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This Interview has been provided by Orbit, and is printed with their permission.
Was REVELATION easier or harder to write once you had set the scene and environment so convincingly with TRANSFORMATION?
REVELATION was definitely harder to write. Four reasons come to mind:
1. It is a more complex story. Whereas TRANSFORMATION is a fairly straightforward tale of two people transforming each other through the power of their personalities, REVELATION is the journey of a man discovering that the world is altogether different to what he believed, and, in the process, probing the nature of his own soul.
2. I didn't have the slave's perspective any more. As a slave, Seyonne was somewhat restricted in his choices, which made life easier for me!
3. REVELATION is somewhat more introspective. The interaction between Seyonne and Aleksander in TRANSFORMATION was very fun and very easy to write, but the second book could not be just a "retelling" of that same story. (Aleksander appears in REVELATION only in a few very critical times, but he is back in RESTORATION in a big way.) REVELATION is a very personal journey for Seyonne, and someone is playing mind-games with him along the way. When he faces a life-changing decision at the end of REVELATION, we have to understand clearly the path he has traveled.
4. Very simply, for the first time in my "fiction" career, I was writing under a deadline.
Did the new novel develop in ways that surprised you?
Yes, in several aspects. Speculation on the nature of the rai-kirah and the origins of the demon war were the inspiration for REVELATION. I don't like "all bad" or unmotivated villains, any more than I like flawless or all-powerful heroes. TRANSFORMATION was so much the story of Aleksander and Seyonne and their transforming relationship that I had no time to explore the true nature of the rai-kirah. But when I started thinking about Ezzarian history, I realized that the Ezzarians had no more idea than I did about what the demons were. They were so engrossed in their duty that they didn't have time to wonder about it. Why did they have so little information? Why were they the only ones who knew about the rai-kirah? Why did they feel "the universe thrown out of balance" by demon death? But the rai-kirah turned out to be much more complex even than I imagined.
Beyond this, the surprises almost all had to do with relationships between characters taking a twist I didn't expect. Seyonne's relationship with his long-time love Ysanne was probably the most surprising example. (But I won't give it away.) I like it when readers tell me that they think they see what's coming, and then events go off in a surprising direction. I enjoy it, too, even when I'm the one fooled.
Will readers meet any new central characters in REVELATION?
Absolutely. Fiona is a very stubborn, talented, and prickly young Aife who has been assigned to keep watch on Seyonne to make sure he has not brought some hidden corruption back to Ezzaria. She is driving him crazy by watching over his shoulder, taking notes whenever he does anything wrong. Blaise is an enigmatic young Ezzarian who has grown up outside of Ezzaria, wholly unfamiliar with Ezzarian life and custom. He is the leader of a band of outlaws who harass Derzhi nobles, tax collectors, and other officials, and he has some most unusual talents. And, as it should be for the Second Book of the Rai-kirah, we meet several of the rai-kirah, some of whom are quite unlike the Lord of Demons or the other demons Seyonne has met in battle, or anyone else he has ever met, for that matter. (He runs into a number of the more "usual" demons, also.) And then there is Merryt. Seyonne has said several times that a Warden's worst fear is to be abandoned alive beyond a portal, trapped in "the abyss" or whatever lies beyond the soul when the Aife's landscape vanishes. Merryt is a Warden who has experienced this and lived to tell about it.
Copyright© 2002 Orbit
. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. The interview has been provided by Orbit
and is printed with their permission.