Friday, October 21, 2022

6 Books with Laura Anne Gilman

Laura Anne Gilman is the author of more than twenty novels, including the Nebula award-nominated The Vineart War trilogy and the award-winning Devil’s West series from Saga Press/ Simon & Schuster. Her forthcoming projects include the Gilded Age historical fantasy, Uncanny Times (October 2022), and a series of paranormal romance novellas focusing on non-traditional partners, starting with Something Perfect.

Today she tells us about her Six Books.

1. What book are you currently reading?

Assuming we're not talking about research material?  The Life and Zen Haiku Poetry of Santoka Taneda, by Sumita Oyama.  It's about the rather sad but also remarkable life of the poet and his works, about poetry, travel, language, and the art of observing.  I read a small bit each night before bed, so it's taking me forever, but in a good way.

2. What upcoming book are you really excited about?

Femmes Fatale by Amanda Cherry and Erik Scott DeBie. A very fun-sounding twist on the villain/heroine conflict, bad girl meets good girl, sparks fly, and oh yeah, they need to team up to save the world. Definitely not for the kiddies.

3. Is there a book you’re currently itching to re-read?

I don't re-read books very often.  Possibly a result of having to read manuscripts mutiple times, first as an editor and now as a writer, I prefer the first "discovery" read. Also, too many books out there!  I can't keep up even just reading once!  But I do go through phases of turning to old favorites - for a while it was Busman's Honeymoon, by Dorothy L Sayers.  It's both a comfort read, and a lesson in how to weave a mystery into a romance, and vice versa.

4.  A book that you love and wish that you yourself had written.

I used to say A Fine and Private Place by Peter Beagle, but as I've grown into my own voice, I realized that I would have written an entirely different book (being a very different person with different experiences than Peter). So it's hard to say "I wish I'd written that" when I couldn't have written that.  I do wish I'd had the idea first, though.

5. What’s one book, which you read as a child or a young adult, that has had a lasting influence on your writing?

The Prydain Chronicles, by Lloyd Alexander, specifically Taran Wanderer. Alexander had such a deft touch with creating characters that lived and breathed. Yes, they were fantasy stereotypes (the orphan, the princess, the bard, etc), and the plots were thin, but Alexander's storytelling turned them into real people you wanted to spend more time with.  I don't even know how many times I took the series out of the library, then wore through copies of my own.  That absolute love of his characters, the thing that gave them life, that seeped through the skin, the ink into my blood. Which sounds pretentious AF, I know, but I swear that's how it happened.
Before Alexander died, I got a copy of Taran Wanderer signed... it's one of the few signed copies I keep, no matter how many times I move. Place of honor on the shelf.

6. And speaking of that, what’s your latest book, and why is it awesome?

The new book is Uncanny Times, which is the first book in the Huntsmen series.  I joke that this book is the result of 15 years of muttering about errors and inconsistencies in the tv show Supernatural running headfirst into my desire to write about the grittier side of the Gilded Age.  A brother and sister team (plus dog) in 1913, hunting down what they call the "uncanny" - creatures from myth and legend - who tangle with humanity.  But when they're sent to investigate an uncanny-related murder, they discover there are deeper shadows underneath, and secrets nobody wants revealed...
Amusing fact, Uncanny Times was supposed to be a stand-alone, just the one book, then I'd write something else.  But when my editor (Joe Monti) read it, he sent me an email saying, "'re writing another one for me, right?"  Because Rosemary and Aaron - and Bother, their hound - had gotten under his skin and he wanted to know what happened next.  Somewhere, I hope, Lloyd Alexander is saying "attagirl."

Thank you, Laura Anne!

POSTED BY: Paul Weimer. Ubiquitous in Shadow, but I’m just this guy, you know? @princejvstin.