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Sara Douglass is one of the hottest new names in Fantasy. Well that is only true in the United States. She has been published for some time in her native land of Australia, having received the Aurealis Award and being recognized as Australia’s best selling writer. Her books have been published for a number of years in Europe and Canada. In 2001, the US was able to read her work for the first time with TOR books publication of the first book in her world of Tencendor, with the US title of The Wayfarer Redemption. Recently, the third book in the series, Starman was just published. Sara takes some time to answer questions drawn from the forum members of SFFWorld.
1) How did you come up with the names of the characters?
For the Tencendor books I used a number of names from the Medieval epic, "The Song of Roland", others I just made up, Rivkah I pinched from the credits of a soap. Generally they come from just about anywhere.
2) Have any of your fans given you negative feedback for how you've ended either of the trilogies, either StarMan or the final of the six books, Crusader?
Frustrated, not negative, and mainly regarding the ending of Crusader, which is the final book in the Tencendor series. I was tossing up when writing it whether or not to continue on with the series (I didn't really mean to, I wanted to move on to something new) so I made it so there's a major unresolved bit with one of the major characters (OK, so it is StarDrifter, who I always thought had huge potential as a character but which I'd never fully developed). For the past 4 or so years I've been inundated with requests to continue the series, to tell what happened with StarDrifter, and there's a book there, and I'll write it one day ... but not just yet. If I do it, it will be the last thing I ever write.
3) Did that influence writing the second trilogy?
I'd already signed for the second trilogy by the time I was writing (or completing) StarMan so naturally that influenced how the book progressed. I'd always meant the original 3 books to be 4 books anyway (but my publisher said only trilogies sold) so there was always going to be scope to expand.
4) The relationships portrayed in the series were often controversial to say the least. (the incestuous nature of the Icarii for example). What made you decide to have this as such a prominent feature of their race?
Because it made them interesting, because I was very tired of fantasy that was tentative and non-adult, because I love to challenge people, because it is 'taboo' and because I love to walk right on up and slap taboos in the face. Doesn't everyone have fantasies about going to bed with their grandfather or grandmother? *much laughter*