Anyway, check out the November 30 post for info on how to enter your name in the weekly giveaway.
A short chapter: Just a quick little wrap-up of Part Two, letting us know what is going on with those two strange, otherworldly entities.
“Is this what you want?” The Lady is still eager to know exactly what Leo’s dream-come-true would be. Is this what he wanted all along: to rescue Rose Red, to assert his authority? Is his dream to step into the role of Prince and rule his kingdom?
Or does his friendship with Rose Red indicate something else altogether?
I think it’s interesting to note that the Lady of Dreams, while a spirit-being exiting outside of time, is not all-knowing. She cannot read Leo’s mind. Even here, standing in his dreams, she cannot read his thoughts. She can only guess at the desires of his heart, and while her guesses are shrewd, she they remain only guesses. She doesn’t know what he wants, what his secret, deepest wish is. She must wait until he is willing to tell her.
But she is a creature existing outside of time. She is patient. She will wait.
Freedom: Leo hints that what he might truly dream of is freedom. Freedom from this role to which he is bound. And perhaps this is what his friendship with Rose Red means to him—a symbol of that free childhood summer when he could choose the friend he wanted and spend his time as he chose.
But even this . . . is it really Leo’s dream? Would he truly be willing to give up his title and all that it means for the sake of freedom? Would he flee from his heritage?
Leo doesn’t know. And so he cannot yet tell the Lady his dream.
“You gave her to him!” The Dragon, meanwhile, is furious with his Sister for allowing Leo to recover Rose Red and take her down from the mountain. He threatens, storms, rages, declaring that there are rules which she broke, etc.
But was Rose Red’s removal from the mountain really the Lady’s doing? These two certainly fancy themselves powerful, in charge over the fates of men and women. But I think they might be blinding themselves to the reality . . . which is that they have no control at all. Only a certain amount of influence.
She hides her smile behind a hand: We don’t often see the Lady demonstrating any form of humor. The Dragon will . . . the Dragon demonstrates all manner of various emotions. But the Lady is pretty cold.
However, when she mentions giving Leo his true desire, she smiles.
I don’t know about you, but I think the Lady of Dreams Realized is much more frightening than the Dragon!
“How will this wrath of yours manifest itself?” The Lady wants to know how her Dark Brother intends to fulfill his threats to Rose Red if she does not return in the stipulated year and a day. But she already knows the answer to this . . . and those of you who have read Heartless can easily guess as well!
Questions on the Text:
1. Do you think the Dragon and his Sister truly believe themselves to be in charge of the lives of men, or are they simply trying to pretend that they believe it?
2. How do you think their names, “Death-in-Life” and “Life-in-Death” fit with their roles of the Destroyer of Dreams and the Fulfiller of Dreams? Which of them do you find more frightening? Would you find it more terrible to have your dream destroyed or fulfilled?
3. Any favorite lines?
Allison wants to know: "Do you deliberately add themes to your books, or do they just sort of sneak in?"
Both, really. I am careful about my symbolism placement and I work hard to weave the various themes into the text as I go along. That being said, there is plenty of room for spontaneous inspiration, and I am often surprised myself how things will crop up and fit in along the way, both thematically and plot-wise.
About the Starflower Fountain: I am getting such a chuckle picturing Eanrin's and Imraldera's possible reactions to that Starflower fountain! Maybe some fan fiction for the 2014 contest is in order???
Meredith says: "I loved your observation about the Starflower fountain and how the significance of the wood thrush had been forgotten over the years. In light of this fact, did you originally intend for Starflower's Guide to be the thrush, or was the thrush an embellishment added by storyteller's? Of course, the Wood Thrush and Hound are one and the same, but I just wondered how the Hound was overlooked?"
Heheh, the Hound was overlooked because I didn't get the idea for the Hound until early on in the drafting of Starflower. Up until that point, I'd always figured she'd probably interact with the wood thrush during her adventures. But then I started seeing all the interesting ways the "Hound of Heaven" theme could be worked into Starflower, and decided it was too good to pass up, despite the fact that Veiled Rose was already in print.
So I worked in a little hint about the Hound in Moonblood. At least, I think I did. Doesn't Lionheart see a depiction of the Maid Starflower and the Wolf Lord story and wonder at the inclusion of the Hound when he had always seen it with a wood thrush before?
As far as explaining it in the context of my world . . . I think there's plenty of room for embellishment and variation over years of telling and retelling of that tale. After all, Veiled Rose takes place 1600 years (almost) after Starflower, so a lot can have been altered in the meanwhile. And the Prince of Farthestshore takes a variety of forms throughout the history of the worlds, so perhaps Southlander storytellers simply found it easier to pick one form and stick with it after a while.
Good question, though!
Meredith also wants to know: "Is there a possibility that Mousehand might have Faerie blood? I ask this because of something he tells Rose Red, that only Faerie eyes could see what she truly is."
Do you know, I'd never actually considered that possibility? But it's a good one. I always figured that he sees her through the eyes of love, so he sees her truly even without Faerie eyes. And the fact is, not all Faeries see the truth of Rose Red's nature anyway, particularly not through Vahe's enchanting veils. But I like the idea of him possibly having Faerie blood in his veins . . . I've tentatively considered writing a short story or novella about Mousehand one day. Maybe I'll consider this angle for it. Thanks for the notion, Meredith!
Allison also wants to know: "How do you decide in what order to write your books, since they aren't in chronological order?"
Well, I sold Heartless first, even though it was in the middle of the series, and my publishers wanted two sequels that directly followed up. I had actually already written a draft of what will now be Book 9, but it takes place quite a long time before Heartless, so my publishers wanted me to go ahead with two follow-up stories. Thus I went ahead and wrote Veiled Rose and Moonblood.
But the stories that take place before Heartless are the stories I've been playing around with the longest, so I always wanted to go back and tell them--thus the first three books are peppered with references to the prequel books. When I signed my second contract with Bethany House, they agreed to let me go back and tell the earlier stories. I picked Starflower then because at the time it was the earliest story chronologically speaking (though the novella I just started writing takes place earlier still, back before Ytotia became the Dragonwitch, even before the fall of Etalpalli). From Starflower forward I've been moving chronologically ever since.
(SPOILER!) Shadow Hand continues chronologically from both Dragonwitch AND Moonblood. And Golden Daughter takes place twenty years or so after Dragonwitch.
So all that to say, these days I pick the novels chronologically, starting from Starflower. The novellas are a different story altogether! They're so short, and I write them very quickly between the longer novels, so I just pick the story idea I feel is the best setup for the next novel. In this case, Goddess Tithe is an interesting setup for Golden Daughter because it reintroduces the reader to Captain Sunan, who is an important character in Golden Daughter. The novella I am writing right
now will be a cool setup for Book 8 (which I am about to start drafting this spring) since it includes some important themes and settings that will carry over into Book 8.
Therru Ghibili wants to know: "I was wondering if you based each land and culture loosely off of a real country and culture? Or do you simply make it all up? I had thought Southlands loosely resembled Spain in location and certain other things, but it's unique and different enough to where I can't tell."
I do use aspects of real peoples, places, and cultures, but for the most part, I let the kingdom develop according to its own history and location. I had never thought of Southlands resembling Spain, but it's a nice idea! I have used Sri Lanka as a point of reference when developing Southlands, for details in food and clothing, style of buildings. But nothing tremendously overt. My primary goal as I create each kingdom is to establish a sense of authenticity. While these books are not historical, I try to include enough specific details that each culture feels distinct, authentic, and interesting.
Jemma wants to know: "In pictures of Daylily and Imraldera they have white skin and the Southlanders have brown skin, was this done on purpose or is it a mistake?"
I'm not sure what pictures you're speaking of. Daylily does have pale skin . . . she is unusually pale for a Southlander, and her blue eyes are that much more unusual. But Imraldera, as far as I know, has always been depicted as dark. Her picture on the cover of Starflower is quite dark and accurate to the character described. And I think all the fan art I have seen of her has been dark, save for one or two photographs (and those were going more for mood rather than physical likeness).
Now, speaking of pictures . . .
Jemma has submitted another piece of fan art to go along with yesterday's chapter!
|Rosie in the Carriage|
By the way . . . I have a fun new blog button for those of you bloggers who are interested! If you'd like to share it on your blogs, please link it to the Shadow Hand book page (using the link below).