Saturday, September 24, 2011

Interview with author Rachel Aaron

From the Interview at the back of The Spirit Thief

As I finished reading The Spirit Thief I found that Rachel Aaron has done an interview for her readers.  As I saw no reason to reinvent the wheel so instead of asking her to do another interview I decided to quote three of the question and three of the answers from that interview.  I am only quoting the first three questions and answers so read the book to get entire interview.

"Have you always known that you wanted to be a writer?

Yes and no.  I’ve always wanted to tell stories, but I went through several mediums before settling on writing.  For a long time (all through middle and high school) I wanted to write and draw manga.  Unfortunately, my artistic talent never matched my ambitions.  In the end, I’m really glad I went with books.  I feel that I’ve been able to tell a much larger story in far less space through writing than I even would have managed with panels.  Plus, no one makes fun of my drawings anymore.

When you aren’t busy writing, what are some of your hobbies?

I’m a total nerd.  I play video games and read as much fantasy and manga as I can get my hands on.  I also have a horrible adoration of trashy television, particularly reality police shows.  You can learn so much about human behavior watching a drunk, shirtless man trying (and failing) to bluff his way out of a ticket.

How did you develop the concept for The Spirit Thief?

It started, very appropriately, with Eli.  He wasn’t even my idea at first, but a character concept from on of my husband’s old Dungeon and Dragons buddies, a thief whose goal in life was to be worth one million gold.  I loved it, I couldn’t get it out of my head.  A thief actively trying to make his bounty higher?  Why would he do that? What would he be like?  Thus Eli came into my life and started talking to this door.  It was all downhill from there.

Everyone else went through several pretty radical iterations before settling into their current roles.  For example, Miranda was originally Eli’s thief rival.  That lasted about a chapter before I realized this woman was way too duty bound to ever steal anything.  After a few more tries, she settled in as the cop to Eli’s robber, and the Spirit Court emerged from my need to give her a backing organization.  It was a great fit and I’ve never been happier to be wrong about a character Josef, on the other hand, was a last-minute addition.  He came into being because I needed someone to carry the Heart of War, making this one case where the sword truly did choose it wielder on every level.  It had excellent taste, and I’m very happy with the cast I ended up with. 

As for the concept of the book itself, it evolved naturally.  After all, I had a thief and a cop, now I needed a crime, and what better crime than kidnapping a king.  But since nothing can ever go smoothly, the king had to have a dastardly brother waiting in the wings Once I figured those bits out, the novel found its own way."

There are a lot more interesting facts in the interview. Look in the back of The Spirit Thief to find out more about Rachel and her books.

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