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A Bilingual Interview

March 22, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Wow.  I let another 2 weeks pass without updating the blog.  Gosh, you'd never know I have books coming out this year given the AWESOME job I'm doing with the self-promotion.  I am setting the internet on fire with my mind-blowing promotion skills…

Luckily for me, I have extremely kind and diligent readers willing to take up the slack on my behalf!  (I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's better to be lucky than good.)   Which leads to the coolest interview I've done online, at the French website

Earlier this month, I had a long-ranging email conversation with reader and all-around good soul Mehdi, who very kindly (and with superhuman patience) translated my answers into French.  (Had I given some thought to how much work I was making, I would have pared my answers down a bit…  No good deed goes unpunished, right?)

You can read my original (and somewhat inarticulate) answers in English here, or, if you'd like to pretend I'm classy and elegant, you can read the French translation here.

(I studied Spanish as my foreign language.  Aside from eavesdropping on the occasional conversation in the grocery store and barber shop, I'm holding out hope that I'll get more use of it one of these days.)

Thanks, Mehdi!


Tim Keating March 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm
I just finished the audiobook version of The Coldest War. Trust me, you've already done the best possible thing to promote your work: written an excellent, excellent series.
charliegreenberry March 23, 2012 at 8:51 am
Very cool. Now you just need to translate all your books into French. That's likely no big deal. I'm sure it's very easy. See you at the Williamson Lectureship.
Steve Halter March 23, 2012 at 8:59 am
That was a really good interview Ian. I had suspected that there had to be quite a lot of pre-planning going into the Triptych. Gretel pretty much requires that. I liked your observation that waiting for the right time results in no writing getting done--I've had the same sort of thought process? experience?, ... Anyway, "just do it" works for more than shoes and I'm pleased that it's working for you.
Ian March 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm
Tim: Thank you! I appreciate the encouragement, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. (Glad it wasn't a disappointment after the long wait...) CharlieGB: I could probably just run the manuscripts through BabelFish... See you in Portales. Steve: "Just do it" does have its uses!
Mehdi March 24, 2012 at 3:35 am
Hi Ian, You're welcome, I repeat : it's been a real pleasure, and I agree with Tim, your mind-blowing promotion skills are nothing compared to your skills as a writer! One of my co-witer on Unwalkers can't understand why a french publisher didn't buy your books, and he is almost ready to take the plunge in publishing for Bitter seeds^^ I'm still listenning the audio version, I just finished the first part, I take my time, and now I know that it was the story you wanted to tell when you had the idea of Milkweed in the beginning, I'll listen to it in a different way.
Ian March 24, 2012 at 11:42 am
I'm just grateful to have enthusiastic readers, however my books manage to get to them! :-) If I had written the standalone-version of the story, The Coldest War would have been a fair bit different. But I'm just really intrigued by the story of a guy called out of retirement, dragged back into a world he thought he'd escaped. It's a common story trope... In the very very early days of thinking about that book, I had envisioned it as more of a riff on the story of Cincinnatus. I managed to keep a tiny part of that. Which is why I have Marsh working in a garden in that short scene at the end of Chapter 3.
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