And welcome to my tour stop.
Vic James has kindly stopped by CHOUETT.COM to answer a few questions about her superb upcoming release “Gilded Cage” which I highly recommend and will be reviewed here very soon. In the meantime, enjoy the Q&A.
How would you sum up “Gilded Cage” in one sentence?
The 1% versus the 99%, with magic, as a brother and sister try to change the world against impossible odds.
Tell us a little bit about your transition from a journalist to a full time writer.
Here’s the thing: I always wanted to be a full-time writer. It was my dream. But I never managed to finish a book, and of course I had to pay rent and buy food, and so I got a ‘proper’ job as a TV journalist. But the desire to write never went away, and one day I wrote Gilded Cage. Publishers in the UK loved it. Publishers in the US loved it. It’s sold around the world. So I’m unexpectedly able to write full-time.
But …. my TV work satisfies a different part of my brain. And it feels useful. I directed last year’s BBC1 programmes with Jeremy Paxman on the EU referendum, and the US election, and it’s a privilege and a responsibility to communicate insights into these world-changing events. And finally, it feeds my imagination. The Dark Gifts trilogy is very much the product of the current affairs I’ve reported on.
For all those reasons, it’ll be hard to give up journalism entirely. But I have promised myself – and my editors! – that 2017 is All About The Writing.
How did you feel when you wrote the last word of this installment?
Tired. Relieved. A tiny bit proud. (It was the first book I’d ever finished.) And definitely in need of a shower and some exercise!
Which character came to you first?
Luke and Silyen arrived together: they’re opposites in every way, yet fit together strangely. They were quickly followed by Luke’s sisters, Abi and Daisy, and Silyen’s brothers, Gavar and Jenner. I’ve always seen these books as, on one level, the story of two set of siblings and the dynamics between them.
If you could choose between being an Equal and a Slave, which would you choose and why?
Are you kidding?
What would be your power as an Equal if you had one?
My ‘power’ is the same as Silyen’s – curiosity and wonder. His Skill expresses that in various ways, from dubious experiments in the woods, to unscrupulous poking around in people’s heads. I try not to overly identify…
Is there a character you love to hate and why?
I adore Bouda’s awfulness, because there’s one thing that stops me hating her – her ambition to smash the Equal patriarchy. I know I should hate her anyway, but I just can’t. And she is genuinely devoted to her father and sister, in her own way.
Tell us “10 things” we don’t know about Vic James
I like to retain my mystery…. *reaches coyly for fan and flutters it*
What is your favourite Japanese word?
I love all the onomatopoeic words: pocha-pocha for something cute and plump like a baby, pika-pika for something bright and shiny, doki-doki for the sound of your racing heart.
A favourite phrase is nezumi-gaeshi (‘not even a mouse’) 鼠返し to describe castle walls. It describes walls that are cunningly curved and tightly constructed, so nothing can scale them.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t believe in guilt.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Virginie, and for loving GILDED CAGE! If anyone has any questions – come and find me on twitter @drvictoriajames