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30. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!

Nope. I don't tag. It's pushy :)

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29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?

Regularly, when I'm not distracted by work or other boring real life things. I mentally plot out things, when I have a minute free and try and tweak plots when I have time. I love writing, so it's easier than anything to think of it.

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28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

Right now, I'm writing an OC who has been paralysed after being hit by a car, which is quite the challenge, but I've also had a partially-sighted character who brain-damaged in infancy due to head trauma (well, dragon, but still!), who is the sweetest, gentlest character I have. Oh, and I have a one with dyslexia, and another with the mathematical equivalent. And technically, George has OCD specifically about numbers while Rufus has a mild varient of ADHD. They get around, my kids.

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27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.

I have to know how they look, but I don't tend to linger on physical descriptions beyond the initial one. Sometimes, characters just stroll in, complete with look, but others - Rufus is a good example - was a character in my head with no face or appearance for a long time, and I mean years. Then I saw a show and an actor playing a role a certain way and suddenly, I had a look for him, and an energy, inspired by this chap. It happens both ways.

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26. Let's talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of him!

I did give it a try, but I was never satisfied with the way they came out. I do know exactly what they look like, though. Especially George, who bears a rather uncanny resemblance to Bela Lugosi in this picture. One day, I may give it another go.

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25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.

Technically, George would class Rufus as a pet ;) And funnily enough, Max is the same with Rat, his lackey.

Actual-pet-wise, one of the Deaths has shadow-animals: a cat and two horses. Another has a pup of Ceberus, which was accidentally allowed to escape from the underworld. He also has a sea-serpent of sorts. Freshwater variety. *pokes others* Have a few with dragons. But mostly, pet-free. I wonder if that's my own dislike of animals shining through...

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24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What's the most interesting way you've killed someone?

When I used to fanfic in excessive amounts, I was known for maiming and killing characters left and right. I found the follow-through so fascinating, looking at how people would respond and reacte to the deaths. Especially in stories when it was close-knit groups. I considered it a real triumph if I managed to make myself cry when I read back what I had written. And I have done, a few times. I like to understate the drama of the actual death-scenes. I like them to mostly be 'off-camera', since angsty goodbyes can turn cliche.

As for interesting ways, I couldn't pick one. Although I know which is my favourite not-quite-death scene that I've done: Max's father. He's injured in the siege of Buda, and dying slowly of sepsis. Half-asleep one night, Max sees his father talking to someone. It's only years later, after his own encounter, that he realises he watched his father taking wine with Death.

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23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?

Well, first draft of George and Rufus was done over the course of about 3 months, when I was working at my old job. It wasn't an excessively busy job, so when they closed the office and I had 4 months of redundancy, I got the second draft done :) However, the bunny had been boiling since around 2001, when I picked up the character. The writing is a different matter. Normally, it takes a lot longer, because I'm a shameless procrastinator ;)


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22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you've never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.

Any of the courtship of Jack and Scarlett. A few people know about their first few meetings (and/or abduction and subsequent smackdown), but I haven't reached the point of writing the point where things changed. It starts with him being brained with a telescope and goes from there, really. (Oh, and the birth of John, their first kid. There is nothing quite as soppy as Mister Tough Guy pirate cooing over his first child)


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21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?

A couple of them do, and I do enjoy writing kids a lot. Unfortunately, I don't get much of a chance since most of my characters are in a very much non-kid-friendly environment. I did write my Max as a child briefly, but it only lasted a chapter. Still, I liked that chapter :)

Mind you, if you count teenagers, I have several of them. And nothing is quite as fun as role-playing a kid who is the child of one of your characters and someone else's and seeing what they take from each parent.

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20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?

George and Rufus. Without question. They're such complete opposites, and yet, they end up the dearest and most loyal of friends. I can't get over how much I love them together. And while a couple of my lovely test-readers have implied they should be slashed together, I can't get by them being best of friends in all ways. I also have a fondness for Max with anyone: Death, Irmengard, Rat, Maximilian II. He's just such a fun character to put opposite people. Especially since he really doesn't like people at all :D

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19. Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!

Oh, this is a tough choice. I have a werewolf teen with the attention span of a newt, a loyal wife who would kill anyone who threatens her husband and I have Princess Euphrasia Brightheart aka Molly. None of them were expected to take as much of the spotlight as they did, but when they did, they did it for a reason, and brought the plot with them.

And also, Scarlet Harlow, who doesn't even appear inna book until the final few chapters, but is so hardcore she looms throughout ;)

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18. Favorite antagonist and why!

Death ;) You don't get much more antagonistic than he/she/it. especially for Max, who really wants to hate his particular one.

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17. Favorite protagonist and why!

Ack! I can't choose. Not of mine, not of anyones. Of mine, I have too many choices. Every one of them has their own virtues and vices. And none of them have anything in common: medieval OCD vampire in modern world, tomboy pirate Princess, paranoid psychic spy. They're all too fun to choose between.

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16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing? ;)

Technically, yes, I write relationships (although the one that showed up in vampire book was unexpected), but the stuff I'm currently writing does not require 'far'. I can do that if need be, but I prefer not to unless it's really essential to the story. I prefer looking at relationships more from the dynamics and the interactions, especially given how peculiar some of my characters are.

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15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

Most recently, Stieg Larsson for the Millennium trilogy. While it could have used a bit of chopping down in book three, it's been a long time since I liked a female character so much and read a series in such rapid succession. Lisbeth Salander is easily one of the most compelling, damaged and fascinating characters I've read in a long, long time.

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14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

Oh, yes, in spades. Especially when I'm working historically-speaking. I've got historical maps of the era printed off and stored in a folder. 16th century maps are so pretty! And yet, so frustrating since the cities I'm using all have at least 2-3 different names, depending on which year I'm in, since there was that pesky Austro-Hungarian takeover, to say nothing of the Turkish invasion.

Entirely fantastical lands, you would think, should be easier, but they take as much planning, because you just know if you get something wrong, it'll come back to bite you. Much like Legolas in the Two Towers film saying that "they're taking them north east, to Isengard". You had a map, Mister Jackson. Either your elf is directionally challenged or you can't tell east from west. I do like specifics. Tolkein taught me the importance of a good map of the landscape.

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13. What's your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

I am fond of working with the 16th century Europe time-frame. There's so much going on there, socially, politically, religiously and ethically, which makes it interesting to develop original characters and write historical ones.

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12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?

I'm quite fond of the pirate-story, even if I'm still working on it. The politics and history are taking a bit of work, but it makes things interesting. My other stuff is mostly based in factual and historical places (one modern Edinburgh, another 16th century Europe) with just slight tweaks based on mythology and supernatural elements, so not so much world-building going on.

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11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

I don't think I honestly have a favourite. Every character has different fun things they bring to writing, whether it's excessive OMG ANGST!!! or a completely warped sense of humour or the tendency to be surprisingly bright about one thing but dumb as a post about the next. Half the fun is writing them and figuring out just how they work. I can't even think of anyone who is particularly difficult to write in my current fleet. Potentially one of my Deaths, but even then, they each have their moments.

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