TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Erin: Oh, I have a lot of writing quirks. I don’t write in order, I love adverbs, I write pages and pages that I never end up using. I listen compulsively to the same music over and over again while I write. I’m not sure if any of these are particularly interesting, but there you go.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers?
Erin: Margaret Atwood, Douglas Adams, Donna Tartt, Nick Bantock, Tom Stoppard, Dashiell Hammett, Jhumpa Lahiri, Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Tom Robbins, Diana Wynne Jones, Shakespeare.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Erin: Traditionally I’m a pantser but having gone through so many revisions I’ve become something of a hybrid, I still write free-form to come up with material but then I try to work within a structure.
TQ: Describe The Night Circus in 140 characters or less.
Erin: It's about a singular circus & a competition held within it. A tale of love & choices & the shades of grey between the black & white.
TQ: What inspired you to write The Night Circus?
Erin: The Night Circus actually began as a tangent in a different novel, since I was never much of a planner I got bored with what I was writing and sent all the characters to the circus. The circus was a lot more interesting than anything else in that novel so I focused on that instead, developing it first as a location and then building the story into it.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for The Night Circus?
Erin: I didn’t research much, I mostly took a love of the time period and an overactive imagination and made things up. I would occasionally check to make sure elements weren’t overly anachronistic but I didn’t bend over backwards to make it historically accurate. I was delighted to discover after the fact that Barnum & Bailey’s circus did at one point have acrobats perform in evening wear, I’d had no idea when I dressed my own acrobats so formally.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?
Erin: Poppet and Widget were the easiest, they were the very first characters created so in a lot of ways they’re the most familiar and I understood their personalities and their relationship with each other almost immediately.
Celia was the hardest, though now she’s the one I’m probably the closest to. She's a complicated character and she changes a lot during the course of the story so getting that right was a struggle, but a very worthwhile one.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?
Erin: It’s very difficult to choose, as I love a lot of scenes but I am particularly fond of all the scenes that Celia and Marco share and of those the anniversary party is likely my favorite, with that burst of color and passion within all the black and white.
TQ: What's next?
Erin: Next up I’m about to embark on a whirlwind of a book tour, but after that I hope to get back to working on my next novel, which is still in exploration stage and I’m looking forward to figuring out its secrets.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Erin: You are very welcome, thank you for having me!
About The Night Circus
The Night Circus(Doubleday, September 13, 2011)
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
What: One commenter will win a copy of The Night Circus from The Qwillery.
How: Leave a comment answering the following question:
If you could work at a circus, what would you like to do?
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