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Interview

Supanova fantasy and crime writers

Readersvoice.com aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. This issue features reading suggestions from writers at the Brisbane Supanova. This comic-con style event is a must for anyone wanting to learn from professionals about writing, art work, acting or anything else, regardless of whether they are interested in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. There is also a story on a meticulously researched Brisbane local history book, Prawn Trawlers of Cabbage Tree Creek, 1952-2014.

As if seeing Barbara Eden and Barbara Feldon wasn’t enough, I also saw good talks by some professional writers and animators at Supanova Brisbane recently.
Some writers of fantasy and crime made some interesting points about the reader’s relationship to characters. They said you can create a protagonist who appears evil, and might be evil, but after a while the reader can be told the reasons why a character acts that way. So the reader might start liking the character. Or the character might change.
Sometimes evil characters were likable simply because they “brought the story with them”. When they showed up, something interesting happened. They also said that an evil character might still be likable to a reader if the evil character is living according to some code. And sometimes evil characters were likable if they helped the protagonist.
They said George R. R. Martin used false protagonists: The story would start following one character and readers think it’s all about this character. They predict the character arc,anticipating how the character will turn out. So the impact is greater when the character is killed.
C S Pacat wrote The Captive Prince. She liked Dorothy Dunnett, particularly the Lymond Chronicles, which was a series of six historical novels.
Sarah J Maas is a New York author who wrote Throne of Glass. She liked Troubled Waters and Archangel by Sharon Shinn.
Trudy Canavan is the author of The Black Magician trilogy and Age of the Five. She liked Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea trilogy.
Crime fiction author Melanie Casey is the author of Hindsight, Craven and her latest book Missing. She liked Jeffrey Deaver.
The talks at Supanova are informative, based on professional experience, and all you have to do to ask a question is raise your hand. The best thing about these comic-con style events is that the writers and artists don’t have to wait to be invited; nor do they have to apply to appear, as though for a job. They can just hire a table and show their wares in the market place. Patrons can see the best work by the best writers and artists. With the convention-style system, there’s less chance visitors would have to settle for seeing writers and artists from one end of the political spectrum only, for example. See the following page for some reading tips from some animators and a publisher of bizarro humor fiction.

– copyright Simon Sandall
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