So you know I like finding new novels, especially from female writers that I’ve never had a chance to read before, so when Hachette Australia approached me to be part of a blog tour for Trudi Canavan’s new book Thief’s Magic, I pretty much jumped at the chance.
To make Trudi even more awesome, she’s an Australian fantasy writer. She was so lovely and answered a few questions from me about her work!
The idea of a sentient book is fabulous! What inspired you to create the character of Vella?
Some time ago a bunch of writers I was with discussed whether you could write an engaging and pacy story with a character who was physically constrained. I’ve wanted to try it ever since, though my original intention was to use a character who was imprisoned and never left their cell. That developed into the idea of a person imprisoned in an object, depending on others to take them places. Which also raises the question: how would they communicate? I’m not sure what led me to choose a book as the object – probably just that I love books, but maybe also because I was learning bookbinding around then, too.
Science fiction and fantasy are traditionally “male dominated” genres. How have you found the process of becoming a popular female fantasy writer? Have you come across opposition/bias because of your gender?
For most of my writing career being female it hasn’t been an issue. In fact, it may have been an advantage, simply because I grew up with the cultural view that fantasy was for girls and science fiction for boys. That may be why, since fantasy publishing really took off in the late 90s, two-thirds of Australian fantasy writers are women. (I argue strongly against your claim that this bias is traditional: it is recent, and the ratio isn’t so extreme as the phrase ‘male dominated’ suggests.)
I only discovered that fantasy appeared to written mostly by men elsewhere when I went on a tour in Europe in 2011. It was quite startling. Here I was, living proof that women did write fantasy – bestselling fantasy – coming from a country where the publishing stats proved that the genre could be mostly written by women and still be everything we expect: epic, grim, light, tough, inspiring, richly written and/or pacy. And I use the world ‘appeared’ above deliberately, because a closer observation reveals that plenty of female fantasy writers do exist overseas, they just don’t get as much attention. Why that is, I can’t say, since I am only familiar with my own country’s culture, but the more I see people saying it is ‘male dominated’ the more others believe it, and don’t bother finding out about or acknowledging all the good female fantasy writers, both past and present.
What is your opinion of people who talk down about fantasy because it’s “genre fiction”?
What are the steps you take to begin a series like this, for example, beginning to build a new world? What sort of things do you do to keep track of it all?
The worlds build slowly, over many years. I’m always taking in ideas for worlds, from books, tv, films, travel – everywhere. Sometimes I’ll hit on an idea and deliberately research it. Other details develop as I write the story. Most of it stays in my head, though I’ll make some notes about small details I might need to check later. However, when it comes to the plot, I’m a planner. I know the entire story before I start, and write an outline listing what will probably be in each chapter and scene. I’ll even do a quick description of each scene before I write it, to make sure it will go where I want it to. I have RSI, so I don’t want to be typing any more than I have to.
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which would it be?
Vella, the sentient book. She would be so useful to have around. Though she is the metaphorical two-edged sword, as to use her you have to let her know all your secrets. Fortunately, unlike Tyen, I don’t have that many secrets.
SEE GUYS?! A woman after my own heart! Thank you so much Trudi- thanks for answering so thoroughly and honestly. I was so hoping you’d challenge the idea of fantasy being for male writers!
…and that book snobs are fools. It is known indeed.
To be honest, I wasn’t really sold on the idea of doing a blog tour or putting another thing on my teetering to-do list, but come on… a fantasy revolving around a sentient book is awesome. The idea alone sold it for me. This is going to be a brand new series for Canavan, who already has quite an impressive oeuvre! I was so excited to showcase an Aussie lady who had written some really fantastic novels and has won some impressive awards!
You also know that I love being able to give away stuff, so as a part of this blog tour, Hachette are giving away copies of the novel to the lucky winners! To enter the giveaway to win your very own copy of Thief’s Magic, clicky clicky here!
Here are all the lovely people who are also in this blog tour!
|10th||Selections from my tower of shame||http://bookblog76.com/|
|12th||Speculating on SpecFic||http://www.speconspecfic.com/|
|13th||Confessions From Romaholics||http://www.confessionsfromromaholics.com/|
|14th||Duffy the Writer||http://duffythewriterblog.com/|
|15th||Nicole Has Read||http://nicolehasread.blogspot.com.au/|
|16th||Words Read and Written||http://www.wordsreadandwritten.com/|
|17th||Yolanda Sfetsos — Otherworldly Tales||http://www.yolandasfetsos.com/|
|18th||Connect with Chicklit||http://connect.chicklitclub.com/wp/|