Moving right along…

Can we just pretend July didn’t happen? Let’s start all over with a Q&A for August, and we’ll see if we can manage to kick-start this thing into action with those. Anyone have any writing questions–techniques? Themes? Sales? Characters?

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  1. Anonymous on July 30, 2006 at 3:00 pm

    How do you approach a rewrite? Do all the suggestions come from your editor, or do you have second, or additional thoughts about the first draft?
    Hope everything is well at your house.


  2. Anonymous on July 30, 2006 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Laurie,

    I hope August is a better month for you than July was.

    My question is: Do you have an idea of what you want the book to be about and then do the research, or does the idea for the book come from doing the research and having some detail spark you interest?


  3. Erika on July 30, 2006 at 6:52 pm

    July? I did not notice a July. Yes, here’s hoping that August is better for you.

    Another Martinelli series question for you: Is Tyler’s Road and Tyler’s Creek an actual place? I live in the area and know of a Scott’s Creek…

    On a related note, when you’re writing fiction about an actual place, like San Francisco or the San Juans, how much of an overlay of fictional detail do you create to keep it in the realm of the genre?

  4. L. Crampton, LAc on July 30, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    Wow, July is basically history, isn’t it? I hope your husband is on the mend and all well in your whole family.
    My wonder-about is (if you wish to comment–ok if not!)what role writing plays when the rest of your life is demanding, as July was for you. I tend to feel most ‘anchored’ when writing well daily, but when my mom was ill for a couple of years and dying last year, I couldn’t seem to settle to writing unless there was a penalty for not doing so.
    I write best when times are neither Too Good (too much fun to be had) nor Too Bad. Goldielocksish, I suppose. Thanks, Laurie

  5. Anonymous on July 30, 2006 at 9:50 pm

    Your generous sharing of your thoughts, your life, your time with all of us who read your “Mutterings” is now part of my daily routine. Thank you. As a reader who discovered your books many years ago, I say, once again, Thank You—a thousand times “Thank You” for the pleasure you have given me.

    I wish I could somehow, succinctly (!) formulate a question that goes like this: As a writer, a woman, a wife, a mother, an active citizen of this fractured country, and, obviously, someone who cares about people like me, how, in heaven’s name, do you balance your time and still remain sane?

    I am immensely grateful that you do. Blessings, Laurie King.

    Mary Lou

  6. Melissa on July 31, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    How does a publishing contract work? How much (if any)freedom have you lost as far as what you write? At what point are you locked into a story idea? Have you ever had to finish writing something that you wanted to take in a completely different direction but could not because someone else’s money was invested in your original idea?

  7. Delia on July 31, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    Interesting how addictive reading your blog is! The connection we feel to you is fundamentally ephemeral on one level and very deep on another. Blogging is a strange sport. My question is: What sort of pay-back do you get from writing this blog? Is it mainly a way to get reading fans for your books or do you get some deep personal need for connection met? Or both?

  8. 2maple on July 31, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    New month; new adventures – hopefully more enjoyable ones!

    I’ve always wondered if there was any special significance to timing of a book release? Do the new authors get the “when it’s available slots” and those with proven track records get the more preferential ones?

  9. Roxanne on August 1, 2006 at 2:08 pm

    Greetings on this (very) sunny AUGUST morning.

    I wanted to wish you a better time this month, Ms. King. You, your husband, and your family are in my prayers.

    My question? Well–I want to thank Delia for asking what was on my mind as I was opened your site today: “Interesting how addictive reading your blog is! The connection we feel to you is fundamentally ephemeral on one level and very deep on another … What sort of pay-back do you get from writing this blog?”

    Ms. King, whatever your reason(s) for posting your blog (as behaviour is multi-determined), I hope that, on some level, you experience at least a portion of the pleasure you have given me with your words–both the electronic and those published in your books.

    Another question: Would you please consider travelling over here to the East Coast someday (soon)? The Philadelphia area has a wealth of bookstores and libraries. I would even find the wherewithal to travel to New York City, should you schedule an appearance there.

    Thank you. And Goddess bless.


  10. Anonymous on August 1, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    How much of a biography do you give secondary characters before introducing them into a novel?

  11. Anonymous on August 1, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    Do you write around themes, or do the themes emerge as you tell yourself the story?

  12. WDI on August 1, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    Hi, Laurie:
    Echoing everyone: I wish you the most peaceful and uninteresting of Augusts! Bless you for doing so much for us in the midst of dealing with your family issues.

    My question is pretty simple: how do you research speech patterns and dialect? I was struck with this while re-reading The Moor. I understand that “place” and “time” can be straightforward to research (at least in the obvious ways); but how the heck do you manage the dialects, vocabulary, and cadences of speech in the different times/places/characters? As a lover of language, I’d love to know.

  13. Anonymous on August 2, 2006 at 3:17 pm

    My question…
    I’ve noticed that many of your characters struggle with life’s darker impulses such as depression, suicidality, alcoholism, etc. As a person with my own mental health ‘issues,’ I identify with these characters… but I also have wondered if you write on these topics because of your own experiences, personally or in your family, or general interest. I would be very interested to see what you would do with a character (perhaps an adolescent) who turns to self-injury or disordered eating… have you ever considered this?

  14. Roy on August 7, 2006 at 12:44 am

    Hi Ms. King!

    I only just discovered your blog, so please excuse how late this question is.

    I couldn’t help but notice that TAOD has a real feeling of finality about it. That scene inside City Hall in the last chapter almost feels like the credits in an old ’30s movie, going through the characters – Kate and Lee, Roz and Maj, Jon and Sione – like we were getting a last view of them before the film ends. I almost expected to see Vaughn and Brother Erasmus show up to take a bow! And then in the postscript to circle it all right back into Mary Russell’s world.

    So I have to ask – have we really just witnessed a farewell to Kate and Lee and Al and their world? If that’s the case, then just let me say that it’ll be a sadder world without them. I love the Russell stories and the new perspective on Holmes, but Kate and Lee felt like home folks, and I’m gonna miss ’em.


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