Interview with Katherine Addison

We’re very happy today to welcome on the blog Katherine Addison! She wrote the Goblin Emperor, and you can find a review here. We hope that you’ll enjoy the interview as much as we did. Thanks to the author for the answers.


Welcome on Between Dreams and Reality, Can you present you in a few words?

Novelist; geek about pretty much everything, including literature, Renaissance England, Nazi Germany, and Victorian true crime.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was twelve.

Can you tell us a little more about The Goblin Emperor?

I wanted to write a book that had elves and airships in it. It turned out also to have goblins, philosophy, court intrigue, and a lot of history.

Why did you choose to write about a goblin? It’s a character we don’t often see in literature.

I found that I wanted to reinvent goblins a little bit, because (a) nobody should have to be evil just because their entire species has been condemned to it by the author and (b) fantasy should be the place where you don’t have to abide by anybody’s’ rules. So I let the goblins be the elves’ equals, and nobody is inherently evil.

List 5 characters from The Goblin Emperor and do word associations

Maia: grief, kind, lost, striving, shy

Setheris: shards of glass, brutality, complicated, bully, stiletto

Csevet: loyal, watchful, poker-faced, knowledge, competence

Beshelar: wooden, ethical, rigid, soldier, unsubtle

Csethiro: fierce, clever, intellectual, strength, sisters

What would you most like potential readers to know about you and/or your book?

Of my books, this is the only one that I have never, at any point in the process, hated.

What’s the hardest scene for you to write?

I am terrible at fight scenes. I ‘m not good at writing action, and it’s incredibly difficult to visualize all the *movements* that are part of a fight, even if it’s just one-on-one.

Did you need to do a lot of researches for your books?

No. The lovely thing about writing in completely made-up worlds is that you only have to do as much research as you want.

How did you end up writing fantasy books? Is there any other genre that appeal to you?

I love fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and have since I was a little girl. I write them all, with varying degrees of success. But I never imagined myself as anything other than a fantasy/horror writer.

What authors have been an influence for you? And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing to read?

I mostly read nonfiction these days (although I highly recommend my friends Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear), but my major influences are Gene Wolfe, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ellen Kushner, Peter Beagle, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H. P. Lovecraft, M. R. James, Shirley Jackson.

When you sit down and write do you know how the story will end or do you just let the pen take you?

It depends on the story. Sometimes I know the ending before I begin; sometimes I don’t know the ending until I fall over it.

Are there any other projects you’re working on or thinking about starting in the near future?

Right now, I’m working on my third collaboration with Elizabeth Bear, An Apprentice to Elves, which is the third book in the Iskryne series, after A Companion to Wolves and The Tempering of Men.

Where do your favorite myths come from? Why are they are favorites

I loved Greek mythology as a kid, and I still like it, less for itself (since, after all, the classical Greek gods are a deeply unpleasant bunch of people) than for the way it’s been used in retelling and allusions in the millennia since.



18 thoughts on “Interview with Katherine Addison

  1. I’m with Lily…there aren’t many YA books with goblins in them, so whenever you find one it’s always really unique! Katherine sounds like a great author – definitely going to have to check some of her books out! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful interview Melliane! <3

  2. “fantasy should be the place where you don’t have to abide by anybody’s’ rules.”

    YES! And that is exactly what I like about the genre so much:) And I would be miserable at fight scenes as well, I’d probably describe something that wasn’t even physically possible and confuse people. Well done me. This was such a fun interview, I’m really excited to read this book!

  3. I like how Katherine decided to write this story, so she could give us something different to the norm of goblins! I’m a huge fan of when an author decides to do this. I have been thoroughly enjoying a lot of fantasy books as of late, so will definitely consider giving this book a go. Thanks for sharing a great post with us! 🙂

  4. I’ve been hearing so many great things about this book and I love its originality. Great interview, I love discovering new authors and now we all get an inside scoop!

    Thanks for sharing!

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