Fantasy Reddit is hosting an Ask Me Anything with me today. (Not familiar with AMAs? Basically, you ask questions throughout the day, and for a couple of hours this evening I will answer as many as I can.) Now’s your chance to ask all those questions you’ve had burning deep in your brain. Or to baffle me with koans. Come play, and tell your friends, and so on.
Ask Me Anything at Reddit Today
I really wish you hadn’t killed Ted. It was totally unnecessary, just lazy.
I disagree, obviously, or I wouldn’t have done it. I could explain my reasons, but given the rudeness of your tone, I’m not going to bother.
ETA: All right, I’m going to pretend that instead of coming into the virtual equivalent of my living room and insulting me, you actually said something like, “I don’t understand why you killed Ted. It didn’t seem necessary.” To that I would reply:
I had Ted die for a couple of reasons. One is the series-wide theme about the toxicity of magic (and by extension of such unreasonable power): basically any time an ordinary human comes into contact/conflict with magic users in my series, they are smeared into a greasy paste. (The one big exception is Marla’s brother, but even he has some unpleasant long-term consequences from his brush with the magical world.) The other reason is because it’s exactly the sort of thing Marla’s rival would do, because it’s a giant “fuck you” to Marla, and he wants her to suffer and be heartsick before she dies: she’s supposed to be the defender of the city, after all, and she can’t even defend one citizen in her direct employ.
The more common (and to me more convincing) criticism of my work is that I’m too easy on my characters; that I don’t kill enough of them. Given the forces at work in this series, the survival rate really is unrealistically high. But I’m fond of my characters, and have a hard time offing them. Ted included. But I thought the story and the themes demanded it.
Now, you can argue that I’m wrong, or that it didn’t work the way I intended, and that’s fine. But I do take offense at being called lazy. (I also don’t understand what it means, exactly. That I went for cheap heart-string-pulling? Maybe, but not when I killed Ted — I did that when I killed the griffin!) I have many flaws as a writer, some I know about and, I assume, many I don’t — but being lazy isn’t one of them.
I’m sorry to have missed the Reddit AMA, but I’m very glad to have the chance to pester you here instead. You’re one of my very favorite contemporary authors, and I was wondering about your policy on fanfiction and other derivative, transformative work based on your original creations? As a new (and nervous) writer who is exploring both original work and fanfic, it’s very important to me to respect the wishes of the creator, but you make such fantastic worlds that I’d dearly love to go play in them, with your permission. In any case, thank you for sharing so generously with us already!
Cheers and cupcakes,
I don’t have any problem with fanfiction based on my work, as long as you don’t try to make money off it. Play away! (I don’t seek out or read fanfic based on my work, though, for boring legal reasons, so no need to tell me about it.) And thanks for the kind words!
Are you aware that there’s a name error in Constantine Affliction (2013 , ISBN 978-1-59780-500-1)?
In my copy at the bottom of page 185 it says:
[Quote] “All right,” Pimm said after a moment’s thought. “Suppose all this is true. Again, I must ask to what end? Why does PIMM want to replace the Queen, or control her mind?…[Unquote]
Shouldn’t it be Oswald wanting to replace the Queen?
Sure. Proofreading/copyediting error; they happen.