The author answers….

Patty’s first question was this: Which book that you’ve written is your favourite and why?

Hmm…no one asks me easy questions.
This one is hard because I tend to forget about all the books I’ve written before and concentrate on the one I am writing at the moment. It becomes my be-all, and everything else fades.

But that’s not a fair answer.

I loved writing the stand-alone Havenstar, the very first to be published, but I haven’t re-read it since, so I am not sure how it will have stood the test of time. I loved it because I thought I thought I created a really neat world that hadn’t been done before. And I liked the hero. Dark, infuriating, tragic, heroic, brave, stoical – he is all of that. Of all the books I have written, it is Havenstar that gave me the least trouble. It flowed out of my fingers, and was hardly changed after it’s initial polish.

The Isles of Glory – well, I like the way it was framed, by the letters/diary from the near future. I thought that gave it a depth that it wouldn’t have had otherwise. I enjoyed writing Blaze, the larger-than-life heroine with a self-deprecating sense of humour and a very large sword…

But of the three books of that trilogy it was the middle one – the only one that didn’t get shortlisted for the Aurealis! – that I loved the most. Writing Gilfeather was a labour of love. I liked Kelwyn so much. He’s a complex man, very human and very humane; he tries so hard, but everything seems to conspire against him, dragging him into horrifying situations. The more he tries to do the right thing, the worse things get. I put him through hell, and I felt for him so much. Besides, I loved the end of that book. I loved the way it shocked so many of my readers, who didn’t see it coming in spite of all the clues. And any writer with a diabolical streak loves doing that…

I have tried to do something similar with Song of the Shiver Barrens, not with the ending, but with something that happens just past the halfway mark. However, I am a bit too close to the whole trilogy yet to know how I feel about any of the books comparatively.

So I would have to say my favourite is Gilfeather. I think it is one of my best books. The weird thing is that it has had the worst sales – Book One and Book Three of the Isles of Glory sold many more copies and I am at a loss to explain why.

Actually, I’d love to throw this questions to my readers: which of my books is your favourite?

I’ll answer your other question tomorrow.


The author answers…. — 9 Comments

  1. wahoo! Thank you!

    You have confirmed my gut feeling. I haven’t read Havenstar (I hear it’s OOP and quite rare).

    Forgive my musings and ramblings below.

    I think I could spot that Gilfeather was your favourite. The character is just so real. He has real concerns and isn’t trying to play hero.

    It is the one I like best, too.

    (For the record, I’ve just asked my 14yo daughter who has just read the trilogy, and she liked part 1 best – she says because she found the POVs less confusing. Now I want to add that it is a no mean feat of yours that she read all three books. She is an EXTREMELY picky reader. She tried a number of very good and acceptable authors, but didn’t like any of them)

    Personally, part one would be my second favourite. I liked the innovative way of the resolution in part 3. I liked the surfing. I thought it was a bit of a pity that in the end everything was resolved through an ‘act of God.’ But in general, I really liked the trilogy. I’ve recommended it to many others.

    I’ve read part 1 of the Mirage Makers. Part 2 is on my to read list.

    So far, I like Ligea. I think she’s more involved in the story than Blaze. The story is *about* her, it’s not a story in which she takes part.

    I find the setting in Isles of Glory easier to grasp and therefore a bit more alive for me, but maybe part 2 of the Mirage Makers will set me straight. Maybe, too, I was too jet-lagged when I read it on a recent overseas trip 😉

    I thought the semi-science in Isles of Glory just beaut. This was a good part of the reason that I liked Gilfeather so much.

    I don’t understand why that book wasn’t nominated.

  2. I loved the whole Isles of Glory trilogy and was enchanted by the Gilfeather character even in book one, so I was really happy that he got his own book. I’m enjoying The Mirage Makers too and wish Havenstar were more readily available. It would be super if you could get the rights back and sell it again:-)

  3. Satima – I do have the rights back, and I am trying to re-sell it. I’ve had a couple of nibbles, but my agent keeps on telling me to be patient. It is hard to get a publisher interested because they think it has already been published, and that’s that. …I guess being in the top 100 on until it became unavailable doesn’t mean as much to them as it means to me!! Lol…

    Patty, I know what you mean about the act of god thingy. I did try to indicate, though, that it wasn’t the act of god that resolved the issue so much as the character faults of those who refused to listen. It was arrogance that brought them down, not the act per se. There would have been a totally different outcome, had they been less arrogant.

    I think one major reason why Gilfeather was not nominated was that the judge(s) (not sure if it applies to them all but I know it applies to one of them, and I suspect it was all) did not bother to read The Aware first. The Aware was published the previous year, you see, with a different set of judges.

    Therefore the second set of judges missed so much of the fun and subtleties of Gilfeather – Kelwyn’s first encounter with Flame and Blaze for example; the whole Dustel birds thing must have been puzzling, and so on.

    In other words, I don’t think they gave it a fair chance.

    What is more puzzling to me is the odd descrepency in the sales between the 3 books.

    You are right – Heart of the Mirage is very much Ligea’s book. She drives the action a good deal. You may enjoy the world in Book Two better, as much of it takes part in Tyr.

  4. Oddly enough I prefer Kelwyn in the third book, not sure why. But the second half of Gilfeather is a rattling good roller-coaster read.

    My favourite still has to be Havenstar though, I think. Partly because it’s the first Glenda novel I read, and partly because of its originality and subtle complexity. My favourite characters are in the later books, but my favourite book as an overall read is Havenstar – if that makes any sense at all!

  5. My favourite is Song of the Shiver Barrens. I don’t think I’ve been as emotionally involved in a novel for a while.

    Havenstar comes in a close second, however. It’s a bit different in style to the more recent fantasy books I’ve read (recently written/published, that is) which makes it a great romp of a read and think it’s definitely a book I’ll be rereading.

  6. Hmm. Hard to say! I adore the framing device in the IoG series. I think, so far, that’s my favourite published thing you’ve ever written because it leapt off the pages at me. Not that your other stuff doesn’t, but for some reason those sections pushed my buttons big time. Adored it.

    And I really love the current series. I’m waiting for my copy of SotSB to come in so I can read the final version. But this is a fantastic series, with enormous range and scope and the usual tremendous worldbuilding. And great highs and lows. And terrific ideas. For me, it’s edgier than the first trilogy, which is probably why I like it best of all.

    Of course, everything will pale into insignificance next to the Random Rains quarter. *g*

  7. Thanks for the comments, everyone! It really is interesting to see what everyone thinks, and how readers differ.

  8. You ask hard questions yourself, Glenda. Gilfeather has to be my favourite for character. Though the end of the Tainted made me cry. Havenstar for worldbuilding.

    The current series is great too, but I’m not sure if it’s the world building and the character together.

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