Este texto foi publicado originalmente no meu blog pessoal, numa altura em que não considerava escrever nada mais no Ler e Reflectir... além das minhas opiniões sobre livros. Recentemente fechei o meu blog pessoal e apaguei todos os comentários. Só depois de o ter feito é que me lembrei que a escritora tinha deixado um comentário muito simpático. Quase que tive um enfarte quando me lembrei que tinha pedido um backup do blog "pré-apagão".
Apesar das minhas mil e uma tentativas de tentar importar o comentário, não consegui. Afinal até consegui importar!
Li recentemente o livro The Iron Duke e foi o meu livro favorito do ano. Por isso, quando soube que o blog Dear Author ia promover um chat com a escritora só tive que ponderar se ia ficar acordada até às 3 da manhã de sábado para falar com ela ou não. Por acaso as circunstâncias (uma enxaqueca que me fez dormir a tarde toda e uma caneca de café) acabaram por afugentar o sono e permitir que estivesse fresquinha quando o chat decorreu.
A primeira hora foi apenas a conversa entre os leitores do livro sobre os vários temas que este aborda: steampunk, o racismo, violação, alterações genéticas, etc... Tenho que confessar que foi muito bom poder falar com pessoas que também leram o livro. É muito diferente quando se lê um livro que muitos outros leram e podem compartilhar o nosso entusiasmo, mas quando são tão poucos (ainda...) qualquer conversa é preciosa. Uma hora depois a escritora juntou-se à conversa, e apesar de estar apenas programada 1 hora de conversa, esta prolongou-se para quase 2 horas. Sim, esteve interessante ao ponto de a escritora ter deixado queimar o frango do jantar!!Aqui ficam os temas debatidos (cuidado, muitos muitos spoilers!!):
- Sobre a capa
A grande maioria gosta da capa mas quase todos concordamos que, sendo Mina a heroína, deveria ser ela a figurar na capa. Aprendi que o nome dado a este tipo de capas é "man-tity". LOL A escritora explicou a escolha da capa:
Meljean Brook (MB): the Iron Duke cover: Yes, I was happy with it. I'll admit that man-titty isn't my favorite type of cover (see my latest Guardian covers for my favorites) but I think the cover did exactly what I wanted it to (and was exactly what I asked for -- something that immediately told a reader that it was steampunk & romance.)
- Sobre o conto, o The Iron Duke e a saga no geral
MB: Favorite scene? Of the novella, it was the final scene, when Ivy decides to go a little crazy. For The Iron Duke, it's the scene where they are running from the underground tunnels through the zombie forest.
Christa -- we will learn more about the Blacksmith, but not in the next book (we go away from London in Heart of Steel.)
MB: no novellas are planned yet, but right now I'm mostly focusing on finishing up the Guardian series. I'm sure there will be more novellas, I just don't have contracts for them.
Would I change anything? I would probably expand the ending a little bit. But I'm mostly happy with the book (which is rare for me).
MB: I actually hope to write an epilogue (of sorts -- I can't do anything short) for Mina and Rhys, but I'm slow, so it will probably next November at least before I can do it.
MB: I don't have solid plans for any except for the first book after Yasmeen's. That one, I want to be my "western" type of story. A little difficult when you don't have a U.S., but there are plenty of frontiers.
MB: the third book will star new people. That's actually something that I hope to do throughout the series -- keep them very lightly connected, but not dependent on each other.
MB: I have maps, I just haven't scanned and put them up on my site yet. I hate to put up anything that isn't just right, so I have to wait until I have a little more time.
MB: (em resposta a mim) I do like the pirates (or at least the sense of lawlessness) in this world. It allows me to explore a lot of gray areas politically and morally, that I couldn't do in a contemporary (because in a contemporary, some of these people should be in jail, no question about it.)
MB: inspirations for nanotech probably came from The Diamond Age, and all of the reports about scientific breakthroughs in nanotech in general -- the possibilities that are being discussed are simply amazing, even if they belong in the realm of *cough* science fiction.
As for the monsters, those come from old sea tales, mostly. I just made them bigger and armored.
MB: I did try to keep the Horde from falling into purely villainous territory (which is why there are rebels, and Rhys mentions that most of the people in the Horde territories are actually peaceful and awesome. It's just the government that is not-awesome.) But without showing a lot of Horde characters, I'm not sure that can get across as well. I was conscious of that issue, definitely -- but I was also aware that I couldn't address it as deeply as I wanted to in this book.
MB: For the Guardians, especially, I want readers to feel comfortable coming in during the middle of the series. It's not easy, though (and is also one of the reasons I'm making the Iron Seas books stand alone as much as possible.)
- Sobre o Blacksmith
MB: No, the Blacksmith did all of that to himself. But I'll share more about that later. :-)
MB: I hope to give the Blacksmith his own book, but I have at least one ahead of him after Heart of Steel.
MB: I do wonder sometimes if it is better to leave characters like that alone. They become difficult after a while, and the expectations become SO high. S
o it's either the greatest challenge for a writer, or her biggest folly to attempt to write that story.
o it's either the greatest challenge for a writer, or her biggest folly to attempt to write that story.
- Sobre as próteses e a manipulação genética:
MB: I'm not sure if I'm answering exactly the question you asked, but if it whether I purposely treated disability as something that is not a disability at all, then yes -- because I had to assume that the prosthetics were normal and normalized within the society (and in some of the trade guilds, those with prosthetics that assist them in their work are actually of a higher status than those without prosthetics.)
Eu: About the genetics: its a huge jump from bugs to iron skin and Iron bones. How did that occured, the idea?
MB: about the genetics, and iron skin/bones: That is primarily the nanoagents using what it can to create a stronger being. The nanoagents are designed to heal/keep the host strong, but when the bugs evolve, they look for different ways to strengthen the host.
- Sobre se a primeira cena de sexo entre Mina e Rhys é ou não uma violação
MB: On the first scene between Mina & Rhys. It's definitely non-consensual, yes. However, I don't think of it as rape, because that (to ME) suggests something on Rhys's side -- that he meant to overpower her and force her into something. He didn't know what he was doing. That doesn't make it OKAY, of course -- but it made his actions forgiveable, to me. That said, it was one of the hardest scenes I've ever written, because I was in his POV -- and he's enjoying what he's doing -- even though I know what Mina is going through. It was disturbing and difficult and it made me sick. But it was necessary for his character arc, I think, because he finally realizes how he damages people with his carelessness (and it's no accident that the scene comes right after Mina and he talk about how his destroying the tower sparked a really terrible revolution.)
The sexual abuse -- to me, it was all about control (Mina's, in particular.) But also the sexual abuse -- for Rhys, it's an issue of control, but it's also one that he's kind of worked through -- and his issue of control isn't emotional/sexual, necessarily, but that he has to control everything around him. (And I mean he's worked through the sexual part, mostly -- because it's transferred to his need to control everything, so it's not separate as it is for Mina.)
- Sobre o Rhys, aka Iron Duke
MB: Oh, Rhys is a total asshole at the beginning of the book, IMO. He's arrogant and careless, even as he's protecting people, he's almost as despotic as the Horde. She does open his eyes to what real responsibility is. Ell -- One of the best parts of writing that book was the give-and-take between Rhys and Scarsdale. Whatever effect Mina had on Rhys, I don't think they'd have been successful if Scarsdale hadn't been there to give Rhys the advice he did.
MB: Does Rhys have bone marrow? No. The nanoagents take care of that (and that was definitely something I had to consider ... along with whether his teeth would be made of iron, too. But that was too yuck -- so they are covered with white enamel.
MB: I don't have plans for more like Rhys (com ossos de ferro), just because that wouldn't be new. I don't want to repeat myself over and over.
MB: yes. The bugs being susceptible and controllable by radio frequency was a weakness, so when they evolved, they eradicated that weakness in him.
- Sobre o racismo
MB: on the racism, did I do research? I don't think in the sense of reading a book, but more as a culmination of a bunch of studying (English history major here, with an interest in postcolonialism), and personal experiences.
The race issues cropped up by happenstance. My very first vision of Mina wasn't as a mixed-race character, but while I was building the world, I realized that it would be SUCH a wasted opportunity to explore some of these ideas (and to reveal these issues in the world). And as with any worldbuilding, differences and conflict let you reveal the world much easier. So, it became part of her character, and history, and pretty soon the two couldn't be extricated from each other.
I felt like the race issue of the villains was offset by the race issue of Mina. But for others, that was an issue. I kind of felt that there was so much in this story to fit in that it would have had to have been 500 pages+ to address all the issues that were raised. not that I would have minded a 500+ page book.
For the Horde -- I will say that I didn't want to beat "Mongol" into the ground, because at that point they'd been ruling for centuries, spreading across Asia, Europe, and Africa ... so the Mongol part wouldn't be pure anymore, anyway. Not-white, yes. But not purely Mongol, either.
There are also other aspects of race that I didn't want to inadvertently suggest -- like how thick the zombies were in Africa. I mean, gah! So I changed that history with the Libere (but even that, I'm not totally satisfied with, because it ended up lumping a lot of tribes together. I can work with that in the worldbuilding, and create new tensions, but it's a very problematic issue to work around.)
- Sobre a mãe de Mina ter arrancado os olhos
MB: Ah -- because, as Mina said, the reaction was never about *her* (Mina) but what the Horde did to her.
MB: But basically, it was that Mina's mother never hated the baby; she hated what the Horde did to her. But she wouldn't take that out on a child (I like to think her mother was more of an adult than that.)
- Sobre a possibilidade de ter o Scarsdale como herói de um dos livros (Scarsdale é gay)
MB: I really don't know how my editor would feel about an m/m romance. I just know that I'm reluctant to shuffle him off into a secondary storyline (but also that I'm not usually a m/m writer, and I don't want to write a sucky book.) So it depends.
- Sobre o Heart of Steel (The Iron Seas #2)
A escritora mostrou-nos em primeira mão a sinopse do 2º livro (password: meljean) dizendo que ainda estava protegida e não oficial por causa do ISBN e links.
MB: the hero of Heart of Steel is (look away! Spoilers!!!) Wolfram Gunther-Baptiste. AKA the adventurer who was thrown to the zombies.
MB: we'll see Eben & Ivy in Heart of Steel.
Member of the Horde as hero/ine -- I think so. I have a member of the Horde as a secondary character in Heart of Steel (and he has a kind-of romance going on), but I plan to include more rebels, especially, in later books.
MB: We will see Wolfram/Fox's sister in Heart of Steel. Yasmeen meets her in the first chapter when she comes to the sister's home to tell her she killed Fox.
Eu: will Yasmeen black tip ears be explained? (though that was a great detail).
MB: I will explain Yasmeen's ears :-)
Already Yasmeen's book is a little more closely tied to the Iron Duke than I'd wanted, but I couldn't resist kicking Fox off the airship.
I expect to see the Heart of Steel cover in the next month or two. It will be similar to The Iron Duke's cover.
MB: We will be getting away from London/England in the next book, so there won't be many female households shown, but homosexuality isn't exclusive to England, so I suppose it will crop up again :-D
Respostas directas a mim!! *sorriso de orelha a orelha*
Eu: I read it cause a friend of mine recomend it to me. She said she tried to write her review 3 times because she wanted to be fair. I'm glad I read it, best book in 2010.
MB: thank you! And thank you for staying up for the chat! I know it must be late. (Sim, eram 3 e meia da manhã!)
Eu: T-H-A-N-K you for the Lusithanians! You don't know how happy you made me. we have 500 years of sea history that is totally ignored by the rest of the world, in most part.
MB: you're welcome, ha! It was that history that let them become one of the bigger powers in the New World. Anyone with ships had an advantage over those who didn't.