Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Destined for the Tower

"Destined for the Tower" was written for the Darkover anthology published in 1993. The idea came from a remark made to Diotima Ridenow in SHARRA'S EXILE: "I had thought you destined for the Tower..."

So once Marion decided on TOWERS OF DARKOVER for the anthology's title, the story of why Dio was not in a Tower was a natural choice. I collaborated on this story with Deborah J. Ross during a visit to her home in Southern California. Deborah's first novel also came out in 1993, so her daughters were used to seeing Mother write. What they were not used to was watching the process happen outside of her head. Listening to the two of us toss ideas back and forth until we agreed on a coherent story gave them a very different view of the creative process.

"Destined for the Tower" is available for Kindle and Nook.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Birthday Gift, part 2

I just got an unexpected package: a book entitled Wielka księga fantastycznego humoru, tom.1. It's a Polish translation of The Mammoth Book of Seriously Comic Fantasy, and it has my story "The Birthday Gift." In Polish, the title is "Dar urodzinowy."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Birthday Gift

This story is based on one of my favorite fairy tales; it's about a girl who was kind to a strange woman at the well and was given a gift that made every word she spoke produce a flower or a jewel. But it did occur to me that, in real life, this might be very uncomfortable.

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I don't write nice linear sequels. My stories link together in sprawls that are worse than my family tree (and I have five people who are my double second cousins). This story is followed by "Dragon in Distress" (a collaboration with Mercedes Lackey that has Tarma and Kethry as characters), which is followed by both "A Prince Among Frogs" (which is also a sequel to "Things that Go Grump in the Night" and "Weather Witch" -- which were not originally related to each other) and "The Dragon's Horde" (written with Raul S. Reyes). My characters jump from one story to another -- and sometimes from one universe to another, they hook up with my friends' characters, and they generally behave in a way that makes them difficult to keep track of. But I have fun with them.

"The Birthday Gift" is available available for Kindle and Nook. It is also part of the collection THE PRINCESS, THE DRAGON, AND THE FROG PRINCE, available from Kindle and Kobo.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meeting of Minds

I wrote "Meeting of Minds" as a birthday present for my youngest sister, who collected tropical fish (and provided the technical details for this story). Once I was dealing with animals, it was natural to make the protagonist a MacAran, like the heroine of Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel HAWKMISTRESS. (I've been accused of naming my character after Disney's Little Mermaid, but if I did, it wasn't a conscious decision.) Because Marion wanted something short and funny for every anthology she edited, she bought this for LERONI OF DARKOVER, which was published in November 1991.

This story produced what is still my favorite fan letter. The writer said, "I had terrible luck with my tropical fish. They all lived."

"Meeting of Minds" is available available for Kindle and Nook.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Out of the Frying Pan

"Out of the Frying Pan" is a sequel to both my story "Cold Spell" in Andre Norton's shared-world anthology MAGIC IN ITHKAR and Marion Zimmer Bradley's story "The Wandering Lute" about Lythande, her mercenary magician/minstrel. Marion originally intend her story for an Ithkar anthology and used my character Eirthe Candlemaker, but Andre rejected it on the grounds that it was not enough about Ithkar. Marion did a find-and-replace changing "Ithkar" to "Old Gandrin" which proved that Andre was right, and "The Wandering Lute" was first published in F&SF magazine. Because Marion had used my character for her story, I got her permission to use Lythande to help solve Eirthe's problem: what would she do once her partner, whose curse cancelled hers, was gone?

"Out of the Frying Pan" is available for Kindle and Nook.

"The Wandering Lute" is also available for Kindle and Nook.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Proper Escort

RENUNCIATES OF DARKOVER was the eighth Darkover anthology Marion edited. For years she had been grumbling about the large number of stories in the slush pile that fell into categories she called "Subject A" and "Subject B." Subject A stories were about a Free Amazon finding a man she could love and trust, and Subject B stories were about Dyan Ardais finding a woman he could love and trust.

For several years I had been threatening to write Subject AB: Dyan Ardais and the Free Amazon. This was the year I finally did it.

"A Proper Escort" is available for Kindle and Nook.