Today, fellow name-nerd and note enthusiast, Cate Tiernan stops by as part of her five-stop blog tour for Darkness Falls!
GC: Your Immortals aren't quite like other supernatural beings in YA today (and there are so many of them walking about.) The Immortals seem to be surprisingly normal, except for the ways in which having a longer life has molded them. What mythologies, or legends, did you draw from to create your 'Immortals?'
CT: Hmm . . . thinking . . . I don't know if I drew from any mythologies or legends, per se--I think I was somewhat influenced by the Highlander view of immortals. And there was one Star Trek episode (Requiem for Methuselah) . . .
GC: The aspect of the novel I love most (name-nerd moment is nigh) are the number of names Nastasya goes through. I would love to know your process for choosing her new names and if they impact her story, at all.
CT: Thank you! It was a bit of a chore to come up with all her names and lives! Pretty early on, I created a master list of most of her names, and figured out when and where she would have lived and what her profession would have been. For the first century, I had her living mostly in the Scandinavian countries, because travel was much more difficult back then, especially for a woman. So she didn't venture too far from home. Then I had her branch out into other countries. I don't know if I ever put it in the books, but in my mind, her name and where she lived would have strongly influenced her personality at the time. In the last century, as travel became easier and easier, she moved around much more, but usually kept the same name for about ten years at a time. For names older than about a hundred years ago, I did research--finding city records of Italy in the 1700s, and tallies of landowners in Iceland in the 1500s. It was fascinating. I love names.
GC: Keeping one lifetime in line for a few characters has enough challenges for me, I would love to know how you keep all of Natasya's (not to mention all the other character's) lives straight. Do you have a proper system, or are you a sticky-note girl like myself?
CT: I would have drowned under sticky-notes for this trilogy! No, I keep a master list, a bible, as I write, much like a copy editor does. It isn't as complete as I would like--but I keep track of anyone mentioned and any details about them, places mentioned, horse and dog names. In some cases I draw little maps to show how a town is laid out, or a house, so I can describe it consistently and have people moving about in reasonable ways. I do mess up sometimes and change someone's eye color, or a town's name. Which is when I'm happy we have copy editors. The bible I have for Immortal Beloved isn't too bad, but the bible I kept for Sweep is almost two inches thick.
GC: What do you think of your new covers? I flipped over sideways when I saw them (the vantage point helped me to see the cool of the covers in their entirety.) Did you have any input in the new look?
CT: I think the new covers are very fresh, very modern, and very eye-catching. I had a bit of input, but then took myself out of the process, trusting the editor and art designer to do their jobs, so I could focus on my job. Which does not include expertise in art direction!
GC: If you were an immortal, and had all the time in the world, where would be your top five live-in destinations?
CT: Ooh. Different cities during their golden periods--it's hard to limit it to just five! Paris, London, New York. Tahiti or Hawaii. (I'm counting those two as one.) Um, um, um . . . Rome. That was hard.
GC: Thanks for stopping by, Cate!
CT: Thank you for these interesting questions! They were fun.