Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Coming Up With Ideas -- Answers Day One

Seeing as Donna, Adam, and Stephanie were kind enough to ask questions on yesterday's post, I figured I'd devote an entire post to each of their questions. Because I'm nice like that. Yeah, that's the reason.

Anyway, I'll go in the order of being asked, since that seems to be the fairest way to go about this whole process. That means Donna's inquiry is up first ... since she was, you know, first.

Coming Up With an Idea

The beginnings of what would eventually become CALLARION AT NIGHT can be traced to the fall semester of 2005. I was driving to college one morning -- 45 minutes one way from my parents' apartment to campus -- when the phrase "God, satyrs are annoying" popped into my head at random. I spent the next several weeks coming up with why the speaker thought satyrs were annoying, and eventually wrote the short story "Moriah, Child of the Rowan."

Moriah didn't have a last name in that story, but she was already a tracker and a half-nymph at that point. The character of Cynthia Bluecallow was originally a human blacksmith named Alice, and Nicolai's original name was Jacob (he was really, really smarmy in that incarnation). The hatred of half-nymphs and half-satyrs was well in place in that story, though the society wasn't nearly as closed as the current version.

Another major difference between that story and the current one is that Dahliah (Moriah's mom) had left the city to become Chief Archon of the Woodland, instead of the reason she gives in the current novel. Her name also wasn't Dahliah in that version. The original name escapes me though.

After I finished the umpteenth rewrite of SON OF MAGIC in April 2009, I decided I wanted to leap right back into another story to give myself time to decompress from writing that one. Thus, CALLARION AT NIGHT was born. I started writing it as a traditional fantasy, but quickly decided to make it a steampunk instead. And thus I found the perfect science fiction/fantasy subgenre for me to write in.

The rest, as people are wont to say, is history.


L. T. Host said...

Sorry I missed your question post :( I was en absente yesterday. I may have just made that phrase up. I'm not really sure.

Matthew Delman said...

L.T. --

You're forgiven. I think a lot of people were away from their computers yesterday. Which isn't a bad thing, mind.

dolorah said...

Thanks for answering my question Matt. And so indepth too.

You mean to say Nicolai isn't smarmy in this version? Hmmm . .

I'm always intrigued by how authors came up with their Novel ideas. This one is unique - but I understand how long commutes can sometimes affect the brain in wierd ways. That voice must have been pretty strong to stick with you all that time, and through all that development. I commend your fortitude.

Again, thanks for the answer. Now if you excuse me, I have a beta read to get back to. Over half way there, and loving every minute of it.


Stephanie Thornton said...

Pretty crazy where we get our inspiration from, isn't it? :)

Matthew Delman said...

Donna --

He was smarmier in the previous versions. This iteration is only slightly smarmy when compared with how the original Jacob character was.