Science Fiction & Fantasy

Transcendent Annual Series

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Nonfiction

Author Spotlight: Holly Black

What was the most difficult thing about writing this story? The easiest? (Was there an easy part?)

The hardest thing about this particular story was the language—I had to constantly stop and research the parts of a ship, what different places in a station might be called, plus I had to do a lot of research to find particular things about space that I might be able to use to flesh out the miniature world of the story. My greatest delight was discovering there are clouds of space booze floating out in the galaxy, just waiting to be harvested (and filtered of poisons).

I’m not sure there was an easy part, but writing something very different from what I normally write was a lot of fun.

What gave you the idea to frame the story with these rules? How did this story start for you?

The story actually started with the rules. I’d been reading a lot of Karin Lowachee and Lois McMaster Bujold and I wanted to experiment with writing science fiction of the sort I’ve read a bunch of, but never written. As I was thinking through the story I wanted to tell, I thought of a few of the rules and wondered if I could play with them as structural markers.

By the end, it seems that Tera has a good handle on being a smuggler, and perhaps has a future as freedom fighter for the Charkazak. Do you see any future stories with her?

I don’t currently see any future stories with Tera, but one of the great joys of writing short fiction, for me, is that those stories let me try out a character or a concept. I’ve come back to several of my short stories and expanded them, so I like having that option still open.

What’s next for you? Any parting authorly wisdom you’d like to give?

I have two books coming out this year. One is a co-written middle grade with author Cassandra Clare, called The Iron Trial, the first book of the Magisterium series. And the other is a YA novel called The Darkest Part of the Forest.

As for authorial wisdom, I guess the thing I remind myself most often is to write to please my reader self and not worry so much about pleasing my writer self.

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Robyn Lupo

Robyn Lupo lives in Southwestern Ontario with her not-that-kind-of-doctor partner and three cats. She enjoys tiny things, and has wrangled flash for Women Destroy Science Fiction! as well as selected poetry for Queers Destroy Horror! She aspires to one day write many things.