Why isn’t there more about the ingenii?
Good question. Mostly because I was tiptoeing around the logistics of meshing my worldbuilding with what Charlotte Bronte had already done in the 1830s, and also because writing about colonialism is fraught with possibilities for getting it very wrong indeed.
Is Isabel going to marry Zashera?
I think he would have a long way to go before he measured up to the late Mr. Almeric Agar. She’d probably prefer becoming the first female member of the Imperial Parliament instead.
Will there be a sequel?
I might write Viery Smith’s book one day. We’ll see.
About the Requite Books
What is the reading order for the Requite books?
When it comes to the books, it’s pretty simple:
1. The Maker’s Mask
2. The Hawkwood War
3. Heavy Ice (when it comes out!)
Things may get more confusing later if I start jumping around writing things set at earlier points in the Requite chronology, but given how long it takes me to write a book I wouldn’t worry about it.
If you add in the free short stories on the site, this is the chronological order:
1. Out of the Spire (c.150 years since the founding of Requite)
2. The Maker’s Mask (432 S.F.)
3. The Hawkwood War (very slightly later in 432 S.F.)
4. Death and the Order (439 S.F.)
5. Heavy Ice (650 S.F.)
though Out Of The Spire probably makes more sense if you read it after at least reading The Maker’s Mask. Death and the Order contains spoilers for The Maker’s Mask and The Hawkwood War, though only on the level of ‘these people survive to the end of the book and some of them get married’.
Are The Maker’s Mask and The Hawkwood War stand-alones, or a series, or what?
They’re more like two halves of the same book. It got big enough to be unwieldy, so I split it in half.
Are there going to be more Requite books?
If I manage to finish one. I’m a slow polisher, so don’t hold your breath. At present I’m working on Heavy Ice, a first contact novel set two hundred years or so after the first two books.
Are The Maker’s Mask, The Hawkwood War and Heavy Ice a trilogy?
No. The Maker’s Mask and The Hawkwood War started life as one long book, and make more sense if read together, but Heavy Ice takes place two hundred years down the line with a different cast of characters and some of it’s set on another planet.
Is it better for you if I buy the book from Lulu, or from Amazon?
I honestly don’t mind – I get more money on the Lulu sales and more Amazon rankings on the Amazon sales, so do what’s easiest for you. Also, I am not one of those writers who gets up in arms about people buying her books second hand. Obviously I would like it if I got some money, but I love second-hand books and have made some of the happiest discoveries of my life in second-hand bookshops, and besides, dictating to people that they can’t sell on something they’ve bought is about as silly as decreeing that no one who buys any of my books is allowed to ever crease the spine.
Lulu and Amazon both charge ridiculous shipping charges to my country. What should I do?
HELLO NEW ZEALAND. Ahem. I’ve heard good things about the Book Depository. Other than that, please accept my apologies.
How do you pronounce the names in the books?
Any way you like. The characters are fictional, it’s not like they have feelings to hurt. A lot of them have real-world names anyway, because their ancestors come from Earth, and a couple of them have names that gamers might recognise, because I am a big Final Fantasy geek.
That said, this is how I pronounce the names I made up. Bear in mind that I have an English accent: if you don’t, results may vary.
Andryz: AHN driz
Caitriesse: CAY tree ESS (this, like Catha, is an elaborated form of Katharine, probably in honour of the original Katharine Boccamera)
Cimmenze: chi MENT zay
Clotild: clot TILD (a shortened form of Clotilda, which is Norman French)
Edane: eh DAH ne
Garce: GAR chay
Hendryz: HEN driz
Imeni: IH me nee (it’s from a word in Russian, and means ‘in the name of’, meaning that Imeni Malabranca’s name translates as ‘In the name of the Malabranca’, more or less)
Kuwaij: koo waij (no particular stress)
Melati: meh LAH tee (I might have got this one out of a baby name book, I can’t remember, and Googling for it brings up a lot of Malaysian restaurants)
Jahsvir: JAHS veer (I think I was playing around with the idea of people making up names from Earth languages and wanted to create a name that meant ‘God’s man’, but it was a long time ago and I could be wrong)
Rikee: RIGH kee (she’s named for a minor character in E.J Oxenham’s Abbey books: I just liked the name, and respelled it a bit)
Sorszenna: sors ZENN ah (the name originated as Susanna, and drifted)
Tristis: TRIST iss
Vendi: VEHN dee
Vikenai: VIH ken ay (I’d run across Hikenai, the name of a minor royal mistress, and changed a letter)
Zikkili: ZIKK ih lee
Is Numair named after the character in Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books?
No. I’ve never read those books – I got the name out of a baby name book. I have a lot of baby name books and I buy new ones whenever I see them. Amazon thinks I’ve been pregnant since 2001.
What languages are Yaziik and Illingua based on?
Yaziik started out as a spaceport-creole that was mostly derived from Russian, and is named after the word for ‘language’ in Russian. Illingua is partly Italian and partly Bahasa Malaysia, and has been through a lot of linguistic drift.
What’s going on in the wider galaxy that Requite is part of?
A lot of stuff! Some of which will become clear in Heavy Ice.
Who are Kallisty and Rafe and why do you keep talking about them?
They’re characters from Heavy Ice, the book I’m writing at present. It’s set on Requite a couple of hundred years after the first two books, and is a first contact story.
So, how on earth did all of this begin?
When I was about seven, I wrote a story that was fourteen pages long. The rest of my class were… well, not so much awed as confirmed in their conviction that I was an insufferable know-all. I can’t remember at all what it was about, except that I think there was a space battle involved. Looking back on it, two things were already clear when I was seven: I was going to write science fiction, and I was never going to be known for my ability to write short stories.
Fast forward a few years. I wrote a novel about roleplayers, which was dreadful, and upwards of 250 000 words of a high fantasy novel, which was, I think, less dreadful, but suffered from utter lack of plot, and eventually I wrote and finished a novel, slightly to my own surprise. And lo, it was long, and therefore it was nicknamed the Digital Doorstop.
I hawked it round agents, who said ‘No thanks’, or ‘Really, no thanks’ or ‘We liked it but it’s not for us’, and eventually after noticing that several kickass friends had published on Lulu I decided to give it a go myself.
Why didn’t you even try to get the books published commercially?
Believe me, I tried.
What is your policy on fanfiction?
I actually have been asked this one, I’m not just hopefully pontificating about the possibility of fanfic for a book that for all I know no one but me will actually buy. One of the book’s beta readers has an astonishing ability to come up with ideas for crossovers.
In any case, my policy is: as long as you’re not passing my writing off as yours or trying to make any money out of it, you are absolutely welcome to write fanfic set in my world. (I think my exact words were ‘I don’t care whether people write Kjarten mpreg or Zircon Grey joins Torchwood’) Please don’t send it to me, though, because I like to keep my own head-canon separate from other people’s. Thank you!
I’m also completely fine with anyone using the Requite setting in a tabletop game and adapting it as they see fit.
Why the pseudonym?
Firstly, because both my given name and my surname are hard to pronounce and don’t use the most common spelling, and secondly in the hope that when I get bad reviews, I’ll find it easier to take them on board constructively if they aren’t addressed to me under my given name, because it won’t feel as personal. This will probably turn out to be quite untrue, but we’ll see. And obviously I realise that it’s a gift for a self-published book to get any reviews at all!
Have you thought about writing short stories?.
Yes, I think of writing short stories in the same way that I think of running marathons or being able to perform feats of competitive baking: I think ‘Wow, I admire people who can do that!’ and then ‘But actually, there are things I’m more interested in learning how to do’. I am impressed with people who can evoke a world and characters and make people care about them enough to carry on reading in only a couple of thousand words, but I wouldn’t say it was a core part of my skillset.
That said, there is now a Requite Stories page where I will be putting any short Requite-set pieces that I can’t think what else to do with. Many thanks to Frankie for pointing out that I could, in fact, write short stories set in my own universe.
What can I do to help you take over the world, Ankaret?
Write me a review. You will have my eternal gratitude. Also, I have been asking for an army of orcs since the first LOTR film came out.
What do you do when you’re not writing or blogging?
I love to read, dance, do yoga, tease my cats and play and run roleplaying games. I also enjoy making my own clothes, and I spend too much time playing The Sims 3.
About The Blog
You censored my comment!
Er, possibly. I don’t check the spam filter as often as I might, so if you dropped me a non-spammy comment and think the spam filter ate it, feel free to let me know. It seems particularly prone to catching comments involving a lot of links, for obvious reasons. Also, it sometimes takes me some time to approve first comments from new commenters – once your first comment’s been approved, your comments should be auto-approved in future.
On the other hand, it’s possible that I did censor your comment. This blog is not a democracy. If in my opinion your comment is spammy, hateful or just generally annoying, I probably won’t approve it. I maintain this blog in my free time: it isn’t my job, and I don’t have to engage with spammy hateful annoying people.