Author Q&A: BR Kingsolver

This is the transcript of the chat with BR Kingsolver on Sunday, August 27th, at 4 PM.

This transcript has been edited to remove log in/log out notifications, some side conversations, and some smilies to improve readability. Some typos have been corrected for readability.

 

efestivalofwords

We need to congratulate BR Kingsolver for the win in Best Fantasy today

Mark Gardner

I have to cheat to get more sales over BR…

BRKingsolver

Thank you

Valerie Hayden

Congratulations to you!

Mark Gardner

Okay, it’s 1:00 I’ll sit down now…

efestivalofwords

Feel free to hang out. The chats are rather fluid as we have all seen.

BRKingsolver

Says the guy who makes a living from his writing to someone who doesn’t.

Mark Gardner

LOL!

Mark Gardner

I just got lucky.

BRKingsolver

I now know who to ask to pimp my books in KS

efestivalofwords

Let’s talk assassin mutants!

Mark Gardner

Yeah, but I designed both their covers, so I’m invested.

BRKingsolver

Or mutant assassins!

BRKingsolver

As you can see from the overwhelming deluge of questions, my fan had to walk her dog.

efestivalofwords

At least we’ll start there. Tell us about Libby and the Chameleon Assassin Series

Valerie Hayden

lol

BRKingsolver

The books are a cross between urban fantasy and dystopia sci-fi. Set 200 years in the future where environmental pollution and radiation have caused a lot of mutations in the human race

Blaine Cartwright

Are these link X-Men mutants or more horrific types of mutations?

BRKingsolver

Less spectacular than x-men, but then scientists did some genetic manipulations and came up with some more extreme types

BRKingsolver

You know, most radical mutations are fatal

Blaine Cartwright

So some of the mutations are man-made?

Blaine Cartwright

Like GMOs on steroids

JoElla

That is an interesting way to say it lol

BRKingsolver

Yes. There are animals in nature who live on blood. If a person has such a mutation, and a geek scientist wants to create a vampire, that’s a place to start.

efestivalofwords

You actually have a degree in biology. How did that come into play with developing the mutations?

BRKingsolver

I like UF, but it’s so crowded, and I’m more comfortable with non-magical powers

Valerie Hayden

The Telepathic Clans books seem to be more magically inclined though? Or do you use science to explain those powers in those books?

BRKingsolver

Understanding biology gives me a way of bounding what is possible. I stretch it a little bit, but not much. I stretch things more with psychic powers

BRKingsolver

No magic in the Telepathic Clans books. It’s all psychic.

BRKingsolver

Admittedly, I stretch the psychic pretty far in those books

efestivalofwords

Some people would call psionics a form of magic, but you adopt the more scientific approach to the phenomena?

PokemonNO

In terms of biology what do you base the pychic powers on

BRKingsolver

I treat the psionics the same way Marian Zimmer Bradley does in her Darkover novels.

BRKingsolver

I don’t try to explain the psychic powers, other than say the telepaths came from another world

Blaine Cartwright

You said you don’t write full time. What do you do for a living and when do you find time to write?

BRKingsolver

I work as a project manager for implementing large-scale computer systems. I do most of my writing on weekends.

JoElla

Your stories sound like a far cry from your day job

BRKingsolver

I actually wrote my first book on a job where they hired me, put me in an office, and forgot about me for six months.

efestivalofwords

WHAT? They forgot you?

PokemonNO

Sounds like a government job lol

BRKingsolver

Yes, they forgot about me. Your tax dollars at work. As for writing something that involves computers, I hate computers.

efestivalofwords

Wait it WAS a government job? What exactly happened?

PokemonNO

*facepalm*

BRKingsolver

It was a government agency. I was a contractor. They had money to spend, but once they brought me in, they couldn’t figure out what to do with me. I’ll write a satire on government someday.

efestivalofwords

But at least you had time to write. That’s not surprising, however.

efestivalofwords

So what current projects are you working on?

BRKingsolver

There are a lot of good people working for the government, just not at the top. Did you know they don’t require an IQ test to run for public office?

efestivalofwords

I’m not touching that one lol

JoElla

Obviously look at Congress

BRKingsolver

I’m working on the first book of a high fantasy trilogy called Chronicle of the Soulless. I’m about 3/4 finished with the draft of the first book

PokemonNO

You need fifteen levels of clearance to work as a janitor, but no clearance to run for the presidency

BRKingsolver

It’s a classic quest sword and sorcery story

PokemonNO

What is the premise of the trilogy?

BRKingsolver

I do have a security clearance, but the Chinese stole all the records. They know more about me than my SO

BRKingsolver

Premise? I have to have a premise?

efestivalofwords

lol

efestivalofwords

So we have a couple more minutes left. BR is there anything you want to plug or discuss before we wrap up? You have the floor!

BRKingsolver

An old prophecy of an evil power taking over the world. Elves and humans go on a treasure hunt to figure out the prophecy and find all the magic objects so they can confront and defeat evil.

PokemonNO

A nice uncomplicated classic story then. I like those!

BRKingsolver

As Julie said, my Chameleon Assassin novel won first in Contemporary/Urban Fantasy. There are three books in the series, and I’ll be writing a fourth later this year

Blaine Cartwright

Fantasy has gotten way complicated the last few years.

Mark Gardner

Are they series, or companion novels?

BRKingsolver

I’m trying to be a bit original with the fantasy. It’s quasi-medieval, but with flush toilets.

JoElla

That seriously needs to be the tag line lol

efestivalofwords

I don’t think its a comedy!

JoElla

Lol

PokemonNO

ROFL

BRKingsolver

The Chameleon Assassin books is a series, but they will stand alone. They’re really mystery/thrillers in a fantastic setting. There isn’t a story arc that continues between books. Think of JD Robb’s books.

efestivalofwords

Thank you for joining us today. I hope everyone will come back at 5 PM for our last chat of the day to wrap up this year’s festival.

BRKingsolver

Thank you folks. I enjoyed it!

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