The Books

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Rocket Sheep, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Rocket Sheep

    Rocket Sheep I AM too a mod! Staff Member

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    I can't wait for Kate to come and do her own introduction. Let's get Kate's ball rolling and show her how much we appreciate her visiting our board. :D

    Kate is a talented and prolific fantasy writer who lives in Sydney, Australia, and I'm sure needs no introduction to most of you. She also writes short story, poetry, YA and for children. Her website is HERE

    These are her books:

    The Witches of Eileanan
    1 Dragonclaw 1997
    2 The Pool of Two Moons 1998
    3 The Cursed Towers 1999
    4 The Forbidden Land 2000
    5 The Skull of the World 2001
    6 The Fathomless Caves 2002

    Rhiannon's Ride - a new trilogy set in Eileanan
    1 The Tower of Ravens 2004
    2 The Shining City 2005
    3 The Heart of Stars, coming soon

    The Starthorn Tree (YA)

    Full Fathom Five (magic realism under the name Kate Humphrey)

    Dragon's Gold, (for children) coming soon

    Welcome, Kate! :D
     
  2. Radthorne

    Radthorne Keeper of the Hikari

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    Welcome, Kate (newest member of the League of SFFWorld Australian Writers...) :) Our good Rocket is adept and finding you all and bringing you to our collective attention!

    Once all the introductions are done, you must comment for me about The Forbidden Land and The Skull of the World, which you noted on your website as being split into two for size reasons. Did you re-do portions of the two books to make them each standalones? Or is there still a story arc covering the two books together, with one simply flowing into the next?

    Both of my current books were also split into two, but each was left as one 'book' and the portions divided physically into a 'Part 1' and a 'Part 2'. So I'm curious how other authors have approached this, and what role the editor and/or publisher has played in the eventual outcome.

    Once again, welcome, and do enjoy your time among us! We try not to be too rowdy (except when Rocket's tipped the fuel again...) ;)
     
  3. Kate Forsyth

    Kate Forsyth New Member

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    Kate thanks you all and says hi!

    Dear Rocket

    Thanks so much for taking my hand and leading me through the terrifying dark forest of the net, hanging with invisible threads that seek to entangle me, and inhabited by strange, mysterious creatures with odd names and hidden faces. I am but a babe in the wood, and you are my first guide, my wise old man. I thank you.

    This is a strange new journey for me in a perilous land filled with pitfalls for the unwary. I have been so busy stories writing in recent years that most of this century's technological revolution has whirred on past me. I'm practically writing with a quill. So I'm feeling very brave jumping on board, and I hope I don't make too many obvious mistakes that will have all you more advanced species laughing at me.

    I am, as Rocket, said an Australian fantasy author. My books have been sold in the US and Canada, the UK, Russia and Germany, but not all my books everywhere. Only those who live in Australia can be sure of getting hold of every one of my works.

    I live by the sea, and have a study that looks out at the (rather distant) ocean. I'm married and have three small children, so it's a miracle I ever get to write at all, and I have a small black mute cat called Shadow. I am at my happiest when writing, reading, gardening, dancing or playing imaginary games with my children. I am at my unhappiest when having to pick up dirty clothes, or any other kind of housework.

    I am brown-haired, green-eyed, fair-skinned, and have an excessively large vocabulary. My favourite colour is blue.

    Having given you all the sort of information that you are unlikely to hear anywhere else - a secret map to the land of Kate Forsyth - I bid you all welcome and hope to hear from you soon....
     
  4. juzzza

    juzzza Loveable Rogue

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    Hi Kate,

    I'm the shallow one at the party... the loveable rogue, and whilst I haven't read any of your books, I just wanted to say that you are B.E.A -UTIFUL!!!! Or at least, you are in the photo at your Website!

    Welcome to SFFW and thank you for taking the time to engage with your readers... and admirers! ;)
     
  5. Kate Forsyth

    Kate Forsyth New Member

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    Narrative arcs between books

    Dear Radthorne

    How lovely to hear from you! I'm most interested in your question, as its about writing, and talking about writing is almost as good as actually doing it.

    My first series was planned as a trilogy and ended up being six books. It is, basically, one very large book cut into six parts. There is a continuous narrative arc over the course of the six books, with the first three in particular ending on cliffhangers. However, in each book there is also a part of the story which is completed, and finished - a journey completed, a throne won, a war fought. I do find closure immensely important!

    Dragonclaw and Pool of Two Moons were originally planned, at synopsis stage, as one book, but I soon realised it would have to be two, so I found a natural break in the narrative to end Book 1 on. The Cursed Towers then followed. Then I began to write what was to be the last book in the then quartet. I soon realised it too would have to be split, so I took out a subplot that I was particularly enjoying writing, and focused on the big picture, making it into two books, 'The Skull of the World' and 'The Fathomless Caves'. I then wrote the subplot as a separate book which was then published as 'The Forbidden land'. It had to come out first as it happened first in the overall story's chronological order. So, really, in answer to your question, 'The Forbidden land' is more of a stand-alone novel within the framework of the series, filling in the stories of some minor but very enjoyable characters, while the others tend to flow on one from the other, without much of a break. I do advise reading them in order though - as I said above, it is really like one very large book cut into 6.

    I was very lucky in that my publishers were happy to let me write such a big story - and to let me structure it the way I wanted to ie include the subplot novel.

    It is interesting knowing how different writers write, isn't it?



    Kate
     
  6. Kate Forsyth

    Kate Forsyth New Member

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    Dear Raaaza

    Thank you! Most kind. Hopefully your admiration for my photo will lead you to read the books and develop a deeper and more profound admiration for my mind .....


    Kate
     
  7. juzzza

    juzzza Loveable Rogue

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    Nah.

    Although, your posts in here just might!

    Can you tell us a little bit about how you secured your first publishing deal... did you get short stories published first and then write your novel, or did you shop a novel ms around until you were accepted... tell us your tale... thanks.
     
  8. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Welcome, Kate!

    Haven't read any of your books yet - not seen them in the UK, so you'll have to fill in the gaps for me! :)

    Following on from Kevin's point, particularly in the US where (I think) TOR have done this a bit, one of the more recent trends we've discussed here at sffworld is where books, because of their length (and the resulting costs) have been chopped into two parts and sold with six months between them when they are clearly meant to be one book.

    Not a habit we're particularly happy with, but it has happened. It's nice to see that your book/s were an example where this hasn't happened - more of a case of providing room to breathe, I think.

    Whilst I'm here - any thoughts on the trilogy format? (Or even six books! - Double trilogy?) Is it essential or just passe these days?

    The usual thing people want to know round here too (and it follows on from juzzza's usual understated point ;) ) is did you find any differences in writing or even marketing between styles - childrens, Young Adult or just plain grown-up?

    Hobbit
     
  9. Radthorne

    Radthorne Keeper of the Hikari

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    It is indeed. And, as Hobbit said, it is nice that your publishers recognized the nature of your book(s) and, as he put it, allowed them the space to breath. Mine were literally split for size reasons, as the publisher (initially) could not handle binding books of that size. Fortunately I also found at least a cliff hanger to end Part 1 on; Part 2 actually starts with the next chapter in line, Chapter 13. With my second book they wanted to split it again, just so that it would match what was done with the first book, but knowing that in advance I could write a more even "break" into the story (and another cliff hanger, of course...).

    I too am interested in your view on the youth market versus the adult market, and what you see that differentiates the two (I've yet to see much consensus on the question, so the more opinions the better!)
     
  10. Rocket Sheep

    Rocket Sheep I AM too a mod! Staff Member

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    Hi babe in the woods, little wise old man here. :D

    Actually, I can't say "babe in the woods" anymore. I got a bit freaked out by the poem in one of Greg Bear's books about the babe in the woods crying out into the darkness and drawing down the wolves. What freaked me out was that the poem was about the SETI program. :eek:

    I see you're off to the Children's Festival soon. It was sad you couldn't make it down to Melbourne for Continuum 3 but I suppose with three small children you don't get to many cons each year. After you've sorted out the above questions, perhaps you could elaborate on how you manage to be so prolific with small children? At Continuum, Robin Hobb gave a great talk about the subject of not being taken seriously because she had kids. I wish there was a transcript. We parents were nodding furiously.
     
  11. Radthorne

    Radthorne Keeper of the Hikari

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    LOL! Presumably Rocket means prolific with your writing while rearing small children... :D
     
  12. Rocket Sheep

    Rocket Sheep I AM too a mod! Staff Member

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    :eek: Er... yeah... prolific with writing... Radthorne's already explained to me where babies come from. :p
     
  13. summergirl

    summergirl New Member

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    Hi Kate!

    Welcome to SFF World! I've read all your books, except for The Shining City, and I really enjoyed them. The concept of how the First Coven got to Eileannan is really interesting, and I loved all the faery creatures too. I was wondering, where did you get your inspiration for creating such a diverse range of creatures?
     
  14. glendalarke

    glendalarke Registered User

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    Welcome Kate. Hope to get to meet you in person one day...doubtless we will eventually turn up at the same con somewhere, sometime!
     
  15. Rocket Sheep

    Rocket Sheep I AM too a mod! Staff Member

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    Kate's at the Children's Literature Festival in Sydney today so she's a little busier than usual.

    Richard Harland, another great cross over Australian writer, is also at the festival and he will be hosting a forum here soon too.

    Any rumours about the Antipodean takeover of the board are pure speculation. :D
     
  16. alison

    alison Books of Pellinor

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    Hi Kate - what a nice surprise to see you here! I'm just back from six weeks reading and listening to poetry in the UK, which has been a blast - still jetlagged, ugh, but glad to be home.

    Guys, Kate is just as gorgeous in person. I'm just sorry she lives in Sydney, because I would like to see more of her than I do. Not only that, she'll lend you some of her lovely dresses if you ask nicely...
     
  17. Goddess

    Goddess Love as thou wilt!!

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    hiya Kate!!! :D
    and hello to everyone else here too!!! :D
    OK, on your web site Kate, it says that you coming to Melbounre!!!! But it dosen't say when!!! so can you please tell me, coz i would love to meet you and get my books signed!!!
    i haven't read the newest ones as yet, but hopefuly i will soon!!!

    anyway, just thought id drop in and say hi to everyone!!!

    Kiss Kiss
    Goddess
     
  18. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Hi Kate,

    Welcome to this sometimes incestuous little group of fanatical authors and lovers of the fantastic. We are all very friendly here, with a few notable exceptions, and we do love our literature.

    It's great that you have joined SFF World. If you haven't already, browse some of the forums and post wherever your inclinations take you.

    We all have our specific personalities and quirks, and our subject threads tend to reflect them quite aptly. I am anxious to see where yours lead us.
     
  19. Kate Forsyth

    Kate Forsyth New Member

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    Writing, children, etc

    Sorry I've been absent for the past week or so, I've been furiously writing!

    I too wish I could have been at Continuum - it sounds like it was fabulous! I'm particularly sorry I missed Robin Hobb as she's one of my favourite contemporary fantasy writers and by the sounds of it, we would have very much bonded over the mother as writer problem.

    It is a bit of a problem, primarily because I don't have the freedom that so many others writers seem to enjoy. I can't get away very often to go to cons or festivals, and they are so important in the whole networking, being part of a community thing. I love having the opportunity to meet other writers and hear their stories and discuss all those arcane aspects of being a writer that only another writer can understand.

    I also don't have much freedom in my personal life. I'm either writing or being a mother, and often both at once. I never have time to go and meet friends for coffee, and I don't have much of a social life. But then, who does, with three children udner the age of seven?

    And I love being a mother and find it teaches me a huge amount about life and love and all those things.

    Another aspect of it which no-one ever talks about it the philosophy of life that being a parent entails. Although I've never been criticised for this overtly, I do know my books have a very romantic and optimistic view, and I generally try and allow my heroes happiness in love. I like them to settle down and have kids. This is obviously because that's been my choice in life, but I wonder if my books woudl be harder-edged if I was an embittered divorcee?

    The question everyone always asks me is how do I manage to do both? I like to say that desire plays a large part in it - because I want to write so much (because I need to write to be happy) I find the time. But I must admit the truth is that I've been lucky enough to sell enough books that I can afford a lot of help ie a nanny three days a week and a cleaner. It sounds very prosaic, but because I have a certain amount of freedom from the domestic details of motherhood, I have the time and the energy to write. (See, I do have freedom of a kind ....)

    Also, my kids are very good sleepers. That really helps!

    And I always remember how fast they grow up - in five years time, or ten years time, I'll have so much more freedom to travel and so on. And I'd rather not miss being with them while they are growing up ....



    Kate
     
  20. Kate Forsyth

    Kate Forsyth New Member

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    Dear Alison

    ... and share chocolate in bed too ...

    It's lovely to hear from you, Alison - I keep hoping our paths will cross again. I hear your books are doing wonderfully well, and I'm so pleased. I have 'The Riddle' but I must admit I'm waiting for all the books to be out so I can read them back to back, the way they really shoudl be read. I know publishers hate readers who do this, but I find it so hard to wait and sometimes writers take year to bring out the next one. Do please forgive me, and I promise to buy them all when you're done.

    Kate

    PS: Did you hear I finally got my poetry book published? It was very exciting!