Daniel O'Malley is the author of The Rook and the newly released Stiletto.
From his Q & A with Joel Cunningham for the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog:
One thing I appreciated about the first book was the immense care you put into building out the world and its history, its structures and organizations, even its bureaucratic red tape. How did you get about developing all of that, and how much of it actually makes it onto the page?Visit Daniel O'Malley's website and blog.
I don’t start out with a fully mapped world. It’s always about answering the questions that occur to me. And every answer always leads to more questions. If this woman knew she was going to lose her memories, then how did she know? And why would she believe that? If there are supernatural government officials running around dealing with secret threats, where do they come from? How do they get identified? If they’re inhuman, where do they live? Where do they get buried? Where do they work? And who pays for all the therapy they’d need?
Once I knew that I was going to have a secret Government department, I knew that I’d need some organizational structure (that’s Government Department 101, you’ve got to have an org chart), but it’s very much about broad strokes, and filling in the detail as it comes up. So, for me it’s a combination of plotting and flying by the seat of my pants.
I write a lot of material in my first draft, it’s very much a vomiting on the page of all my ideas. Then I leave it to fester for a while, and come back and see what works. I prune, I polish, I prune, I polish, and I send it off to my editor, who gently points out that there’s still a good deal of polishing and pruning to be done. I also like to go off on tangents, to give little side stories that might not be immediately relevant to the main story, but help illustrate a theme or an aspect of the world. Sometimes those get cut, sometimes they turn out to be...[read on]
Coffee with a Canine: Dan O’Malley and Sally.
Writers Read: Daniel O'Malley (April 2012).
The Page 69 Test: The Rook.