the good luck kiss of a widow
This should be a thing. I'm always impressed how a culture can turn seemingly horrible things into something sort of positive. I remember in Paraguay having a baby grave at your house was good luck, and almost every family had at least one baby grave. (shrines like tiny little houses--beautiful and heartbreaking)
"He was more interested in what she had to say than in his food"
Ah, Finn. On the very page you meet Enna, already falling in love. When i wrote that scene, I had no idea all the things that would come. (I had started Enna Burning before Goose Girl was published, and I did have some concept of what I'd want to do in Forest Born, but certainly not everything, since I discover by writing)
I liked this Forest-boy-turned-guard and wrote him into River Secrets, but I think he ended up getting cut, or most of his scenes did.
I wanted Ani to succeed here without people-speaking or wind-speaking, just by making a human connection. And I wanted Ani to have a lot of help throughout. I don't think anyone succeeds much in anything alone. We all need help.
"the man was rotting from the inside"
I stole that line. I overheard someone say it once about their college professor.
Talone and Ishta fight
In my first draft of this book, I left a lot of the fight scenes blank, and I tried to get my husband to write them for me. I kept begging him. Because I'm a girl, and he's a guy, so clearly I don't know how to write fight scenes and he does. Thankfully he didn't do it, and I taught myself how to do it, and realized later how short-sighted I'd been to have bought into that stupid stereotype. I've written a lot of sword fights and brawls and clashes of weapons and strength since. And I'm a girl.
Angela asks, "I was watching a filmmaker's commentary very recently and really related to a comment by John Lasseter: "That's why Pixar films are never finished, just released." Do you ever (or always) feel that way about your books?" I've heard a lot of authors say that about our books. In a creative process, there's no absolutes. I could keep tweaking language forever. So in that sense, yes, I agree. But I always get to a point in my books where I feel really good about it. I reach a draft where I feel it is as whole and complete as it can be without a reader.
ilikefish asks, "Whenever I go see movies that were film adaptations of books, it jars me whenever I see a setting that looks different in the movie than it does in my head. Sometimes it's because I missed a detail in the book, but other times it's just up to the set-makers' interpretations. Does this happen to you, Shannon?" Oh for sure. When we see a film adaptation, we're seeing inside another reader's head, experiencing how they experienced the story. It's never going to be exactly the way I saw the story in my head, but I usually enjoy taking part in that alternate experience.