Mary Robinette Kowal

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Mary Robinette Kowal

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Orson Scott Card, Jane Austen, Steven Brust

member since
October 2009

About this author

Mary Robinette Kowal was the 2008 recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and her short story "For Want of a Nail" won the 2011 Hugo. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year's Best anthologies. She is the author of Shades of Milk and Honey and Glamour in Glass (Tor 2012).

Mary, a professional puppeteer and voice actor, has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures and founded Other Hand Productions. Her designs have garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve. She also records fiction for authors such as Kage Baker, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi.

Mary lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a doz...more

Popular Answered Questions

Mary Robinette Kowal When you're recording, you have to be word perfect without any stumbles. In practice, this means that we stop every couple of paragraphs because I…moreWhen you're recording, you have to be word perfect without any stumbles. In practice, this means that we stop every couple of paragraphs because I mispronounce something or stumble over a tricky word. Sometimes just random tongue-ties, too. When that happens, there's plenty of time to take a sip of water.

That's really the secret. Lots of hydration.

Also, in the booth, I don't have to project, which means less air passing through my mouth and less dryness. Comparatively.

Mostly, it's just water.(less)
Mary Robinette Kowal I'm odd. I have alpha-readers following along as I work, so I stay about three chapters ahead of where they are. I'm an outliner, so getting feedback…moreI'm odd. I have alpha-readers following along as I work, so I stay about three chapters ahead of where they are. I'm an outliner, so getting feedback helps me make sure that the novel is doing what I want it to do as I write it. This means that I do a sort of back and forth with my revision process as I move through the novel. By the time I hit the end, I have a fairly clear draft.

Usually, I do two more passes after that.

Most of my work is actually before I start writing, during the outlining phase. I'll spend close to a year researching, cogitating on, and planning the novel. I write it in about three months. Then do a quick pass to fix things that I noted as I was working, and hand it to my editor.

I ignore it while she has it, usually for three or four months. Then, depending on the novel, another structure edit. Which is about two weeks. Then line edits, another two weeks.

And then I get copy edits, proofreads, and then it's out of my hands.(less)
Average rating: 3.96 · 27,013 ratings · 3,389 reviews · 86 distinct works · Similar authors
Shades of Milk and Honey (G...
3.52 of 5 stars 3.52 avg rating — 5,867 ratings — published 2010 — 10 editions
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Glamour in Glass (Glamouris...
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 2,004 ratings — published 2012 — 9 editions
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Without a Summer (Glamouris...
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 1,154 ratings — published 2013 — 10 editions
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Valour and Vanity (Glamouri...
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 489 ratings — published 2014 — 9 editions
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The Lady Astronaut of Mars
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 485 ratings — published 2013 — 3 editions
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First Flight
3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 272 ratings — published 2009 — 3 editions
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For Want of a Nail
3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 188 ratings — published 2011 — 3 editions
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Kiss Me Twice
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 118 ratings — published 2011
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The Hugo Award Showcase
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 51 ratings — published 2010 — 2 editions
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Scenting the Dark and Other...
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 2009
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More books by Mary Robinette Kowal…
Shades of Milk and Honey Glamour in Glass Without a Summer Valour and Vanity Of Noble Family
Glamourist Histories (5 books)
3.647615045177558 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 9,518 ratings

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The post Video: Sesame Street does a Star Wars parody. appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
" Though I have a bunch of other stuff I “should” be reading, I checked out the ebook of Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamour in Glass, the sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey.

Glamour in Glass has a little bit more social heft to it than the first, I thin... " Read more of this review »
The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal
" I read this novelette shortly after it was announced that it won the 2014 Hugo award. I had really high expectations, and, because of it, I was expecting to be disappointed. This turned out to be one of the best novelette I have ever read in my li... " Read more of this review »
Mary Robinette Kowal is now following Howard Tayler's reviews
Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal
" All I have to say is that Mary Robinette Kowal is BRILLIANT. This story combines history and fantasy so effortlessly that I have to remind myself that glamour isn't real! The language she used transported me to a time of genteel manners and propri... " Read more of this review »
Mary Robinette Kowal finished reading
Slaves in Red Coats by Roger Norman Buckley
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Caribbean Transformations by Sidney W. Mintz
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The Unappropriated People by Jerome S. Handler
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More of Mary Robinette's books…
“One must not put trust in novelists, Beth; they create worlds to fit their own needs and drive their characters mad in doing it.”
Mary Robinette Kowal, Shades of Milk and Honey

“Then Sister Aquinata abandoned the nonviolent methods and produced a rolling pin from somewhere.”
Mary Robinette Kowal, Valour and Vanity

“She had asked me, standing outside the fence in the shadow of the rocket gantry, if I were still going to Mars. I had said yes. Then she had said, “You going to have kids on Mars?”
Mary Robinette Kowal, The Lady Astronaut of Mars: A Tor.Com Original


Which of the following 2012 novels would you like to read and discuss in the group at the end of May?

  5 votes 45.5%

  2 votes 18.2%

  1 vote 9.1%

  1 vote 9.1%

  1 vote 9.1%

  1 vote 9.1%

  0 votes 0.0%

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11 total votes

Topics Mentioning This Author

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SciFi and Fantasy...: What Are You Reading in May 2010 74 233 Jun 23, 2010 09:05AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: What are you reading in August 2010? 99 204 Sep 02, 2010 03:16PM  
The Seasonal Read...: * READERBOARD 10 573 Oct 17, 2010 07:08PM  
The Seasonal Read...: 25.2 - Leigh Ann's Task: AS HER DEBUT... 91 202 Oct 27, 2010 10:02PM  
The Seasonal Read...: Fall Challenge 2010 Completed Tasks (do NOT delete any posts in this thread) 2791 994 Dec 01, 2010 06:03AM  
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others”
Martha Graham

“The process by which the inanimate becomes animate seems to the audience to be a real miracle.”
Sergei Obraztsov

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”
H.G. Wells

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
Mae West

37365 Q&A with Mary Robinette Kowal — 11 members — last activity Sep 07, 2010 05:02AM
From August 25, 2010 to September 24, 2010 the author of Shades of Milk and Honey will be on hand to answer questions as well as ask a few of her own.
6181 Goodreads Sci-Fi/Fantasy Authors — 1769 members — last activity Sep 15, 2014 02:13AM
Either you write it, Read it, But you must LOVE IT! DISCUSS!
48134 Q&A with Christine Amsden — 49 members — last activity Jan 09, 2014 02:10PM
This is a place to discuss books by Christine Amsden, award-winning author of The Immortality Virus, Touch of Fate, and Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detect...more
65868 THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON Q&A / Discussion Group — 69 members — last activity May 05, 2014 08:55AM
I'll be using this group to answer readers' questions and encourage discussion about my debut fantasy novel, THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON. So please, a...more
126290 Ruins Q&A with Dan Wells — 159 members — last activity May 31, 2014 01:09AM
Ruins is the climactic final book in the Partials Sequence, and it comes out in just one month! Seems like a great time for a Q&A. If you have any que...more
138403 Binders Ink — 266 members — last activity Jul 29, 2014 11:59PM
BFOWW for the win.
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