All right, we're making progress into the new week already. Another giveaway is underway, and if you need info on how to get your name entered to win an autographed copy of Veiled Rose, check out the November 30 post.
And do keep sending in questions as you have them, about the book, its themes, my writing, etc. I'll answer them as soon as I can.
Now forward . . .
Daylily again: I
really wonder while reading about Daylily if she even fully understands her feelings here at the end of this odd
summer. Obviously she has enjoyed her freedom from Middlecrescent society, even
while chaffing at the bit a little. And she is undoubtedly determined to
fulfill her father’s Plan.
But does this determination spring from a desire to please
and obey her father . . . or something else entirely?
Daylily made it a
point to shun him: Poor Foxbrush probably spent a most miserable summer,
pining after this lovely young woman who has absolutely no use for him whatsoever.
And he can’t help but be aware how uninteresting he must be when compared to
his cousin. Leo, for all his faults, is at least a memorable personality and
possessed of a roguish charm. “Roguish charm” is possibly the last description anyone would use for
Blue Room: I
don’t have anything special to say about it . . . but the “blue room” makes me
laugh. “People seldom sat in it of course, for it was difficult to think
anything but blue thoughts within its walls.” Heheheh.
He simply didn’t
care: In this scene between Leo and Daylily in the Blue Room, we learn that
Leo has definitely noticed how pretty Daylily is, and he even admires her
prettiness. But he doesn’t care. It doesn’t particularly move him. Which I think
says a lot for our foolish young Leo. He has his issues, but he’s not one to
just go and fall in love with any pretty girl who shows him a bit of attention.
And his mind is caught up with concern for someone he truly
does care about very much . . .
A Misery: Once
more, Leo reminds us how little he likes Poet Eanrin’s works. Eanrin doesn’t
make more than tiny appearance in this story, but there is plenty of setup for
future drama between these two characters: the one the most famous poet in all
history, the other decidedly not a fan.
But really, have you read some of Eanrin’s lyrics? It’s hard
to blame Leo.
I’m pretty certain I mentioned this back in the Heartless read-along, but for you new
readers, I’ll mention it again. I think it’s a important for an invented world
to have a sense of artistry and culture in order to create a sense of
authenticity. I think it’s important for an invented world to have songs and
poems that are all part of its societal structure.
But I myself am not much of a poet. Never have been. Never
So I decided to take the character of Bard Eanrin—whom I’d
been playing with for many years in short stories set in this world—and make
him the worlds’ most famous bard of all time. And I also decided to make him pretty bad at his job.
The thing is, most people are completely unaware of it. He’s
Eanrin, so his work must be good, no
matter how bad it is. (Sound like much of our modern culture? Mmmm hmmm.) And
I’m pretty certain that Eanrin knows how bad his work is too. But he does it
anyway because it’s popular. It’s like authors who pound out the pulp fiction,
even if they have more talent than that. Pulp fiction sells. It’s a way to make
a name and a living. So why not? If you can, and people like it, why not?
I also suspect that Eanrin’s probably got more talent than
he ever bothers to show or develop. Which makes him that much more interesting
to a certain scribe who writes dawn all his various verses . . .
It was fun to use Leo—my crazy, jesterly, song-writing
Leo—as the means to indicate that I am not fooled by Eanrin’s poor rhymes
either. Via Leo’s disparaging perspective, which runs completely contrary to
everyone else’s (except for maybe Imraldera’s), I am able to wink at my readers
and let them know that no, I don’t take Eanrin all that seriously. And I don’t
expect you to either.
Though once in a while he does manage to write something a
little bit better. So while I may not
be a great poet, I suspect that Eanrin has it in him, if he would only try.
Coming on a bit strong! I am a little surprised to see Daylily actually making physical contact with
Leo in this scene! Doesn’t strike me as something she would naturally do. Just
how desperate is she to fulfill her father’s Plan? Pretty desperate, I think.
The baron has a lot of control over Daylily, and she is a determined young
woman in her own right. Determined to win over this young fool if she possibly
A woman fit to be queen: Another hint!
And another indication that Leo might not be so entirely
impervious to Daylily’s charms as all that.
Though, actually, I really don’t think he likes her all that
much, per se. I mean, he doesn’t dislike
her, but he doesn’t have any particularly warm feelings toward her. What he
feels is the push and the obligation. And he sees her as a woman who would be, as
he says, “fit to be queen.” Considering his (as yet unrevealed) position, is
that something he can ignore?
And she is quite lovely. And obviously interested!
Your servant: Much
to Leo’s delight, Rose Red appears in the garden, declaring that she would like
to be his servant. We have rarely seen Leo so pleased. It’s hard to imagine him
this excited over Daylily, even if Daylily did accept his invitation to visit
his father’s house that winter (and she never gave an answer to that, did
“By the Sleeper’s
waking snort.” An unusual bit of slang we haven’t often encountered. Refers
to a story I have not yet told, but which, given some of the hinted at
conversations, some of you might be able to guess at.
more the accusation is made the Leo has fallen under an enchantment and
therefore is blind to the reality of Rose Red and what she is. Our Leo is not
the most insightful bloke on the planet, but you have to give him this credit:
Despite all accusations, he does have a much clearer idea of Rose Red and the
truth of her character than anyone else. But the accusations keep coming . . .
and they’ll keep coming for a while yet . . .
“We’ve survived by
not letting the likes of her poison our lives.” Something about Leanbear’s
statement reminds me of Granna in Dragonwitch.
Didn’t she flee to the mountains to escape the Dragonwitch’s poisons? This
might almost count as a foreshadowing or nod to that story, though I’m certain
it wasn’t intentional at the time that I wrote it. All of these stories have a
way of looping back and pointing to each other thematically speaking.
Why are you veiled? Daylily
is, I think, the first person to outright ask this question of Rose Red. I
suppose Leo did ask, “Why are you wearing that fool thing?” back when they were
little children. But he was so easily deflected, and obviously didn’t care all
that much. But Daylily is asking with the definite intention of receiving an
For Rose Red’s answer could mean many things for Daylily
herself. Daylily, who supposed to capture the heart of young Leo. Daylily, who
cannot seem to hold his interest as fast as does this gawky, faceless goat
But Rose Red is not willing to answer.
Does he know your
secret? Rose Red shakes her head in answer to this question. But she
hesitates. Did she lie? Or is she simply not certain and so she answers no?
After all, none of us knows exactly what Leo saw in the pool that night all
those years ago. No one but Leo himself. And he hasn’t really said.
A revelation: And
now, all the hints and foreshadowings are revealed. We learn at last the true
identity of young Leo, who has, up until this moment, been as veiled to us as
Rose Red herself. He is in fact Prince Lionheart of Southlands.
Yes, those of you who have read Heartless. He is that
And this is the point in the book where many readers have
gone, “What!!!?!?” And others have
ceased to like him altogether, simply because they know the Heartless side of his story.
But there is much more yet to learn of Lionheart. And I hope
you will all stick with him a little longer . . .
Questions on the text:
1. This scene
once more leaves Daylily’s feelings for Leo pretty ambiguous. Does she really
like him? Is she simply determined to catch him? The moments exchanged in the
Blue Room would indicate the latter . . . but what about her reactions to Rose
Red? What do you think Daylily’s
feelings for Leo are?
2. So, those of
you who have read more of the series, can you guess who the Sleeper is from
Leanbear’s exclamation, “By the Sleeper’s waking snort!”? From what hints do
you draw your conclusion?
were you taken by surprise when you learned Leo’s true identity? Or did you
guess it all along?
4. Any favorite lines?
Sarah wants to know: "Do you ever catch yourself talking like your characters, or discovered that your actions are influenced by what your characters might do in such a situation? "
Heheh, that's a cute question! I can't honestly say I remember a time when this has happened . . . but the fact is, these characters are so much a part of me, they might be influencing my attitudes and decisions without me ever consciously knowing it! Does this happen to you with your characters?
Anonymous wants to know: "Why does Rose Red have such an interesting accent when all the other uneducated people spoke normally? I mean I know she was raised in the mountains, but even the servants spoke normally while she did not. Why was that?"
I'm pretty sure I've covered this in some of the earlier read-along articles . . . but just in case I didn't: The people of the mountain have very rough dialects. The postmaster's boy speaks SO roughly, he makes Rose Red sound downright posh! The folks working at Hill House speak a little better, partly because they are working for nobility and would be expected to polish up their speech. Very likely when they're at home, they speak as roughly as Rose Red (though possibly not as roughly as the postmaster's boy!). Mousehand has a decently rough dialect, but it's not so rough as the postmaster's boy because he worked down in the lowlands for quite a long while (he was an gardener at the Eldest's House when he found Rose Red). He is probably from the mountains, though, since he returned to them when it became clear that he needed to be able to hide Rose Red. Not much is known about Mousehand's past, but I think this is worthy conjecture.
Other than that, Rose Red has grown up very isolated with few people to talk to. I think her mode of speech is a pretty good match with Mousehand's (though, again, Mousehand might speak a little more carefully when he is on duty at Hill House). We also see glimpses of Rose Red trying to adjust her speech later on in the book when she is working down in the lowlands (though old habits die hard).
Jemma wants to know: "Is Beana the Lady of Aiven that freed the Dragon?"
Heheh, now there's an important question! But not one I can answer just now . . . (Spoiler: The identity of that Lady of Aiven is an important part of that story, which should be told in Book 9. So you'll learn the answer to your question then!)
Christa wants to know: "Since Rose Red seems to have some sort of country accent, I was wondering what a "country" accent would sound like in your world. Is it sort of like a southern accent in the U.S.? Or like something totally different? For some reason, I imagine Rose Red speaking with a bit of a rough, Irish accent, and people like Leo and Daylily speaking with more of a polished, English accent."
I like the idea of an Irish accent. I always pictured more of a Cockney accent, though really, who is to say what a countrified Southlander accent sounds like? Southlands probably doesn't speak English (I simply write English, but we can assume that they have their own language). So a countrified version of their language could sound like anything! But I like hearing Rose Red's accent as Cockney, and I think the Irish idea is cute (though, if I hear anyone's voice with an Irish lilt, it would be Eanrin's). :)