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Author Topic: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)  (Read 12543 times)

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Offline sennydreadful

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2016, 08:13:45 PM »
hey!  look what i just found!

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/jen-williams-talks-testing-her-writing-mettle-in-the-copper-promise/

Hey that's me! :D Feels quite surreal to be doing interviews on Barnes & Noble's website.

Offline SJBudd

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2016, 02:00:17 PM »
I've wondered how authors write fight scenes. Is there a lot of research involved, especially with the gory bits?


Offline sennydreadful

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2016, 02:27:00 PM »
I've wondered how authors write fight scenes. Is there a lot of research involved, especially with the gory bits?

Well I suspect we all do a degree of research, with some writers going very in depth on things like tactics and weapons (I know a few who've taken up swordfighting or a martial art, which really informs their work). Personally as a reader, I'm always less interested in technical detail and more invested in how the character is experiencing the fight. The Copper Cat books are very character driven, so when I plan and write action sequences, my focus is always on what the character is thinking/feeling/experiencing. I ask myself a lot of questions: are they already wounded from a previous fight? What might be distracting them? Are they more worried about someone else right now? And: How does it feel to get punched in the stomach, really hard? What conditions are making it harder? (there's an action sequence in The Silver Tide that takes place in the middle of an incredibly violent storm, which impacted heavily on how the characters were able to fight, etc) How do they feel about who they're fighting? I research enough to get me through, but I don't like to get bogged down in it. Making the reader experience the action as though they are fighting right alongside the characters is usually my goal.

Like every scene, I think action scenes are an opportunity to advance the story and reveal more of the characters - and you can learn a lot about them when they are under extreme stress of some kind.  ;D Stress like, fighting an evil dragon god and so on.

Offline sennydreadful

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2016, 11:14:25 AM »
As people are starting to finish the book now, I thought I'd pop in here and wave a bit, in case anyone wants to ask me a question.  :D
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2016, 05:13:31 PM »
They're all busy reading books 2 and 3 ;D

(by the way, I was in Waterstone's Leeds and did my usual round of putting the books from the FF authors cover out on the shelves ;D You actually had the whole trilogy there!)
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Offline sennydreadful

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2016, 06:21:00 PM »
They're all busy reading books 2 and 3 ;D

(by the way, I was in Waterstone's Leeds and did my usual round of putting the books from the FF authors cover out on the shelves ;D You actually had the whole trilogy there!)

Oh wow that's fab - good old Waterstones Leeds :D I have vaguely hoped that booksellers will notice how cute all three look together on the shelf now that the small paperback is out...
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2016, 03:19:01 PM »
I've got a question, but it's mostly about book 3, so I'll get it in spoilers

Spoiler for Hiden:
Did you get any inspiration for Xinian and Selsye in real life?
They are such super characters, and I love that despite being very different, you can sense that they have a very strong relationship, through good and bad times.
And of course treating disability like it should be, just another physical characteristic of the person.
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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2016, 03:27:18 PM »
I see The Iron Ghost has a US Kindle release date of Jan 3, 2017.  Any idea on when The Silver Tide will be released in the US?  If its too long I might just do my UK VPN trick to get it from Amazon UK (which I might do anyways as I like the UK covers better).

Offline sennydreadful

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2016, 05:06:43 PM »
I've got a question, but it's mostly about book 3, so I'll get it in spoilers

Spoiler for Hiden:
Did you get any inspiration for Xinian and Selsye in real life?
They are such super characters, and I love that despite being very different, you can sense that they have a very strong relationship, through good and bad times.
And of course treating disability like it should be, just another physical characteristic of the person.

Ah! Well:

Spoiler for Hiden:
The slightly boring answer is 'not really'. I don't generally tend to get inspired by specific people when it comes to writing characters - they just seem to... happen. Which isn't a very satisfying answer. However, with Xinian I always imagine her to be a little like Michonne from The Walking Dead, particularly in the earlier series where she's grumpier. And I liked her so much in The Iron Ghost, I knew I had to find a way for her to come back.

Offline sennydreadful

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2016, 05:09:44 PM »
I see The Iron Ghost has a US Kindle release date of Jan 3, 2017.  Any idea on when The Silver Tide will be released in the US?  If its too long I might just do my UK VPN trick to get it from Amazon UK (which I might do anyways as I like the UK covers better).

Well, things have yet to be confirmed with The Silver Tide, so unfortunately I'm not able to give you a good answer for that. :s
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2016, 05:23:52 PM »
Spoiler for Hiden:
The slightly boring answer is 'not really'. I don't generally tend to get inspired by specific people when it comes to writing characters - they just seem to... happen. Which isn't a very satisfying answer. However, with Xinian I always imagine her to be a little like Michonne from The Walking Dead, particularly in the earlier series where she's grumpier. And I liked her so much in The Iron Ghost, I knew I had to find a way for her to come back.

Hmm, never watched the Walking Dead...
But yeah, then it's even better, because it all came from your amazing brain ;D perfectly satisfying answer, hehe

Spoiler for Hiden:
Yes, I was SO happy when I saw her again :D :D
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2016, 06:24:05 PM »
Here's a question for Jen! I'm avoiding spoiler stuff until I finish reading the book (hopefully this weekend) so if this has already been asked, forgive me.

How much did RPGs and dungeon crawls (D&D or otherwise) influence your writing, in particular the first portion of The Copper Promise? I mean, at its core, eveything in the temple reads pretty much like a D&D adventure (but in a good way, not a bad one)! So I'm curious if that's intentional/an homage, or if it just read that way to me because of my gaming background.

BTW ... my own gaming experiences (RPG, tabletop, and video) influence my writing to a noticeable degree, which may be why I'm reading into this. :)

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2016, 09:38:10 AM »
Here's a question for Jen! I'm avoiding spoiler stuff until I finish reading the book (hopefully this weekend) so if this has already been asked, forgive me.

How much did RPGs and dungeon crawls (D&D or otherwise) influence your writing, in particular the first portion of The Copper Promise? I mean, at its core, eveything in the temple reads pretty much like a D&D adventure (but in a good way, not a bad one)! So I'm curious if that's intentional/an homage, or if it just read that way to me because of my gaming background.

BTW ... my own gaming experiences (RPG, tabletop, and video) influence my writing to a noticeable degree, which may be why I'm reading into this. :)

Haha! I think a lot of people assume I have a deep history with D&D because of the opening section of the book. Sadly, I don't really, at least not with the traditional form of it - I was too shy as a kid to get involved in anything like that and I didn't really know anyone who played it. As a slightly older person, I did accompany my friend on a larping weekend, which I did enjoy very much, mainly because it was a quite novel way of getting drunk in the woods. :)

Having said that, I am a big fan of video games, and, somewhat infamously at this point, I developed a huge obsession with the Bioware game Dragon Age, and it was certainly Dragon Age that encouraged me to write this sort of 'taverns, mead and mayhem' sort of fantasy. I was also hugely into Skyrim at the time of writing the first draft, and certainly my favourite parts of that game involved exploring spooky underground caves (that and making stew, crafting jewellery and shouting people off of cliffs, of course). So I'm sure those two games have their fingerprints over at least the first section. Mostly though, the series is rooted in old-school sword and sorcery; which of course shares a lot of DNA with D&D, anyway.

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Re: Q&A with Jen Williams (sennydreadful)
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2016, 02:56:43 PM »
Having said that, I am a big fan of video games, and, somewhat infamously at this point, I developed a huge obsession with the Bioware game Dragon Age, and it was certainly Dragon Age that encouraged me to write this sort of 'taverns, mead and mayhem' sort of fantasy. I was also hugely into Skyrim at the time of writing the first draft, and certainly my favourite parts of that game involved exploring spooky underground caves (that and making stew, crafting jewellery and shouting people off of cliffs, of course). So I'm sure those two games have their fingerprints over at least the first section. Mostly though, the series is rooted in old-school sword and sorcery; which of course shares a lot of DNA with D&D, anyway.

Awesome! I actually work with a few of the writers that wrote for Dragon Age (people in the game industry tend to move around) so it's been fun picking their brains about the game. With the exception of some combat issues (like mage players pwning everything) it was a really well done, especially story-wise. Both Alastair and Anders (from DA: Awakening) remains some of my favorite characters, since I have a weakness for snark. And naturally, my Gray Warden sacrificed himself for the greater good at the end, because that's the type of character I play.

Also, I can totally see some similarities between the rampaging snake sisters and the darkspawn. :)