out here lapping up your advice, MWT!

  6. Ms. Turner, I just wanted to say that I appreciate the fact that you let us hopeless fangirls sift through everything on our own….I have been on other fansites where the authors show up and give definitive answers – it kind of takes the fun out of things!

    I just wonder if you’re laughing up your sleeve at the things we come up with!!!
    ~books

  7. Hmmm. I think ewein just said what I said, only better and in fewer words. Given how wonderful her books are, this doesn’t surprise me any.

    These days there’s a lot of contact between authors and readers and I wonder if that trend will continue or if people will find themselves thinking, “This author sounds funny! And now when I read his books I will hear his funny voice in my head! I wish I’d never met him!”

    Abalyn, I’ve really enjoyed talking to people about what they think Gen’s age is. Especially when I get mail from ten year olds who think he is twelve and twelve year olds who think he is fourteen and then fourteen year olds who think he is sixteen. Once people read beyond The Thief, their proposed ranges for Gen’s age narrow, but when they’ve just read the first book, readers really can see what they want to see. I like that. When I was ten, I certainly felt that a ten year old could run the world if the grown ups would just get out of the way.

    • I’m going to read The Thief with a group of homeschool students I teach starting in April and the age question is one I’m eager to see how they answer.

    • Hmm I follow authors through their blogs, Goodreads and Twitter accounts and I don’t think I’ve ever had that problem of associating their voice with their writing. Which is a good thing, right? One less thing to worry about.

      Wow, I had no idea kids thought Gen is that young. I was already in my twenties when I first read the books and I believed Gen is in his teens. Actually, I still think that actually. Maybe teens in The Thief and then early twenties (or even late teens) in the latter books. I know the age gap between him and Eddis because of the short story but I have no idea how old Attolia is.

      • oh mwt do you *really* not know how old Gen is? Because I am cagey about revealing age in a book too, for the same reasons, but I do actually *know*. Just as I know many other secrets about my characters that I will never tell.

        That was a rhetorical question. Don’t attempt to answer it. if you say yes, then people will pester you until you reveal. If you say no, I will be suspicious. I’m just sayin’.

  8. booksrgood4u,
    Given what Sounis has come up with in the way of Goats and Underwear, why no, I am not laughing up my sleeve. I laugh right out loud.

  9. OH MY GOODNESS! I cannot take all the mutual author love that’s coming out in this series. *dies*

    Dear MWT, much as your not-telling can be slightly annoying when one really wants to know exactly why Ornon and Gen are feuding, I also think you’re very wise. :)

    • I have wondered about the feud between Ornon and Gen as well! Hasn’t it been settled that it’s about Ornon’s sheep? Or was there something else before that?

  10. Ms. Turner, first off, WOW! I love your books! When I read the first one I was bowled over, the second one knocked me off my feet, the third one had me giggling at Costis’ stupidity until the end, and the fourth had me wanting to hug Sophos and tell him everything was gonna be ok.

    Second, never never never never never never NEVER change your writing style! I’m an aspiring author and you have shown me that not everybody has to have everything held up in front of them with an explanation pinned to it. Thank you for your inspiration. I love your post!

    PS I, too, love Sounis (though I do wonder why it’s not called ‘Attolia’ or ‘Eeddis’)! I joined livejournal just to become a part of that amazing ‘fan site’.

    • I love that MWT trusts her readers to interpret her books. It’s such a rewarding experience too when you get to see Gen revealed as the person he really is.

      Checkers doesn’t know either why it LJ community is called Sounis instead of Eddis or Attolia. It came up in one of the comment threads this week.

  11. That just makes me love her even more. Truly. (I’d be *squeeing* too if MWT granted me a guest post on my blog. What a coup.)

    • Believe me, I’m still amazed that she agreed to do a guest post. The whole Queen’s Thief Week has made me an even bigger fan of the series, I didn’t think it was even possible.

  12. And I am never telling you guys anything.

    I am not going to complain about this. :P I absolutely love it when I cannot predict where the book is going and then when I think about it after I’m done reading, I find out that it all makes sense. IMHO, books that make readers think are the ones that become timeless. :)

    • Yes, exactly. I was astounded by so many plot twists in the novels but they all make sense once you realize what’s going on. Which is why these novels make great rereads.

  13. It’s awesome to read the author’s take on this because as a reader, I LOVE the guessing. I also love it when it’s not easy and I love it when things are not obvious so sometimes I miss things. Makes me feel like the author isn’t handing everything to me and thinks I’m smart enough to get it. And I feel really gleeful when I guess and am right. :)

    • Janice, based on the readalongs that we’ve had, you’re pretty good when it comes to the guessing. :P I love it when books surprise me with their twists and turns. And yes, I love feeling like the author thinks I’m smart enough to understand the book while I figure things out as a reader.

  14. *squeeing* :)

    I think this no-telling policy is a great idea – I love that it gives us all a chance to discuss books in detail. I hardly guess things correctly, but it’s so much fun going back and seeing the things that I missed.:)

    • There are times when I don’t even try to guess. I just enjoy the reading experience and go with the flow. :P It feels good though when I’m able to guess twists correctly, even better when I end up being surprised.

  15. Consider this my undignified squeeing! I loved what she said. Really. Sometimes I really want to KNOW what is supposed to happen to characters or what the author meant by something. But I think secretly, I would want it to be like Megan said. I want to see them in my head more than explicitly stated by the author.

    • There ARE some things that I would like the author to provide details for (in MWT’s case, I would LOVE to see a map of the world because I’m hopeless when it comes to directions) but in general, I like picturing the characters and the events in my own head.

  16. I absolutely appreciate the no-telling policy. My only complaint when I read “The Thief”: between the crucial plot details being tantalizingly dribbled out and the back-tracking that took place….for the longest time I was convinced that Gen was really a girl. Even at the end of the book, when it was clear Gen was a “he”, I still expected the author to jump out of the story and say: “gotcha!”

    • I was surprised when I first heard about readers who thought Gen was a girl. That never even occurred to me although I understand where you’re coming from. I hope it doesn’t bother you anymore that Gen is undoubtedly male?

  17. YES! I absolutely love and respect this policy so much, which makes me appreciate these books even more. I always wondered (specifically in school when we had to do this stuff for a grade) how much of how we interpret books is actually what the author intended, and how much is just the interpretation of others being projected on us. This is one of the things I love about the book blogging community. I love that I can choose what I think about a book or series, but also see the interpretation of others which keeps me thinking. I always appreciate being allowed to think for myself, and I love that these books have created a community that has encouraged debate and discussion! Since I’ve just started the series I’ve been wary of reading many QTW posts, but this was one I could really sink my teeth into and enjoy.

    • yes, my 14-year-old daughter has often complained that her interpretations in English class are often different from a) those of her classmates, and b) what her teacher is looking for, and she is worried that she’ll mess up her exams because she doesn’t ‘think’ like everyone else! And in fact the things she’s coming up with are perfectly legitimate interpretations. Power to the individual reader!

    • One of the reasons why students don’t enjoy book assignments is because the interpretations are thrust upon them and they can’t make up their own minds about the readings. Although being the book nerd that I am, I enjoyed all of my reading homework from high school to college. I remember I was one of the few who actually read the books instead of just using CliffsNotes.

      ewein, I feel bad for your daughter! I hope that doesn’t discourage her to read books? The system isn’t that great and I hope she doesn’t worry too much that she doesn’t follow think the way her teacher expects her to.

      • oh, no way will it discourage her to read. But it is putting her off enjoying her English class, which is a shame.

      • That is sad. :( English was probably my favorite subject when I was a student. I hope she gets a better teacher next year?

      • No, she gets the same guy next year. Unfortunately it’s a 2-year ‘course.’ Thus the Scottish education system in high school. She’ll be fine… we’ll keep throwing books like MWT’s at her and encourage her to make up her own mind about things!

      • Getting the same guy is unfortunate! But making her read books like MWT’s is an excellent plan. :) Wonder if she’s read the Queen’s Thief books and what she thought of them? Has she read any of your novels?

      • sara has read my novels out of a sense of obligation, I think. She is not crazy about fantasy. We have very different reading tastes though she is a keen reader.

  18. “Although, I will try to write faster, I promise, I promise”
    That certain birthday is marked on my calendar, mwt. :-)

  19. Mine, too.

  20. Oh my. It fills me with joy to see you mention Readerville. Without Readerville, I would never have met Martha. Without Martha, I would never have discovered MWT. Without MWT, there would be no Gen. Without Gen . . . desolation.

    Thank you so much for these books.

    • I first came to Readerville because I was desperate to discuss Megan’s books with other people. What an awesome discussion we had! I was so bummed when it shut down.

      • Readerville was the first time I saw people in an online community having long discussions about books. I still miss it.

      • checkers, did we know each other over there? Did you ever frequent the YARG? I was elph2.

      • Angie–yes, I remember your username. I used my real name, which I don’t put online any more. I wasn’t super-active, but I did join in a few discussions where authors like Shannon Hale and Pete Hautman came and chatted with us. Fun!

    • Angie, you’re welcome. You are all welcome. I feel so lucky to be able to write the books, it feels strange to be thanked for them, though.

      • Megan, I miss it, too. Every day. I can imagine it does feel odd to be thanked. But the amount of enjoyment I’ve derived from them compels me to say it anyway. :)

    • This thread is making me sad that I didn’t know about Readerville.

  21. I love this just so much-agh! (I’m usually more articulate than this I promise.) Thanks so much for giving us the books and the freedom to fill them in how we want. And I’m willing to wait for one of your books as long as it takes as they are so worth it.

    • And I’m willing to wait for one of your books as long as it takes as they are so worth it.

      Me too! I’m willing to wait! I still have to go through the long list of recommendations that Checkers posted and everything else that I pick up because of reviews from book bloggers. :)

  22. I love this post! I enjoyed this series so much. And I appreciate the acknowledgement that, at least in part, readers own their experience of reading the book as much as an author owns her experience of writing it. Consider me squeeing. :)

    • Thanks for joining me in the squeeing! I like the idea of being a responsible and empowered reader as well. It makes me feel that reading isn’t such a passive activity.

  23. “If I didn’t do it well enough for my readers to understand what I was trying to say, it’s not fair for me to try to take a second shot.”

    As an author, I think this too. If I didn’t put it in the book, if it’s not somewhere embedded deep within there, or if I tried to and didn’t succeed, then it is what it is. It’s up to the reader to have her own interpretation, which is wonderful really, because a book then is very much alive and changing and different depending on each reader’s imagination.

    You are awesome, MWT. I have talked up your books to everyone I know. I won’t ask you to write faster, but I will politely request you keep yourself very safe so we readers have many more of your books.

    Jenny

    • because a book then is very much alive and changing and different depending on each reader’s imagination.

      Exactly! Every reader has a different experience when they read a book and our opinions about books changes and grows with us too. We can change our minds about books whenever we reread them because the way we see things continually changes as well.

  24. What an amazing post! Sadly, I’ve not had a chance to read this series yet, but I’m even more eager to give them a try after the events of this week.

    I love your MWT week, Chachic–congratulations on an awesome theme week!

    Wendy
    Bittersweet Review @ The Midnight Garden

    • Wendy, I know the books are already on your TBR pile, which is the only reason why I’m not pestering you to read them. :P I know you have so many books lined up but I really hope you get to read these books soon. In any case, the posts will still be here after you finish so you can go back and go through them.

  25. “Someone founded a LiveJournal community just to discuss the series and Rowena was the first friendly neighborhood despot moderator. As I watched these clever, funny, thoughtful readers ask each other questions about the stories and sort out what they thought the answers might be… I thought to myself, ‘Boy, I am never telling these people anything.’”
    …So Sounis basically helped bring about its own frustration of unrequited questions because we have intelligent discussions.

  26. Awesome-est post ever! I have no words. What a success this week has been, Chachic! It can be measured by the discussion and book/author/reader love shown in this comment thread alone. Bravo! :D

    • It really has been a great week, so far! I should have insomnia more often so I could get smart ideas like organizing this blog event. :P But then I wouldn’t get enough sleep and that would make me sad (or grouchy).

  27. Thank you, mwt, for putting so many small things into the books for us to play with (like one of those search and find books that make you hund for things hidden in the pictures), even if you don’t tell us where to look! It makes re-reading the books such a great pleasure.

    • Hey Charlotte, love that analogy! It really is like that, MWT doesn’t even tell us that we have to look for clues. We just realize it for ourselves after certain plot twists are revealed.

  28. Pingback: To Tell or Not to Tell | GENREALITY

  29. Pingback: The weekly web ramble (1/27)

  30. I can totally see that this way of dealing with reader expectations works out really well – but I also want to break a lance for authors who are willing to explain small details of lore in their worlds – like Sherwood Smith. I enjoy reading the various answers and questions on Athanarel a whole lot, especially with regards to the immense world that is Sartorias-deles.

    • Estara, glad you mentioned Sherwood Smith! I love the details that she shares about her novels – like those outtakes from Vidaric’s POV. Sounis and Athanarel are the only LJ communities that I still follow. I think EWein and MWT said it well (like they always do), it depends on the author and his or her writing.

  31. Estara, there’s a fine line to be toed there! Some people manage it with eloquence and authority. I think I am probably a lot more forthcoming in private communication with my readers than I am in public, but I am always very worried I’ll say something unprofessional in public if I talk too much. Sherwood Smith is a great example of someone who is confident enough in her own world as WELL as in her readership to be able to communicate openly and honestly. I am not quite there yet!

    • I agree. There’s a tremendous upside to authors’ interactions with their readers. The biggest upside is a sense of community with other readers that I certainly didn’t have when I was a young reader. Sherwood is a great example–she has so much more in her world than has ever seen the light of day in her actual books. It would be a shame not to share it. I think there can be a downside, too– meeting an author can make a book seem more prosaic, less magical. It’s not “real” anymore, it’s just something a middle aged woman in an Ohio suburb made up. Shannon Hale and I talked about this– our fear of being ordinary and disappointing people who came to meet us in person. In a case like Sherwood’s I’d say the upside easily outweighs the downside, but that’s not true for everyone.

      • The demystifying bit is probably true for any fan meeting any kind of artist, they rarely live up to the image we have built them into inside our head, heh – come to think of it a crush would have the same problem, especially when you are (or rather I was) a teenager ^^ – poor guy.
        These days I feel secure enough to accept that a writer is a writer and not necessarily a great speaker, and neither is a musician.
        I was lucky enough to see a solo performance of Sir Peter Ustinov doing his one-man-show in Nuremberg in 1992 or 3. He must have been around 75 and did a two and half hour show with one break. On his own – a few people ARE legends even in real life. ^^

      • Meeting an author can make a book seem more prosaic, less magical. It’s not “real” anymore, it’s just something a middle aged woman in an Ohio suburb made up.

        On the other hand, if this isn’t magical, I don’t know what is.

      • Good point, Elizabeth!

      • Coming in here way late to say, as a reader who met you in person, Megan, I was not disappointed. You glowed, and floated three inches off the ground. I’m sure you remember how I was wide-eyed and unable to string more than three words together the whole time… OMG, I’M SITTING NEXT TO MWT. MWT! IS RIGHT THERE! AAAAAH.

    • I can see that side (as I said in my comment) but the previous comments here had all weighed in on the “don’t tell anything more” scale, or so I had felt – and as I said I am so happy readers can ask just about anything and Sartorias will have something illuminating to answer about her world ^^.

      I’m quite okay with other authors – you and MWT included – not doing so, if they don’t want to ^^. As you say, both ways of dealing with readers are valid and they probably both have some dangers inherent – readers are a very mixed lot, too!

      • ah, but you made such a great argument I wanted to agree with you right away! :) and then I realized that everything else I said was the opposite of that. :p

        I think the bottom line is that I really admire mwt’s ability to hold her peace – And I admire Sherwood Smith’s ability to discourse on her world without being self-conscious about it. I am not as natural at the on-line communication as Sherwood, so I lean towards the mwt policy. That’s just for ME, though – I don’t expect every writer to feel the same way.

        I wonder if meeting writers de-mystifies them? The Big Name writers that I have met all seemed so distant that I don’t really feel I learned more about them, so no. But the ones that are my friends – I don’t think it changes my view of their writing to have dinner and argue politics with them, or whatever. That is probably also a personal thing. Interesting question, though!

      • I think we can both agree that: writers should go with what feels comfortable to THEM- that makes what interaction they have with readers authentic.

        And admittedly, when I think of all the internet author/reader/reviewer hullabaloo that I have read about recently – or even taken part in with regard to the shameful way Sartorias and Rachel Manja’s well-meaning post was treated last year – it might be safer to not say much.

        Let me say it this way – there’s this author whom I read because he is married to one of my favourite authors and an ok writer in a favourite genre – for my tastes. He really showed himself to be an a*hole, to my mind, so I’m not going to spend any more money on books by him.

        Also, if he were an author of an auto-buy series that I love, I might not be so disciplined.

      • all true. related to this is the author who vented her bile against a reviewer on the reviewer’s own blog, and subsequently had her ‘star-rating’ on Amazon dragged down to 1 by hundreds of anonymous readers who hadn’t *actually* read her book. Boy did that scare me. She did a stupid thing, it’s true. But the vindictiveness of the on-line mob mentality kind of freaked me out.

      • *nod* totally understandable. Mob mentality wherever is scary.

        Goodnight! Tomorrow will start extra early for me ^^.

  32. Pingback: Of Favorites and Frustrations « Of Angels and Plants

  33. Pingback: Bookish News and Publishing Tidbits 31 January 2012 | Read in a Single Sitting - Book reviews and new books

  34. Just a smidge over two years ago, a handful of Stellar Sounisians and I sat across a Starbucks picnic table from our MWT. We plied her with caffeine in an attempt to wrest some reply other than “not telling” from her. I came away with approx. 84 ‘not telling’s, a hefty handful of insights that felt too sacred to share, a reverential awe of MWT, and a grudging respect for “not telling”(the policy, not the lion). Since then, my dear MWT, I’ve heard your voice as you’ve chimed in occasionally on the Sounis boards, but you dissolve completely once I open THE books. Is that the mark of a true craftsman, that the product is so seamless we forget to consider the maker?

    • *nods head* I also don’t hear MWT’s voice when I read the books. Whoa, 84 “not tellings”? Wonder what questions were asked during that meet-up. Lucky Sounisians, you got to meet MWT in person! I did get to attend a Sounis-Athanarel meet-up when I was in the States back in 2009. If there are enough fans in Manila, I’d organize one here.

  35. Pingback: Queen’s Thief Week: Giveaway Winner and Wrap-Up | Chachic's Book Nook

  36. Speaking of which, I am going to be in London again in April, probably at the Starbucks across from the British Museum.

    Bookish Babe, if I remember you guys bought me TWO double lattes for a total of four shots of espresso. I didn’t shut up until the next day.

  37. I just have to say, this post gave me SUCH glee. I enjoy discussing books so much, especially these books and especially on Sounis, and I always kind of wondered how it is from an author’s point of view, maybe because I would like to be an author, and the fact that you get a kick out of our discussions is just the greatest. It brings a foolish grin to my face! Despite the fact that, as Lizzy pointed out, we’ve sealed our fate. Agh!

    I’ve read one or two books by people I know, and it’s different but it’s never ruined the writing for me. Sometimes I can hear their voice in it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, more like being told a story in person. And if I get into what I’m reading, it’s still just me and the words and everything else pretty much falls away. Personally, I found that knowing their writing informed how I see the person, but knowing the person didn’t necessarily inform how I experienced their writing… if that makes sense.

    Don’t worry, I don’t think you need to float above the ground to be impressive (not that I’m against capes!). Just the fact that you’re the author is enough. :P But also… sometimes it can be even more inspiring to realize that the people we readers look up to are not actually gods. Or are only demi-gods, anyway. :) I got to meet Roddy Doyle, who is one of my heroes, and even though he was a wonderful reader and lived up to my expectations, it was weird to get an inkling that, from his point of view, he just makes stuff up. There’s really no magic trick to it. That kind of threw me for a loop, but in a good way. Like Gen! Even he can drop wine cups, which means that when he doesn’t drop them, it’s much more impressive, because you know that he *could* have dropped them! Um… *realizes she’s using author’s own creations to make point* *hides under desk in embarrassment*

    In short, thank you for interacting with us, it’s really really special. And thanks for being so thoughtful about the way you do it. :)

  38. Pingback: Fusenews: The Jack Gantos / Alfred E. Newman Connection « A Fuse #8 Production

  39. I loveeee her books! I wish she would write faster though. I read the first book when I was 13. Now I’m 24 n I can’t get over the fact that there’s a series from my childhood that still hasnt ended!!:))… About the post, I understand why she makes a lot of character profile details vague. For example, if she gave the exact age difference between gen and irene, a lot of judgement would be brought on over that kinda “cougar” relationship.

  40. Reblogged this on golpo.

  41. Pingback: The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner « The Sleepless Reader

  42. Oh man. I can’t read any of the comments because I’ve just barely started The Queen of Attolia and I don’t want to stumble on any spoilers. I just had to say how excited I am to discover that there are so many people who love a series I’m falling in love with too. And MWT is so cool. Heard her speak at a conference and still think about things she said there. Loved this guest post too.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,336 other followers