Q&A with Lindsay Buroker--Fantasy Author discussion

Questions about the Emperor's Edge Series

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message 1: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Curious about anything? Let me know!

message 2: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (authorjejohnson) | 2 comments Who will be sharing their story in EE book four? Book one was mostly Amaranthe, book two Books and book three Basilard . . . and do you have any ideas for the title yet?

message 3: by Renee (new)

Renee (reverei) | 11 comments Hey Lindsay! I was just wondering roughly how long does it take you to write one EE book? And then how long does it take from manuscript to edit to online publish? :]

- Renee

message 4: by J.H. (new)

J.H. Sked (jhsked) | 1 comments Hi Lindsay - thanks for giving us fans a place to come on Goodreads :-)
What attracted you to the steampunk fantasy genre?

message 5: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Hi guys and gals, thanks for stopping by!

Jenna, Maldynado has been hounding me to star in his own story (since Book 2...he was quite put out that Books got to go first), but I think it may be Akstyr this time around. No ideas on the title yet. That's usually the last thing to come for me. I can promise fun adventures on trains though. ;)

Renee, we won't talk about how long Book 1 was in the making, haha, but it took about 6-7 months for the last two books. 3-4 months to write a first draft, then a couple of months for editing (this includes sending the manuscript off in chunks to beta readers), and finally it's usually with my editor for a few weeks (it only takes her a week or two for the actual editing, but she's a busy lady, so she has other work on her plate too).

J.H., thanks for coming! In the beginning, I just wanted to do a setting different from the medieval European fantasies I'd grown up reading. I always thought the big steam engines and machines of the Industrial Revolution were cool, so I gravitated toward an 1800s-ish technology level. I wasn't really thinking I was writing steampunk, but people started tagging my books with the term on Amazon, so I embraced it with my Flash Gold stories. I'm not sure if goggles and airship pirates will ever make it into the EE books, but we'll see. :P

message 6: by Renee (last edited Nov 20, 2011 04:22PM) (new)

Renee (reverei) | 11 comments Hello again Lindsay!
(Maybe I should just have a "question of the week" type of thing going on? ^^;)

My question is: How in the world do you come up with such hilarious scenes?! Are they mostly from your personal experiences?

Emperor's Edge had me laughing so much my fiancé kept giving me weird *are you okay?* looks here and there. I think one of my favorite funny scenes is in Dark Currents when Amaranthe and Sicarius were "locked and loaded" so to speak and ready to head out into the wilderness with all their gear on...and Amaranthe was like "Look's like we'll be prepared in case any badgers look at us the wrong way." :D

message 7: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
A question of the week is fine by me. :) I'm glad you are enjoying the books!

As for the funny stuff, I just write what pops into my head. I've always enjoyed clever dialogue (big Joss Whedon fan, and I loved the sitcom Frasier too), so I'm tickled if I can get people to laugh.

Having characters with distinctive personalities certainly helps. It gives me a lot to work with. :)

message 8: by John (new)

John Abramowitz | 3 comments Lindsay wrote: "A question of the week is fine by me. :) I'm glad you are enjoying the books!

As for the funny stuff, I just write what pops into my head. I've always enjoyed clever dialogue (big Joss Whedon fan,..."

Excellent -- big Whedon fan = even more chance I'll enjoy EE. He is probably the single biggest influence on me as a fiction-maker.

Never got into Frasier, though.

message 9: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Frasier didn't have many spaceships or dragons, though the episode where he gets tricked into giving his son's Bar Mitzvah speech in Klingon is pretty good. :D

message 10: by John (new)

John Abramowitz | 3 comments ... Dude, really? That might just make me a fan...

message 11: by Chris (new)

Chris | 8 comments I finished 'Emperor's Edge' last night. I loved it. You've created some really interesting characters with plenty of room to grow as people. I surprised myself when I realized that Sicarius was quickly becoming one of my favorites even with the 'not give a second to stabbing and thoat slitting'.

And my question is: Is there any significance when 'crest' is at the end of the last name?

message 12: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Thanks for giving EE a try, Christina! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Despite his lack of cuddliness, Sicarius has a lot of fans, so you're not alone. (Maldynado is quite jealous.)

The -crest names are associated with people in the warrior caste, basically the aristocrats. You do something to impress an emperor, and you get a nifty new name and some land. ;)

message 13: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 2 comments hi Lindsay. I love the EE series (actually I love all your books) but I am especially enjoying EE. I have two questions which I will try to ask without revealing any spoilers:

1. When Sicarius is talking about the event when he was 15 he mentions he is being punished for failing. Is this for the events of Encrypted?

2. Are we going to find out what event caused Sicarius to go from being the Emperor's assasin to the Empire's most wanted?

message 14: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Hi Sandra,

I'm glad you're enjoying the books! Hm, can I answer those questions without doing spoilers myself? Well, I imagine most folks here have read the books, so it's probably okay. ;)

1. Yes. When Sicarius spoke of being punished at 15, it was for failing to assassinate the Kyattese president because a certain admiral butted in. I imagine he got punished again for how things turned out at the end of Encrypted, but I don't think I've mentioned that anywhere specifically.

2. Basically, Sespian fired him the first chance he got, and Sicarius went off to freelance, not particularly caring if it was for the good of the empire or not. There is some more there (it seems the previous emperor didn't die of entirely natural causes), but I haven't written the conversation where those details come out yet, so I better wait and see what all I write before explaining more. Might be Book 4 stuff though. We will have some time with Sespian and Sicarius face-to-face in this one.

message 15: by Renee (new)

Renee (reverei) | 11 comments My question for the week: Is there an actor/model that best represents Maldynado? :D For some reason, when I think of him I picture Varro from Spartacas: Blood and Sand (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2541974/), lol. I know the hair is off but still.

message 16: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Renee, I don't watch enough movies or television to be up on all the casting options out there, but I've always thought of Maldynado as being "man pretty," and the first name that pops into my head for that is Ashton Kutcher, at least for the face. Maldynado's built more like Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), hehe.

Someone else suggested Antonio Banderas and that's probably closer for the skin and hair coloring. And the sexy innuendo-laden voice too. :D

But I always say, imagine them however you like. :)

message 17: by Rhianic (new)

Rhianic (musicalocea) | 17 comments I've read all of the EE books so far, and I must say.... I want more. I love the way you write, and I love the characters you can create even more. I don't know how many times I started laughing from the conversations or the side comments Maldynado, Books, or Akstyr make when they're in a situation that would seems nerve racking to me. I especially love Amaranthe and Sicarius's characters. <3 Amaranthe has become my personal role model (even though Sicarius's assassin skills are always in my mind). I ESPECIALLY love the last chapter in the 3rd book. <3333 I knew it was coming but I couldn't actually believe it when it did. I can tell you now that I will be rereading that last chapter over and over to myself enough to where I have it memorized by heart by the time the next book comes out. ;)

And speaking of the next book, I was wonder what month do you figure you would be done by.
Also, when I was waiting for the Deadly Games book to come out, it wasn't in the Reader's store for about another month and a half after it was first published. I was a bit disappointed seeing it in other online stores when I couldn't read it that way.
And one last thing(sorry for the large comment ;P), when I suggested this book to my friends (and I have suggested it to LOTS of my friends) they couldn't seem to find it in book form when they went to places like Barns & Noble to purchase it. Have you not been able to put out an actual book yet? I can find it on nooks and readers, but I haven't found it looking like an actual book.

message 18: by Lindsay (last edited Dec 23, 2011 11:20PM) (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Hiya Rhianic,

Thanks for checking out the books. I'm glad you're enjoying them (and reading certain parts over again ;)!

Sorry you had to wait for EE3! Which device is the Reader's Store for? Sony? I'm able to upload to Amazon and Barnes & Noble directly, but for the others I have to upload the file to a distributor (Smashwords). Unfortunately, it can take a while for them to approve the ebook and get it sent out to iTunes and the other stores.

If you ever get impatient, you can go to Smashwords itself (here's the link to my author page: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/vie...) and grab the ebook there. They have file formats for all of the e-readers, and they even do pdf and html versions in case people want to read on the computer.

As for paperback copies, they're available for Books 1 and 2, and I'll be doing Deadly Games and Encrypted later this winter. Since I'm an independent author, you won't find them on bookstore shelves (maybe someday!), but the online Barnes & Noble store stocks them, so someone could ask a physical store to order a copy, and they would do that at no charge. They'd probably have to wait a few days, but that would be a way to avoid shipping expenses.

Here are the B&N links for the paperback versions:


For Book 4, I'm writing it now. I'm not sure on a release date yet, but I'm shooting for late spring (maybe May).

Let me know if you have any other questions (don't worry about long comments!).

Thanks for reading, and also for recommending the books to your friends. That's a huge help to an author. :)

Have a great Christmas!


message 19: by Rhianic (last edited Dec 24, 2011 12:41AM) (new)

Rhianic (musicalocea) | 17 comments Thank you for the links. :) And I happy you're shooting for May. :D I'm waiting on another book series currently. The author is planning on releasing her next book in July (>:p) so I'm being an impatient child right now. I'll be sure to tell my friend who is trying to get the first EE book about this.

Also, I saw you said you've been writing books since you were 7? On assassins? That's a pretty big imagination for a 7 year old, I must say. xD I've been trying to write a good story and finish it for the past 5 to 6 years. All of my friends who read them tell me every single one is fantastic and that they want more, but after that I can't find the inspiration I once had at the beginning of all of my stories. How do you keep up your work? Do you ever loose inspiration?

(Also, you have a Merry Christmas too! (: )

message 20: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 2 comments Hi Rhianic

The paperback copies of the first 2 books in the EE series also seem to be available from Book Depository which is good news for those of us who are not in the US (as BD ship free world wide).

Also I have a Sony EReader and I buy most of my ebooks from Smashwords. If you buy the e-pub version they work fine.

message 21: by Lindsay (last edited Dec 24, 2011 03:51AM) (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
I hope you have some other authors to read in the meantime, Rhianic. Such a pain that it takes so much longer to write a book than to read it! ;)

I've been writing since I was a kid, yes, but it took a long time for me to get serious and think about publication and such. Also, I believe those early stories were about dogs and horses, not assassins. :D

As for staying motivated, it helps if you make some goals for yourself, maybe even choosing something with a deadline. You might find a contest or anthology that invites submissions, for example. (Ralan.com is a nice resource of markets for SF/F/H writers.) You could also join a writing workshop as it helps to stay motivated when you're around other people who are reaching their goals and finding success. It also helps you grow into a better writer!

Lastly, a big must for me is to write about characters that are fun. They have to entertain me first and foremost. If the characters are boring to me, I figure they'll be boring to someone else too.

Hope that helps!

Sandra, thanks for commenting. That's good news about Book Depository!

message 22: by Rhianic (new)

Rhianic (musicalocea) | 17 comments Oh? Thank you. I forgot to say that yes, it is a Sony Reader. I wasn't sure if the Smashwords would work on it, so thank you for telling me that. :)

message 23: by Rhianic (new)

Rhianic (musicalocea) | 17 comments Haha. Thank you for that. Do you know where I can find a writing workshop? And as for setting deadlines... I've tried hard to, but I'm a big procrastinator so that might help the not getting motivated part. I also agree on characters being fun. :) I watch anime and read manga (if you don't know what that is, it's Japanese comics that are down right hysterical)so whenever I'm writing my stories I try and think about that stuff. I have a big imagination as well, so it helps A LOT. xD

message 24: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Rhianic, I know lots of anime and manga fans, so you're in good company. :)

As for workshops, some people prefer in-person get-togethers in their local towns, but for SF/F authors, critters.org is a popular choice. It's a free one, so it's a nice way to dabble your toes. You "pay" by doing critiques for other writers as well. IIRC, you're supposed to do one a week in order to send your own stuff through.

Some of the critiques can be harsh (you always get a few snooty know-it-alls), especially when you're starting out and not used to having people dissect your work, but you can learn a lot if you stick it out. Good luck!

message 25: by Rhianic (new)

Rhianic (musicalocea) | 17 comments Okay. Thanks a lot of the advice. :D I'll try my best!

message 26: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (CassandraFerrari) | 10 comments I just finished reading Deadly Games this evening, I finished the book in less than a day, I think it's been about 6 days since I started the series, and it may be a short period of time, but I'm hooked. Since finishing the book tonight and without having a new one immediately at my disposal I find myself going through severe Sicarius withdraw. How will I ever get through this, anyone else have this issue, or am I off my rocker?

message 27: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Hi Cassandra,

Sicarius definitely has a few fans. :) Here's an interview I did with another reader last week (Sicarius is the main topic):


Thanks for reading!

message 28: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (CassandraFerrari) | 10 comments Any plans for EE related merch, tee shirts, tote bags, jewelry, keychains, etc? As a crafter I immediately start thinking about what I can make, but official merchandise would be cool too!

message 29: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
I'm not much of an artist, Cassandra (even my stick figures are wobbly), so I haven't thought too much about merchandise. It would be cool to have t-shirts someday though, if only so I could wear them to the gym for advertising for my books! :D

What sort of crafting do you do? I always have fun browsing around shops like Etsy.

message 30: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (CassandraFerrari) | 10 comments I had an etsy shop, I just closed it down due to issues with the changes etsy has recently made. But I have been making jewelry for about 10 years, and I do a smattering of other crafts, french beaded flowers, polymer clay, cross stitch, sewing, etc. whatever keeps me busy!

I was thinking of making an EE keychain using shrink film and the cover art, if it comes out nicely I'll send a photo. And maybe I'll make myself a "Sicarius" tee shirt. It'll be a good conversation starter if anyone asks what it means. It'll be black, of course.

If you ever do decide to do any merch, with just a logo or the text from the cover art, I am pretty sure you can just set up an account on Zazzle, upload your imagery and choose which items you want, and they make them when a customer orders them.

message 31: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Woohoo, keychains! I want a picture of that, yes. :) And I'm just dying to know what this Sicarius t-shirt might look like. :D

Thanks for the tip on Zazzle. I've seen authors do things through them and Cafe Press, but haven't looked into either myself yet.

Have fun with the crafts. I have a friend who does all sorts of awesome things with chocolates (an artform of its own, I think!) and actually turned it into a nice business, working the craft fairs and such.

message 32: by Simona (new)

Simona Hi Lindsay, I "discovered" your books only recently and I loved them. So you now have fans also in Italy - where I hope you'll be published soon because my kids don't read in english yet, and they would be great fans too.
You know, sometimes you write in a style that reminds me of Lois McMaster Bujold - you know, the Vorkosigan series? I'll be looking forward finding the fourth EE book on Amazon. Thank you for all the hours of good reading you offered me!

message 33: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Hi Simona,

Thanks for checking out the books and for stopping in. I'm glad you enjoyed them!

What part of Italy are you in? I came through a few years ago with a Rick Steves tour, but we were doing "the best of Europe" so I didn't get to stay anywhere for too long. Basically we whizzed through the tourist stuff. :D

Yes, I love the Vorkosigan books. I found Bujold in my 20s and up until then I'd only read "serious" science fiction. I was so tickled to find an author with a sense of humor similar to mine. Although I think she's classier. None of her guys have peed their names in the snow, I don't think. I blame my years in the army for that type of thing. ;)

message 34: by Khaalidah (new)

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali Cassandra wrote: "I just finished reading Deadly Games this evening, I finished the book in less than a day, I think it's been about 6 days since I started the series, and it may be a short period of time, but I'm h..."
You are not off your rocker. Sircarius is definitely my fav. I am giddy with anticipation for the scenes that include him. Check out the interview that Lindsay gave me about Sircarius, the taciturn assassin.

message 35: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (CassandraFerrari) | 10 comments I did read that, great interview. I was pleased to find out that he is also in Encrypted, which I then promptly downloaded and am finishing up now.

message 36: by Khaalidah (last edited Jan 02, 2012 08:06PM) (new)

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali Cassandra wrote: "I did read that, great interview. I was pleased to find out that he is also in Encrypted, which I then promptly downloaded and am finishing up now."

You are fast!
Sircarius is mt Spock of steampunk.

message 37: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (CassandraFerrari) | 10 comments Right now I am chuckling at the fact that he was sent out to collect bat guano.
Today I made a Sicarius tee shirt, I'm hoping to take photos tomorrow. I don't expect many people will get it, but that doesn't diminish it's awesomeness.

message 38: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Cassandra, I dare say that is the first Emperor's Edge t-shirt in existence. :) Yes, photos, please!

*waves to Khaalidah*

message 39: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (CassandraFerrari) | 10 comments Okay, here is the link to the photos of the tee shirt and some prototypes of the keychain I had in mind


If the link doesn't work, go to
and check out the album "Emperor's Edge Crafts" although you can see some of the photos at the top of my page too.

message 40: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (CassandraFerrari) | 10 comments and if it isn't clear, they are throwing knives on the sleeves, I made them a bit abstract, and I am not an artist by any means, but still free-handed the knives.

message 41: by Simona (new)

Simona hi lindsay..
Not sure about Bujold is more serious than you, if you know her work you'll remember some pranks Miles made in his time.
I'm from the northern part of Italy, I live between Milan and Como, but as you'll have seen, distances are quite short in my country: I'll say half an hour from both.
I've read your discarded morsel from Deadly Games.
I understand why you've edited that part, it would have been too obvious, but I hope that all the Sicarius fans will be able to catch it...
For me, I'm a fan of the story itself! :-)
Thanks for the treat, anyway!!!

message 42: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
That's so cool, Cassandra! I'm off to share the link on Facebook. :)

message 43: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (CassandraFerrari) | 10 comments I do hope that when i wear the shirt around, no one fluent in latin thinks that I am advertising my services, haha.

message 44: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Simona, yes, Miles is a character who certainly knows how to have some fun. I heard Bujold was doing an Ivan book next. That ought to be a hoot. He'd be a good drinking buddy for Maldynado. :P

Cassandra, ohhh, yeah. That'd be the start of an interesting conversation at the gym!

message 45: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra (CassandraFerrari) | 10 comments When you were writing EE, did you know what would eventually happen with Amaranthe and Sicarius, or did it just evolve naturally when writing the characters?
I am re-reading EE, and wondering if I am noticing certain things or if I am reading too much into them (no pun intended)

message 46: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Cassandra, I'm figuring out the story as I go along, but I've always known how things would go with certain key characters. ;)

message 47: by Simona (new)

Simona Hi Lindsay, I downloaded "The Curse" from Amazon since you wrote somewhere that the price(very small:$1,15) will cover your expenses, but I'd like to thank you anyway for the Smashword coupon.
The short story has been a very welcome treat, but don't think to have distracted me....I'm still waiting for the new book! ...for instance, are you writing RIGHT NOW?? ;-)

message 48: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Hi Simona,

Thanks for buying a copy of the story! Yes, I'm sitting down to work on Book 4 right now. :) Getting close to having a first draft done!

message 49: by Chris (new)

Chris | 8 comments I just downloaded The Assassin's Curse by Lindsay Buroker . Where in the EE Universe does it take place?

message 50: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (goblinwriter) | 82 comments Mod
Hi Christina,

I need to update the timeline on my website, but that one takes place shortly before Book 3. All that water-based training came in handy for the kraken adventure. ;)

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