About Firebrand

Why isn’t there more about the ingenii?

Good question. Mostly because I was tiptoeing around the logistics of meshing my worldbuilding with what Charlotte Bronte had already done in the 1830s, and also because writing about colonialism is fraught with possibilities for getting it very wrong indeed.

Is Isabel going to marry Zashera?

I think he would have a long way to go before he measured up to the late Mr. Almeric Agar. She’d probably prefer becoming the first female member of the Imperial Parliament instead.

Will there be a sequel?

I might write Viery Smith’s book one day, but there are several other projects I’m planning to get to first.

I was expecting romance and this was fantasy! / I was expecting fantasy and this was romance!

Yeah, sorry about that.

About the Requite Books

Are The Maker’s Mask and The Hawkwood War stand-alones, or a series, or what?

They’re more like two halves of the same book. It got big enough to be unwieldy, so I split it in half.

Are there going to be more Requite books?

If I manage to finish one. I’m a slow polisher, so don’t hold your breath. I have plans and some notes for a book set before The Maker’s Mask which will probably surface at some point. Then again, I have plans and notes for a lot of projects. Which one will end up being the next book is anyone’s guess.

Are The Maker’s Mask, The Hawkwood War and Heavy Ice a trilogy?

No. The Maker’s Mask and The Hawkwood War started life as one long book, and make more sense if read together, but Heavy Ice takes place two hundred years down the line with a different cast of characters and some of it’s set on another planet.

Is it better for you if I buy the book from Lulu, or from Amazon?

I honestly don’t mind – I get more money on the Lulu sales and more Amazon rankings on the Amazon sales, so do what’s easiest for you. Also, I am not one of those writers who gets up in arms about people buying her books second hand. Obviously I would like it if I got some money, but I love second-hand books and have made some of the happiest discoveries of my life in second-hand bookshops, and besides, dictating to people that they can’t sell on something they’ve bought is about as silly as decreeing that no one who buys any of my books is allowed to ever crease the spine.

Lulu and Amazon both charge ridiculous shipping charges to my country. What should I do?

HELLO NEW ZEALAND. Ahem. I’ve heard good things about the Book Depository. Other than that, please accept my apologies.

How do you pronounce the names in the books?

Any way you like. The characters are fictional, it’s not like they have feelings to hurt. A lot of them have real-world names anyway, because their ancestors come from Earth, and a couple of them have names that gamers might recognise, because I am a big Final Fantasy geek.

Is Numair named after the character in Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books?

No. I’ve never read those books – I got the name out of a baby name book. I have a lot of baby name books and I buy new ones whenever I see them. Amazon thinks I’ve been pregnant since 2001.

What languages are Yaziik and Illingua based on?

Yaziik started out as a spaceport-creole that was mostly derived from Russian, and is named after the word for ‘language’ in Russian. Illingua is partly Italian and partly Bahasa Malaysia, and has been through a lot of linguistic drift.

Why did you decide to refer to the epicons as ‘it’ in the first two Requite books?

Because it was the first book I’d tried shipping around agents, and I thought I’d better do what Lois McMaster Bujold did. I’m aware it’s a not-very-good compromise, and I’m honestly sorry to anyone I’ve upset or offended.

Why did you decide to refer to the epicons as ‘they’ in Heavy Ice?

Because referring to people as ‘it’ was feeling uncomfortably depersonalising, particularly considering the crap that real-life genderfluid and genderqueer people have to put up with.

About Me

So, how did all of this begin?

When I was about seven, I wrote a story that was fourteen pages long. The rest of my class were… well, not so much awed as confirmed in their conviction that I was an insufferable know-all. I can’t remember at all what it was about, except that I think there was a space battle involved. Looking back on it, two things were already clear when I was seven: I was going to write science fiction, and I was never going to be known for my ability to write short stories.

Fast forward a few years. I wrote a novel about roleplayers, which was dreadful, and upwards of 250 000 words of a high fantasy novel, which was, I think, less dreadful, but suffered from utter lack of plot, and eventually I wrote and finished a novel, slightly to my own surprise. And lo, it was long, and therefore it was nicknamed the Digital Doorstop.

I hawked it round agents, who said ‘No thanks’, or ‘Really, no thanks’ or ‘We liked it but it’s not for us’, and eventually after noticing that several kickass friends had published on Lulu I decided to give it a go myself.

Why didn’t you even try to get the books published commercially?

Believe me, I tried.

I’ve had some feelers put out since, but I really don’t want to sign over the rights to Requite. We’ll see how things turn out in the future, but for the projects I’m working on at present, I’m very happy with the flexibility and control self-publishing offers me.

What is your policy on fanfiction?

Go ahead! As long as you’re not passing my writing off as yours or trying to make money out of it, you are absolutely welcome to write fanfic based on my writing. Please don’t send it to me, though, because I like to keep my own head-canon separate from other people’s. Thank you!

I’m also completely fine with anyone using the Requite setting in a tabletop game or LARP and adapting it as they see fit. 🙂

Why the pseudonym?

Firstly, because both my given name and my surname are hard to pronounce and don’t use the most common spelling, and secondly in the hope that when I get bad reviews, I’ll find it easier to take them on board constructively if they aren’t addressed to me under my given name, because it won’t feel as personal. This will probably turn out to be quite untrue, but we’ll see. And obviously I realise that it’s a gift for a self-published book to get any reviews at all!

What can I do to help you take over the world, Ankaret?

Write me an honest review somewhere. You will have my eternal gratitude.

What do you do when you’re not writing or blogging?

I love to read, dance, do yoga, tease my cat and play and run roleplaying games. I also enjoy making my own clothes, and I spend too much time playing The Sims 3.

About The Blog

You censored my comment!

Er, possibly. I don’t check the spam filter as often as I might, so if you dropped me a non-spammy comment and think the spam filter ate it, feel free to let me know. It seems particularly prone to catching comments involving a lot of links, for obvious reasons. Also, it sometimes takes me some time to approve first comments from new commenters – once your first comment’s been approved, your comments should be auto-approved in future.

On the other hand, it’s possible that I did censor your comment. This blog is not a democracy. If in my opinion your comment is spammy, hateful or just generally annoying, I probably won’t approve it. I maintain this blog in my free time: it isn’t my job, and I don’t have to engage with spammy hateful annoying people.

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