Saturday, September 11, 2010

into the wide world

Last Sunday I went outside very early to see if more pears had fallen. The sun hadn't risen, and the sky was mottled grey. I heard a honk, and looked up to see a flight of geese, not so much an arrowhead shape as an inverted checkmark, or a hockeystick (yes, they must have been Canada geese). They were flying low, so low I heard the beat of their wings, an insistent repeated fwish fwish fwish, like a small child doggedly learning to whistle.

I've picked all the pears and plums that I could reach, leaving about 3 on each tree. This afternoon I had a last bowl of blackberries with cream. It's down to apples now, and I'll have to race the deer for the windfalls.

After a last flurry of finding an almost entirely different list of books my book is like, and writing a few paragraphs on What Fairy Tales Mean to Me, I smash a bottle of virtual champagne over the bow of The Willow Knot and my agent steers it out to sea. Or to the stony hearts of a half-dozen NY publishers.
Hopefully it will not imitate the Mary Rose.


Terri-Lynne said...

A whole different list of books? What did you choose? And why did you change them? I'm curious.

batgirl said...

The list I originally gave was mostly YA, and the marketing is different. Apparently for YA I should've spent twice as much time inside Myl and half as much on the outside world.
Like most fantasy readers that I know, I read YA and adult without distinction, so this was a surprise.

Final list - I kept 2 from the original:

Robin McKinley - Deerskin, her one adult fantasy (for themes of survival in the wild, learning to trust, and fairytales retold)

Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (for language and use of folklore)

Patricia McKillip - In the Forests of Serre (for language, the fairytale forest, and political marriage)

Caroline Stevermer - When the King Comes Home (for style, for blend of realistic pre-industrial life with legends and magic)

Denis McKiernan - Once Upon a Winter's Night (fairytale in semi-historic setting, and mock-archaic style but I think I do it better)

Martha Wells - The Element of Fire (magic and politics, gritty post-medieval setting)

I wanted to use Patricia Wrede's Snow White & Rose Red, which I read in Terri Windling's Fairy Tale series, but figured it was too old (1980s). I see it's been reprinted for the YA market, so it's now too young!

I also wanted to suggest Michael Gruber's The Witch's Boy, and John Dickinson's The Cup of the World, but the first is juvenile and the second is YA. I didn't guess that while reading them.

Terri-Lynne said...

Ooo! Those are very good picks. You done good!

batgirl said...

I'm reading another Martha Wells right now. I may have to post about how utterly awesome her worldbuilding is. And her characters. And oh why is she not more famous?
Oh, you silly girl, you asked me for a list of books! You should know better by now.