Message From The Author

Author's Message

Four Questions For Sharon Shinn

1. Your new book, Reader and Raelynx, is an RT Top Pick this the month. How does that feel?

I didn't know that! It feels fabulous. I'm really excited about this book. The four novels in the Twelve Houses series each stand alone, but together they create one overarching storyline, so I can't wait to publish the final chapters of this very long book.

2. Is there one character that you've created that you favor over the others?

It's like children -- you try not to have a favorite. Though I have to admit, Justin is very close to my heart, and Senneth
is the person I most like to hang out with. Every time I started writing a new Twelve Houses book, I found it so easy to slip back into the banter and the relationships of the six main characters that it was almost like I was observing real people who had become my friends. In fact, I haven't quite been able to leave them behind. I've just turned in a fifth Twelve Houses book. It mostly follows new characters, but Senneth and the others appear often enough to keep me happy.

3. What's the most difficult thing about
worldbuilding?

The hardest part about worldbuilding is to create enough detail to make a fictional world feel like a real place -- without bogging down the narrative with minutiae. What kind of clothes are people wearing? How big is the room they're standing in and what's on the walls? How do the people travel? How do they communicate? What's the society like? What gods do they worship? All of these questions have to be answered, but a writer can't just sit the reader down and give her a lecture on page one. So the details have to be worked into the story in
a way that keeps them interesting or moves the plot along.

4. Is there a different approach in writing your adult novels versus your young-adult books?

The biggest difference is length -- my recent adult books have topped 150,000 words, while the YA books are closer to 70,000 words. So I know I can layer on more storylines, more character interactions and more descriptions in the adult books. I try to make them the kind of books someone can really escape into over a long weekend. By contrast, I have to be really efficient with the YA books, so I tend to concentrate on fewer characters and one clear storyline, while still trying to pay attention to atmosphere, worldbuilding, plotting, romance.


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