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Why Romance Needs Its Tropes
"Often derided as clichés, tropes actually go much deeper than that. They reflect universal experiences and archetypes, which is why they speak to us so strongly. After all, who hasn’t been snowed in with a handsome ranger with whom one has a fraught but sexually charged relationship?"
"An action-filled plot is a wonderful opportunity to bring two characters together in the forced proximity of a shared problem. But if they have different ideas about solving that problem, or different goals, therein lies the tension. The conflict between them reflects the conflict that incites the action."
"I don’t approach writing comedy. I sit at my desk with a slightly bewildered expression and it
approaches me—sometimes on shy tip-toes, sometimes boldly, sometimes sneaking up behind me to hit me over the head with a decidedly unfunny rubber chicken. As a consequence, I have no advice. There are rules, structures, and tips you can follow, but it’s all moot if comedy chooses to snub you."
Interview for The League of Gentlewomen Witches
"The moment Alex turned up when I was writing
The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels,
I fell in love at first sight with him."
Authors in the Cosmos
"Write your joy. It will result in an engaging book with an authentic voice–
and will help you cope with the endless rounds of reading and editing that book!"
The Debutante Ball
"I read everything from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five
to Greek and Roman mythology.
If someone put a book infront of me, I would read it."
Five Tips for Writing in a Fantastical World
"Find magic in the ordinary. Then give it a twist! Magic can of course be anything you want it to be. But drawing inspiration from commonplace things helps bring a reader deeper into relationship with your world. The easier it is for them to envision the enchantment, the more invested they will be."
The Big Idea with John Scalzi
"While I hadn’t set out to create a treatise on feminism (not even a wacky, ridiculous treatise with bonking – on the head with parasols, if you please), looking back it seems inevitable that, as a woman author writing about women with power, I was going to find myself addressing feminist themes to some degree."
Magic In the Drafting Process
"I wanted to create something with the exuberant, madcap energy of an old-time romantic comedy, while at the same time exploring how two highly defended characters could learn to trust themselves through the experience of love. "
"Alex is one of those too-strong-for-his-own-good kind of men, and I initially thought he needed a gentle, patient woman to soften his toughness. But Charlotte came blazing in and put paid to that idea! The two of them spark from their very first meeting. I would describe their dynamic as intense and sometimes incendiary. Wherever they go, fire alarms and explosions and storms and brawls and red-hot flames seem to occur."