I wasn't crazy about Magic Lessons, the second book in Justine Larbalestier's Magic or Madness trilogy. I am interested in her, though, because she's written some nonfiction I'd like to take a look at some day. So on Monday I read Liz B's interview with Justine at A Chair, a Fireplace & a Tea Cozy.
Now, I've often talked here about how I believe a book should be a complete and total world and that that's a big part of the reason I have a problem with "serial" books like the Magic or Madness series. Magic Lessons was not a complete world. It didn't have a beginning or an ending. It was the middle of the trilogy.
An argument could be made that with a serial trilogy you do have a complete world--it just takes place over three books instead of one. Justine has some interesting things to say about that in this interview.
Liz B: Did you have any moments in the later books when you thought, "oh, I wish I could revise "Magic or Madness" in order to do x or y in this book"?
Justine: I was able to go back and make changes to Magic or Madness while I wrote the first draft of Magic Lessons. It was fabulous! Unfortunately, I was so late with Magic's Child that it wasn't possible to change Magic Lessons to fit. Instead I had to make Magic's Child fit the first two books. Which, yes, was maddening. If I ever write another trilogy (which I have taken a sacred vow---along with Libba Bray---not to do) I will write all three books first and then sell them.
If you consider the entire trilogy the complete world that you're creating, and you've lost control of a third or two thirds of that world because portions of the trilogy have already been published, what happens to your world? Having control issues, as I do, I would be very unhappy finding myself in this situation.
I also checked out the Mitali Perkins interview at Big A, little a. Mitali is rapidly turning into a Jane Yolen-like figure for me because she's so prolific. She has three books coming out in 2008 and 2009. What does this woman do? Write in her sleep?
You can check out another interview with Mitali today at HipWriterMama. Note that Mitali has been writing about girls, though she is the mother of sons, because her boys would rather not see any characters that resemble them in her books.
At the Gauthier household, not only are characters shamelessly modeled after my sons, I have two books with characters named for them. It hasn't been a problem to date because I don't think they believe anyone reads my books.
I rarely read interviews with authors I'm not familiar with because I just don't have time. But I did get drawn into Chasing Ray's interview with David Brin. Great interview.