Friday, December 24, 2010

Q&A and a Contest!

It's Christmas Eve Day and Catherine Fisher was kind enough to answer my questions. Here's the interview and if you leave a comment you might find that Santa brings you Catherine's book (albeit slightly after the holiday)!

There are so many fascinating elements at work in this series, but let’s start with the obvious one: how did you come up with a living prison?

I have had the idea of a sentient building for some time now. It's not a new idea, but buildings often feel as if they have a personality, and might speak in different ways. In my RELICMASTER set I have a section where the heroine, Carys gets trapped in a building which talks to her. It's an abandoned, drowned palace, and I enjoyed making its voice both sarcastic and neurotic. That was just one scene, but it probably laid the foundations (!) for Incarceron.

I loved the way your world was both historical and futuristic – what inspired that blend of an artificially engineered past and a dystopian future?

As you know, it's hard to think back into the processes of writing and see where things came from. It had to be a future world because of the Prison's capabilities, and then the idea of the frozen past of the Era just seemed a good contrast As I elaborated on it I realised it threw upall sorts of interesting images. Both Finn and Claudia think the other's world is a paradise, and find out it's hell. So there was this past/present, hell/heaven idea running through which I enjoyed.

Do you think we too often idealize the past (as has occurred in an extreme way in Incarceron)?

I think we do idealize the past in some ways. Certainly there is a sort of nostalgia for the old days and a whole industry here in Britain based around heritage. On the other hand it's easy to think the past was totally alien to us, but in many ways people don't change. I often visit prehistoric sites like Stonehenge and Avebury, and think about how the people who built them had the same basic concerns that we do. And we're living in their buildings all the time.

If you were placed in Incarceron, what part of the prison would you hope to land in?

I would definitely not want to be in Incarceron! If I was, maybe Blaise's tower would be the safest and most interesting place. Though there are whole swathes of the Prison that even I don't know about.

The second book in your series, Sapphique, is titled after one of the novel’s characters. That’s such a unique name, where did it come from and does it have a special meaning that you could share?

I invented the name Sapphique out of various bits of words- as you say, unique might be one of them, also sapphire, opaque, words I like. It's a feminine sounding name but then I made the character male. I wanted a one word title that would intrigue the reader.

What has been your favorite part of writing this story?

I enjoyed the Chaingang scene and the bits with Jared and the Queen. I also like Rix and his crazy patchbooks. Keiro is always fun to write. And Claudia's changing relationship with her father. But like all books, the enjoyment usually comes after the work!

Thanks for the great questions Andrea, and I really enjoyed Nightshade.

Best wishes Catherine.

Thank you, Catherine!! And remember, readers, leave a comment below for a chance to win!!


  1. I haven't ha the chance to read Incarceron but it's on the my list to read :)

  2. Great interview! This sounds so great! I'd love to have a chance to read this!

  3. Ooh great interview! I loved Incarceron and have been wanting Sapphique for a while.

  4. living buildings--wow. they sound wickkkeed!

  5. I haven't gotten to Incarceron yet, but I've heard great things! The interview really sparked more interest!!


  6. Awesome interview! Thanks so much for taking the time. Loved Incarceron and can't wait for Sapphique!

  7. Great interview! Can't wait to read Incarceron!

  8. I have been dying to read both Incarceron and Sappique! :)

    jlelliott08 AT gmail DOT com

  9. Count me in, as always!


  10. I've had her books in my to-read list for a while...can't wait to read them. :3


  11. Ms. Fisher is AMAZING! :D I adore her books. Thank you Andrea for making this interview, and for the giveaway.;)

  12. Great interview! Can't wait to read Incarceron and Sapphique!

  13. thanks for posting a great interview! i have this book on my xmas list... we'll see if anyone got it for me. can't wait to read it!


  14. Hi, Catherine and Andrea!! Cannot wait to read INCARCERON!!

    Great interview!!!
    aortizzle (at) gmail (dot) com

  15. I wish I could win but I never win anything and therefore I suck!

    keenanhale at live dot com

  16. Count me in!! :D Thanks!

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Awesome interview! Can't wait to read Incarceron. I've heard so many good things about it. :)


  19. The more I hear about these books, the more I want to read them. A sprawling, sentient prison? Wow! Talk about making setting part of the story!

    zandila at gmail dot com

  20. Thanks for the interview! Happy Holidays, and please enter me in the contest! :D

    apereiraorama @

  21. Merry Christmas! Please count me in.

  22. Wow! I didn't realize Catherine had written another series -- that scene with the sarcastic, neurotic house sounds fascinating! I'll have to check it out =) Great interview! I love how authors spotlight each other like this =) Happy Holidays! Thank you for the giveaway!

    thebookishtypereviews AT gmail DOT com

  23. Great interview. I've heard good things about Incarceron and someday hope to get around to reading it.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays, Andrea!

  24. Great interview! I've been waiting to check out one of her books!

  25. Loved Incarceron. I just re read it in anticipation. Can't wait for Sapphique!!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  26. I haven't read Incarceron but I've heard a lot of great things about it, and it's already on my wish list :D Anyway, count me in if this is international. Thanks!

    feeyonachan at gmail dot com

  27. Great interview! I loved Incarceron and I can't wait for Sapphique.

    Thanks for the giveaway!