Transcript of Trudi Canavan Twinterview on @waterstones - 10th May, 2011
Trudi Canavan is the author of seven bestselling fantasy novels to-date. Her eighth – The Ambassador’s Mission, first volume of the Traitor Spy Trilogy – takes up the action a generation after the events in The High Lord. The Ambassador’s Mission was published in May 2010, by Orbit, in the UK & Europe, USA & Canada and Australia & New Zealand. Her latest book is The Rogue. Find out more: http://bit.ly/gnXGO3
On 10th May, 2011, Trudi did a Twinterview on @waterstones, answering questions from her readers - you cann read the full Twinterview below:
Twinterview - 10.5.11
Hi, Trudi here. About to launch into answering... wow! Lots of questions! #tcav
Question: #tcav I'd love to ask Trudi how much she thinks about her characters on a daily basis - do they start to take over her life??
Answer: I think about my characters mostly only when I'm writing books in which they're in (outside of actual writing time)
Question: #tcav where do you get your inspiration for the characters?
Answer: I tend to base my characters on character types rather than real people.
Question: #tcav Who is Trudi Canavan's favourite character to write about, Lorkin, Sonea, Tessia or Auraya?
From @ mattycotter
Answer: Impossible to choose!
Question: #tcav Which was Trudi Canavan's favourite romance to manipulate and why?
Answer: Sonea's one. (without naming names and spoiling the plot!)
Question: #tcav Have you enjoyed your uk trip?? Any plans to set a story in a modern dY setting?
Answer: Yes! I've set a few short stories in modern day time, but have no ideas for novels.
Question: #tcav How did you come up with your characters names?
Answer: I have three methods of naming characters:
1 - I choose a name of someone nearby and change the spelling...
2 - I come up with naming conventions for each race/country, like how many syllables and consonants
3 - I hit my head on the keyboard and see if it produces a good name.
Question: #tcav was the f/f relationship we see in The Rogue always part of the novice storyline, or was it something that was developed later on, a la the Dannyl/Tayend relationship?
Answer: Yes, I always intended to have a f/f relationship.
Question: #tcav When writing the BM trilogy which character was the first to feel 'substantial' and concrete for you?
Answer: Probably Sonea. But Cery, Dannyl and Rothen were close behind.
Question: #tcav What inspires you in life and how has that been incorporated into your work?
Answer: Everything can be a source of inspiration. Even waiting in queues! Ideas are all around, just have to learn to spot 'em
Question: #tcav how many hours of the day do you write? If lots who does your cleaning?
Answer: Actually, my mornings are taken up with the job of 'being' a writer: email, blog, twitter etc. Afternoons are for writing
Question: #tcav How do you maintain the motivation to write a book that exceeds 600 pages?
Answer: Money? No, actually, I just have a whole lot of fun doing it. Best job in the world. Even when it's hard work.
Question: #tcav are the countries in yr books based on yr view of our modern societies or on historical theories? If neither where do u get yr ideas?
Answer: All of the above. I don't like to base my worlds on those in this one, now or in the past, but instead pick & combine
Question: #tcav Do you make a concrete plan for your stories before writing, or do you make it up as you go?
Answer: I'm a planner. Full general outline before I start; more detailed outlines as I work, right down to outlining scenes.
Question: #tcav Who else in SF would you recommend to a newbie to the genre? Has anyone particularly inspired your writing?
Answer: I have three recommended reading lists on my blog. New authors I'd rec are N.K.Jemesin and Kaaron Warren.
Question: #tcav Who do you think should play Sonea in the film? From @dwcorne
Answer: I've always had a soft spot for Natalie Portman, even though I pictured the Kyralians being a bit Japanese looking.
Question: #tcav Is it hard to say goodbye to a world you have created?
Answer: Actually... no. Not sure why. I think because it stays in my head.
Question: #tcav Did you create the entire world of Kyralia before writing Magician's Guild or did it develop as you wrote?
Answer: It developed as I wrote, mostly. Other than a very general idea of how the magic and society worked.
Question: #tcav In all of the books you've written and published, who was your least favorite character? why?
Answer: My least favourite character? Hmm... probably Ellareen, who changed in ways I hadn't planned. Annoying!
Question: #tcav Do you base any of your characters on yourself or on people you know? Or give them traits you wish YOU had?
Answer: I don't base any characters on me. I'm too wussy. So I do wish, a little, that I was more like some of them.
Question: #tcav Who was your favourite author as a child - the one that really got you into reading?
Answer: Lots of young adult/children's authors. Ursula le Guin. Lloyd Alexander...
Question: #tcav Do you read for pleasure these days, & if so, what genres do you enjoy?From happyfox
Answer: I read a lot of manuscripts, by friends or to provide quotes for, but thankfully I get a lot of pleasure from that! Mostly fantasy, though a bit of horror/scifi. Also I really enjoy non fic - what I call 'histories of stuff': clay, guns.
Question: #tcav I was absolutely heartbroken when youknowwhat happened to Akkarin, do you get as involved emotionally?
Answer: Yep. I cried when I wrote that scene, and every time I read it. :(
Question: #tcav Are there any characteristics that you spefically put in or did your characters 'grow' organically?
Answer: Both. And I plan for them to grow during the course of the story.
Question: #tcav Trudi, do you find that as your writing, you develop love/hate relationships with your characters?
Answer: That's only really happened with the BMT characters, only bc I'd been writing them for 7 years... And I got over it :)
Question: #tcav Have you ever found it difficult to kill off a character, even if you knew you had to?
Answer: Nope! I'm a mean-hearted story-teller. I get sad when I have to, but will never shy away from it.
Question: #tcav Do you regret not writing more about Dan/Tay at Armje?If you wrote an Armje romancescene,would you post it on your site?
Answer: Yes and no. Strange, but it's as much fun writing a non-detailed romantic scene as a detailed one.
Question: #tcav Do you have a preference when it comes to your enjoyment of writing good characters vs. bad characters?
Answer: No, I enjoy writing good and bad characters for different reasons, but equally so.
Question: #tcav Are there any authors whom you aspire to be as highly-regarded as?
Answer: Tolkien? Hahahahaha! (kidding) But I would like people to still be enjoying my stories for many years to come.
Question: #tcav Was it always the plan to kill Akkarin from the outset of the first series?
Answer: Yep :)
Question: #tcav Do you still get nervous whenever you have a new book out or is the process fairly wasy to deal with at this point?
Answer: I always get nervous. Will readers try bk 1? Will bk 2 have 2nd book syndrome? Will they like how I end things in bk 3
Question: #tcav Would u agree than improving writing is better done by reading rather than writing more & more ?
Answer: No, it's like expecting to learn to swim well by watching the World Swimming Championships.
Question: #tcav What's next for Trudi after The Traitor Queen? Or does she not want to think about it?
Answer: I've just sold the rights to a new trilogy, called Millennium's Rule. Can't wait to start writing it!
Question: #tcav Any plans on bringing a subliminal level within your fantasy world that partakes on religion /politics?
Answer: I thought there already was one! :)
Question: #tcav Which of your books is your personal favourite?
Answer: I still have a soft spot for The High Lord, but I'm always in love with the one I'm writing now.
Question: #tcav Have you ever read any of the fanfictions based on your stories? If so, what do you think of them?
Answer: No, I don't want other people's ideas influencing my own. But I don't mind people having fun with fanfic.
Question: #tcav With your new fantasy series, do you find yourself trying to make it very different to the last or do you just write?
Answer: I try not to repeat myself! Which is getting harder, the more books I write.
Question: #tcav How do you like your tea? If you don't drink tea, then how do you like your coffee?
Answer: Black with sugar
Question: #tcav LoTR is always seen as the original fantasy, how does that legacy influence your writing?
Answer: Well... technically not the first, but certainly very influential. Reading it at 14 was what made me want to be a writer.
Question: #tcav Do you enjoy music? What genres?
Answer: I have very eclectic tastes. Don't like some kinds of rap and country, otherwise very varied tastes.
Question: #tcav Any tips for budding authors?
Answer: I have a writing advice page on my website. Lots more there than I can fit on Twitter!
Question: #tcav Do you have any thoughts on the recent craze for vampire-based fiction? Is it a genre you enjoy?
Answer: I'm so old, I remember the craze in the 80s... As always, some is good, some isn't. I like the Sookie Stackhouse books
Question: #tcav What do you do to kick-start yourself if/when you find yourself falling prey to writer's block?
Answer: I don't get writer's block, I get writer's procrastination...
Question: #tcav Where is your favourite place to write?
Answer: I have a big room in my house where I write, paint, sew, craft, etc. It's my big creative space.
Question: #tcav How long/How much a day do you recommend an Author/Writer should write to keep their skills up?
Answer: As much as it takes :)
Question: #tcav How do you feel about e-readers? Do you welcome the new means of reading or mourn the gradual demise of 'real' books?
Answer: I like ebooks because I have a back prob and heavy books hurt to hold. I don't think print books will die out, however.
Question: #tcav How long and how hard was it for you to get your first book published?
Answer: It took about five years from starting the BMT to finding a publisher. Quite a story - it's on my website.
Question: #tcav If you were to write an spinoff book about one smaller character (ie not auraya or sonea)from either series, who? From @actuallyjackson
Answer: Good question... maybe Savara. Or Emerahl's early life.
Question: #tcav At what age did you get into writing? And How do you start a story?
Answer: Star Wars made me want to make films (I was about 8) & I wrote/drew ideas but after reading LotR wanted to be a writer
Question: #tcav Do you like doing signing tours & meeting the fans? Is it rewarding?
Answer: Yes! It's lovely to meet and chat to people.
Question: #tcav What came first for you- the love of writing or being good at it? Or maybe both together?
Answer: Definitely the love before the skill! You have to love writing to do it so much that you get good at it!
Question: #tcav Any sneaky info you can give us about Millennium's Rule that's not on your website? A wee twitter treat?
Answer: Actually, better to keep an eye on my blog, as I plan to write more about it there soon.
Question: #tcav Which do you prefer to taking notes while planning/writing? Computer or Pen & Paper?
Answer: Mostly computer. I used to take notes in a notebook when out and about. Now I have an iPhone. I love my iPhone.
Thanks for all the questions! Lovely talking to you all. Signing off now. - And for more info about my books, writing advice, recommended reading lists, and lots of other goodies: www.trudicanavan.com - Trudi
And you cand find out more about Trudi’s latest book here: http://bit.ly/mPwbxf