How did you create the world Mistwood takes place?
The world-building for Mistwood came after most of the story was
already written. My first finished draft took place mostly in an
embarrassingly featureless, generic castle. In order to flesh out the
surroundings, I first read up on medieval and Renaissance castles,
then searched for books about castles that had lots of pictures and
diagrams. Finally, in 2004, I went to a wedding in Israel and
arranged to stop over in London for a few days on the way back. I
spent those days wandering around castles and scribbling in notebooks.
I visited Dover Castle, Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace, and
a handful of others; bits and pieces of all of them (but Hampton Court
Palace especially) made their way into the final draft.
It was only during the revision process with my editor that I fully
fleshed out the larger politics of Samorna, the layout of the capital
city, and the broader world around it.
How long did it take you to write Mistwood?
Seven years… but that’s a deceptive number, because I wrote
a lot of
other things during that time. During those seven years I finished an
older book, started a new book, completely revised a different
manuscript at an editor’s request, and wrote and sold several short
stories. I tend to work on a number of projects at once, so that when
I’m blocked on one I just jump to another. Also, I started Mistwood
during my last year of law school, and then spent almost two years
working at a large law firm, which was a 12-hour-plus day job. During
those two years, I pretty much only had time to write during my
If you were the shifter, what would be your animal of choice to shift into?
A bird! I would love to be able to fly. (Not the airplane kind of
flying, which I hate.)
Did you have a favorite character to write in Mistwood?
That would have to be a tie between Isabel and Clarisse. Isabel is my
favorite character overall, but Clarisse was a lot of fun to write.
What made you decide to write high fantasy?
It’s what I love to read. A lot of my favorite books — by David
Eddings, Dave Duncan, Juliet Marillier, Megan Whalen Turner — are
What is next for you? Do you have any future plans for another novel
in the world of Mistwood?
I do indeed, and it’s currently scheduled to be published in 2011!