The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer

Guest: Julie Kagawa

June 15, 2020 Marissa Meyer Season 2020 Episode 19
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Guest: Julie Kagawa
Chapters
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Guest: Julie Kagawa
Jun 15, 2020 Season 2020 Episode 19
Marissa Meyer
Transcript
Speaker 1:

Yeah,

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 1:

hello and welcome to the habit.

Speaker 3:

The writer. This is a podcast that aims to bring readers, more books to enjoy and help authors find more joy in their writing. I'm your host, Marissa Meyer. Thank you so much for joining me today. One thing that is making me super happy this week is the great British baking show. Um, I had one of my publicist years ago told me to watch this show and she was like, it's just the happiest, most pleasant thing you will ever watch. Um, and yet it took me a long, long time to take her word for it and actually go and watch. And now I'm obsessed and I just, it's so happy. And there's so many pastel colors and beautiful cakes and pastries and all the contestants are so nice and supportive of each other. And it's a nice change from our like so melodramatic American reality TV. Uh, so I've really been loving it. And one of my daughters has now gotten super into it. Um, so that's been a fun thing for us to enjoy as a family. What else? I am so happy to be talking to today's guest. She is the bestselling author of about a gazillion fantasy books for young readers, including the iron face series, the call of the forgotten, the blood of Eden, the talent saga and her latest, the shadow of the Fox trilogy. Please welcome Julie Kagawa.

Speaker 1:

Ooh. Hello. How are you? Fabulous. How are you today? I have also fabulous. Thank you so much for joining me. I am really excited to have you here. Well, thank you for having me. And you were talking about the British bake off. I've only seen like a couple episodes, but they're so happy and they're so, you know, it's like you said, all well, all the contestants are very supportive and it just makes me wish I could bake. Cause I'm a disaster at baking.

Speaker 3:

It's not a great skill for me either. Um, and I agree. It's one that I envy in other people

Speaker 1:

and the things that they come up with are just so brilliant. Yeah. Yeah. So like my I'm sorry, I'm going to like interrupt a freaking disaster. So I was in high school and I was doing that, you know, uh, baking, um, what do you call the fundraiser thing where you're supposed to bake and, you know, sell cookies and stuff? Yeah. Like a bake sale. And I was gonna bake pumpkin bread, put them in this cute little stuff, you know, saran wrap the colorful saran wrap. So I had this idea to bake a bunch of pumpkin bread and it's my, like, I'm like 16. So I'm just making my pumpkin bread and adding the ingredients and it comes out of the oven and I bite into it and it was like biting into a,

Speaker 3:

it was awful salty. And like, what did I do wrong? What happened? Some going through all of my ingredients and I come across. Okay. I had to add half a cup of sugar. That's good. I added I'm like really, really did I really do this? I did. I added half a cup of salt. Oh no. Well, I'm glad that you tasted it before trying to sell it. Not even my dogs would eat it. I tried to give it to my dogs and they're just like looked at it and then looked at me and then walked away.

Speaker 3:

I'm not a Baker. I just, I admit, yeah. Oh, that's funny. Yeah. I used to, I mean, I've never been good necessarily at baking, but it is something that I used to enjoy on a occasional basis. Um, and then when I became a mom, I had these fantasies, cause I remember baking with my mom when I was a kid. And, and so I, I have one of these, you know, mom dreams of having my two girls and we'd all have matching aprons and it would be so joyful and relaxing and they're there now five and a half. And we still have not gotten to that point where it's joyful and relaxing. It's just a huge mess. And they just want to eat and taste everything and they want to measure it themselves. But aren't quite having that like, you know, coordination and more interested in the eating. Yes, yes, very much so. And anyway, I'm like surely there will come a day when this stops being like totally stressful for all of us.

Speaker 3:

Anyway. Um, books, your books, books, this is what we're supposed to be talking about. Well, we can talk about anything. It's the happy writer, anything that makes us happy. Um, but I loved the shadow of the Fox trilogy. Um, I warned you before we started this episode that I was going to gush. Uh, and I, I do it's. I read it earlier this year, all three books, I read the first one and then immediately went online and ordered the next two, um, and was so happy that they were all out. Cause it seems like so often I read the first book in a series and then you have to wait so long, so long. Yes. But they were all out in the world and I binge read the whole thing and it skyrocketed to the top of my list of some of my favorite fantasies, um, all time I really, really enjoyed it. Um, so for starters, why don't you tell listeners what the shadow of the Fox trilogy is about? Okay. Uh, well, uh, what I'd like to say when I'm trying to sound intelligent is shadow. The Fox series is a story about it. Uh, based on Japanese folklore, it's a story about a girl. Who's also have kids to me who finds a scroll

Speaker 1:

and discovers that this particular scroll that, uh, the monks that she's been living with are protecting is actually part of an ancient incantation that every thousand years, if you recite this incantation, a dragon rises to grant you one single wish. And the dragon only appears every thousand years. And the time of the drag, the time of the summoning is getting closer. So naturally everybody in the world once this scroll, um, and she is charged with taking a piece of the scroll because the scroll is actually split into three different pieces to protect it from the people who would use it for evil. Um, so she's charged with taking the scroll, the piece of the scroll to another temple to hide it and protect it. Um, and on the way she runs into a slew of interesting current characters, interesting creatures, all based on Japanese folklore, um, and in the end that she had in the end, she has to protect the school, protect the wish, try to prevent the dragon from being summoned. She has a bunch of, uh, she has a bunch of bad guys on her tail, the master of demons and all of these evil creatures. Um, and that's what I like to tell people when I'm trying to sound intelligent, but really it's just an anime in book form.

Speaker 3:

You said that because it is it's so reads like an anime,

Speaker 1:

right. An anime in the, in the vein of, you know, Yasha, you know, [inaudible] all of my favorite enemy.

Speaker 3:

Yes. I'm I, Oh, we're such Kendra's cause [inaudible] was like the one at the top of my head, but I kept [inaudible] except you may go was like so much more likable than me. I was drawing a lot of parallels, which I think is one of the reasons why I loved the book so much is because it really brought back so many, uh, just nostalgic memories of, of my, my years being immersed in animate when I was a teenager and in college. Um, and it was just a very nostalgic for me to read it. So I'm glad to know that it was one of your inspirations and I wasn't imagining that.

Speaker 1:

Oh no, no. It was like one of my big inspiration. So question for you, did you cry when nerdy Rico died?

Speaker 3:

Oh gosh, I don't, I don't remember. Probably not. Cause it must not have left that much of an impression.

Speaker 1:

Have I ever, if I remember crying at any animation, if something can make me cry, it's an instant favorite. I mean, I appreciate the Yogi and some of like the ending of a final fantasy 10. Um, yeah, they just made me sob and they were huge inspirations for this book.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Yeah. I know I'm thinking like not an anime, but Lilo and stitch, like I saw when I watched the low and stitch. Um, but that's, that's kind of one of the only things Milana. I cried watching Mulana and that's like much more recent. Like when did that come out? Five or six years ago and you know, a 30 year old woman sobbing in the theater, nothing wrong with that. I know. Get in touch with your emotions. Um, yeah. What is, do you have like a favorite anime of all time?

Speaker 1:

Um, my favorite that's a hard one. Um, favorite I can give a few favorites. So she, can you gate obviously? Um, I would, I guess I would have to say who she can, you, he is probably my favorite because it is the anime that got me into watching more. Yeah. Like before I say TV, I had caught episodes of like Vultron and I'd cop up cut a few episodes of sailor moon. Um, but watching Fushi Yuki was what launched me into just devouring all the anime I had to get my hands on.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah. For me it was sailor moon, sailor moon was my, my entry point into, into anime. And it's still, it will always have that place in my sailor moon.

Speaker 1:

The few episodes that I've watched, I was, I really liked it cause I'm not, I'm not a girly girl, but it was much more it enemy, it seemed much more serious. Like the character of sailor moon, even though she was a ditz and a klutz, she still had all these admirable qualities that, you know, she had the whole, the fate of the world on her shoulders and those, she had the fate of the world on her shoulder. She still found time to hang out with the friends and the sailors. Um, and it just seemed much more, not serious, but more deep than the other curtains that I've seen before. So

Speaker 3:

yeah. Yeah. I think for me it was like, I loved superheros. Um, and like I loved the X-Men and, but when I started watching sailor moon, it felt like the first superhero story that was for girls like me and it's like, she's a teenager and she has to go to school and she has crushes on boys and then there's so many wonderful friendships storylines in it. And it felt like the first thing that was like speaking to me and not my older brother. Um, so yeah. Okay. What else? Cause it's going to be one of those episodes. I can tell we're going to have so many tangents. Um, let's go down the derail train of them, all of them. Okay. So you mentioned before, right? That, uh, over the course of the story, your characters do run into a lot of mythological and having watched and uh, you know, a fair bit of anime. I was familiar with some of them, like I knew about Keith Zuni and I knew about, you know, Oni and hungry ghost and some of this, but some of them, some of these creatures that they encounter are like so bizarre. And I was like, wait, is this like an actual thing out of actual Japanese mythology? So my question is, how much did you have to make up or was it like

Speaker 1:

all drawn from true folklore? It is all drawn from true folklore. Um, pretty much, um, with the exception of like a very few like this, the scorpion twins, aren't a particular yolk guy, but you can, you can see shades of them in a lot of anime, but all of the bizarre creatures, like the nerdy Kabe, they live the living wall. It's an actual thing in Japanese folklore. There are just some really bizarre creatures and in Japanese folklore and I love it. And that's why I wanted to write about them so much because you know, some of the more common ones used, it's very common. The only that you honor, all of those are very common, but there are some bizarre, this are creatures and you'll guy and a bucket mono and all of that. And I wanted to kind of touch on them. Um, I can't, if I had put all the bizarre, uh, yo guy and fucking night in the book, it would just be an unsiloed pedia of creatures.

Speaker 3:

Were there any that you like really wanted to find a way and then just weren't able to include it for some reason?

Speaker 1:

Yes. Okay. So I don't know if this is going to cut or not, but is it your guy? Um, and the, the legend is you're walking down the dark road or in the rain and you see this figure and he has a coat on, um, uh, just this long coat as you get closer, he turns around, throws up his code shows you his butt and the giant eyeball in his anus. Yeah. It's a thing. There's no way I'm cutting that little warning. I don't think I can fit this in. Just let that one be. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I understand why you made that decision. That is so nuts. So it's such a big part of this story of this world, all of these, these monsters and, and, you know, creatures that are encountered, um, because it's very much a quest story. Uh, and it had been a long time since I read like an authentic quest story. They have to take this scroll to the temple and travel through all of these various lands and worlds and cities to get there along the way hi-jinks and Sue. So at what point when you're conceptualizing this series, um, was part of it that you like wanted to include all of this folklore and then kind of built a story around that, or did you have the idea for this quest story? And then it's like, Oh, well, what do they see along the way let's maybe research some more folklore. How was the process like

Speaker 1:

the second one I knew that they had to get from here to there. And I knew that things had to happen. Otherwise it'd be a really boring story. And I knew that there were things that I had to have happen. They'll get, they had had, they had to run into this character because this character is important to the story. But Mike, in the village of hungry ghosts, the village of gawky, um, I wanted to showcase the gawky, but also give the characters a little bit of a chance to build their character, like what they would do, give them some bonding, um, because it's in that, in that village and in that conflict that they kind of got closer together. So it was a cool way to showcase the gawky and also showcase the characters as well. And I kind of, you know, strength strung along these little scenes, as I told the story,

Speaker 3:

no, and it comes together really well. And the characters, you know, there's a, an ensemble cast of characters and they're all so great. Um, and again, back to anime and how it just felt like these characters that you fall in love with, and then you took follow them on this really exciting journey, but you do a really great job of using these various creatures and these various encounters to show how the characters are growing and changing, um, and developing really strong friendships and relationships. Um, even though they're all, they all start out in such very different places. Um, and as a reader, I just loved reading that.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. I love the, I love the group dynamic of like a lot of stories in the quest anime or, you know, anime that I they're, my favorite anime always has a core group and the relationships between the core group are some of my favorites. It's my favorite thing to watch. Like they banter off each other. Um, they tease each other, you know, in the case of like, you know, Yasha, you know, even the Asha and shit, but we're constantly, you know, butting heads and like teasing each other. Um, and it's, that's what makes it fun for me.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I'm the same way. I love an ensemble cast and I love the banter and like those really fun scenes where they're all hanging out together and, you know, teasing each other and making jokes and then kind of fighting, cause there's always something to fight about. And I love that that's as a reader and as a creator actually, I'm with you that I love creating those scenes and those characters as well. Um, so one of the things that always tends to pull me into a story and one of the things that kind of tends to linger in my imagination after I finished reading it, uh, is the romance aspect. I love romance. Um, it's, it's my favorite thing about being a writer. And a lot of times in reading books, even when the romance may not be front and central, uh, it is, it is, you know, oftentimes my favorite part of a book.

Speaker 3:

So I really want to talk to you about the romance because it's so good and it's such a slow burn. Um, and so I want to talk about, uh Tatsumi who is your, your male lead? And he's like one of the most emotionally closed off characters, like for good reason. And it's all explained really well, why he is this way. Um, but the way that you've written him and the re that you've written, you may go, um, like it has this feeling of like you make go is the only person in the history of the world who possibly could have cracked his shell. Um, and, and it just worked so beautifully. Um, so tell me, how did you go about like constructing their two characters? What were some maybe challenges that you faced in building them and, uh, the romance?

Speaker 1:

Oh, one of my favorite tropes is the happy go. Lucky, cheerful, you know, just positive, joyous character paired with the emotionless robot favorites. Oh gosh. I just, I hadn't thought of them in years.

Speaker 3:

The, in Verona kitchen. Um, I don't know if that's one that you've seen, but Oh, she and the girl, what was her name? Anyway, they were like my favorite characters. And you saying that made me realize, I think that's why I love Tatsumi and you make us anyways. I'm sorry. You go.

Speaker 1:

No, no summary ex like before the series summer I ex, um, with Kenshin where he sort of an origin story, Ken shin and, um, Oh, what was the girl's name?

Speaker 3:

Oh,

Speaker 1:

I don't remember, but it was this emotionless assassin and, you know, he had actually done her a great wrong, and she was planning. I believe she was planning to, it's been a long time since I saw this movie, but she was planning to kill him in the end and circumstances that they both got thrown together. They fell in love instead, and it, the ending was beautiful and tragic. And I love it. I love tragic endings, but just seeing

Speaker 3:

her crack, this

Speaker 1:

emotionless assassin, um, who's really young. I think in the movie, he was like 14. Oh, wow. Yeah, he's young in the movie, but they fall in love and he comes to feel his feelings for the first time and you know, it's beautiful. So I love the trope of the happy go, lucky, paired with the emotionless robot and you see it so often in anime as well.

Speaker 3:

And it's just so charming just to see through

Speaker 1:

just being herself, just being themselves. You know, this person is emotionless person doesn't want to, but they can't help themselves. And I just love putting those types together and, you know, just kind of having heard chip away at his, his cold emotion was shell bit by bit. And he doesn't even know what's happening.

Speaker 3:

Doesn't get that. He's feeling the feeling. And one of my favorite things. Yeah, no I I'm right there with you and yeah. And again, you just did a really, really good job with it. Um, and, and it's interesting about Tatsumi is that it's not that he doesn't have deep emotions cause he clearly does, but you know, through circumstances, um, which we won't spoil for people who are going to go read it, um, like he's just been forced to completely shut himself down. Um, and so then to watch as these emotions are slowly coming to the surface, uh, I don't know, I'm sitting here like feeling like a giddy fan girl all over. Just remember

Speaker 1:

I know about that too, or watching it, watching the, you know, the, the cold emotionless animate boy just kind of start to fall for the bubbly, you know?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah. But you may go to, I mean, she's, she is, she is exactly that she is bubbly and happy and cheerful and bright and all of these things. Um, but she's not a stereotype. And I feel like that, you know, that, that character, that trope is so easy to become the Milaca stereotype, um, not to pick on Yaka from fishing, but she never cared for her over the head sometimes. Yeah. There were moments. Um, but you may go, I mean, she's, she's intelligent, she's witty. Um, she's incredibly passionate and determined and um, you know, so she, she really has a depth of character, uh, that, that goes beyond just this, you know, chipper personality. And I thought that in itself also kind of went a long way because, you know, she, she, wasn't just kind of digging into Tatsumi his emotions. Um, but she also, over the course of the story became someone that he, uh, admire and respect. And so they had this like mutual respect for each other, which I really loved.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. But she was [inaudible] or one of our, my favorite Japanese folklore. It's my favorite myth. They're my favorite creature. I love Kitsune a and when I started out with creating new Mikel, she was going to be half Fox and Kitsune. They are in folklore, they're clever, they're playful. They're they can be dangerous, they're notorious tricksters. So I wanted to make her cheerful and optimistic, but also give her that hint of playfulness and tricks, numbness, which was in the beginning, she would always be playing tricks on these stoic monks that she lived with. You know, she turned a log and visible in front of the steps or, you know, make a closed door, look open because foxes, the kitchen is our masters of illusion magic. So she didn't use her illusions for these fun, obnoxious, but harmless pranks. And, you know, she kind of had that trickster personality as well as being cheerful and optimistic and kind of naive.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And it was fun to watch her character arc too. Um, because she, you know, she does start out with these, you know, this keep soon a trickster, you know, but the monks kind of give her a hard time about that. And she's kind of

Speaker 1:

feels like,

Speaker 3:

you know, Keith Sunni aren't trusted and she doesn't really know who she is and you know, but watching her grow in confidence, um, and, and develop her own self worth, um, on a deep level, I really, I thought that was really well done to you. Thank you. You're welcome. I know I said this was going to be all gushing. I can't help it stop it. Marissa professional. Let's talk about fight scenes and action scenes.

Speaker 1:

A ton of them. I love fight scenes. You do you enjoy writing them? I do. Well. That's good. Cause you wrote a gazillion. There's a lot of them in there. Yes. I like writing fight scenes. If I'd scenes are easier for me to write well, when people say what's hard for you to write, um, my answer is usually romance scenes cause Oh, interesting. I'm trying so hard not to make it corny with the fight scene. I can, you know, I'll just pop in and Hannah May or I'll think of a fight scene that I've seen recently and it's fun to wear. Right. Fight scenes, especially with these giant creatures and these big beds, you know, how, how are they going to overcome this massive Oni? That's like 30 feet tall.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah. No, sometimes yeah. It's challenging. And there were times when I was worried for the characters and like, ah, how are they going to get out of this one? Did you, because over the course of this series, there are so many battles and action sequences. Um, I can only imagine it must've been a challenge at some point to feel like you weren't just repeating like, Oh wow. It just feels like the same fights over and over, which it never does. Like how did you go about making sure every one of them felt so unique. I actually had that same fear because

Speaker 1:

in the last book, especially there are lots and lots of big opponents there, you know, giant sea monsters and a giant Oni and a giant Fox and a giant demon, you know, how am I going to make them different without sounding like the same thing over and over again. And I think circumstances plays a big part. Like one of them, they have to face a giant sea creature. Uh, it's called, uh, call the uhmy Bosu. And in Japanese folklore, the Umi bozo is this massive, your guy, um, it's 50 feet tall. It's the sh it's the silhouette of this bold figure like this monk. And it rises out of the sea and sometimes it demands tribute, but sometimes it just smashes your ship kindling and then sinks back into the ocean. Again, nobody knows much about it, where it comes from, how many of them are out there.

Speaker 1:

It's just this big, massive, scary monster. Um, and in that fight scene, it really wasn't much of a fight scene. Them trying to get away from the army Bozi before they had drowned everybody. But it was in the middle of the ocean. It was on a ship, which was much different than the giant. Only they fought later, which was in a city I'm in the middle of a burning city. And the only had just smashed the Gates open with the club and was, you know, standing there with his, you know, army of demons that is bad, but so circumstances make it feel a little bit different.

Speaker 3:

Yes. Do you, cause I know, cause I have also had to write a fair number of fight scenes. Um, and for me, one of the biggest challenges is when there's a lot of people and characters involved. Um, because I feel like I'm constantly like doing mental, you know, flip-flops trying to think, okay, where is this person and what should they be doing? And Oh, if they're over here, wouldn't they have a tech this person, but I can't have them talk the tech this person yet because X, Y, Z. And it's just like a big muddle. Um, and so like for me, I've started making, um, drawing like little graphs, um, almost like you'd see on like a football play, um, with the coach and like they're over here and you have the line and the air, how do you go back? And he goes here. Um, so like, what is your method for like getting into that nitty gritty of actually like choreographing the scenes

Speaker 1:

for me, it's easier because I usually write in first person point of view, that's my problem. First person, point of view. And it's, what is that person seeing? Um, at that moment in time, I use a lot of, Oh, he saw from the corner of his eye, you know, this character rushing up to do this, or he turned and saw this character rushing up to do this. Um, and it's, what is that character seeing at that moment? And sometimes you can't, you can't see the entire battle. Uh, most times you can't see the entire battle when you're viewing it through the eyes of one person, but that one person can be saying exactly what's going on around him and reacting to what is going on around him. And that's how I handle these fight scenes with multiple people. That makes so much sense. But I don't know. I hadn't thought of that before. Yeah. Instead it's on, instead of like a bird's eye view where, you know, you're a Hawk soar and along, and kind of seeing the battlefield and all the army spread out before you zoom down into the single soldier and that soldier in the battle and what that soldier is looking at and what he's feeling and seeing all around him. And it's very chaotic and it's very fast paced and that's how I visualize my fight scenes.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. How's I have a publishing question for you, which might be boring. We'll edit it out of it is because I noticed that, um, these books were published eight months apart. Um, and traditionally these days, uh, you know, fantasy series come out books, uh, one year apart from each other. And so I was curious why the accelerated schedule was that something your publisher wanted or something you wanted, how did that work out?

Speaker 1:

That's the generally the publisher's decision when I was, when I was writing the iron face series, um, the books were coming out every six months. Yeah. And, and they're big books, aren't they, there are thousand words. Yeah. Nothing word books, but they were coming out every six months, which on the one hand was awesome. It was cool because it was getting more books out there quickly. And, you know, people don't like to wait a year for the next book, you know, the more books that got out there, my name was getting out there and people were reading it. So that was awesome. But on these other hand, I had to write two books a year. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So, um, the eight months is actually kind of nice because I have a little bit more time to actually finish, but that's a, that's the publisher's decision. Oh. So you've kind of heard into yourself to this schedule now because I did sometimes I'll do other things I'll be working on. There was one year where I was working on three books in a year. That was a little crazy.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I can imagine. Um, cause I did, um, in preparing for this, uh, I went and, you know, it was, I'm looking at your books and you know, your career and all of that. And by my count, you've published 18 novels for novellas and then contributed to three anthologies all since 2010. Does that sound accurate?

Speaker 1:

That sounds right.

Speaker 3:

So obviously, I mean, that makes you incredibly prolific. Um, and, and again, you're writing fantasy, so generally pretty big books, Epic tome, Epic tome. Um, and I know that can be really challenging to stay on top of these really tight schedule sometimes. Um, what are some things that you've learned maybe about yourself as a writer or, um, about your abilities? Uh, just, you know, and as far as like staying motivated and staying productive and, and meeting these schedules

Speaker 1:

for me, um, I just, I have a job, I treat it as a job. I have a quota that I try to maintain every day. And my quota is a thousand words a day. Normally, unless I am under, you know, super deadline crunch mode when the, the, the quota kind of jumps up to like 1500, 1500 or 1700. Um, so yeah, I try to maintain a quota every day and just pound out the words, sit down, button chair, here's my keyboard go, you know? Um, and that's worked pretty well for me. I discovered, so I discovered a nano when I first, when I was first writing the iron King. Um, you know what nano is, I'm sure.

Speaker 3:

I sure do. I love that. All right. Mo yes. Um, national novel writing month for any listeners who may not be familiar.

Speaker 1:

Yes. And before I had written, you know, the iron King, I struggled, I would write when I could, I, it took me, it would take me like years to finish a book, but I discovered national novel writing month. And I was really excited, uh, to write to the iron King. And I just tried manna Ramo. And what nano taught me was I can write 1700, 1,766 words a day, seven days a week for 30 days. And at the end of those 30, you kind of have half a book. So I was really excited and I did another 30 days and I finished the book. So I wrote the iron King in two months, sent it off to my agent. Uh, she sent it to a Harlequin teen and the rest is history. So what nano taught me was you can write a book in a short amount of time.

Speaker 1:

And if you set a quota for yourself, you're going to get a lot done. So that's what I, that's what I've done since then. I've set a quota for myself and the quota jumps or, or declines, basically the closer I have to my deadline. The more words I have to write. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I'm glad you bring up nano. I, my first book cinder was also a nano novel. Um, so I'm a big advocate and I agree to everything you said, how much it teaches you about what you're capable of, um, is one of the biggest things that I took away from, or have taken away. Cause I've, I've done it a number of times now. Yeah. Cause before I was, I would look at writers who could write a book in five months and I would just be, how do, how do they do that?

Speaker 1:

How do they write in such a short time? Cause I like one book I spent four years on trying to finish. Um, but yeah, Nana was a great, great tool to like, just help me to sit down and focus and just get words on the page. And it also helped with, uh, me realizing that you can always go back and edit first, you know, you should finish the book and then you can go back and edit it. Don't spend too much time on your inner editor when you're writing. Otherwise it's going to stay for you. So just write knowing you can always go back and edit those bad pages. Yeah. Now my, my processes is very similar and my way of thinking about it completely. Um, so what are you working on now? Um, right now I, well, I just finished a book, one of the new iron face series. Oh, exciting. I'm so excited. It's it's called the iron Raven and it is, um, the another iron book. But this time it's told in pucks point of view, puck finally gets his own book and all the fans rejoice.

Speaker 1:

So I can't say too much of that because spoilers, but you know, it's going to be full of puck and all his package. And there may, may, may or may not be a love interest for him. I'm not gonna say anything I'm reading between the lines. I think we can safely say there's a lot of cool. Okay. We're going to wrap this up with our, uh, happy writer, lightning round. Okay, here we go. First up. What book makes you happy? I am not very good at these lightening rounds. You sounded so good. Hold there a second ago. I am ready. I have no idea.

Speaker 1:

It makes me happy. Um, little women, it just popped into my head. That's how lightning rounds are supposed to work. Do you have any writing rituals? Yes. I drink a ton of caffeine. What do you do to celebrate an accomplishment? Um, eat too much pie. Ooh. You have a favorite kind of pie? No, just by period. It's all in the crust. Yes. That question is yes. Uh, how do you feel the creative? Well, um, I play video games a lot, a lot, a lot. What advice would you give to help someone become a happier writer? Ignore all the criticism and just write, don't worry about what anyone else thinks. This is your book and only you can write it. Just write. Okay. And lastly, where can people find you in my chair? In front of my desk, virtually I'm on Twitter at JT gala. I I'll have a Facebook page, a Julie Kagawa author, and I have a website, um, that I'm not, you know, it's pretty boring. They're so come find me on Facebook.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for joining me to Jane today. Thank you for, so talk about anime, which is like one of my favorite subjects. I know we do. I'm stumbling over my words. Um, but no, this was really, really enjoyable. Um, again, I loved the shadow of the Fox series. It was very creatively inspiring for me. So thank you for that too. Thank you, uh, readers of, be sure to check out the shadow of the Fox trilogy, uh, along with all of Julie's other awesome series. And of course, if you can support your local independent bookstore, we always encourage you to do so. Please subscribe to this podcast. And if you're enjoying these conversations, I would love it. If you helped me spread the word to some other writers and readers that you think might also enjoy it, you can find me on Instagram at Marissa Meyer, author and happy writer podcast until next time stay healthy and cozy out there in your bunkers and whatever life throws at you today. I do hope that now you're feeling a little bit

Speaker 2:

[inaudible].