I had the privilege of attending an author event for Laini Taylor’s newest book Strange the Dreamer (which you’ve all said is fantabulous, so I can’t wait to read it) with my mom, and I thought I’d share some of the fun facts that I learned! The event was really interesting because she was interviewed by Laura Ruby, author of The Bone Gap, so they had some great conversations about writing style, etc.
Fun facts about Laini Taylor and her writing process …
- Writing is a slow and laborious process for her. She says that “writing feels like driving with the brakes on.” She eventually gets to her destination, but the ride can be painful!
- She says she isn’t capable of writing a rough first draft and she edits as she goes.
- Before she started working on Strange the Dreamer, she had pitched a historical (I think she said it was historical science fiction) that was set during the Civil War. She spent four months researching the era and wrote like thirty different first chapters before she gave up and switched to StD.
- She was 35 before she finished her first book even though she’d always known she wanted to be a writer. She said she had to wait until it was more painful not to finish the book than it was to finish.
- She writes her own blurbs.
- She says that getting the wrong feedback too early can really kill a book. She has one friend who reads all her early drafts, but she’s really just a cheerleader (which we all need sometimes).
- Her daughter’s middle name is Pie. Yep, Clementine Pie. 🙂
About Daughter of Smoke and Bone …
- Nothing is happening with the movie at this point.
- Taylor had lists and lists of names. She used words from Uzbekistan for some of the names in the books because she loved how exotic they sounded.
- She went to Morocco after she wrote Daughter, and put a lot of that setting into the next book.
- Night of Cake and Puppets will be coming out in paperback! It’s fully illustrated by Taylor’s husband.
- She would love to write a novella about Mik and Zuzana’s wedding
About Strange the Dreamer …
- A major theme of this book (which could be shared with Daughter) : If you’re a survivor of horrible trauma, can you forgive and move on?
- Taylor sees this as a book without villains. It’s set 15 years after the villains die. Even though there are antagonists, they were victims too, and Taylor wants us to want to rescue them!
- The world in this book is completely out of her imagination. Could it be another dimension and exist parallel to the worlds in Daughter? Well … Taylor teased that this might be another multiverse, so ….
- Taylor calls Lazlo the comic book nerd of the middle ages. She says his character is a love story to fantasy readers.
- She says she likes to try to pack as much punch as she can into short worldbuilding descriptions in her books because she knows many readers (including her) skim over long descriptions.
- She actually knows the real name of the city that is known as Weep in the book, but she doesn’t know that she’ll ever be able to reveal it because it’s truly gone. Probably.
One other little unconfirmed tidbit:
I could swear that I heard Laini tell a reader named Kristen that her name (the name she was born with) was also Kristen, but that she always went by Laini. BUT I can’t find anything on the internet anywhere to corroborate that, so I’ve started doubting myself … maybe I misheard? (My mom says she heard it too, though. One of the fun things about sitting in the front row at these types of events is that you get to hear lots more besides what the author says in the “official” interview.)
That’s it! Hope you enjoyed my recap. If you ever have a chance to meet Laini Taylor in person, I highly recommend jumping at it—her fun and creative personality really shines through!!