[LMB] (chat) Krentz/Quick/Castle

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Tue Sep 25 18:02:45 BST 2007


So...

    I am now on vacation, meaning, I'm working half-days as my own 
secretary and wrangling a wodge of para-writing stuff -- brushing up 
articles for for _The Vorkosigan Companion_; producing with the 
invaluable aid of Carol Collins the new map for TSK3 & 4; arranging 
travel for October and more ear surgery for November; and sometime in 
the next few weeks/real soon now I must write two prefaces and a speech, 
urk.  And there's another on-line interview lurking in my in-box, which 
I promised in a weak moment.  The copy edit for TSK#3 will come back on 
the tide finitely soon, too.  Nonetheless, to mark the transition from 
"working" to "vacation", I changed the  picture on my desktop from wide 
green mountains to the one of a turquoise blue tropic sea with a tiny 
island sporting three palm trees.  And I can now allow myself to read 
other books without worrying about style-leaks or other distortions upon 
my work-in-progress, which, besides the time-crunch, is the main reason 
I avoid other fiction while writing, and come off a project in a 
book-starved state.

    My vacation reads lately, in the afternoons and evenings when my 
brain burns out, include the triple-headed author Jayne Ann Krentz 
(contemporary romance) Amanda Quick (historical romantic suspense) and 
Jayne Castle (futuristics).  The three names are required partly because 
her output is huge, but mostly, I suspect, because the the different 
genres sell at three different sales levels, and one wouldn't want the 
accounts to inadvertently order Krentz books in Castle numbers.

    She has nearly a twenty-year output out there now, which makes it 
possible to compare the evolution of her writing at different stages of 
her career.  She only has one emotional plot, got up in different garb 
for the different stories.  It's rather like buying a box of 
chocolate-covered cherries with the assurance that each will be exactly 
what you expect: no Crunchy Frog or Spring Surprise here.  I started 
with the Quicks, and have only lately dipped into the other two names.

    The Castles are proving quite interesting, because she's coming at 
the genre-blending problem from the other side of the fence as I do  Her 
first futuristic, _Amaryllis_, from 1996, had some wince-worthy moments 
in the world-building that could easily have been corrected by an editor 
with an ear for the SF genre, which she obviously didn't have, and some 
nice stuff with the paranormal-telepathy bits and their social 
implications that worked rather better.  I then jumped to another much 
later fling, 2002's _After Dark_ -- the world-building here was much 
better, which suggests the writer is learning from someone, visibly and 
rapidly.  This is encouraging.

    I suspect because of the speed at which she writes, the sort of 
self-teaching I do in a single volume gets spread over several; one can 
see her trying out her ideas in several evolving variations over several 
books, as if each were a first draft for the next.

    Ta, L.






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