Please welcome Marianne de Pierres back to the blog as part of the Peacemaker tour! I loved this book, and Marianne was kind enough to answer a few of my questions. Also, courtesy of the lovely folks at Angry Robot, I’ve got one copy of PEACEMAKER to give away to one lucky winner (US only)!
Marianne, I really enjoyed Peacemaker! Will you tell us more about Virgin Jackson and Peacemaker, and what inspired you to write it?
Thank you so much! The character has been in my head ever since I wrote a short story with her in it over ten years ago. It was just a matter of getting the worldview right. It hit me as a bit of a thunderbolt a while back when I was ready to start a fresh project. I re-read the short story and realized my vision of the world and Virgin Jackson’s journey had changed. You can read about the story behind the story over here.
Peacemaker is set in a future Australia. Did you have a specific future in mind, or did you leave it vague intentionally?
When I wrote my very first series (the Parrish Plessis series), I found it interesting that most people interpreted the setting as a post-apocalyptic world when in fact that was never my intention. Their reaction really did highlight to me how much the reader brings to any text. Since then I’ve never been too concerned about interpretation. The future I have in mind in Peacemaker might not be the kind of future that the reader wants to take away from it. If someone wants to read and enjoy my work then I’m happy for them to draw their own conclusions. As the author, though, I saw it as a future scenario where Australia’s population has increased exponentially because of a change in immigration and refugee policies.
I love the idea of mixing mystical elements with SF touches. What kind of research did you do for the book?
I did a lot of refresher research on the Old West – fiction and non-fiction. I grew up on Westerns, so I wanted to make sure I remembered the cowboy dialect correctly (Nate slips in and out of it all the time). I also did a lot of reading and thinking about mythology – the role it plays in human social architecture. That led me on a cruise through all kinds of myths. Also, I don’t know a lot about the Romani culture, so it is wonderful researching that. Then I focused on more minor aspects of the novel like weaponry. It’s one of the things I love most about writing –the license to go and read interesting things in the name of research.
Do you have a plan for how many books you’d like to write in the series, or will you just see where the narrative takes you?
Well, I know there will definitely be a sequel. After that, I’m not sure. I feel the story has a fair bit of scope, so we’ll have to see how it goes!
What did you enjoy most about writing Peacemaker?
Stetsons and Akubras! The mashed-up world was a bucket load of fun, but so were the characters. Hamish (secondary character) made me laugh a lot. And I also got to spend time indulging my love of the Australian landscape. In fact, I don’t think there was anything about this novel that I didn’t enjoy!
Worldbuilding is pretty important in SFF. What are a few of your favorite literary “worlds”?
Oh dear, where to start? So many! How about I list some?
*Heritage (Charles Sheffield)
*Hegemony – Hyperion
*Zones of Thought
*Wormhole Nexus – Vorkosigan
Have you read any good books recently? Are there any that you’re looking forward to this year?
Hmmm… my reading is all over the shop at the moment. I’m reading fiction and non-fiction all the time: cookbooks, manuals, crime novels, contemporary fic, SF and YA. Funnily enough, the book I’m most looking forward to is a re-release of a 1940’s Australia female crime writer. Check this out! http://www.versechorus.com/Murder-in-the-Telephone-Exchange.html
What’s next for you (and Virgin!)?
Book 2 needs to be handed in by December and I’m working on that now. The supernatural aspect of the story develops further in DEALBREAKER, which I hope will be interesting to readers. Virgin runs into Heart Williams again, but this time he’s in a different guise. And Nate and Virgin begin to get to know each other better. This has its ups and downs! All the while, the Mythos grows in strength.
2.) Giveaway is for 1 copy of PEACEMAKER by Marianne de Pierres to 1 winner
3.) Giveaway is open to all those with US mailing addresses (please enter your mailing address into the Rafflecopter widget)
4.) You must enter on or before 5/8/14
5.) Giveaway book courtesy of Angry Robot Books
6.) Please see my Giveaway Policy.
When an imaginary animal from her troubled teenage years reappears, Virgin takes it to mean one of two things: a breakdown (hers!) or a warning. When the dead bodies start piling up around her and Nate, she decides on the latter. Something terrible is about to happen in the park and Virgin and her new partner are standing in its path…
Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park – the world’s last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity. She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the company is holding something back from her, and she’s not keen on working with an outsider like Nate Sixkiller.