Darkstars Fantasy News

1. Juni 2008

Tanya Huff Interview (english)

Category: Interviews – Darkstar – 19:17

Huff 02

For all of you who want to read the interview with Tanya Huff in original english language – here you go!

You’ve written High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy/Mystery and Science Fiction. Is it so easy for you to jump between the genres / sub-genres?

I’ve always said I just tell the stories I have to tell and certain stories need to be told in certain ways. So yes, it is easy for me.

In the last years you concentrated on contemporary fantasy. However do you have plans to write another High Fantasy novel?

Actually, the last two books I’ve written THE HEART OF VALOR and VALOR’S TRIAL have been military science fictio n. I’m currently working on an urban fantasy but will possibly do something closer to a high fantasy next.

You’re among those few authors who’s work have been adapted for television. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience on this topic? And how do you like Blood Ties?

Second part of this first — I love Blood Ties. I think everyone in the cast and crew did an amazing job at bringing it to the screen. As far as the experience, it was 100% positive. Although Kalaidescope Entertainment Ltd., the primary production company, could have written the check and had nothing more to do with me, they kept me involved in the process from beginning to end and asked me to write one of the episodes. I was given the chance to watch talented people make magic and I loved every minute of it.

Huff 03What do you feel are the main differences between the novels and the tv show?

There’s the obvious difference that Henry is now a graphic novelist as opposed to a romance writer and that Coreen is Vicki’s assistant but other than that, Peter Mohan, the amazing showrunner, was very careful to maintain the heart of the books. New plots, of course, because they can only use three of the five books but the relationships at the core of the stories remain the same.

What’s planned next from the author Tanya Huff? Any new novels or short stories or something like that?

Coming up this July is the fourth (and last) Torin Kerr book, VALOR’S TRIAL. I’ve just handed in a short story for the fourth Valdemar anthology. I’m putting together an essay on Supernatural for BenBella Books. And, I’m working on a new urban& nbsp;fantasy to come out next year.

Do you have plans to visit a familiar setting again? As for example the high fantasy world of your Quarter-novels? Or another installment of the Keeper’s Chronicles?

I very much doubt I’ll go back to the Quarter worlds at this point — been there, done that — and since both the real Sam and Austin have died, I’ll likely never do another Keeper book. I may go back to the Smoke books but no promises.

What do you like best while creating a new novel and/or setting – and what do you loathe?

I love world building. Working out the geography and how that effects all the other elements of the story. I don’t loathe anything. I love my job.

Maybe you could tell us a little bit about your process of writing a novel? How’s an oridinary working day like? Any weird writing habits?

I come up with an idea. I give that to my agent, he passes it on to my editor, if she wants it, I start researching. After I reach critical mass with the research (one to three months depending on complexity of the world or if it’s part of a series) I start to write. I write from one to six in the afternoons — although not every afternoon and I’ve been doing more evening writing lately. I start at the beginning of the book and I write through to the end — and I usually have an ending in mind when I begin. I write about a thousand words a day then the next day, I edit the early thousand and keep going. Because I edit as I go, my rewrites are minimal and my first draft is about 95% my final draft. Sometimes more. It takes me from nine months to a year.

Huff 04What’s your favorite protagonist so far? And who’s the toughest one to write about?

My favorite protagonist was probably Vicki Nelson although Torin Kerr from the Valor books comes in a very, very close second. Benidikt from The Quartered Sea was probably the hardest to write because he was so messed up.

How do you realize that an idea is worth to be spun into a novel plot?

At this point, experience. *g*

Do you think readers are different in different parts of the world?

I honestly don’t know. I know my books have been translated around the world but I don’t get a lot of international feedback from readers.

Does your publisher ask or even demand that you make rapid changes on yo ur books? Have you ever had to make dramatic changes? Did you have any troubles with them because of your female and male gay characters?

Sheila Gilbert, my editor at DAW Books, Inc. has never asked me to change anything. Clarify, yes. Change, no.

From early on your novels were getting published from DAW. Would you mind to tell us a little bit about how that came?

In the mid 1980’s, I had completed the manuscript for Child of the Grove had the chance to go to New York City with a friend. Another friend, SM Stirling, had already published a book with Sheila Gilbert when she was with Signet and he said he’d call her up and tell her I was coming to town. Unfortunately, he forgot so when I called her she’d never heard of me. But I was very, very lucky and she’d just had an appointment cancel so she could see me.
We talked for about twenty minutes about the book, I left the manuscript with her, and eventually, she told me what she felt it needed to be saleable. (Free advice: If you write a book with a war in it, you must include a battle scene.) I added about a hundred or so pages and she bought it. We’ve been together ever since and pretty much the only reason I’d leave DAW is if Sheila left.

Huff 01As you’re living with another writer: Could you imagine a collaboration with her (or somebody else) or is that not your coup of tea?

Seriously, I don’t play well with others. We don’t even read each other’s works in progress.

Can you remember what your first story (or novel) was about? And how did you realise you have a talent for writing?

I have a copy of a letter my grandmother wrote to my dad when I was three (he was in the Navy and at sea) where she repeated the long and involved story I told her about a spider. Then I illustrated it. Badly. What I have a talent for is storytelling. The writing just comes with practise.

If you could meet a fictional character (from your own work or another) who should it be and why?

You know, that’s a really good question. I have no idea. *g* No one from my work that’s for sure. I’m sure they’d all have something to say to me about what they’ve been through. And the trouble is, fictional characters are generally not as interesting outside their particular fictions… hmmmm. I’ll definitely keep thinking about this though.

I know this is kind of a geek-question, but nevertheless: As being a huge Joss Whedon-fan myself I realized in your novels a lot of references to his work (as for example the Firefly DVDs under Tonys bed). So: Are you into the works of Joss Whedon yourself? And: Are you reading the Buffy Season 8 comics and what do you think about these?

I love Joss Whedon’s work! I’d give a kidney to write for one of his shows — mostly because it would be easier than doing the actual work of getting noticed by him. I’ve got the first four S8 comics and will catch up next time I’m in the city.

I do not know if you find time yourself for reading, but what kind of books do you like? Which authors can you recommend? And how do you choose a book in the bookstore? Just from looking at the cover?

Huff 05I adore Terry Pratchett, Charles de Lint, an d Diana Wynne Jones. I have a standing order at Bakka-Phoenix Books in Toronto for them to mail me anything that comes in by any of those three without bothering to ask me first. Fortunately, I read very fast so fill in the corners with pretty much anything that takes my fancy. I’ve recently just read a Charles Stross, a Charlaine Harris, and reread the Watchman graphic novel.

Is there a question you always wanted to get asked in an interview, but it never occurred? Now is your chance. What question would it be and please give us an answer as well.

You know, at this point, I honestly can’t think of anything I haven’t been asked at least once. *g*

Thank you very much, Tanya! All the best for both your private and your professional life!


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