I'm writing this Wednesday afternoon while at one of my volunteering positions so I can type it up later. Thus far the phones have not been ringing.
Tuesday night I saw Tamora Pierce at Anderson's Bookshop
in Naperville, IL. I was lucky enough to get off at 4pm. Matt drove me to the Metra stop so I could go downtown and catch another Metra from Chicago Union. I got a little lost walking from LaSalle St. Metra to Union Station in the dark and the rain. (My phone does not have a real-time updating GPS app/program.) The ticket line was long but I managed to catch the very full express BNSF to Naperville at 5:45pm. Of course I got lost again trying to find downtown Naperville. I walked a few blocks in the opposite direction before I figured it out. I got at Anderson's Bookshop at 6:50pm, about 10 minutes before the event's scheduled start. It was rather crowded. I was by myself so I got a free seat in the middle of a row of 5. Oh, sometimes there are advantages to being alone!
Tamora Pierce is so funny! I read both her personal
LiveJournals. I guess the humor never translated that fully. (Patrick Rothfuss is an author whose humor translated well into writing. I was at his signing earlier this year, too.) We had a Q&A before the signing. Some rather hilarious answers. Soemone asked who her characters were based off, if anybody. Both males and females. She said she based Roger, Duke of Conte, off a high school boyfriend.
"I killed him twice."
She also said two characters did not end up as how she original intended. One example is Alanna who was unhappy at how her (Alanna's) future was disposed. Tamora danced around names of Alanna's romantic interests because she wanted to be spoiler-free. After her dancing-around answer she got asked by another person in the audience who she met and another person in the audience hadn't read The Lionness Quartet
so Tamora told her to cover her ears. Tamora had intended Alanna to be with King Jon but being queen was a job, a diplomatic job, and Alanna highly lacked diplomacy. Tamora also talked about future works, both in the Tortall and Circle universes.
Someone also asked what made Tamora decide to write about sexuality. She said at previous readings several people came up to her and said when Kel tells Neal that in the Yamini Islands nobody cares who you sleep with (from The Protector of the Small
series), it meant a lot to them. They, apparently, were crying. They felt like she, Tamora Pierce, was saying that being LGBT was okay. Tamora herself felt that two lines wasn't okay and that she needed to "step up." She had always known that Daja was a lesbian (from the Circle
universe) and that Lark and Rosethorn were a couple - that
flew by me completely when I read the Circle
books, though I only read The Circle Opens
series once. But in the small manuscript sizes of the earlier books every word counted. In The Will of the Empress
she wanted to be open about Daja's sexuality but she didn't make it a big deal in the world just as it shouldn't be a big deal in our world. That exact question was percolating in my mind! I asked about parents' response. If anybody was completely fine with her strong female characters but aghast at the emergence of a lesbian character or a cross-dresser in the Beka
books. (I am biased in that I automatically think anybody who approves of "strong female characters" would not be against non-heterosexual sexuality.) She said she didn't get any negative responses about that. Just a few regarding sex appearing in the Alanna series
, that it appeared at all, and the violence in the Kel series. Tamora also mentioned getting kicked out of the room where one of her girls (she was a house mother) was pregnant and counting her contractions because Tamora was making her laugh and it threw off the count.( Rest of Q&A, hanging out with Kyle )
So a brief shower and hot soup, saline crackers and apple for lunch, then off to this volunteering position!