What is the most elaborate thing a fan has done, and do you have a favourite?
There’s just been such an awesome response, and there have been a lot of tattoos lately just in the last couple of weeks. There was a young lady who came to an event in Houston dressed fully as Madrigal, well a sort of mash up of Karou and Madrigal, because she did have “true story” tattooed on her wrists, and they were real tattoos, but she had the horns and the wings and everything, so that was neat. One of my first things that happened that was really amazing was somebody who maybe knew me through my blog but was a fan of Blackbringer made a doll of me. That kind of stuff blows me away, people are so creative, and there has been so much fun stuff, people make really cool music mixes and do really amazing art work and it’s just so cool to see people inspired by the book to do these things. I am sure I am forgetting some amazing things. I want to put a gallery up of all the tattoos because I am blow away that people are doing that.
There are some really nice tattoos out there. I am often tempted to get one...
Yeah me too. I haven’t gotten a Daughter of Smoke and Bone tattoo yet. Hmmmm. I know some people get little commemorative tattoos, just small ones, but I don’t have any.
Do you do any study or research trips? Which also leads on to another question of why Prague?
Jim and I had gone to Prague in 2005 to research a vampire graphic novel that we wanted to do, that we didn’t end up doing. We spent about 9 days in Prague, walking around, photographing it, and thinking of using it as a setting, and then we didn’t. But it was still waiting in my mind to be used, so it was perfect. It didn’t occur to me right away. At first I thought New York would be where Karou lived, but Prague was way better. And then Morocco I was sort of obsessed with at the time, I hadn’t been but I really wanted to go and so I thought I’m going to work this in, and I just did from looking at YouTube videos and maps and guide books and things like that. Then we did go, and on that trip we went to southern Morocco and the kazbahs, and that’s absolutely where the setting for Daughter of Smoke and Bone came about, without which having gone I don’t think that would have happened. I don’t know what that book would have been, I mean it would have been completely different.There really should be a grant for novelists to go travel to research settings for the books. And also a time machine, because I would really like to be able to go back to historical eras I would like to write about. Somebody make that happen.
You mentioned that you were writing another book when Karou and Brimstone came to you, did you put that book aside before starting with Daughter of Smoke and Bone?
I didn’t. I went back and finished it.
You did? Where is it?
It will never see the light of day. I didn’t write it the way I usually write. I wrote it for NaNoWriMo that year, which I had never done before. Part of the reason I did it was because I do have a commitment to finishing things, but I don’t think even still that I would have soldiered on because I had already given up hope of it, but I was doing a talk in December on finishing novels, and I thought ‘this would be a good thing to talk about’. And it’s amazing if you just set out to write a certain number of words every day, and you don’t care if they’re good, you can write a lot of words. So I never read it. I never read what I wrote at the end of each day. I have no idea really what happened but I am sure it’s really terrible. And that’s not the way I work, writing a fast first draft, and it killed any interest I had in that book. So then I was free to get back to these characters.
You have mentioned scenes that have been cut from your books, is there any possibility releasing those deleted scenes?
There is nothing that would really stand on its own as interesting.
How do you feel about killing off some of the characters in the Daughter series?
I haven’t really killed that many beloved characters. And I think in Dreams of Gods and Monsters I went pretty easy. Overall I knew that I wasn’t just setting out to kill people for the sake of killing people.
Laini Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of Days of Blood and Starlight, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the Dreamdark books Blackbringer and Silksinger, and the National Book Award finalist Lips Touch: Three Times. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter, Clementine.
Read the rest of Kristy's interview with Laini at Book Nerd Reviews.
Thank you to both Laini Taylor and Ashleigh at Hachette Australia.