Darksong Launch Interview

OBERNEWTYN. NET EXCLUSIVE!

We caught up with Isobelle at the launch of her new book "Darksong", the 2nd book in the Legendsong Trilogy. The event was opened by Richard Harland, author of "Ferren and the Angel", and good friend of Isobelle's. It was held at Twofloorsup, a nightclub in Melbourne on the 20/10/2002.
Despite the large numbers of people there, Isobelle was kind enough to grant us this interview.... and we got some very surprising answers for you all!!


Q: When is the actual release date for the Sending?

A: I can't give you an answer to that, because I thought Darksong would be ready two years ago!!

Q: Have you started writing it yet?

A: This is my next big project, I've got lots and lots of notes!! So it will come soon... that's the best I can tell you! But it won't be as long as Darksong, because I wrote the first draft for Darkfall and Darksong at the same time a long, long time ago. And it's not usually quite that long, this is a really long book, it's the biggest thing I've written!!

Q: Will the Sending be the last book?

A: Yes definitely!

Q: Anything planned for after the Sending?

A: I am definitely going to do a Beforetime Chronicles, and I'm thinking of building it around Cassandra, because there's three distinct portions of her life which would make a perfect trilogy. So I'm saving that for when I can't bear to finish the story - when I want to go back to it again, it will there. Otherwise I feel I wouldn't be able to finish it sometimes, like my whole life's connected to these books somehow!

Q: Could you tell us any hints about the Legendsong, or the Obernewtyn Chronicles?

A: I think you know some things.... Well I think you can imagine that there's some more that will happen with Matthew and Dragon, and I think you can probably guess that Dragon is strongly connected to the Red Queen's Land. But I think the end will still be a surprise! I don't think the book will disappoint you, as I am a romatic too! But remember she (Elspeth) has two final quests, to deal with the weaponmachines, and also to change the world for animals. Something has to happen, and that's probably something that people wouldn't necessarily expect....

Q: We know Elspeth is a character based on yourself, your life experiences etc. What other characters do you think are based on you or others that you know?

A: I think probably the Matthew character took a little bit from my brother Matthew, when he was younger. Elspeth I wouldn't say is really based on me, she's tougher than I am... strong, I think she's stronger than me - the me as I would like to be. Someone said to me she is a very tough, spiky character in the first book, and I think when I wrote that I was probably spiky and difficult too - you mellow as you get older and things get a lot better in life. So she has gone away from me, but I guess I'm still learning, like she's still learning. Her learning experiences in a way have paralleled mine, and sometimes I'm stunned to see where she leads me.

Q: What will the next book in The Legendsong Series be called? Will it be the last, and have you started writing it yet?

A: The last was also written in the very first draft I wrote, all when I was blocked with the Gathering. It was a terribly rough first draft!

The last book is called "Darkbane" , and it'll probably not be much smaller than Darksong. (approx 750 pages) There's already a lot written, because there was material I was going to use in Darksong, but I ended up re-arranging the way the books were being written, so it shifted. When I do get to it, it won't be a long process to finish it. Actually it's going to be a weird couple of years , because I will be finishing so many things. I always have this superstition I might die when I've finished!! So I think, I'd better just start another series!

Q: How have the books been received in the USA?

A: The covers are absolutely beautiful there and they are getting really good reveiews, but they just aren't selling very well at all and an author friend of mine said : You have to go! Only today I spoke to him, and I've finally decided 100% that I have to go for a month and really hit the circuit hard. It will probably be next year, otherwise I don't think they'll bring 'The Keeping Place' out there - I don't think the reaction will be good enough, so I have to go over there and really support it.

Q: Any plans to release The Legendsong there?

A: Yes, actually there's been negotiations for some time, I don't know what's happening yet..

Q: So should American fans expect that to come out?

A: It's under negotiation, TOR are looking at it, and I'd like them to publish it, that's another reason for going. But also Penguin have a new fantasy imprint called "Firebird" coming out, who also want to use that as it's first book. But I'd rather go with TOR, given the choice.

Q: Who's your favourite Obernewtyn Chronicles character?

A: I get asked that one a lot and I always think Who?!! Elspeth's too close, she's the obvious person, but somehow not.... I like Dragon a lot... Rushton's the romantic interest and I'm female, so he can't be the person I would go with!! .... ummm, the cat (Maruman) of course... maybe one of the animals.. between Galtha and Maruman, it would have to be them mostly. I hate naming them, I feel like I'm betraying all the others, and they'll know and be hurt!!

Q: Is Dameon in love with Elspeth? (That's a question we get all the time! We have big arguments about that!)

A: Yes.. he is.. Yes, he's been in love with her always.. and I guess you discover it pretty decisively in the next book, well in the last book everything's discovered, basically.
And also the character of Gilbert comes back in the next book too.... I like him a lot!

Q (Anna): Does Matthew love Elspeth?

A: No, no, he isn't IN love with her..

Q: The Gathering movie, there's been whispers about, but it's never come about..

A: I didn't say it for a while because I was too devastated by it, but they decided not to go ahead with it. When it was originally offered, there were about 9 different offers, so the publishers are now just going to see whether those are still an option. I'd actually really like them to offer it in New Zealand, but they haven't done that yet, and hopefully that's what they are doing now.. so with a bit of luck..

Q: There were also whispers of an Obernewtyn movie in Canada?

A: I get a letter from time to time, from a company that is trying to get set up to do it... There's also a puppet show of one of my stories, 'The Red Shoes', which will be on at some point, that they are putting together at the moment... They are also going to be making a short film out of one of the stories in Green Monkey Dreams.... so there's lots of alternative projects around... The Lord of the Rings people haven't contacted me yet! I love that film! ... Oh, the film is going to be of 'The Phoenix', which I don't know how they are going to do!!

Q: Another popular question would be, If the Lord of the Rings people contacted you, which stars would you get to play the characters?

A: You know, I would ring up and ask you! I would go online and I would ask! And you have to let them know, I do log in from time to time, though I don't necessarily say that I'm there, just to see what happening, to hear the goss!

Q (Blindmouse or Leonie?): Who's the artist that did this cover? (Darkfall hardback edition)

A: Well the woman who did the paintings is actually an American artist, that I saw years ago. Penguin actually showed me this painting, they just used one of her paintings to show me a possible cover, and I said, I really like it, let's find her... The painting is called "The Last Supper" , and I'm hoping the second half of the painting will be the third book, but that's yet to be decided - there's always a tussle over the covers. But I think these covers are beautiful!! And if anyone online wants to have an original copy, I'm happy to sell it quite cheaply to them because they just look so nice together (Darkfall and Darksong) with this cover! So anyway I bought 4 huge boxes of them for the book launch so I could sell the two together which I did today!


Thank-you to Isobelle for taking the time out to speak to us on such a busy day!
And also to Shannon who asked the questions while I supervised -- Viv



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