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Scott Lynch
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The Lies of Locke Lamora > Questions for Scott Lynch?

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message 1: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1097 comments Mod
Hey everyone! Scott Lynch will be joining us tomorrow for an interview! Do you have any questions for the author of The Lies of Locke Lamora?


Denis Pedersen | 56 comments can you tell him "you rock" from me please?


Chris | 1 comments id like to second the "you Rock" and pose a question about graphic novels? Is this something you might be/would like to work on?

Also, how is Republic coming?


Marcus | 1 comments After introducing us to the wonderful Venetian world of Camorr and the clever cons of the Gentlemen Bastards, the reveal that the Grey King's feats were accomplished 'simply' by magic felt.. incongruent. Why use magic as the explanation?


Nevan Prendeville | 143 comments How did Mr. Lynch decide which section-opening quotes to use?

I haven't got the book on hand, but I remember that they were pretty diverse.


Nick (Whyzen) | 1260 comments Which was created first? The character of Locke Lamora or the world of Camorr?


Joseph | 145 comments I third the "you Rock" motion, while adding a "seriously you're god damned awesome" as well. :D

If there was something you could change about the fantasy genre what would it be?

Oh I would also like to add that I hope Mr Lynch is feeling well and healthy, it's the most important thing rather than early release dates. :)


Alex Ristea (alexristea) | 639 comments How did you learn enough about sea parlance to be able to write so convincingly about it?

Did you spend time on a tall ship? Did you read books? Did you talk to sailors?

Love your work, keep it up Scott!


Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 769 comments I was going to ask something about the trend in the genre for 'lower stakes' fantasy and the turn away from daddy Tolkien's saving the world schtick... but then I remembered that there are still five books to go and I don't want to look like an idiot when Locke saves the world from the evil bondmages in the last book.

So just tell him he rocks. And that his Henry V retelling was the funniest thing of 2011 and possibly ever.


Arroyo0 | 50 comments First tell him the Gentlemen Bastards series are All-Times-Classics, IMHO right up there with J.R. Tolkien and G.R.R.M, can't wait for the next book.
Any details about the next book? (gently, no pressure)
Will the scope of the world broaden or will the next books be more localized adventure?
Also, is Lock Lamora a man of true religious convictions, following deeply held ideals and morals of a trickster god or is it ultimately just a game for him.

Is Lock Lamora smarter then other people or is he an inspired artist who's gift happens to be conning people? will his talent be enough to save him or will he need luck and the help of others?

Finally wish him good health.


Arroyo0 | 50 comments I forgot, can you ask him, for SF&F book recommendations.


terpkristin | 2852 comments Can you ask how he feels when he comes to forums (such as this one) and reads mixed reviews on his book? I mean, I know nobody likes to be told that someone doesn't like a work of theirs, but you figure authors have to have a little bit of thicker skin. Most of the "negative" comments I've seen at least here haven't been "negative" as much as they've been sort of ambivalent. For myself, I thought the book was an interesting idea but it didn't suck me in enough to make me want to read the second book...but maybe this interview will change that!?

If that's a little too rough, then I'd ask him what he thinks Locke's motivations are, since it was such a hot topic over here. Is he motivated purely to be the best trickster out there, to be a Robin Hood of sorts (without the giving to the poor part...)? Or does he have a deeper goal?


Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 1726 comments Ocean's 11 -- Ratpack version or Clooney?


Rasputin | 27 comments I'd like to know why he chose to use real world profanity instead of making up profanity. Is it for the impact? Humor? Just because he effing felt like it?


Mike Thicke (MikeThicke) | 68 comments Scott is quite open on his livejournal about his struggles with depression and anxiety. Did he make a conscious decision to discuss these challenges in public or did it just seem like the natural thing to do? Has he been working on coping strategies? How is it going?


Casey Hampton (caseyhampton) | 649 comments What advice would he give to aspiring authors?
Is an MFA degree in creative writing, time well spent?


Alex Ristea (alexristea) | 639 comments In a zombie apocalypse, what is the first thing you do and why?


message 18: by Nick (last edited Mar 26, 2012 07:48PM) (new)

Nick (Whyzen) | 1260 comments Were any of the Gentlemen Bastards modeled on Scott's real life friends? Or are their personas completely made up? .. note that I'm not asking if he hangs out with thieves, just asking if the personalities are modeled after people he knows.


Rasputin | 27 comments Nick wrote: "Were any of the Gentlemen Bastards modeled on Scott's real life friends? Or are their personas completely made up? .. note that I'm not asking if he hangs out with thieves, just asking if the pers..."

Does he hang out with thieves?

I mean, a guy's gotta do research, right?


MostlyDelores Just how familiar is Scott Lynch with The Complete Thief's Handbook from the 2nd edition of the AD&D game? Because there's some stuff in there about designing thieves' guilds that tastes a lot like The Lies of Locke Lamora, and I was wondering if it was a source of inspiration at all.


Greg Erskine (gregnog) | 1 comments I loved the Salvaras in The Lies of Locke Lamora. For such minor characters, I thought they were really well-written; their relationship seemed intimate without being over-the-top fantasy-novel capital-R-Romantic, just a happy down-to-earth couple that get along and have the kind of quiet love that comes from familiarity. Any plans to bring them back in future installments?

Also, considering your love of gaming, have you actually sat down and created a full set of rules (with appropriate psychoactive elixirs) for the casino game at the beginning of Red Seas Under Red Skies?


Sam Kington | 1 comments My favourite Scott Lynch quote is this one from Red Seas:

“You are beyond mad," said Locke after several moments of silent, furious thought. "Full-on barking madness is a state of rational bliss to which you may not aspire. Men living in gutters and drinking their own piss would shun your company. You are a prancing lunatic.”

The rhythm and elegance in this paragraph is a delight wherever I re-read it.

Shortly after would be all the moments where, after a description of phenomenal alien fantastic weirdness, probably involving Elderglass, or only paces away from a sumptuous - and very expensive - Renaissance-era noble soirée, characters erupt in an unexpected spout of vicious swearing. It's a wonderful reminder that, for all their airs and graces, the nobility of Camorr and other places feel just the same desire to let loose with a proper stream of invective as any other human being.

So if I had a question, it would be: what made you decide to write stories and dialogue like this, and why don't more people do this?

I'm patiently looking forward to book 3 - I don't mind waiting, as the first two set an astonishingly high bar. I'd prefer (eventually) 4 or 5 really good books, rather than 7 or 8 with a dip in quality towards the end. If I wanted the latter, I'd have kept on buying Terry Goodkind.


Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 769 comments terpkristin wrote: "Can you ask how he feels when he comes to forums (such as this one) and reads mixed reviews on his book? I mean, I know nobody likes to be told that someone doesn't like a work of theirs, but you f..."

He's sort of answered this in his blog today
http://scott-lynch.livejournal.com/27...


Anne Schuessler (anneschuessler) | 638 comments I don't have any questions, so please just add me to the list of people who want to tell him "You rock!"


Napoez3 | 158 comments (I only read the first book, so, I don't know if this is explain in the next books)

I'm dying to know more about the society/creatures that lived before humans in Camorr! Where are they? What happen with them? Can it happen again? D:

And like Marcus asked: A short introduction to the magic system would be welcomed. I feel it's to overpower, it has to have some kind ob backslash for the user or why don't the Bondsmage rule the world!! Or they do and that's not presented in the first book?

PS: V, next time you have to read my name, with "Napo" it's fine XD


Mohrravvian | 95 comments I would ask him: What made him decide to write about thieves, rather than the typical reluctant hero that ends up in a much grander scale story where he has to save the world? It's a big departure from the typical fantasy, yet it really made for a fun and exciting read. Does he just find thieves interesting?

Also, does he play RPGs, and if so is he usually a thief character?


Trevin Sandlin Is there any particular reason Sabetha is/was left completely out of TLOLL and instead remains "off camera" throughout the book? She seems like such an important person in Locke's life, but our only glimpses of her are through the various comments of others. I assume she was left out intentionally, but am curious as to why.


Kam (kam_martinez) | 59 comments Will he ever tackle the Eldren themselves beyond the artifacts they've left behind? If so, will they, themselves, play any role in the upcoming books? A yes or no to the second question will satisfy my curiosity ;).

Also, please tell him "Thank you!" for writing such lovable rogues and for choosing to set his novel/s in a Renaissance analogue instead of the usual Medieval analogue.


Joseph | 145 comments Trevin wrote: "Is there any particular reason Sabetha is/was left completely out of TLOLL and instead remains "off camera" throughout the book? She seems like such an important person in Locke's life, but our on..."
I can answer that. :D She's coming up in book 3. He posted a preview chapter on his website from the new book featuring Locke and Sabetha's first encounter.

There's a little bit more about her in Red Seas Under Red Skies too. :D


Alex Ristea (alexristea) | 639 comments Kate, I love the link you posted


message 31: by K (new)

K | 1 comments What elements of writing/storytelling are most important to you as an author? Are they the same things you look for as a reader?


Gumberkules | 3 comments Hey Scott. Sorry to hear about your life troubles. I want you to know your books mean a great deal to me. I think you are a wonderful writer.

Winston Churchill once said "Without a measureless and perpetual uncertainty, the drama of human life would be destroyed." So, in the story of my life, I use certainty to minimize drama.

Be certain you are a great writer Scott. Be certain you are a good person. And, most of all, be certain bad times cannot last.

Love the books!

Oh and I should ask a question too: What are the mechanics of magic in Locke's universe? (i.e. Who can do it? How can they do it? What are the limits?)


Mach | 46 comments My first question is will anymore of your books be translated to Norwegian? the first one was and i loved it but Red Seas Under Red Skies is not translated. When or will that happen?

My second question is did you write the pesent day chapters or past chapters from Locke's life first? Did you ever consider writing it chronoligically or was writing it that way a decision from the beginning?


terpkristin | 2852 comments Alex wrote: "Kate, I love the link you posted"

Ditto, thanks for pointing it out!


Scott (scott_lynch) | 14 comments Mike: "Scott is quite open on his livejournal about his struggles with depression and anxiety. Did he make a conscious decision to discuss these challenges in public or did it just seem like the natural thing to do?"

I decided in late 2010 that I basically had two choices... I could either refuse to talk about it and let it hang there awkwardly, an elephant in the room for every interview I would ever do for the next few years, at least. Or I could just tell the truth and not have to dance around the subject again and again and again. It was easier and, in the end, somewhat liberating to just be honest. I remain private about the specifics of my treatment regimen (I'm not going to discuss the daily dosage of my antidepressant, for example) but about everything else I think I've found that being candid is absolutely the way to go.

Casey: "What advice would he give to aspiring authors?
Is an MFA degree in creative writing, time well spent"


If you want to write, write. Plant ass in chair and write. Don't distract yourself with marketing plans and other bullshit until you have something to market. Writers grow their markets by having stuff available for people to read, not by playing tricks. If you want to be an author for anything resembling a living, you must accept the long, lonely hours with your keyboard and learn to deal with them.

If all you can manage to write is a page a day, that's still a 350+ page novel worth of words at the end of a year. If you can't write fast, write slow. If you can't write much, write a little at a time. Just write, and do it regularly.

Making plans to "start" writing is like making plans to start getting more physically fit: Sooner is always better. Now is better than tomorrow. Tomorrow is 24 hours closer to the part of the story where you die, so quit putting it off and write something.

The other terribly crucial part of the puzzle is: read. This might sound so obvious as to be ridiculous, but you'd be shocked at the number of people who daydream about being authors yet publicly admit that they barely read anything. You cannot write if you do not read. Full stop. Read widely. Read enthusiastically. Deliberately attempt to read books outside your comfort and interest zones. The second best thing you can do for yourself if you want to write fiction professionally is to read a few hundred books. Then read a few hundred more. Then keep it up for the rest of your life.

As for an MFA, there's a fraught question. If you enjoy the process of getting an MFA, then by all means do so. But be aware that MFAs in creative writing are not necessary for commercial writing careers... indeed, they don't interface very much at all with the actual publishing industry. Get an MFA because you love language and writing (or if you want to teach), not because you see it as some sort of necessary credential or precursor to a writing career.

Cheers!

SL


Boots (Rubberboots) | 499 comments Scott wrote: "Making plans to "start" writing is like making plans to start getting more physically fit: Sooner is always better. Now is better than tomorrow. Tomorrow is 24 hours closer to the part of the story where you die, so quit putting it off and write something."

Wow, that is incredibly inspirational, I think I'm going to go hop on the treadmill now.

I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Oh and thank you for answering our questions for us, it's greatly appreciated.


Erik (Aerik) | 13 comments Scott, I thought of a question two days late. This is not the first time this has happened. :)

The only crime fiction I've read is a little bit of Joe Lansdale. After reading Lies, it seems like you love the stuff. If I were going to read just two or three crime novels as a sampler, what would you recommend?


message 38: by Scott (last edited Mar 28, 2012 01:20PM) (new)

Scott (scott_lynch) | 14 comments Alex: "In a zombie apocalypse, what is the first thing you do and why?"

Well, seek physical safety and armament, obviously. And feed my cat and lock him in. But right after that would be the vital fact-finding phase... is the zombie apocalypse supernatural in origin or biological? Different sets of rules for each, and different implications. Can't cheat the GM unless you know which rule book to flip open.

Nick: "Were any of the Gentlemen Bastards modeled on Scott's real life friends?"

Not a one of 'em, I'm afraid.


Lynn Williams | 1 comments Very new to this - so, sorry for being a bit late.
Love both books!
I wondered if you had any books that you feel influenced your writing style (not asking because I'm planning on trying to be a writer - just nosey!).
Also, the Bondsmagi - do they have a sort of code that they must adhere to - so, for example, could they take on work where they would be in conflict with another of their kind?
Thanks
Lynn:D
BTW - very cool that you're answering these questions!


Napoez3 | 158 comments Scott wrote: "is the zombie apocalypse supernatural in origin or biological?"

You have gain my respect with this answer. I like to know that people with talent give serious thought of a zombie outbreak.


terpkristin | 2852 comments So. Freaking. Cool. Thanks, Scott, for taking the time to respond here! And being so candid.


Kate O'Hanlon (kateohanlon) | 769 comments How classy is our book club that authors just drop in to chat?!

Thanks for the thoughtful answers Scott.


message 43: by Chris (last edited Mar 30, 2012 12:36PM) (new)

Chris Haynes | 17 comments Scott, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

Fanboy time here, sorry...I love your books!!!


message 44: by Scott (last edited Mar 31, 2012 02:30AM) (new)

Scott (scott_lynch) | 14 comments Mach: "My first question is will anymore of your books be translated to Norwegian? the first one was and i loved it but Red Seas Under Red Skies is not translated. When or will that happen?"

I really have no say in the matter; if you want RSURS in Norwegian you've got to make noise at the Cappelen Damm folks: http://www.cappelendamm.no

It might be the case that a local translation of TLOLL didn't do well enough for them to continue. I have personally received a lot of mail from Norwegian readers who bought English-language editions... I suspect that your laudable linguistic skills are costing your local publishers some money. ;)

"My second question is did you write the pesent day chapters or past chapters from Locke's life first? Did you ever consider writing it chronoligically or was writing it that way a decision from the beginning?"

I find it almost impossible to write books in any order except that which they appear on the page. I feel very uncomfortable working ahead of myself, knowing that I might need to change or adjust all the assorted references even above and beyond standard correction and proofreading. So, I wrote TLOLL in the order it appears... present, past, present, past, etc.

Cheers!

SL


Boots (Rubberboots) | 499 comments Scott wrote: "I find it almost impossible to write books in any order except that which they appear on the page. I feel very uncomfortable working ahead of myself, knowing that I might need to change or adjust all the assorted references even above and beyond standard correction and proofreading. So, I wrote TLOLL in the order it appears... present, past, present, past, etc."

Oh that totally blows my theory that you wrote it from back to front right out of the water.


Scott (scott_lynch) | 14 comments Sean: Ocean's 11 -- Ratpack version or Clooney?

Oooh. Tough call. The original has all the Rat Pack charm, even if it's full of insane plot holes (Sammy Davis Jr.'s character sings and dances like Sammy Davis Jr., but he's working as a garbage man?) and the script must have been about two pages long ("Rat Pack screws around. End scene.") I also think the original's ending is more poetic.

The newer version has a much more coherent heist plot, even if the "pinch" is a monumentally stupid idea and Don Cheadle, who can do almost no wrong in my book, just ain't right with that Cockney accent.

Also... SPOILERS...

The end of the newer version is nonsensical frustration. Andy Garcia's character calls for a police response to a major armed robbery... any adult, let alone one as sharp as he is portrayed, would realize that the police wouldn't just send a SWAT team. There'd be loads of backup from regular cops and their vehicles, too. There'd be paramedics on standby. The response Ocean's crew stages is too small to be anything but transparent.

As for Ocean's 12, ugh. Though it does have about five interesting minutes whenever Vincent Cassel's cat burglar is onscreen.

Cheers,

SL


Scott (scott_lynch) | 14 comments Boots: "Oh that totally blows my theory that you wrote it from back to front right out of the water."

Like all modern fantasists, I compose my work in the dark language of R'lyeh, as revealed to us by the Old Ones Who Shall Rise Again But For Now Are Quite Content to Control Publishing. This language defies all geometry and chronology, but I still prefer to scribble it out front to back, because I've lost enough Sanity Points already.

-SL


Scott (scott_lynch) | 14 comments Trevin: "Is there any particular reason Sabetha is/was left completely out of TLOLL and instead remains "off camera" throughout the book?

Because I am a total bastard and a tease. And I am only sort of kidding.

She seems like such an important person in Locke's life, but our only glimpses of her are through the various comments of others. I assume she was left out intentionally, but am curious as to why.

The absence began when I discovered that there just wasn't room, in terms of pagecount or emotional content, for another major important character in TLOLL. One of my original versions of the TLOLL prologue did feature her, but to get the rest of the story into the book I would have had to basically leave her out after that. That seemed to me even worsee, even more incongruous, than leaving her out altogether.

As I pondered on this, and as my ideas about the series were gradually evolving and firming up, I realized that holding her completely out of view for a couple of books might be the way to go... increasing (ideally) the reader desire to find out just what her deal is, and contributing to the idea that Locke's life and secrets are being slowly revealed over the course of several books rather than dumped on you all at once.

Some people love this. Some people throw the books across the room because of it. Mileage may vary.

-SL


Boots (Rubberboots) | 499 comments Scott wrote: "Like all modern fantasists, I compose my work in the dark language of R'lyeh, as revealed to us by the Old Ones Who Shall Rise Again But For Now Are Quite Content to Control Publishing. This language defies all geometry and chronology, but I still prefer to scribble it out front to back, because I've lost enough Sanity Points already."

Actually I was going to ask you when the R'lyeh version of the book was coming out but I figured the response would be the same as the Norwegian one.

Oh and if you could tell the Old Ones Who Shall Rise Again But For Now Are Quite Content to Control Publishing that Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, I'd really appreciate it.


Scott (scott_lynch) | 14 comments Truly, when the time of times has come and the stars are right, you will be eaten first. I'll say hi to Nyarlathotep for you, too. Got a marketing meeting with him next month.


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