All Souls Trilogy Re-read discussion

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Ask Deborah Harkness!

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Post your question for Deb and she'll be signing in to answer on Tuesday, May 5th at noon Pacific Standard Time!


message 2: by Eliza (new)

Eliza (elizat) | 11 comments I thought it was an interesting choice that you chose to make Matthew religious and I was wondering if you can talk more about that? I would imagine that someone who knows so much about science and evolution (and was friends with Darwin!) and has lived so long and has proof that life and afterlife isn't what it is as explained in the Bible. Why does he still hold on to a mortal religion? Especially one that shuns witchcraft and he may even know creatures older than when the Bible was written.


message 3: by Antonio (new)

Antonio (acgam) | 2 comments Hi Deborah form South Africa! Can I ask you to tell me, what YOU love about the female characters in your books and what are their strengths (In you opinion)?
Thank you
Regards
A G A Cantoni


message 4: by Louise (new)

Louise | 4 comments Hi Deborah! Thank you for your respect of your reader's intelligence - especially in the paranormal romance genre where a lot of stories entail "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" and not much else!

Anyway! I'm about to read book 2 now for the first time, and one of the questions I have for you is about daemons. Will you be elaborating further about what makes them tick? (Maybe you might not answer that as you may have answered that question in the books themselves ;) )

My last question has two parts - are you intending to write more books, and will they be in the same 'universe' but about different characters? (Hopefully more about daemons - have you noticed I like them?)

Thank you again for the great adventure in 'Discovery' and I'm sure I'll enjoy 'Shadow' and Book of Life just as much!


message 5: by Readsandeats (new)

Readsandeats | 54 comments Hi Deborah,

I have loved the whole trilogy. Is there going to be another one with the same characters, I would love to know what happens next?

Best wishes


message 6: by Dominique - (last edited Apr 30, 2015 06:37PM) (new)

Dominique - | 3 comments Hello, Deborah.
I wanted to know if you would be open do writing more with the characters from the AST. I was absolutely taken with Gallowglass and would love to see what he is doing after the events of the trilogy. and if he will get over his love of Diana.


message 7: by Jean (new)

Jean | 10 comments Hi, Deb! How did you come to chose your vampires' cultures of birth? How did you decide Baldwin was from Roman times or that Matthew Royden, a shadowy figure in English history, was actually a 6th century French Catholic? Thanks so much.


message 8: by Angela (new)

Angela | 9 comments Baldwin question, but not about the one you'd think! In Shadow of Night, you mention Lacey Baldwin Smith. I know a little of his background, but I've long wondered what made him a master story teller? (Takes one to know one I would say!)

OR

What 3 places would Ransome recommend that a warmblood visit in NOLA?


message 9: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 15 comments Hi Deborah,

Thank you for writing such an enjoyable story that deftly weaves so many fascinating elements together!

Since most chapters in the books are date specific, how strongly did astrology influence the story’s timeline as well as the birth dates of Diana and Matthew? Their horoscopes match their personalities.


message 10: by Lisa (new)

Lisa L-B | 14 comments Deb, have you considered publishing an "illustrated" edition of the AST. I'm envisioning something like what Dan Brown did with the DaVinci code. I loved reading about So many things I wasn't familiar with, and I think that the reader's experience can be enhanced by the addition of photographs and excerpts that further describe people, places and events. P.S. I would pay decent money for such a book.


message 11: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Neal | 9 comments Deb,

In TBOL, I noticed that Rima recognizes Diana when she first meets her in Venice. Rima says to Diana "You seem so familiar", I know that Rima had Diana's common place book for awhile and in SoN Diana put Lavender and Rosemary (for memory spells) when she left it at the Old Lodge. My question is, Rima said that Gonsalves MS 4890 reminded her of another MS that belonged to the Gonsalves heir that was sent to the University on Seville and I was wondering if that MS was the book Mathew bought for Diana in London?


message 12: by Jean (new)

Jean | 10 comments SON was set in Tudor England. What other historical periods and locations appeal to you as potential settings for another fictional outing?


message 13: by Julie (new)

Julie (mnjule) | 1 comments Two sets of questions:

One thing I become more conscious of as a reader (and re-reader) is pacing; how a writer determines when to change the pace or tone of the story. For example, just when so many horrible things are happening to characters, the writer gives the reader a little respite, either with humor, or a quiet scene to lessen the dramatic tension, so to speak. How do you, as a writer, plan that out? Is this something which happens mostly in revisions? Do other writers/readers/editors give you feedback on that or insert a few red pencil remarks? The ability to manage the ebb and flow of the tension of the story strikes me as being really difficult!

And a second question: is there a temptation and/or pressure to continue a successful trilogy after you've completed it? How do you decide the story is DONE? As a reader, I'm torn between never wanting a good story to end, and being content with a very satisfying ending to a story (which I believe you accomplished.) As much as I'd love to hear more about other characters' stories (okay, yes, Gallowglass. Not to mention Marcus and Phoebe. And Jack . . .), I am also very content with the way you knotted and tied up the story.


message 14: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Bobal | 1 comments What was your inspiration for All Souls Trilogy? Was it Diana, architecture, or an illuminated manuscript that lit the spark? What is your favorite book in the Trilogy and why? Finally......keep on writing, please :)


message 15: by Lesley (new)

Lesley | 14 comments How did you choose Matthew's name? In SON, he is Matthew Roydon from the School of Night, an obscure historical figure. Was this character named Matthew, knowing what was upcoming in the second book's plot?


message 16: by Cstejskal (new)

Cstejskal | 1 comments Now that the BoL is in paperback will you be updating the Spotify playlist with all of the songs? Thank you for the playlists, they've introduced me to so much great music. I purchased all of the songs for "Gallowglass!"


message 17: by Joanna (new)

Joanna | 13 comments Hi Deb
I love listening to these on audio-book, but also possess then in paper.
Will you bee continuing the story of Diana and Matthews children?


message 18: by Hanalie (new)

Hanalie Treiber | 1 comments You have kindled a love for you subjects both with you fiction and your historical non-fiction. Would you please consider teaching an online course?


message 19: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Allen | 1 comments Hello,

I recently happened upon the first book in the trilogy in a Fnac in Paris, and ended up buying all three eBooks after finishing the first one, (I doubted how easily I'd be able to find physical copies of the other books in one of the few English-language bookstores remaining in Paris, and the idea of having only two of the three on my iPad wasn't good enough) and have since recommended the books to several people. I have two questions:

1.) When Diana muses about how she would taste, after discussing a wine that reminded her of Matthew, why didn't she clarify that she was referring to how she would taste if she were a wine, not how her blood would taste? Personally, I would think I'd be quick to correct any misunderstandings at the beginning of a new relationship. I wondered why you opted not to have her do that.

[SPOILER ALERT: I'm being intentionally vague, possibly a spoiler for those who haven't finished the series.]

2.) After the main events of the trilogy have unfolded, does Diana still have the physical, tattoo-like marks or do those eventually fade? I'm trying to picture her at the end of their story, and wondered if the events marked her permanently....


message 20: by Judith (new)

Judith Graham (judith-graham) | 3 comments Hi Deborah, I have just finished reading the first novel. As a Christian I had been put off by the subject but thought how can you judge without reading them. Well I loved it and will be starting SON shortly. What I'd like to know is did you have Richard Armitage in mind when you created Matthew as the description is so like Mr A?
Have you always been interested in the paranormal? If not, how did you come up with that story line?
Thank you for writing such wonderful characters and keeping me captivated from one page to the next.


message 21: by Marloz (new)

Marloz Lozano (geekmarloz) Hi! What books would you recommend us to learn more about alchemy, the school of night, and medieval England? I really loved SON and all the characters and details about them and their lives in the medieval England. I´m a huge fan of yours and hope you'll visit Mexico soon. You have a lot of fans here waiting for the third book. Regards from México! :)


message 22: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (barbaradesimone51gmailcom) | 32 comments Thank you so much for these books. This re-read was perfect timing as I was about half way through my own reread of the first book when I was notified of this group. I read each book when it was published and promptly asked for them for Christmas each year. It has been a joy to read them all together. I think you are a wonderful author and I appreciate the "further reading list" on your website. I have gotten several of the books and am waiting anxiously for the Ashmole book you recommended.


message 23: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (andyouthinkyouknowme) | 1 comments Hi! Thanks again for creating such a great book series. Just finished re-reading the whole thing. You created such a large, diverse, and wonderful family of creatures by the end of the series. Was there a character or maybe a plot point that you really loved but in the end had to be edited out? Can't wait to see what you write next!


message 24: by Diana (new)

Diana (beanz) | 1 comments Hello! I'm curious about how you chose names for the vampires in the books. Matthew goes by multiple variations of his name depending on the time and place. Was that a factor in choosing the character's name? How did you choose names for the other vampire characters in the book considering that they also live over hundreds of years in various cultures? Was there a lot of research and thought involved, or am I just a nerd? :)


message 25: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 4 comments I was wondering how Matthew could start over again at different universities when he looks 37.


message 26: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (stitchingcoach) | 12 comments I noticed in all the books, characters have strong feelings about legacy (even the house!). Many characters save items such as books, photos, journals, etc. Is that art imitating life? What books, art, etc. do you plan to save for future generations or what personal possessions would you want people to remember you by?


message 27: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Neal | 9 comments Hi Deb,

I have another question. I know Satu is a weaver, as is Goody, Abraham, and Diana. I am wondering if each has an affinity toward a certain element. I know Diana has fire and water in her veins. I think Goody's is air. I know that weaver's can borrow from all but can not posses any completely but I had this feeling that a weaver might have more strength with one that they have a affinity for in comparison to the other elements.


message 28: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (cnslr81) | 1 comments Hi Deb, I'm a bit late to the trilogy, just finishing Shadows, but I love the series nonetheless! I was wondering, what are some of your favorite fiction novels?


message 29: by Beth (new)

Beth Lewis (btlewisva) | 1 comments Thanks for the Trilogy - I just finished a 2nd read thru. Have you considered picking the story up and writing more - perhaps as the twins reach teenage years?


message 30: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 51 comments Hi Deb!

Thank you for writing an amazing story!

Will you be writing more stories with these characters?

Thanks, again!
Melissa


message 31: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Eliza wrote: "I thought it was an interesting choice that you chose to make Matthew religious and I was wondering if you can talk more about that? I would imagine that someone who knows so much about science and..."

Hi, Eliza! Sorry I'm running late today. What a great question. Actually, there's nothing inherently incompatible between science and religion. Some of the greatest scientists in history--Copernicus, Galileo, Newton--were men of faith, like Matthew. There are witches in the Bible. There are also wise men who read signs in the heavens and travel to Bethlehem (we would call that astrology...) Most popes throughout the medieval and early modern periods had staff astrologers! It is appropriate to Matthew's great age, his education, and his background that he would be deeply Catholic.


message 32: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Aga wrote: "Hi Deborah form South Africa! Can I ask you to tell me, what YOU love about the female characters in your books and what are their strengths (In you opinion)?
Thank you
Regards
A G A Cantoni"


Hi, Aga in South Africa. Love that you are a fan of the books! I think what I love about my characters--female and male--is that they are struggling with aspects of themselves they don't particularly like. That's something we can all relate to, I think: having something about ourselves we would rather not have. Even "gifts" like intelligence or magical talent can make us feel different and we want to hide. Though it is a terribly trendy way to put it, I think I love best that my characters are "in process" and still have work to do. They definitely aren't perfect!


message 33: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Louise wrote: "Hi Deborah! Thank you for your respect of your reader's intelligence - especially in the paranormal romance genre where a lot of stories entail "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" and not much else!

Anyway..."


Hi, Louise. I think by the end of the trilogy you will have a deeper sense of daemons. That said, the stories are really from the perspective of a witch and a vampire and daemons are fairly marginal beings in the world of creatures. Like most creatures on the edges of society, we don't always understand them as well as we should.

I'm just beginning to think about what I will write next. I am playing around with a few ideas, and as soon as I know for sure I will let my agent, editor, and then all of you know. :)


message 34: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Readsandeats wrote: "Hi Deborah,

I have loved the whole trilogy. Is there going to be another one with the same characters, I would love to know what happens next?

Best wishes"


I'm honestly not sure. I love these characters, and their world, and as Philippe says "never is a long time," so I wouldn't rule out returning to them at some point in the future.


message 35: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Dominique wrote: "Hello, Deborah.
I wanted to know if you would be open do writing more with the characters from the AST. I was absolutely taken with Gallowglass and would love to see what he is doing after the ev..."


Hi, Dominique! I would be open to writing more about these characters. Right now we all need a bit of a rest, and Gallowglass needs to go off and have a bit of a think (we don't want any rebound relationships, do we?) and then we will see.


message 36: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Jean wrote: "Hi, Deb! How did you come to chose your vampires' cultures of birth? How did you decide Baldwin was from Roman times or that Matthew Royden, a shadowy figure in English history, was actually a 6th..."

Hi, Jean! That's a great question. It's not a deliberate thing, you sort of drift into it and the characters lead the way. So with Matthew, I knew he was "like" Matthew Roydon. And then I thought, ok, what if he *is* Matthew Roydon? Then I realized Matthew's personality wasn't really Elizabethan, and he had to be Catholic, so I just thought myself back into a period that clicked. I also knew that Matthew was younger than Baldwin. So I thought back from Matthew's birth date until I found a period I felt could produce a soldier like Baldwin.


message 37: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Stewart | 2 comments Hi Deb! I recently saw your Instagram posts with the #dianabishop for the day. What would you recommend to a reader as a must see or do in London? Also do you have any recommendations for reading while traveling ,besides the AST of course?


message 38: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Angela wrote: "Baldwin question, but not about the one you'd think! In Shadow of Night, you mention Lacey Baldwin Smith. I know a little of his background, but I've long wondered what made him a master story te..."

What made Lacey Baldwin Smith a great story teller--and a great historian--was that his research subjects were "alive" to him. He truly could imagine himself right into the period he was studying, tell you how someone would have reacted to a situation, etc. That was all born out of many decades of reading state papers and other documents from the era. That kind of life-long expertise is something truly awe inspiring when you come into contact with it.

As for NOLA, Ransome would definitely recommend coffee at Cafe du Monde--with chicory in it, of course. He likes the powdery sugar smell of the beignets, too. Ransome has spent rather too much time at the Old Absinthe House, starting back when it was Aleix's Coffee House and continuing on when the signature drink was the (now illegal) Absinthe House Frappe. He also likes to fish at Bayou Sauvage. I think I'll stop there before you get into too much trouble!


message 39: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Hannah (thecopycait) | 4 comments Hi Deborah! I love this trilogy. And not just because I'm an Anglophile. Or because as a new rower it was a delight to rediscover that part of the first book when I re-read. Or because I'm also a yogi and it was a delight to read about otherworldly creatures practicing yoga. :)

Gallowglass was the biggest surprise and one of the biggest delights of the series for me. By the end of the third book I was ready to run off with him (don't tell my husband). I'm wondering if he was as big a surprise to you? I think I read somewhere that you weren't planning on writing him, but he showed up for you in the second book. Did his love for Diana show up unexpectedly for you in the third book, or was that in your plans all along?

Also, this may have already been asked, but do you have plans to write any other fictional work? Not even necessarily with these characters, although that would be great. You've got such a unique background and opened up some interesting new worlds for me via these books. I'd love a chance to read more about them via your fiction!

Cheers,
Caitlin


message 40: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Deborah wrote: "Hi Deborah,

Thank you for writing such an enjoyable story that deftly weaves so many fascinating elements together!

Since most chapters in the books are date specific, how strongly did astrology ..."


Great question! When I was first writing A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, I knew Diana was born on August 13, 1976 (Leo, Friday the 13th, Feast of Diana, etc.) so I drew up a horoscope for that day. Then I drew up *two* for Matthew: his birth-birthday and his rebirthday. Matthew, not surprisingly, is a complicated person and his astrology is equally complicated. As a vampire, he has two of everything! You already know he was reborn a Gemini, but his natal chart is in another sign entirely. You will find out what it is at the end of THE BOOK OF LIFE, if you haven't already.


message 41: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Lisa wrote: "Deb, have you considered publishing an "illustrated" edition of the AST. I'm envisioning something like what Dan Brown did with the DaVinci code. I loved reading about So many things I wasn't fami..."

We've talked about it but so far we haven't been able to see how such a thing would work without the book being very, very expensive from an image copyright point of view. We're still working on it!


message 42: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Jennifer wrote: "Deb,

In TBOL, I noticed that Rima recognizes Diana when she first meets her in Venice. Rima says to Diana "You seem so familiar", I know that Rima had Diana's common place book for awhile and in S..."

no, it's just another commonplace book!not related to Diana at all.


message 43: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Jean wrote: "SON was set in Tudor England. What other historical periods and locations appeal to you as potential settings for another fictional outing?"

All of them! Seriously, I just love history so one of the great attractions of writing is the chance to visit historical periods where I'm not an expert and learn new things!


message 44: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Julie wrote: "Two sets of questions:

One thing I become more conscious of as a reader (and re-reader) is pacing; how a writer determines when to change the pace or tone of the story. For example, just when so..."


Hi, Julie! My experience writing is probably a bit like yours is when you read. Sometimes the tension becomes unbearable for *me* and I find somebody cracks a joke, or Jack winds up the automaton, or similar. I never plan it, I just know because I'm living inside the story that I need a break. I figure my readers will, too.

As for your second question, I always knew what the ending of the trilogy was. In other words, I was always writing towards a specific goal. The story of Matthew, Diana, and Ashmole 782 is done. That said, there are lots of characters in the books whose story remains untold. Perhaps one day they will tap me on the shoulder and whisper their secrets. But it wouldn't be a continuation of *this* story, per se. I hope that makes sense!


message 45: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Kathy wrote: "What was your inspiration for All Souls Trilogy? Was it Diana, architecture, or an illuminated manuscript that lit the spark? What is your favorite book in the Trilogy and why? Finally......ke..."

Hi Kathy. My inspiration was a question: if there really were vampires and witches, what did they do for a living and how on earth would they date people?

My favourite book is SHADOW, because I spend most of my time in the 16th century, so it feels like home.

And yes, I will keep writing. I promise.


message 46: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Lesley wrote: "How did you choose Matthew's name? In SON, he is Matthew Roydon from the School of Night, an obscure historical figure. Was this character named Matthew, knowing what was upcoming in the second b..."

Yes. He was Matthew almost from the beginning, as soon as I realized that Matthew Roydon, who annoyed me no end when I was writing my master's thesis, was very vampiric. One of the first things I knew about Matthew Clairmont was that he'd been Matthew Roydon in 1590.


message 47: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Cstejskal wrote: "Now that the BoL is in paperback will you be updating the Spotify playlist with all of the songs? Thank you for the playlists, they've introduced me to so much great music. I purchased all of the s..."

I'm glad that you like the music--and that you've supported the artists so that they can keep making it!

I will be posting the rest of the playlist on May 26, the day the US paperback is released. There are spoilers in it, of a sort, especially a big one in Chapter 17/18 so I didn't want to ruin things for the readers. After May 26, gloves are off. :)


message 48: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Joanna wrote: "Hi Deb
I love listening to these on audio-book, but also possess then in paper.
Will you bee continuing the story of Diana and Matthews children?"


I don't know. They're pretty tiny at the moment, and don't do much that's very interesting...yet.


message 49: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Harkness (deborah_harkness) | 38 comments Hanalie wrote: "You have kindled a love for you subjects both with you fiction and your historical non-fiction. Would you please consider teaching an online course?"

Hanalie, you know the answer to this question already, but I'll give you the same one again: no, because I am teaching at university already, and the little spare time I have is devoted to writing!


message 50: by Jennifer (last edited May 05, 2015 01:13PM) (new)

Jennifer Neal | 9 comments Deb,

I feel like the "happily ever after" thing is kind of a fairy tale in real life but I wanted to thank you for ending Mathew and Diana's story as a happily ever after. As much as I love being in their world for a time it does feel gratifying to close the book and not want to throw it away. I have had that experience with a few books and it sucked.

Thanks again :)


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