I feel like you get the sense of him from the perspective of him not being someone who follows human rules. And the worst of it isn’t that, you could say, he spies on her. Really he’s just like a very curious animal who doesn’t think of it that way. But really the real problem is that he’s murdered a ton of people — that’s the worst thing, right, that you’re a murderer many times over.
And again, that comes from the fact that this is a fiction book that’s not even set in a realistic world. It’s fantasy, and so you have this character who’s not human and who isn’t part of the social things that we do. He’s different. That doesn’t change the fact that for somebody who experienced something terrible that this might feel horrible for them, and that I feel bad about, because for me it’s just a fantasy that doesn’t exist. It hasn’t been my experience, and so it just feels like this totally other world.
What has the book launch process been like?
Pretty insane and stressful. I like to have everything planned out and know in advance, this is what I’m going to have to do, this is where I’m going to go, and I can plan it for, seriously, six months ahead, and then I’m happy. Now we don’t know what we’re doing. We’ve had plans and we get excited, and then the plans fall apart. I guess we’re going to be doing a lot of virtual stuff. That’s probably fun, but to me it just doesn’t feel like enough. The fans are so excited to do something, to do anything, and we can’t really give them that. That’s a little frustrating.
You wrote on your blog that books are your main source of escape right now. What have you been reading?
The last one that I really loved — they’re pretty short, you’ll tear through them — her name is Martha Wells, and it’s a sci-fi series called the Murderbot Diaries. “All Systems Red” is the first one. It’s great. It’s about this cyborg who is neither male nor female, who is supposed to be under control but they have free agency, but they just use it to watch TV basically, and the poor murderbot has huge social anxiety, can’t look anybody in the face, just wants to be left alone to watch their shows. I really identified with the character [laughs].
What do you plan on writing next?
I have, like, three candidates right now. I work on them occasionally. When “Midnight Sun” is out and that’s passed, then I’ll see which one is pulling me in. I’d like to do something in fantasy fantasy, where you have to have a map in the beginning of the book, but we’ll see if that’s the one that gets picked.
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