Sunday, April 21, 2013

London, and Some Thoughts on Being Rescued

I've been pretty quiet on the blog, and I'll be able to tell you why very shortly. It's been a deliberate silence and nothing to do with my books and writing. I have been doing a *lot* of writing, and loving it. London is absolutely gorgeous. I've become a history nerd. The V&A, the British Library, The Wallace Collection at Hertford House, Fulham Palace and Southwark are just a few places I've been exploring in the last few months. I love it here. And now it's spring I love it even more.

Now, some thoughts on being rescued. There's a scene in Blood Song which you may remember (and spoilers if you haven't read it -- and if you haven't you can no matter where you are in the world now -- hurrah! Quick plug: the ebooks are already out for both books and the paperbacks are out in Singapore and Malaysia, on May 10 in the UK and in September  in the USA) when Zeraphina is "rescued" by Rodden in Lharmell. The thing I love best about that scene is while Rodden has every intention of getting Zeraphina and taking her back to the safety of Pergamia, it is a rescue that backfires on the him. Zeraphina's first emotion upon seeing Rodden is annoyance, because it means he's a good guy after all and she did so enjoy detesting him. And her second thought (after Rodden elucidates a few things) is absolute refusal to go home. Rather, she insists they press onwards. And I rather like her subversion of the damsel in distress trope.

It never occurred to me at the time that that was what I was writing. It just seemed to me what Zeraphina would do (the stroppy thing, any excuse to argue with Rodden, right?) But when I read a review that complained the heroine was *actually rescued OMG laaaaame* or words to that effect, I felt rather surprised. Most of my reviews have been glowing, some middling and a very few absolutely flaming. But none of the flaming ones got to me because I absolutely condone the right for someone to dislike a book. It's being misconstrued that makes me indignant.

But my indignance aside, the idea of a hero aiding a heroine is important to me. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Not something a feminist should say, right? Well, bully to that. Because conversely, there's nothing wrong with a heroine helping a hero. When two people fall in love, or set about falling in love despite the path being littered with obstinate parents, blood-sucking creatures and class divisions, they should above all else be equals. They should be stronger together than apart. Add to each other. Be a team. And that means relying on each other from time to time. And I hope that's what I demonstrated in Blood Song, and will continue to demonstrate through all my writings. Zeraphina would have been pretty stuffed if Rodden hadn't shown up, but they would have both been stuffed if she hadn't put her foot down and insisted they go on and not go back.

As for Blood Storm, well that's a bit trickier, isn't it? Because we can't talk about Blood Storm without talking about Blood Queen, and if we talk about Blood Queen you'll want a release date and I still, STILL can't give you one. I wish I could, with all my heart. But it's out of my hands for now. FOR NOW. A tiny bit more patience and it will all be worth it, I promise.

(FYI, I know some authors get annoyed when they're asked by fans when the next book will be out. I can't think of anything more ungrateful. Ask away, I'm flattered you care enough to write and ask.)

And if you see another book from me before Blood Queen, that will only be a good thing, right? I hope you'll be excited for it as much as you are for Blood Queen. Nothing is confirmed as yet (I seem to say that all the time as an author. I wish I didn't but things take an awfully long time behind the scenes). Don't be alarmed if the title sounds a little like Blood Queen, either. It's a different book and hasn't superceded the Lharmell books or anything like that.