drey: How did you come up with such diverse heroines? Joanne/Siobhan the cop/mechanic, Margrit the lawyer, and Belinda the queen's "doer"... All three are such strong women, even if Joanne took a while to come to terms with her "gift"... How much of them are you, or those close to you, and how much is completely made up?And, the Proust-lite to bring up the rear:
C.E.: It's somewhat alarming to say "um, well, they just sort of appeared in my head this way, fully formed" but to a degree it's true. Jo's the most like me in voice, although she has a whole host of issues I entirely lack. She's also really the only one who has any of my characteristics--we share some favorite drinks, for example--but she also drinks amaretto coffee, which I think is utterly nauseating. So the bits of me that are in her aren't exactly a flaming sign saying HI THIS IS CATIE ONLY IN A BOOK TEE HEE HEE! :)
Interestingly--or maybe not, since she was the first published character--Jo was the hardest to pin down. Margrit really /did/ arrive fully formed. I was in the shower and suddenly I was thinking about this black woman lawyer who ran in Central Park at night, and wham, there she was. What she has in common with me, probably, is ambition and/or a determination to see things through. I think I might get on well with Margrit in real life.
As for Belinda, I always knew her only redeeming quality was her loyalty, that everything about her was defined by ruthlessness. So I sort of hope she hasn't actually got very much in common with me, except, um. We both have brown hair! :)
drey: Speaking of Joanne, what brought about WALKING DEAD (book #4, to be released in September)? Was it always planned, or one of those hey-I-have-a-huge-need-to-tell-more-of-Joanne's-story thingies?
C.E.: Oh, the series was never intended to end with book three. I've got nine books planned for the Walker Papers. The delay between books three and four was just--I write a lot. I write a lot and I write fast, and one of the things I was concerned with as someone who writes both a lot and fast was I didn't want to get pigeon-holed into being The Person Who Writes The Walker Papers. This is particularly true because it's a 9 book series. I didn't want to only have it out there because people get very attached and I wanted to be able to tell other stories. So there was a natural break point after book 3, and I already had HEART OF STONE written, so I very much wanted to get another series out there before I went back to writing Joanne. And the Negotiator books were only a trilogy, and my publisher was eager to put them all out in the space of a year, so I felt that worked very well for me and my goals as a writer.
drey: And on the topic of series continuation, will there be more Margrit? And Eliseo, Janx, Alban, etc.? I'm assuming there will be more Belinda?
C.E.: There will not be any more Margrit. There will almost certainly be more Old Races books in the (comparatively distant) future, but Margrit and Alban's story has been told. Someone asked me the other day if the Negotiator sales hadn't been as good as we hoped, if that's why there weren't going to be more, and I was floored. The sales were just fine! I finished telling the story, that's all!You're more likely to see Janx and Daisani and some of the others than Margrit and Alban. I'm doing the occasional short story for the Old Races, and eventually I hope to put together an anthology of those, but no, for the foreseeable future (ie, until the Walker Papers are finished), there won't be any more Old Races novels.
As for Belinda, your guess is as good as mine. I'll be writing a proposal for more books in the Inheritors' Cycle this summer, so hopefully my publisher will pick those up and that story will continue.
drey: You write such diverse worlds, along with the diverse heroines. How did you come up with them, and how do you keep them separate?
C.E.: *laughs* Man, the truth to this sounds so *boring*, but here you go:
When I wrote URBAN SHAMAN (first of the Walker Papers) the explosion in urban fantasy hadn't happened yet. All that was out, really, were Laurell K. Hamilton's books and Jim Butcher's books. So I said, ok, we have a vampire hunter and a wizard, and they're both extremely good at what they do. I need something different. A shaman is different. A shaman who *doesn't* know what she's doing. Okay... and then I ran with that.
The Old Races were born from a love of the Beauty and the Beast story and a particular dislike of werewolves and therefore a real desire to not go down that road. I just wanted something nobody was doing, and I thought a world that had gargoyles would probably also have *other* magical creatures, so I put together this idea of the five surviving Old Races: dragons and djinn, selkies, vampires and gargoyles. And Margrit, like I said, leapt into my head fully formed, and she was obviously the heroine for these books.
As for the Inheritors' Cycle, I've been an Elizabethan history buff since I was a little kid, so writing something set in that era was always something I wanted to do. I'd expected the story to adhere much more closely to actual history, really, but I've had an awful lot of fun with how it's diverged.
Keeping the worlds apart isn't at all difficult. They're just so *different*. I did spend a while wondering if Margrit and Jo were in the same universe, but they're really not. The magic in Margrit's world is very much physical, with all the different races, whereas the magic in Jo's is very, very much spiritual. So yeah, they're just totally different universes.
drey: And speaking of writing - how did you get started? Is it something you've always wanted to do?
C.E.: I'm one of those people who always wanted to be a writer. When I was very very small I was going to be the first woman Senator from Alaska, and a writer. Or an astronaut and a writer. Or a lawyer and a writer. The "and a writer" was always there, and it sort of turned out that no, actually, I was going to be a writer "and a", rather than the other way around. :)
I was six years old the first time somebody told me to keep writing, so in a way that's how I got started. As for published novels, I went to the Colorado Gold writers' conference in Denver in...2001, I think, and it really lit a fire under me. I went away from it saying if I was going to pursue a writing career I needed to actually *do* it, and fourteen months later I had my first contract. But I'd been writing my entire life, you know? URBAN SHAMAN and several others were already finished at that point.
drey: You write novels and graphic novels. Which is more fun to write? =) Why?
C.E.: Oh, jeez. They're *totally* different. GNs might be more fun 'cause they're shorter. :) And it's awesome beyond *belief* to send somebody pages full of words and to get back pages full of pictures!
C.E.: Bahah. Thank you for this; I've always wanted to get to answer these questions. :)
- What is your idea of earthly happiness? A long walk on a sunshiny day with good friends or family is just about my idea of perfection. Anything with sunshine and friends is a win.
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Loneliness.
- Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in fiction? Anne of Green Gables. Menolly of the Harper Hall. Sarah Connor. I could go on forever. :)
- Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in real life? Margaret Sanger, who was an American suffragette and birth control advocate. She founded what would become Planned Parenthood.
- What sound do you love? Laughter.
- What sound do you hate? At the moment, my cat yowling because she refused to eat breakfast and is now insisting on telling me how miserably hungry she is....
- The quality you admire most in a man? Humor, wit, intelligence.
- The quality you admire most in a woman? Same as above.
- If not a writer, you would be a professional photographer, probably. Or an actor.
- What is your favorite swear word? Embarrassingly, it's probably "frak" or "frell" or possibly "puckernuts", though I don't use that one as much as I used to.
Thank you so very much for stopping by! I LOVE your writing, and will definitely have to check out the rest of the Walker Papers series... Can't wait for #4!! Find miz Murphy online at her website (http://cemurphy.net/) and blog (http://mizkit.com/)! And check out her bibliography (http://cemurphy.net/writing/) too... Whew!
C.E. is kindly offering a mass market copy of the Walker Papers #1 - Urban Shaman. #4 (Walking Dead) is coming out in September, and if you haven't read this yet, here's your chance to win a copy of the series beginner! This is open to anyone who has a mailing address (don't you just LOVE her?), so go ahead...
This might be a bit rambly... I really really like the covers to these books... So, to enter this giveaway, comment & tell me--have you read these? If you have not, would you pick 'em up just from the cover? I sure would! =)
+1 for following, +2 for sharing (come back & tell me where, please)... This yummy goodness ends 6:00 p.m. CST June 25th, so move along... Good luck!