Katar: She's a prickly one. What is your opinion of Katar at this point? There's always so much more going on with minor characters than I can tell. The narrator only knows as much as Miri does. Unless Katar opens up to Miri, she can seem flat.
The rules of diplomacy: 1. State the problem, 2. Admit your own error, 3. State the error of the other party, 4. Propose specific compromises, 5. Invite mutual acceptance, 6. Illustrate the negative outcome of refusal and the positive of acceptance, 7. Assert a deadline for acceptance
pg. 156: Do you think Olana really was impressed and pleased with the girls? Or was she bested and pretended to be pleased to maintain her pride?
Peder's hawk: It's a 3 hour walk to the academy and a 3 hour walk back again through the night, arriving in the morning with quarry work is waiting for him. It's about the most romantic thing ever. It's funny--I know that I made it up, but I don't feel that way. I feel like it was something that Peder did and I observed it. Is being a novelist a form of mental illness?
Chris asks, "After "honing your inner reader" with works by other authors, do you every consciously emulate or avoid elements of their style? If so, do you find either approach (emulation or avoidance) to ultimately help or hinder your writing?" That's hard for me to answer. The honing process never ends. Writers keep reading--observing, taking note, absorbing. Sometimes I do consciously emulate or avoid elements I note in other books, though at the moment I can't think of a single example! The problem with reading as a writer is it's hard to turn off my brain and get lost in the story--I'm always noticing the writing, analyzing, editing. But it's a critical skill for being a writer.
Heather asks, "Where did you come up with the name Asland for part of the kingdom? That question actually comes from my mom because it kind of bothered her because it sounds so much like Aslan (she's a big Narnia fan)." I took Scandinavian names as the root (Dan and As) and added +land to them, reminiscent of Finland. The similiarity to Aslan was a bonus for me, as I too am a Narnia fan!
Ashley R asks: "My little brother (12) read The Goose Girl, and he loved...How many boys have you heard of who have read The Goose Girl and liked it? :)" Lots, actually! My experience is boys over the age of 9 rarely pick up books that seem "girly" on their own. But many older sisters and mothers let me know that their boys enjoy my books (and other "girly" books) on the sly. A shame there is any shame.
Two and a half more weeks of this. Are you guys still game?
I love this poll on my publisher-run Facebook fan page: What did you/do you think will happen at the end of the book?