Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Secret Lives of Fantasy Writers

Many people think of the lives of writers as glamorous and exciting, flitting from book launch to movie premiere, and traveling to exotic locales for research purposes. We work in our pajamas, while the afternoons away in coffee houses, and hang with A-list folks like bookstore owners, teachers, and librarians.
Maybe you think that’s the reason that your favorite author hasn’t finished the sequel you’ve been dying to read.
Real or not real?
I’m here to tell you that authors work very, very hard. Yes, they do. In the interest of setting the record straight, I thought I would share some of the ways we fantasy authors spend our time.

Keeping up to date on the literature in our chosen genre.

Conducting dangerous field research into the habits of magical creatures.

 Sometimes we interview magically-gifted individuals

Or consult experts in period weaponry

torture devices

and medieval prisons.
(Don’t let that brilliant smile fool you—it was terrifying.)

Sure, from time to time we may stay a few days in a castle,
 but do note that we’re hard at work interviewing the staff to gather real-life stories and authentic gossip, what we novelists call “color.”

We often seek mentorship from other authors, hoping their success might rub off on us.

And engage in secret writerly rituals
like obsessively checking our Amazon ratings and setting fire to books that are more popular than ours.

After all of that effort, sometimes an intervention is necessary. This usually involves festive beverages.

All in all, it's an arduous life!


Jessica Lei said...

Much better than mine right now. Can't wait!

Sam said...

Torture devices?
-blinks again-