If you aren't familiar with Robin's work, now is the perfect time. Robin has a great bunch of books under her publication belt, including the Theodosia series and the brand new Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist). Trust me when I say these books are fun, very well-written, and perfect for you and those special kids in your life!
Check out these awesome Theodosia covers!
And now, on to the awesome interview!
PJH: You seem to write a ton of great fantasy; I loved the Theodosia books and I love Nathaniel Fludd. That said, do you have any plans to step away from the fantasy genre in the future, if only for a book or two? Or do you think you’ll write fantasy forever?
RLL: You know, I have tried to write realistic fiction before, and some slightly otherworldly element always sneaks in. I wrote a women’s fiction book once, and it ended up with a magical realism element. So did the only realistic MG book I wrote. So I’m guessing there will always be some element of Other in what I write.
PJH: Tell us five things you collect.
RLL: Oh, these are so boring!
Torn out magazine pages for story collages
PJH: Not boring! Boring would be something like graph paper.
PJH: I think my favorite part of Nathaniel Fludd was the insertion of gremlins. What inspired you for the gremlins? I always think of that Twilight Zone episode where Captain Kirk sees gremlins on the wing of the plane ripping up the engines.
RLL: Ah yes, the gremlin. You know, I let the idea for Nathaniel Fludd stew in the back of my mind for a couple of years before I actually sat down to write it. And when I did, the gremlin was not even remotely in the picture. However, as I worked on the first draft, I could tell something was missing—it felt flat to me. So I brainstormed some ways to get some dramatic action and tension in there, and came up with Nate being sent out on the wing to fix the prop. Then Greasle just sprang into my head and wouldn’t let go. The thing is, I resisted her a lot at first. The book centers around mythical beasts—most of them found in medieval bestiaries and folklore. Gremlins were none of those things and at first it felt as if I was violating my own world-building parameters. Until I realized that Greasle’s journey nicely echoed Nate’s thematic journey for the series. While Nate wants to prove himself a true Fludd, worthy of the name, Greasle wants to earn an entry in the Book of Beasts, as a genuine, respected “beast” rather than just a pest. Then of course she became absolutely central to the book. And subsequent books. Which was a good lesson to me to sometimes just go with it…
PJH: What are three books you are looking forward to the release of in the next year (not including mine)?
RLL: Well, other than yours…
Love and Pollywogs from Camp Calamity by Mary Hershey, because she is one of the funniest, most human writers I know.
The sequel to Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carriger (Altho I think this may have just come out. I have to go check...)
PJH: Yes, the Catching Fire sequel. I'll be getting that on release day, too.
PJH: If an apocalypse came, would you still find a way to write (even if this meant paper and pen)? And if yes, then how and why?
RLL: Well, even without an apocalypse, I still write with pen and paper sometimes, so I would absolutely still do it WITH an apocalypse. As for the why, well, I’ve tried quitting writing a number of times over the years—and failed miserably. Every time I quit or swear I will never write another single word, an idea or voice or spark shows up that I simply MUST write down. I don’t think an apocalypse would change that. Plus, I would need to write to make sense of the new world brought about by such a catastrophe.
OK, now the fun, fast part. Keep your answers as short as possible!
PJH: Fantasy Island or Love Boat?
RLL: Fantasy Island (that whole fantasy thing seems to be a theme for me...)
PJH: Guilty Pleasure?
RLL: Hot baths and popcorn, although not necessarily at the same time.
PJH: Favorite Scooby Doo character?
(PJH: I think Robin needs to watch a little refresher Scooby Doo :))
PJH: Computer or hand written
RLL: Both, depending on what part of the book I’m working on.
PJH: First Draft: Revise as you go or just get it down?
RLL: Just get that sucker DOWN. Although oddly, I will revise the first three chapters a fair amount until I get the voice and tone set, then I will just get it down.
PJH: Favorite natural wonder?
RLL: That the sun rises each and every day
(PJH: Awesome answer!)
PJH: Favorite myth?
RLL: Oh CRUEL question! Probably Hades and Persephone.
Thank you so much for taking the time for the interview, Robin!
THE FORGOTTEN WORLDS
Book 1: THE EMERALD TABLET
Book 2: THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD (Oct 2009)
Book 3: THE NECROPOLIS (Fall 2010)