Sunday, November 1, 2020

K. Eason

K. Eason is a lecturer at the University of California, Irvine, where she and her composition students tackle important topics such as the zombie apocalypse, the humanity of cyborgs, and whether or not Beowulf is a good guy.

Eason's books include How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse and the newly released How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge.

My Q&A with the author:

How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

I do not enjoy coming up with titles. Sometimes they just...happen. Most of the time they do not, and my working titles don't survive. My agent and I collaborated to get How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge when the publisher rightfully nixed the working version. As a title, it does a lot of work--it links to How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse in obvious structural ways, but it also describes the flavor and trajectory of the story inside. This is a story of consequences, and what happens after you break things. This is about what happens when happily ever after isn't.

What's in a name?

Personal names in the Thorne Chronicles are pretty random. I'm typing along, I realize I have a character, I realize I need to name them, and I want to get that done fast so I don't break the writing flow (or open the web browser and get sucked into social media or the news or animal videos). Sometimes I co-opt the names of former students (Zhang!). Sometimes, as with Grytt, I wanted to indicate something about her personality, and I trust the readers to get the association despite the creative spelling.

How surprised would your teenage reader self be by your novel?

Not too much. In high school I was reading C.J. Cherryh's Alliance novels, anything William Gibson, the Dragonlance series, Heinlein, and pretty much whatever I could find on the Science Fiction and Fantasy shelves at the bookstore (because yes, that was before Amazon). She might be surprised at the genre mixing, because she definitely liked brighter lines between science fiction and fantasy, and I think she'd be surprised at the idea of arithmancy and math-magic (high school me did not mind math, but she did not find it magical, either).

Do you find it harder to write beginnings or endings? Which do you change more?

Revenge had a beginning from, well, the beginning. I knew that Thorsdottir would be boarding a derelict ship in an out-of-the-way system, and that the ship was not what it appeared to be, and that there are few things as creepy as an empty, dark ship that turns out not to be so empty. But the ending, now. That was a lot harder, and required a lot of not so much rewriting as fleshing out. I tend to end things abruptly, to the consternation of my agent and my editor.

What non-literary inspirations have influenced your writing?

Film, be it television or movies, helps me visualize a scene: imagining camera angles or jump cuts or close-ups, and then trying to replicate that in the prose. Also, of course, history and politics, and science as a way of thinking and figuring out the world (rather than a collection of facts), because although it is not concerned with "real" science, Revenge focuses a lot on characters trying to make sense of new technology and how that can possibly fit into the scientific paradigms they do understand.
Visit K. Eason's website.

The Page 69 Test: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse.

--Marshal Zeringue