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As a companion piece to the Fur-Face book review, here's an interview from Jon Gibbs. Welcome, Jon, to Writer Tamago. Thanks for the delightful and funny interview. For the record, I really like Mr. Tinkles a lot too.

Tamago: Where did you get your ideas for Fur-Face?

Jon: I’ve always liked the idea of someone hearing voices other folks can’t hear. I think it opens the door to lots of potential embarrassment and misunderstandings, especially when there’s a third party in the conversation. The Adventure Safari theme park was inspired by a local zoo, near where I lived in England, and the amazing underground tunnels beneath Disney’s theme parks.

Tamago: Have any writers influenced your writing style? How about other books?

Jon: If what you read influences you the most, then Terry Pratchett has had a big effect, especially his Guards novels. I love the way he has you laughing one minute, then choking back tears the next.

Tamago: Are any of your characters patterned on people you know, or have known?

Jon: Not intentionally. I like to think I’m a lot like Snowy, but in truth, I’m more like Doctor Euston (Billy’s dad), over-protective, useless at DIY and generally boring. Aggie Cranbrook is a bit like my old gran, except Aggie’s friendly, likes children and can’t fart the alphabet.

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Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

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The Second of the Series! Caroline Stevermer was kind enough to answer some questions about College of Magics. I'm excited to learn that the sequel, A Scholar of Magics is about the likeable Jane, and that there is a third book in the works RIGHT NOW.

Thanks, Caroline!

Tamago: When we first meet Faris, she is rough and untrained. It isn't until we see Faris in the Glass Slipper rescuing Gunhild that we come to realize Faris is a strong character. In many YA books, girls like Faris transform to become more conventional. In College of Magics, Faris transforms to become more the strong character we are introduced to here.

Caroline: Long answers are good, right? Then I'll mention that I got the idea for the book in the first semester of my sophomore year of college. I thought of the final plot element nine years later. Unfortunately, I was so excited, I told the story to a close friend before I'd written it down. I am, it turns out, one of those people who shouldn't talk about what they write until they've actually written it down. The whole story turned to ashes. It took me another five years to pull myself together and actually finish the rough draft so revising could begin. It went through many, many drafts.

All this was a very long time ago indeed, so forgive me if my answers aren't as specific or accurate as they would have been right after the book was originally published. I wrote A College of Magics because I wanted to read a ripping yarn in which the protagonist was a woman. The books that inspired me (for example, The Prisoner of Zenda and its sequel, Rupert of Hentzau) invariably relegated girls to subsidiary roles where they had nothing to do but look pretty and act nobly. I wanted Faris to be imperfect and independent. Perfectly reasonable people dislike her intensely, and I don't blame them.

Tamago: What do you hope readers will take away from your portrayal of Faris?

Caroline: The key word for Faris was always truculent. I hope that the disadvantages of having a short temper are made clear in the course of the book.

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Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

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As a companion article to yesterday's review, here's Jim's answers to a few questions. *

Tamago: In what ways do the characters of Roudette and Talia compliment or echo each other, if you think they do at all?

Jim: Roudette is definitely a foil to Talia. In many ways, Roudette is who Talia could have become under different circumstances, and vice versa. Both lost their families as children. Both had to flee their homes. But Roudette was alone. To me, that’s the biggest difference between them. Talia has Beatrice, Snow, Danielle, not to mention the other characters we meet in Red Hood’s Revenge. Roudette has only her mission.

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Mirrored from Writer Tamago.


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