Will Sandry become Duchess when Vedris dies?
No. The line of inheritance would pass to his sons. His middle son, Gospard, has no interest in leaving his position with the Navy. The youngest, Franzen, plans to inherit. Vedris doesn’t plan to let him.
His eldest son Colederran was disowned a long time ago. Vedris recently learned Cole has been working in the far north, guarding merchant caravans. He plans to send someone to go find Cole and bring him back to Emelan, which is a bit of a problem, since it needs to be someone he trusts. Briar is sick to death of traveling. Tris is going to be busy. So it will probably be Sandry and Daja. No matter what Sandry says, he’s not letting her go on her own.
Why did [SPOILER] end up with [SPOILER]?
Because it was who they fit with. They find each other intellectually interesting, emotionally satisfying, funny. All kinds of factors happen to make two people say “you know what, you’re the one for me.” I try to listen to the characters and make sure they’re going to go along with it before I put it on paper. I started out with one pairing that really didn’t work and was smart enough to catch it before it was published, and I’ve listened a lot closer ever since.
People have to have friendship. You have to know you can depend on the other person. They’re not going to be perfect, but neither are you. Forgiveness is also a good thing to have in a partnership.
Is Kel ever going to get married/is she going to end up with [SPOILER]?
Not any time soon, she’s not! In her mind, she’s far too busy for things like marriage.
Will you write more books about Kel/Daine/Alanna/Tris/Sandry/Briar/Daja/Their Students……
I would love to write more books about all of them. It depends on what my publishers want, what my editors want, and what I’m contracted to write.
What’s Zahir’s story? Will he ever become the Voice of the Tribes?
Nooooo. Zahir doesn’t have the temperament to become the Voice. Jon is looking for someone to take the job, since he thinks he’s figured out a way to pass on the responsibility without killing its current holder. He’ll be making a trip south soon to search for candidates. But Zahir is not even in contention.
Zahir’s family lives on the fiefdom of Alhaz between the hill country and Bazhir lands. His great-grandfather saved the life of King Jasson. His line was gifted with land and title as a result. Jasson required that the lands remain in the control of Zahir’s bloodline, regardless of the gender of the heir, for as long as the family ibn Alhaz lives (A good thing, since Jasson’s savior only had daughters). Zahir is the first son born to the family who felt ready to try for knighthood. He’s also the one responsible for helping enact a law that allows any Bazhir tribesman to try for knighthood, as long as their family can handle the financial burden.
As for why he left Joren and his cronies, Zahir has a mind of his own. He did some thinking and decided that acting that way was a waste of a warrior’s time. Bullying and hazing are children’s games, and he wasn’t a child any more.
Why is the Mother Goddess not named when most of the other gods are? Why is the Badger just Badger?
Because the Mother Goddess is threefold. You can’t name her aspects differently, but neither are they the same. Each place where she’s worshipped names her a little differently, but most people simply refer to her as Mother.
We just call the Badger the Badger. Or Mr. Badger. What the badgers call him is really between him and them. There are oodles and poodles of animal gods I haven’t named, because I know when to keep my hands to myself.
Why does Duke Roger’s gift change color?
He started draining Thom’s magic. The more he took, the more the combined Gifts warped. Two Gifts aren’t meant to mix in that way.
What breed is Achoo?
Grade A, licensed, pedigree mutt. She’s based on a friend’s teacup poodle, blown up to working-dog size. The closest equivalent is probably a labradoodle.
What did Jonathan see in his Ordeal?
I can’t tell that! I can’t tell anybody what people see in their Ordeals, no more than they can. It’s iffy enough that I tell what my main characters see.
I will say that Joren saw a world run by women.
Will the two realms ever cross over? Are Emelan and Tortall in the same universe or different ones?
They are in two completely different universes. There is no intersection.
I’ve read the advice on your website for beginning writers. What about the newly published?
Join the social networks. I know Facebook is supposed to be on the way out, but it’s still a way to reach an audience. Goodreads is getting more and more important. Find the social networks that serve your genre and join those. If you’re comfortable with it, join writers’ groups and offer to read. Being a published writer will bring you instant cache. In joining writers groups, you can do good and people will naturally want to see what you do.
People who meet you online and have an agreeable relationship with you will naturally want to go check out your work. If I’ve read it once I’ve read it a million times. “I never heard of you before, but I’m going to go check out your books.”
Go to the writing associations of your genre. Go to the Romance Writers of America. Go to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I would not send anyone to SFWA at this point in the game. They seem to be getting worse rather than better. You can find the same cool scifi writers mixed in with the romance writers, and also through John Scalzi and Jim Hines. For writers of color, there’s the VONA workshop, about which I’ve heard good things.
Find sites where you can contribute. People are more impressed by what you do than by a thumbnail photo with your name next to it. If you build up good will, good will returns to you.
Go to bookstores. If they have your book, sign it. They can’t send it back that way! And it builds a relationship with the bookstore. Meet the manager, see if you can do an event. You won’t get paid to do bookstore events, but it’s good will built up, and that inclines booksellers to get your material and keep it in stock.
Also, if you write YA or YR, go to schools in your neighborhood. Get in touch with the librarian. Write or call and see if they would like to have an author event. Do they have a writing or reading club? Find out. This also goes for local libraries. Librarians are you best friends. They like to bring people in as much as anybody, and they’ll appreciate a writer who goes out of their way to make it happen. The only place this doesn’t really work is the big cities.
Any advice for aspiring editors?
In every major dictionary, if you look up proofreader’s marks, there is a page of squiggles. Every editor needs to know those squiggles. Those are the marks you use when you suggest a change to a writer - a deletion, an addition, a semicolon instead of a comma. If you want to get any kind of editing work at all, you need to know those marks and know them well. I got work as an editor with no more knowledge than proofreader’s marks and some practice.
Read work aloud. See how you would change it strengthen the writer’s voice.
The main key to being an editor is that you are not there to put your voice in the work. You’re there to help the writer make their voice clearer or sharper. If the writer got bogged down in the middle of a mass of description the way I so often do, it’s your job to say “you don’t really need this, you can cut this, you could show this before.” If the writer is unclear, you’re there to say “I think you need to clarify this.” If they’re still not getting it, “the thing you need to clarify is this relationship,” or “why do they have this dynamic?”
The relationship between an editor and a writer is always a dialogue, unless it’s magazine work. In that case, you’re also having to deal with very limited spaces, and the voice of the publication. But you have to think about what the writer is trying to say, what the writer’s strengths are, how they can best say what they want in the space they have, and how you can help that writer to achieve it without putting their back up.
I get this question from young writers all the time: “What do you do when they want to make you change this? When they make you change that?” I tell them it doesn’t work like that. It’s a conversation. It’s saying “What about this?” instead of “You have to change this.”
Get work on student newspapers, on student magazines. Try writing for student papers and magazines. See how their editors work. If you get work in publishing, with local newspapers, small presses, watch how their editors work. Listen to how they talk to their writers. Read the letters they send to their writers.
When I moved to New York City to get a job in publishing, I went to work for a literary agency. I got to read the letters that editors wrote to their writers. I got to see, up close, that this was not a bullying relationship.
Write your own material, because you’ll understand what it’s like when someone tells you what you need to fix. You won’t learn this stuff from most academic teachers. Teachers aren’t editors. It isn’t their job to edit you. Most of them aren’t trained to it.
Read your writer’s work aloud if you can. Listen to what they’re putting on the page. A lot of people ignore how writing sounds. You pick up more flaws that way, but you also pick up the really good stuff that way. Since so many writers are called upon to read when they do appearances, it’s a really good way to discover a work’s strengths and weaknesses before that point.
BOOKS, MERCHANDISE, APPEARANCES &C
Will you ever come to X?
It could happen! Travel gets harder year by year, between deadlines, health issues, and other commitments. I would love to get overseas again. I would love to get back to the middle states. I would love for my next tour to swing up to Canada. It all depends on event invitations and where my publishers feel like sending me. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t have a great deal of control over some of these things.
I am not rich. I make enough to live on, but that doesn’t include excessive travel. For me to get to places, I need for someone to pay my travel and expenses. If you can find someone who can pay me to come out and speak, I will see what I can work out. My honorarium requirements are listed on my website. Keep in mind that I have to work around other events in my schedule. And I have to write books!
Will there ever be collectors editions of your books available?
I dunno. I know that if you have a mint condition, first printing of Alanna, it sells for a whole lot of money. But that would be cool. I would love it.
Is there a glossary of terms used in your books available online?
No idea! There are glossaries in the backs of the books themselves, and I assume in the backs of the ebooks as well. My website has an out-of-date pronunciation guide for many of the names and places. (http://tamorapierce.com/faq_pronoun.html) It needs to be made current, but that’s not exactly on the top of my hit parade.
Can you please sell books through X site? In X format? When will X series be published as an omnibus? Will you ever reissue X covers?
I don’t control who sells my books, where, or in what format. The best thing you can do if you want to see a book or series in a specific format or sold in a specific store is to talk to the publisher who distributes the book, or the store you want to buy from. If you’re not sure which books belong to which publishers, check the information at the front of the book, or on the jacket of the audio material. And ask, ask, ask! The more you ask, the more likely they will make books available in the format you want.
Can I preorder X?
If the option isn’t available on either the publisher’s website or your online bookstore of choice, then not yet.
Are there any recipes available for the foods described in your books? Can I make some up?
I get most of the foods I describe from historical cookbooks like The Medeival Kitchen, culture-specific cookbooks, or resources like Unmentionable Cuisine. So the recipes are out there. But absolutely make some up!
[She starts naming cookbooks]
Jae is telling me she will just make a list of my cookbooks to post on here, rather than having me list them now.
Why can’t I find any Tortall or Emelan merchandise? What about board games or video games?
Like I said: ask, ask, ask. Ask your bookstore managers. Email your favorite publishers. Get in touch with the geek stores you like the best. If they know people want to buy it, they’re more likely to try and provide it. Ask, ask, ask!
I hope you guys found these helpful. Any misspellings are mine, since I asked Tammy the questions and recorded her responses. I’m continuing to work my way backward in time through Tammy’s inbox. Any fan emails sent after June 15th have not yet been read, and will probably not be opened until I’ve gotten at least to June of 2013. Eventually these will be organized in masterposts according to topic. Until then, they will all be tagged “tamora pierce FAQ newsletter.” Wish me luck, and I’ll let you guys know when the next installment of the FAQ goes up!
ETA: Already one glaring error I had to correct. Vedris’s eldest son is named COLEDERRAN, not Colderran, though it’s pronounced more like the latter.