Quick Three Interview: Mary Robinette Kowal on Shades of Milk and Honey

Jeff VanderMeer on September 14, 2010
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Sometimes you just want the straight scoop, delivered succinctly. Thus, the Quick Three Interviews, starting with...

Who: Mary Robinette Kowal was the 2008 recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and a Hugo Award nominee for her story "Evil Robot Monkey." She is an avid and talented puppeteer.

What: In Kowal's first novel, Shades of Milk and Honey, we get exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill.

Who Said What: The Romantic Times writes, “Written with painstaking attention to detail, Kowal’s prose is serenely evocative of the time period, and the fantastic elements are a seamless fit. Give this one a try!”

The Essential Questions:

If your novel were a meal, what would it be?

My novel would be a light afternoon snack of fresh strawberries, a sharp country cheddar, and a loaf of bread baked in a brick oven that morning. It would be eaten under the shade of an oak tree, while lying with your head in the lap of your beloved. You might open a bottle of champagne and let the bubbles tickle your nose.

If your novel were a piece of music, who would have composed it?

Ludwig van Beethoven would have written this for solo piano. It would be a variation on a theme and the movements would seem both familiar and new.

If your novel were an animal, what animal would it be?

I believe it would be a Roe deer, which tend to be smaller than other deer and somewhat shy. It is found in England and prefers secluded habitats.

    Shades


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