Monday, April 13, 2009

FAQS, Finally!

My FAQ pages are up. Click on the "Frequently Asked Questions" link on the left, which will bring you to my FAQ Index... or, if you're not actually on my blog at the moment, just go here.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, there won't be anything new, but the questions are more organized now. And if you're new to my blog and have sent me questions, you'll find a lot of answers there.

In honor of the occasion, I'll answer one new question:

On your "My Books" page, you say that Katsa, Po, & Co. will appear in Bitterblue. What do you mean by "& Co.?"
*smile* Literally, it means, "and company," but I don't think that's what you're asking. What it really means is that I'm close-mouthed about works in progress -- I need to be, for my own writing process -- and I'm not willing to name the Graceling characters who appear in Bitterblue just yet, other than Katsa and Po. You're not the only person who's asked about the "& Co." thing, though, so I've changed the wording over there so it's less confusing. I also got rid of the line about how writing Bitterblue is killing me with loud death agonies, because I got an email from someone who was worried that this meant her favorite characters get killed. :o) All I meant was that I'm finding it hard to write.

Enjoy the FAQs, everyone!

17 comments:

itdependsontheday said...

yay!!! new faq's page!!!!!

Natasha said...

This has absolutely nothing to do with FAQs. (Other than to say congrats for checking off an item on your to do list - I love that feeling.)

I've been reading "The Adoration of Jenna Fox" and enjoying it immensely. I love it that young people are being asked to grapple with questions of bioethics. (I used to think I wanted to be a bioethicist. Then I discovered how much I really don't have a philosophical mind and that career path went down the toilet.)

I just want to thank you for opening my eyes to a wonderful shelf of books that I would otherwise be unaware of. It really started with "Graceling," and its wonderful review in the NYT Review of Books, which upon finishing I said to myself, "I must read this!" Loving it came naturally. Following my curious self, I found your blog and have been following your recommendations for other good reads, good websites and nosing along trails discovered around those corners.

And also, a poem to share with you and your readers, which I heard on NPR this morning and loved...

The Well Rising
William Stafford

The well rising without sound,
the spring on a hillside,
the plowshare brimming through the deep ground
everywhere in the field —

The sharp swallows in their swerve
flaring and hesitating
hunting for the final curve
coming closer and closer —

The swallow heart from wing beat to wing beat
counseling decision, decision:
thunderous examples. I place my feet
with care in such a world.

tinkandalissa said...

Yay for crossing something off your list!
I have a VERY long "to do" list. Wish I could cross some off of mine!

Melina said...

I just wanted to ask you a few more questions. Maybe you could add them to the FAQ page later...

How long did it take you to write Graceling and Fire? Do you let members of your family or friends(editors count too) to read parts of a book though it hasn't come out yet? If so, how do you take their feedback? For ex, if they question something and you agree or disagree, would you go and change it? Or leave it the way it is because that's how you envisioned it. Was there ever anything you edited out of a book, that now you look back on it and say,"I wish I'd kept that."

Sorry maybe more than a few questions, but oh,well.

E. M. Reads said...

You are really too awesome! I love your organized FAQ page blog-thingy. Thanks!

Robbie said...

I have a new question after reading your FAQ, haha. On the Raffin/Bann question, why will you not answer that one? Or is it because, like the Katsa/Po question, you don't reveal future detail and it will be answered in BITTERBLUE?

Also, should the fancy strike you, I do believe that a book about Raffin would prove popular.

kristin cashore said...

Hi Robbie! It's because, like I explained at the top of that page, I can't answer questions about subtext. The novel has to speak for itself, and be its own answers. I always call shenanigans when an author stands outside the text and explains what he / she meant by it. Any explanations have to be in the text itself! If the answer isn't clear, either the author meant it not to be clear, or the author did a bad job getting his/her point across and should maybe think about how to avoid that mistake in future. Does that make sense? It's a philosophical objection to the very idea of the author standing outside the text, explaining what it was supposed to mean. Once the writer is done writing, all interpretation is up to the readers.

I hope that makes sense. And I am sorry if it's irritating. I never meant it to be.

(Also... you realize that since I don't reveal future detail, that means I can't *tell you* whether it's going to be made clear in Bitterblue? ^_^ Seriously, the only answers about the content of my books that you'll ever find is going to be from the books themselves. [Okay, other then the general book description, of the sort I provide on my My Books page.] But I promise, I'm writing the best book I can, and I hope it will satisfy people.)

Natasha, I'm so glad you're enjoying the reading. And thanks so much for that beautiful poem!

Melina, those are good questions, and I've added them. Thanks!

Hi everybody else! :o)

Lily said...

Hi Kristin!

I just want to say that I love the fact that Katsa doesn't want to have kids, her explanation about this matter it's just simple and perfect. Finally somebody shows a character of a woman who doesn't want to have kids and still is a good loving person. I don't feel like an alien anymore, THANK YOU KRISTIN!!

Lily

Robbie said...

You're so great that you respond to every question, but you're also a "damned exasperating woman"! :) I totally get where you're coming from. We can't help but keep asking for teasers, though, y'know.

Also, I thought you lived in Australia for some reason, but now you live in Massachusetts?

Loredan Avery said...

This is great, I can't wait to read your FAQ page. I also called your indie bookstore and in a few days will have a signed copy of Graceling on my shelf. Thank you, for taking the time to sign so many, and making them available. I can't wait for Fire to come out. Oh and, thank you for taking the time to put your FAQ page together. I know it'll be a great help whenever my 'writing process' short circuits! Did I mention to say thank you? j/k
-Best, Avery

kristin cashore said...

Lily: ♥. :o). You are NOT an alien!

Robbie: spent my junior year abroad in Australia; have lived in MA in the past; currently live in FL; am moving back to MA this summer!

Avery, I hope to post more FAQs about writing sometime... I get asked those questions a lot, but they tend to be the ones I find hardest to answer, so I drag my feet!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Congrats on the FAQS page. I know how it feels when you finally get something out of the way.

Next I wanted to say here's to you! Your writing rocks. I'm on the prowl right now to get the next book chased down (Grrrr small town bookstores sooo annoying)

Anyway this post really hasn't got anything to do with that however (sorry)

Really what I wanted to do was ask a few questions. I know I probably won't get an answer to anything (But then again I come from a family where we still by Lotto tickets even though the chances are like a billion to one) Anyway I'm cool with silence.

After four years of writing to all of my favorite authors and getting nothing in response I'm used to nothing.

I'm in my teens and I channel all my spare time into creative writing. When I first read your "Writing process" page I almost died because its just too insanely familiar then i watched "NIMS ISLAND" later that night and stopped breathing because of the way they portrayed the writer in it. (I know its a kids show but I'm a big fan of movies of any type and that character was just toooooooooooooo Like me. Crazy and obsessed with her characters)

Anyhow I digress really easy Sorry.
So just a couple of my questions that I've been looking for professional help with are the following:

1) Whats the stance on mentors? I had an insane teacher (I mean that as in really nutty) who was always preaching that mentors needed to do their thing then die. (I'm glad she left the school) I know there really aren't rules for it but its been years since we had that "intelligent" conversation and I still wonder about it. She made an almost valid point when she said that if the mentor doesn't leave or die then the hero hasn't proved they've learned anything and the story is a waste. Just food for thought that I've never been able to get a second opinion on.

2)I don't know how to even begin to let people see what I write. I share it with my little sister and no one else... Is it normal to have a bit of fear about the first big jump when you let people read for the first time?

3) when I am ready to let the story out of the bag what are the steps you have to take? I don't even mean this question in a personal way. I'm not some freak looking for pity on the web, but I was wondering how it all happens? With you did you just... Show the right people and things went from there.... or are there specific companies you have to talk to? (Yeah here's the naive unpublished rookie stumbling around clueless don't laugh)

4)Last question I promise. Do you write out of sequence? I do it all the time and then I fit the chunk of writing together putting a little link in between them, the only problem I find is that it gets all out of hand and I can't write some of the important parts between. Any tips if you do?

Anyway sorry this is so long. I get carried away easily.

So, if you can even say suck it up and figure it out on your own thanks!! :D

Love ya!

~Tara Phoenix~

Cucumber said...

I love the one about ur car!!! Especially the Obama stickers...He's an amazing president!!! Congrats on finally getting the page up!!! You did it!!! We're all happy you accomplished ur goal...8^P
I've got most of my friends reading Graceling now. When I read a good book, I get all excited and talk bout it continuosly, and that happened with Graceling! So they got into it and started reading! Yay!

A. Grey said...

Lily, I ditto Kristin's response to you. I'm an identical twin. My sister (code name Fenris) has been married for five years to an awsome guy (code name Chucky Duck) and they will some day have children. Most of my family has spent the last five years staring at me and waiting for some announcement that I'm either dating, pregnant, or at least gay. It's just expected.
The idea that I might be happy being alone and being myself never crosses their minds. But that's how it is. I'm alone and I like it that way. :) We aren't aliens at all, we just think outside the box.

kristin cashore said...

Tara, i've taken down all those questions -- and when I have more time, I'll blog more FAQs about writing. :o)

NotNessie said...

AHA! I found out when the next book is coming out. So exciting!

Thanks for posting those FAQs

Simba said...

HII!! *waves frantically*

Okay as I type this, I'm feeling horribly foolish because I just had to choose this post, of all posts, to ask a question on. :P It's December 12 (omg 11:11) right now, and all the other posts are around April! I had no idea where to ask you my questions, since I'm not sure how to explain to my parents that I'm aching to send one of my favourite authors (yes, I went there. aha) a letter...

I've read Graceling over 20 times and I'm still waiting for my library to order Fire! It's like giving Charlie the Golden Ticket, watching his face light up, letting him run to his family, and then having little Mr. Wonka (portrayed by Johnny Depp himself) snatch it from his hands saying it was a big mistake. :'(

I should really stop rambling, but...to the point if I may:I read on a website Bitterblue was canceled? I know you probably get so many questions about Bitterblue and I hope you're not struggling too much (I can't say struggling at all because, god I've tried to write a book and it's impossible not to struggle with writing. Or maybe its' just me?) I hope the book works out, I'm sure it will actually.. Graceling was a hit! Pure magic, really and I'm sure Fire is extremely riveting (even though the library still mocks me with its fantastic cover. Stupid library administrators! It's not right for them to wave this great book in front of me and not give me a chance to open it up):( I'm probably rambling again, I can just tell!

Another question while I'm at it: In Bitterblue, (god I know, another question about Bitterblue *sigh*) is there a certain time lapse between it and Graceling. If so, how long will it be? Several years, or maybe months? It's just something I'm curious about. ALSO, who's point of view are you currently writing it through?

OH AND LAST QUESTION!
*drumroll* though trust me it won't be very exciting:

How can I ask you questions without randomly choosing posts on your blog? I know you have your contact link on one of the sidebars (and its through mail), I was wondering if you had an email or something else I could perhaps contact you by (yes, I'm aware I sound awfully stalkerish. >;])?

Other than that, I'm afraid this long long long post is over. I feel awfully sorry for you having to read this all but this is what you get for writing books that attract my attention! >=] Mwahahaha.

P.S. This also might be just me, but Bitterblue reminded me awfully of Bluebeard. You know the man who killed his wives and hid them, forbidding his current wife from going into the cellar where they were hidden? Just a thought. :D

Good luck and have a blast writing!