Throughout the Southern Reach books there's a great creepy litany that we hear many times, the one that begins "Where lies the strangling fruit that came from the hand of the sinner …" How did that come to exist? Did it spill out of you in a feverish torrent, never to be revised, or did you polish it like poetry?
Hi, Robin! For better or worse, those lines came to me in a dream and I never revised them. Interpreting what they meant for the series was a whole other matter. I did think they had a kind of weird old testament feel to them, and liked that some of the phrases definitely make sense and others flirt with sense enough for readers to be able to bring interpretations to them. But I didn't really realize how weird this all was until I put all of the sentences together on a powerpoint slide for a presentation. First time I showed it, this kind of gasp went up from the audience and I looked at the slide and thought, "Yep, that is *not* normal."