Interview me!

So, here’s the deal. My publisher wants to include an interview with me at the back of Midnight Never Come, and I’ve been give the go-ahead to let the interviewer in question be you, Gentle Readers.

They’re looking for me to answer 7-10 questions about writing in general and Midnight Never Come in specific. I figure I’ll solicit questions from everyone, pick out the most popular and/or the most interesting, and send those in; the ones I don’t answer for the book, I may well post on my website as a bonus.

So post your questions in comments! Try to keep it writing- and/or this-book-related (no questions about my secret life as a Cambodian mortuary-worker-turned-spy), and try to post it by next Wednesday (the 17th) at the latest. (I need to send my responses to Orbit by the 19th.)

Here we go . . . .

Updated to clarify: Feel free to ask more than one question, and to repeat other people’s questions (since that’s how I’ll judge the popularity of a given topic).

0 Responses to “Interview me!”

  1. mrissa

    no questions about my secret life as a Cambodian mortuary-worker-turned-spy

    You’re a Colin Cotterill character? When did you become a Colin Cotterill character?

    Oh, right, sorry, no questions about that. Hmm. Will go off and think of other questions.

    • Marie Brennan

      Colin Cotterill . . .?

      • mrissa

        He’s the one I’ve been raving about writing Laotian historical magical realist murder mystery novels. Really really good stuff. Characters, setting, theme, plot, everything.

        1. What is your favorite piece of research you didn’t use in this book?
        2. What periods of historical fantasy might you consider writing in the future?

    • mdhenry

      I love Colin Cotterill. That series has me wrapt.

  2. oddsboy

    Who, second to Erasmus, of course (still waiting on your status of the sexy spy thriller ‘Erasmus!’) was the most intriuing, intelligent, best looking, most deifically masculine yet subtly provocative (again, second to Erasmus, as hard as it will be not to talk about him) character to work on.


  3. mdhenry

    You should put out the call on FFF.

  4. ninja_turbo

    How was writing this novel different than other novels you’ve done?

    What role did the RPG plot of the setting play in the novel? What differences did the change in medium necessitate in the novel version of the world/narrative?

    What about the Elizabethan period speaks to you and why?

    What’s your approach to the revision process? How do you make it fun/tolerable?

    • jcberk

      I like the RPG question, especially since one of the classic auto-reject stories is the elf-dwarf-and-human-party-have-adventures-yeah-this-was-my-RPG one. Obviously this was a pretty unusual and original game, but some things must still have been hard to translate across media. It would be interesting to hear how you did it.

  5. kitsunealyc

    Do you fear that other authors who have trouble finding time to write will want to hunt you down and kill you for researching and writing the bulk of this novel in only a few months, while simultaneously:

    1. Planning a wedding
    2. Working on your doctorate
    3. Teaching
    4. Preparing to teach more
    5. Looking awesome while doing it

    … or is this not the kind of question they want?

    • d_c_m

      Who cares what the publishers want, I like these questions!!!!!

    • kniedzw

      I suspect their bloodlust will be partly mitigated due to the presence of a certain supportive significant other, who very specifically didn’t kill the author in question for over committing and would be rather put out if someone else did.

      After all, he gets first dibs, doesn’t he?

    • Marie Brennan

      I figure I can fend them off by pointing out that a) I have practice at writing quickly, b) I haven’t actually made any progress toward my doctorate in a while, and c) my fabulous fiance-turned-husband took up a lot of the slack for me, especially where the wedding is concerned.

  6. mallory_blog

    When writing your novel were you consciously aware of themes or ideas that have emerged from earlier works and if so, how did you deal with these themes?

    If a college class were to analyze your novel what do you think those students would think the story is about (Freudian analysis)…

    Do you believe the ending to your novel is satisfying and did you have to rewrite the ending a few times to improve this aspect? Did you end the novel in such a way as to encourage a sequel? What are the pros and cons of doing so, if you did, such as intensity of climax scenes or leaving specific characters alive or in trouble or both?

  7. mdhenry

    As contemporary urban fantasy rises in popularity, what gave you the idea to write MIDNIGHT NEVER COME, a historical urban fantasy, as it were?

  8. wistling


    • Marie Brennan

      Since this is more of a straightforward informational question, I’ll answer it here: because the title is a quote taken from Christopher Marlowe. The full line is “Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven / that time may cease, and midnight never come.”

      It also has a certain relevance within the story, of course — but for that you’ll have to read the book. 🙂

    • Marie Brennan

      I should also note that I seem to have a habit of picking titles people will often get just a little bit wrong. They misspell Doppelganger as Doppleganger, flip Warrior and Witch to become Witch and Warrior, and tack an “s” onto this one.

      Some day, I will pick a title everyone will remember correctly.

  9. querldox

    I’m finding it hard to phrase this correctly, so bear with me…

    You’ve very quickly and at a relatively young age written and sold quite a bit of material. What do you think most “put you over the hump” in terms of getting your work up to professional quality/getting it pretty reliably bought? In other words, was there any sort of epiphany or explicit experience where things changed, or was it more a gradual keep practicing and working until you got it right?

    I also like the time management question.

  10. squishymeister

    If it were possible to write this novel again, only this time through psychokinesis, would you?

  11. sapphohestia

    Which would you prefer your readers take away from you book:
    a: an awe for history?
    b: satisfaction from a good story?
    c: a new perspective on the human experience?
    d: other?

    Why write? And if you couldn’t write, what could you see yourself doing with life?

    What fuels a novel? Insanity, Brownies, or tea?

  12. kitsunealyc

    Okay, real questions this time:

    You’ve talked before about soundtracking for novels. This “novel” came with a pre-existing soundtrack from the source material (Memento). What songs did you lift from that soundtrack, what songs got cut, what songs got added, and why?

    As a follow-up, how does soundtracking help you write, and has it ever hindered you?

    In the same vein, (and since these questions will come at the end of the book and hopefully not spoil the reading process), do you ever cast your characters, and if so, what castings did you have in your minds eye when you wrote this?

    Was it impossible not to think of Geoffrey Rush when writing the Walsingham stuff?

    Who was your favorite real-life historical personage to write, and why?

  13. tybalt_quin

    If someone gave you the opportunity to open a time portal back to Elizabethan England to witness one thing that happened during Elizabeth’s lifetime, what event would you choose and why?

  14. akashiver

    Which of the characters in this book was your favorite to write, & why?

    Also: will you come see Elizabeth the Golden Age with me and bitch about it afterwards?

    • Marie Brennan

      Re: the second question — only if you remove bitching from the equation. I love the first movie, and am more likely to play jigsaw puzzle with the second than complain about it. (A great deal of what happens in the first movie really did happen . . . just not at that time or in that order. Where it goes wrong mostly is in the conclusion of Elizabeth’s relationships with people, e.g. Alencon/Anjou, Leicester, Burghley.)

      • akashiver

        Let us hope, then, that the sequel gives us no reason to bitch. ‘Tis a pity, for I was hoping to see Q E fight ninjas with ray guns, but I guess I’ll have to look to SCAT hardcore for that.

  15. unforth

    Since you want to judge popularity, I’m not even gonna look at other peoples questions, just see what I can come up with…

    Well, something along the lines of “discuss your ideas for this novel” seems good…”what next” is also always a decent question, as is “what inspired you to write (in general? this novel in particular? where do you draw inspiration from? there are tons of ways to spin this question…).

    Hmm…beyond that…What do you think are the chief influences on your work?

    I think that’s all from me…I know, at least vaguely, the answers to most of these already, and none of them are particularly creative – all are “stock” for this sort of thing…but I don’t know how many other interviews you’ve given, so I kinda think at least some stock questions might be good. 😉

  16. Anonymous


    Question: what were your inspirations for the elf/fairy/fae dimension of the book?

  17. Anonymous



    VIAGRA, CIALIS, PHENTERMINE, SOMA… and other pills!

    Welcome please:


    Welcome please:


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