Thursday, October 26, 2006


Yes, I know. Long time gone.

Surrey was amazing as always, but it does run me to the ragged point of exhaustion, and I always need several days to recover, let alone catch up. It's worth it.

Some random Surrey highlights:

-My favorite workshop was the historical panel, with Jack Whyte, Diana Gabaldon, Anne Perry, Mary Balogh, and Bernard Cornwell. I LOVED when they went down the line, each affirming that we should only put words in historical character's mouths that they actually said, and Bernard (last) said "Fuck that. Do what you want." {snort} I also loved seeing Anne's face when Bernard said that the Victorians were boring and he didn't see how anybody could write about them. But beyond these, there was just so much valuable information in this panel for me; I sucked it right up.

--Hanging out with Jay Clarke/Michael Slade in the lounge until 1 AM
or so, drinking Sambuca, was pretty cool too--he's a great
storyteller. And he listened to all of our stories too.

--I liked Don Maass's talk, and Diana's. Oh, and Jack's. And Anne Perry and Michael Slade. I think all the workshops I attended were excellent this year.

--My meeting with the agent went well; she was very fun and interesting, so I enjoyed just talking to her.

--I stiffed Jenny Crusie on the blue pencil--I messed up the time. {sigh}

--But best (best, best) of all was hanging out with my friends. Good God, these chicks are amazing. I'm already looking forward to next year!

Medieval Word of the Day: sweerness: Indolence, laziness, sloth.


Julie said...

Welcome back! Glad you had fun!

Robin L said...

"I LOVED when they went down the line, each affirming that we should only put words in historical character's mouths that they actually said, and Bernard (last) said "Fuck that. Do what you want."

Huh. That's very interesting that they would all say that, except for Bernard. I DO love his response. But it does make me wonder.

Take The Other Boleyn Girl, for example. THere are tons of historical figures in that book and I can't imagine there is record of all of them saying what they say in the book. Perhaps there is a record of them believing that or doing something, but not the actual words that they say. I always thought that rule was for historical biographies. So yeah, I'm totally liking Bernard's response. Especially because for some historical figures, there simple isn't any record of what they might have said. Also, that's pretty much why it's called fiction.

And welcome back! Too bad on the stiffing Crusie. She's great and would have had interesting stuff to say. (What is a blue pencil, anyway??)

Robin L

Susan Adrian said...


A Blue Pencil is a 15-minute meeting with a published author, where they read 3 pages of your stuff and give you their comments. It's usually very helpful. I had Anne Perry last year, and loved her comments. :)

I finally realized during the panel that except for Bernard, all the other authors only dealt with historical figures peripherally; their main characters were fictional. So they could reasonably have walk-on historical characters who only said or did what was recorded. Bernard, however, has real historical characters as main characters, which is what I'm doing with Book 2. When that's the case (as with The Other Boleyn Girl) you HAVE to make stuff up, or you'd just be writing a history text.

Bernard also said "You're not a historian. You're a storyteller." I kept leaning over to the person next to me and saying "Yes! I SO agree with him!"

Susan Adrian said...

Thanks, Julie! It was awesome. It always is!

Cindy said...

Sounds like a great time, did you hack and cough your way through? Feeling better now?

"You're not a historian. You're a storyteller." - Oooh. That's my big thing.

Funny you should mention Mary Balough, I just found her last month.

Anyway, I'm glad it was good!

Gabriele C. said...

You gotta love Bernard Cornwell. :)

His characters are very much alive, even if they say things no chronicler recorded. Not to mention chronicles and other sources are usually biased and put words in the mouths of historical people they never have said (Caradoc's big speech about Roman corruption in Tacitus' Agricola, fe.).

And no wonder he finds the Victorians boring, there weren't any good battles going on. Me, I love me some good battles. *grin*

Jenny said...

That panel was one of the things I was looking forward to the most. I hate that I had to miss it! You wouldn't happen to have any notes in a form that would be easy to share, would you? *wink, grin*

I love the "Historian...Storyteller" quote. I'm struggling with that right now. There're so many historical people/events/locations in my book, that I have to realize I can make something up (a Great House or town, for example) if I need one and can't find what I'm looking for in the history.

And for Cindy - Mary Balogh is awesome. One of my favorite Regency authors. Check out her "Slightly" series. SLIGHTLY MARRIED is the best, I think, but you have to have read SLIGHTLY WICKED to get the full impact.

(My word verification is "ombye." Heh, sounds like how you'd get out of an awkward conversation: "Okay, om...bye!" Sorry, that was random. It's the caffeine...)