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No, my publisher has always done the marketing.
– Jean M. Auel
Though my books are written from a historical perspective, I have goon so far back that I am in the realm of prehistorical speculation rather than simple historical fact to weave my stories around.
I don’t write for publishers, certainly not for critics, and not for readers, But I am delighted that so many people have found my books enjoyable and want to continue to read them.
I’m just writing a story that I want to read.
I can’t tell you any more than any other writer can tell you why they write, and I don’t know what my influences are.
I have been a reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy for a long time, since I was 11 or 12 I think, so I understand it and I’m not at all surprised that readers of the genre might enjoy my books.
I can move my characters through it easily, because I understand the background; I’ve really studied it.
I really fell in love with Africa.
I had an idea for a story about a young woman who was living with people who were different, not just superficially different – such as hair colour, or eye colour, or skin colour – but different in some significant way.
My fiction is reviewed by the mainstream press, by science fiction periodicals, romance magazines, small press publications and various other journals, including some usually devoted to archaeological and other science material.
From the beginning, when I first got an idea for a story and wondered if I could write it, it has always been the story that has driven me.
I think of my books as mainstream and that’s were most people who read them look for them in book stores.
It took some time to gather the research and develop it into the storyline, and to finally finish an origin myth poem that I had been working on for twenty years.
Aside from sales, the letters from readers have been primarily positive.
The idea led me into the research, which continues to give me more ideas for the story.
Of the two, I would think of my work as closer to Science Fiction than Fantasy.
From the beginning, the series has been story driven – I began with a story idea – but research feeds it.
I started writing to please myself, a story I would like to read, and that is still true.
Science Fiction is not just about the future of space ships travelling to other planets, it is fiction based on science and I am using science as my basis for my fiction, but it’s the science of prehistory – palaeontology and archaeology – rather than astronomy or physics.
And that’s how I start myself. I usually go back a couple of pages, maybe to the beginning of the chapter, and I start reading. And as I’m reading, I’m tweaking – putting in a different word, changing the syntax, putting that clause over there, you know that sort of thing.
I probably read 100 times more than I write, but that way when I move my characters through it, I know.
I have heard Science Fiction and Fantasy referred to as the fiction of ideas, and I like that definition, but it’s the mainstream public that chooses my books for the most part.
Each book has been different and has been challenging in its own way to write.
Life sometimes gets in the way of writing.
I could write historical fiction, or science fiction, or a mystery but since I find it fascinating to research the clues of some little know period and develop a story based on that, I will probably continue to do it.