This is part of a blog post I published way back in 2006 and tweaked a few times since. I’d recently announced that I could no long answer fanmails, but would respond to questions on my blog instead. This led to some interesting questions. I suspected that some people were coming up with silly questions just to see their name on the blog or get some kind of response from me. Others perhaps weren’t thinking logically about what they were asking. So I wrote a list and started to explain why I couldn’t answer certain questions… and some of my exasperation and bemusement at some of the more bizzare questions sparked my rather twisted sense of humour.
Examples of Questions Trudi Will Not Be Answering
The Sequel Spoiler Question
Will x, y or z character be in the sequel?
Who with x, y or z character fall in love with in the sequel, and with who?
Will x, y or z object, place or group feature in the sequel?
If I don’t include the entire plot in the teasers and blurbs on my site it probably means I’m not going to reveal it before the books are published. Surely you understand that if I did, my publishers wouldn’t have any reason to publish the book and my career would end overnight. (No more Trudi Canavan books. Maybe I’d get a job in real estate.)
The “Please Change What You Wrote” Question
Will you be bringing x, y or z back from the dead?
Not unless I have them roaming around eating peoples brains. Bwaiiins! Must eat Sonea’s bwaiiiins!
Could you please match x and y up in the sequel?
Hmm. You’ve probably just told me that such a match is too predictable, and ensured it will never, NEVER, happen.
Don’t kill x, y or z in the sequel.
You’ve probably just told me that such a death would have great impact, and made it very, VERY tempting. (You’ve probably caught on that we authors are a perverse bunch.)
I think you should do this, this and this in the sequel.
Who’s writing these books, you or me? Seriously, there is a good reason why I ask readers to not send me their ideas, which I outline here.
The Pedantic Irrelevant Detail Question
How did [insert minor character name] die in the battle?
You know, a lot of people died in that battle. Do you want a detailed description of every single one of their deaths? A roll count? A memorial in your back yard?
Did x, y or z’s parents have strong magical potential?
Who is that person/group/object referred to in passing that one time in the trilogy?
If I didn’t mention it, it was probably not relevant OR ELSE I’m leaving it as a possibility to explore in the sequel, which means this is a spoiler question.
The Philosophical Question
Why did x and y fall in love?
Heck, why does anyone fall in love? Do you want a biological explanation, or a philosophical one?
What if the magic worked THIS way? What if x, y or z hadn’t died/fallen in love/been born in the first place…
In fact, this answer applies to any question that starts with “what if”. These are questions that could lead to endless discussion and I don’t have time for endless discussion. They also fall under my “don’t tell me your ideas” rule. However, there are internet forums out there where my books are being discussed, so do a search, sign up and knock yourself out. (Oh – and no, I’m not insane enough to start and maintain a forum here.)
The “You Didn’t Think That One Through” Question
Why didn’t x and y use the power of [that thing I can’t mention without spoiling the plot] to achieve a better outcome?
There’s these things called Time and Space. They have an annoying way of affecting events, especially when people run out of the first and are limited by the second. And even if I’d had the characters use the thing you mentioned the outcome would be the same since, no, I didn’t make a mistake when I made things turn out that way.
Why didn’t you have x say goodbye to y? Now that y is dead, poor x will never get the chance!
Er, so how was x supposed to know that y was about to die? (Did he/she arrange it? First I heard of it. Who’s writing these books, anyway?)
The Unresolved Plot Hook Question
Where is the third blood gem?
Actually, I like it when readers ask this question. I left it unanswered to see what would happen. I suspected that only readers who paid close attention would pick up on it. So congrats for picking it. Even so, the answer is and has always been: “That would be telling.” You didn’t really expect me to tell you who has it, did you?