Friday, April 6, 2012

Maggie Answers the Easy Ones

I feel a little guilty because I solicited reader questions a few weeks ago with the full intention of immediately jumping on them. And then, instead, life jumped on ME, and began punching me about the face and neck until I cried "Uncle." And by crying "Uncle," I mean that I last night I finally turned in the first draft of REQUIEM (the third and final faerie book) to my crit partners (Although now I wonder about the title REQUIEM. Maybe SO SING THE DEAD would be sexier.). And then I realized that I hadn't, in fact, answered a single question, and that was what was keeping me up nights (also saying "REQUIEM?" "SO SING THE DEAD?" "REQUIEM?" "SO SING THE DEAD"?)

But no more of this obfuscation! I got many deep and important writing questions from readers. But those are not the ones I'm going to answer today. No, in three hours I'm headed to the studio to work on the music for the RAVEN BOYS trailer, and I would like to keep my brain soft and tapioca-like until then. So I'm going to answer a bunch of the easy questions instead. Here goes.

Where did you get your satchel? I've been looking for one that expands, and yours appears to do so very well.

Book signing in HungaryI'm not certain where Reader saw my Giant Leather Bag. In person it's easy to spot on me, as I always have it, but online I think maybe . . . in the first four seconds of this video? In this photo? It is delightful and old and I think from the 1950s. Which is not where I got it from, lest you think I have a Tardis (I traded that for my Camaro). I got it from

Will you be returning to Australia after releasing the Raven Boys?

I don't know when I'll be in Australia next, but I know I will, one day, come back. It was awesome, as Australians already know. Right now I'm trying to keep my international travel in 2012 to a dull roar since I'm juggling about 14 creative projects that I want to get out into the world.

I know that all fan mail to you is sent to Scholastic, but do you ever get to see it? It wouldn't be an inconvenience on you, would it?

For the record, the politeness and kindness in the way this question was worded warmed the cockles of my black heart, so thank you for that. And yes, I do see it. It goes to Scholastic where they put it, unopened, in giant envelopes with other fan mail, and then they send the lot to me. They seem to be quite efficient at it, judging from the dates of the letters that arrive daily (thanks for that, guys!). I, however, am NOT efficient in replying, mostly because I insist on replying to all hand-written letters with a fellow hand-written or anciently type-written letter, which takes me a long time. And then I am notoriously bad about putting the replies into the return addresses if an SASE wasn't included. For instance, right now, I can look at my Sharpie Printer and see that there are 12 letters that I replied to ONE MONTH ago that I have not had the time to address envelopes for. So I do reply to them all. But it takes me a glacial time.

Can you give us any further information on Requiem? Even just a few words?

You mean SO SING THE DEAD. Or maybe REQUIEM. Or maybe SO SING THE DEAD. Well. Apart from the fact that the first two words of the current manuscript are "Luke" and "Dillon," what else can I say? Just that it follows Dee and James in their final adventure, and that it's slated to come out in 2013 but I don't know which season at the moment. Sorry.

What time period was SCORPIO RACES set in? Sometimes it seems modern, often not so much. Maybe it is just set in an alternate universe.

I see people describing SCORPIO as dystopic, and it really, really isn't. It's not sent in future where killer horses bust out of the sea. It's set in an alternate history where the only thing that is different is killer horses that bust out of the sea in one tiny part of the world. I have an actual time frame for when I believe it takes place, and I put some clues in the book to that effect (like the cars), but I'm not going to tell you. Yes, I'm playing the enigmatic author card. I hear it's all the rage.

How many email address/ online profiles do you have? Okay, that came out sounding a bit stalkerish, but honestly, do you have specific public address and then 'friend only' email for personal life?

Rule of thumb: if you say the word 'stalker,' you probably aren't one. Also, I have three e-mail addresses, but they all funnel into one inbox. I have it set up so they tidily shuffle themselves into about 25 different folders labeled things like "family" and "blog" and "twitter" and "reader mail" and "scholastic." It took me an entire year to realize that if I did the sorting after they came in, I went insane. I couldn't look at 4,000 emails a month without deciding I was running away from the civilized world and never coming back. I don't have multiple profiles on social networks, though. I consider all of them public. I tried having a private Facebook, but I never used it. I do really like having the multiple email addresses, though.

How many instruments do you play? And what are they?

I play six, but like foreign languages, I speak some better than others. They're the piano, highland bagpipes, tin whistle, harp, bodhran, and guitar. Is that six? Most of them are on my youtube channel in one form or another.

Where do you live in Virginia; my English teacher wanted to know?

I am currently living on the east side, but in two months I am moving to the west side. The east side has more caffeine but fewer mountains. The west side, where I was born, has more mountains but fewer teeth. It's a trade-off.

What happened in the end of Forever?

I'm not going to say anything I didn't already say here: (Click on “replay” and it will show you the archived chat).

Not really a question, but would love, love, love to see a post with your Scorpio Races playlist.

It's on the new website here! This is my sort of music. Well, I mean, it all is. But this is more me than usual.

Do the people in THE SCORPIO RACES go to school? They never seem to go to school!

Like a lot of farming communities in Ye Olde Days, school in Thisby is secondary to scraping out a living, is very seasonal, is often done by parents, and is also done at age 16. There is no University of Skarmouth where you can major in Homicidal Horse Husbandry with a minor in Terse Expressions (though if there was, Sean Kendrick would be teaching.) So Sean and Puck are already well past school-age. Leaving them all their time to do productive things like risk their lives on dangerous animals and make questionable decisions.

When was the last time you Googled yourself?

Just now. The first hit in the past 24 hours, according to Google, is, which is seems so unfair, as it is MY site. Well, the site I have with Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff, but still. Google, I already know that exists. You FAIL! no cookie for you.


Nina Reads said...

So Sing the Dead is beautiful!!:) And there's Lauren Oliver's Requiem coming out next year as well, so SStD is more unique (even if that abbreviation is only one S away from being nasty).

It was great meeting you at the CO Teen Lit Conf, hope we'll get to see you out here again some time:)

Creative A said...

"Just now. The first hit in the past 24 hours, according to Google, is, which is seems so unfair, as it is MY site. "

Oh my word. That was me. I'm not even joking. I just discovered the Merry Fates, and have been voraciously going back through the archives reading all the old stories...and, yeah. Last night? That was me.

I'll stop clogging your google search results now ;)


Anonymous said...

"Rule of thumb: if you say the word 'stalker,' you probably aren't one." ~ reason # 300 why I love reading your blog.

You should try Goodsearch... it comes up with different results than Google because google has this amazing way of storing your recent browsing history linked with your name. Also, goodsearch can donate money to places just for searching something.

Valen Steel said...

"So Sing The Dead" The title alone envokes chills. Can only imagine what the actual story will inspire.


Erika said...

I love the title "So Sing the Dead," but on the other hand, "Requiem" goes with the single word titles that you've set up for the series. Plus, the word "requiem" comes from Latin, a language that makes anything sound good. And so many beautiful songs come from Requiem Masses. Exhibit A: and Exhibit B:

It's your choice, but just to me, personally, the word "requiem" conjures up a lot of meaning. "So Sing the Dead," sounds so chilling, though! I see your quandary...

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Erika, as someone who had Palestrina singers at her wedding, I give you a delighted fist bump for those musical choices.

Pihel said...

"So sing the dead" is undeniably sexy and creepy-sounding, but I still vote for Requiem. I was blown away the first time I heard it as a possible title for the third book in the series because it sounds so natural as a continuation to Lament and Ballad - as in "of course the third book is "Requiem", how did I not realise it myself". It sounds grandiose and sad and chilly and makes a clear reference to the big part of music in the life of the characters. "So sing the dead" kind of seems smaller and cheeper in comparison.

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