Requests & Other Questions


Other Questions


Would you please put up some spoilers for what’s to come in the current series you’re working on?

At the risk of being branded as uncooperative and mean, I have to say no. After all, when I spend six months to a year picking each and every word to create a specific mood or effect, I cut the ground out from under myself by giving out spoilers.

This is not something I like to do. I love seeing people’s faces when they hear The Awful Truth of what’s coming next. At the same time, I want each book to be appreciated as a whole experience, just as my editors and I shaped it. I will continue to put up things that don’t relate to any books I’m working on and don’t think I’ll be able to mention, like the status of Daine’s and Numair’s relationship, and the disappearance of Princess Kalasin, but there won’t be any spoilers for actual, ongoing books. It’ll just have to be a surprise.

In case you’re wondering, this doesn’t apply to the basic descriptions I give for books or to the pieces I read at appearances, so you’ll have a little advance information.



Though Tammy does not give spoilers for her books, she will post extra tidbits about her books, characters, and universes in the Tortall FAQCircle FAQReddit AMAs and Tumblr Q&As. If you were wondering about a character who hasn’t appeared in a while, the answer may have been posted already!


Will you sign my books if I send them to you?

Tammy is not currently accepting mail-in signing requests. Just like the amount of fanmail received has grown past her ability to reply consistently, the number of signing requests sent would take up too much time to fulfill. Tammy will only sign books/cards/mementos at events and appearances. Please see the signing guidelines for more information.


Would you please hand-write a note/sign a card/design a tattoo for me?

Unfortunately, Tammy cannot take requests to hand-write or draw things, due to matters of age and health. If she accepts one request, she will feel compelled to accept them all, and trust us, there are a lot of requests! This can create a strain on her hands and arms, making it difficult to do her work (writing!) painlessly. Though she would love to make exceptions for her fans, she’s unable to set a precedent of it.


Can you come to my wedding/graduation/other special event?

It truly is an honor to receive invitations to her fans’ most special milestones, but unfortunately, Tammy cannot make appearances at these events. The only events Tammy makes it out to are the ones listed on her schedule.

However, if you’re interested in scheduling her for an appearance at a library, bookstore, school, or convention, you can find the guidelines here!


I’ve just written/published a book! Will you read it?

As much as Tammy hates turning down other writers waiting for input (she remembers being in those shoes once, herself), her schedule simply doesn’t permit her the time to take these requests. Especially with unpublished work, there’s always a (slight) chance of it leading to complications further down the line. But please don’t be discouraged, and never stop writing.


Will you write a blurb or intro for my self-pub novel?

All blurb requests must come from the editor of a work, for the sake of the author and for the sake of Tammy’s schedule. She can’t afford to take on self-published requests, because she simply does not have the time.


I’m an aspiring author seeking advice. Will you Skype with me?

Short answer: no. For much the same reason she can’t take self-pub blurb requests. Again, we’re very sorry about this, but Tammy’s schedule is already packed with travel, meetings, editorial commitments, and of course, writing. She just doesn’t have the time to take on more responsibilities. But please don’t be discouraged, and please do look at the rest of her FAQ to see if there’s anything there you find helpful. Best of luck, and here’s hoping we see you on the shelves someday.


Can I interview you for my blog?

It depends on Tammy’s schedule. You can always ask, but there’s no guarantee she’ll have the availability.


Is it okay if I sell fanmade merchandise?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. We have a merchandising deal with Dual Wield Studio, and Tammy’s merchandise can be found here! ( Be sure to join the Dual Wield newsletter, as new products are in development!


I’m an aspiring filmmaker, and I was wondering if you could give me the rights to adapt your books.

Please see the Business and Media Rights FAQ for more information, and contact Tammy’s business mail if you have a proposal. But please be aware that only serious proposals will be considered, and Tammy does not give the rights to her work away for free.


Other Questions

Everyone thinks I am weird because I have read your books over and over. Do you think I’m weird?

Put it this way—if you’re weird, so am I. I think I read The Lord of the Rings trilogy at least twice a year from the time I discovered them in seventh grade until I went to college, and at least once a year until I was 22 or 23. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read my favorite Barbara Hambly and Robin McKinley books, not to mention Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances, Ross Thomas’s political thrillers, Robert Heinlein’s science fiction books for teenagers, and a long, long list of historical novels. I know there are people who read a book once and put it aside for life. I can’t do that. I love plunging into a loved world, encountering the characters I like, and living with them as they work through serious problems. Now, weird is my husband: he discovered J. D. Robb’s (Nora Roberts’s pen name) …in Death series and read all of them (I think there were six at that point) three times after he first got them. He re-reads the whole series each time a new book comes out. He seems to think this is perfectly normal, so maybe “weird” really is one of those things that’s in the mind of the beholder!



Why haven’t your books been made into movies?

First of all, until it comes to the point where an offer is made which I can take or turn down, I have no control over this. Most authors don’t. Movies happen not when the author deigns to allow people to make their books into movies, but when movie companies or producers decide that a particular book would make a good movie. My agent always sends books to companies and producers to be considered for movie projects, but offers are rare. So far two companies have bought the option (a set time period in which they can own the rights to develop books for a movie) to the Alanna books, but they haven’t taken the next step to making a movie from them. For one reason or another, they decided it wasn’t profitable to spend more money in developing a movie project.

My books operate under a double whammy: they are costume movies set in a historical period (translation: much $$ for costumes, the transportation of cast and crew to a location which looks historical, and the purchase of a license to film there), and they involve a great many special effects (translation: much $$ for computer, marionette, and makeup effects). Animated movies could get around some of these problems, but they are expensive to make, and most animation producers prefer not to have to pay an author for rights in addition to their writers and animators. It may be that the success of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies may change studios’ minds about how profitable fantasy can be, but we won’t know that for a while, yet.

To be honest, I’m not really sure that I want the books to be made into movies. I certainly wouldn’t complain: it means a lot of money, and more book sales once the movie appears. At the same time, no matter what the final result is, it won’t match the vision in my mind. Also, movie people are notorious for rewriting your material. (Think about it—how many movies resemble the books they’re based on? Little Women with Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder and The Silence of the Lambs with Jodie Foster stayed close to the books, but those are the exception rather than the rule.)

I know this is an annoying practical answer to a question that involves the most romantic area of the arts, but that’s me—annoyingly practical. What other kind of person would go from Red Sonja comic books, in which Red Sonja always wears a chain mail bikini, to write of a hero who bundles up in multiple clothing layers because she hates the cold?



Would you ever write comics again?

At the moment, I have so many book and short story projects that the very thought of undertaking a comics project makes me want to scream.



Do you like poetry? (And will you read mine?)

Okay, you were bound to find out this flaw in me sooner or later: I am poesie-impaired. With a scant handful of exceptions (W. H. Auden, Langston Hughes, Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” Li Po, story poems like “The Highwayman,” haiku, A. A. Milne, e e cummings), I wouldn’t know good poetry if it swam up behind me and—well, I would be hard put to know good poetry. I think it was those forced readings of “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” Robert Burns, and “Ode on a Grecian Urn” that did it to me. Something snapped; a circuit fried; whatever, I have neither eye nor ear for poetry. You’re better off by asking the opinion of your English teacher, if you can trust them to be objective and not step all over your self-esteem, or by sending work to poetry magazines.



What is your stance on fanfiction? (And will you read mine?)

As long as no one tries to make a profit from fanfics based on my work, I don’t mind in the least. What I do mind, and what my publishers (and their attorneys) will mind as well, would be if someone tried to sell work using my characters, maps, etc. That’s copyright infringement, and the result would be ugly.

On fanfics in general, I think they’re one way to develop your skills as a writer. Sometimes it’s easier to keep a story going if you don’t have to create the setting and some of the characters yourself. I’d hope that sooner or later, people writing fan fiction would branch out into creating their own worlds and books, but at least they’re having fun as they write fan fiction. Besides, when I was a kid, I wrote Star Trek and Lord of the Rings stories—we just didn’t call them “fan fiction” back then.

At the risk of using a cliché, some of my best friends are fan fiction writers. Well, when they’re paying you to do it, it’s called “tie-in” writing. My friend Josepha Sherman wrote two Star Trek books, three Highlander books, Buffy and Xena books—and her own books as well. The tie-in books helped to support her until her own books started earning royalties. We all have bills to pay, and a lot of those tie-in books are pretty good!

As for reading fanfics, I must abstain, politely. There’s the time factor, for one, as in, I don’t have any. More importantly, though, sometimes in the heat of the battle with a book, we grab any idea that surfaces, without necessarily knowing where it came from. I can’t take the chance that someone else’s ideas might enter the stew where my creativity happens and surface years later: that’s how writers get sued for copyright infringement. It’s nothing against fanfics or their writers, and everything to do with me covering my behind.



How do you feel about fanart and other fanworks?

I love them! I think they’re great! I’m always delighted to see fan interpretations of my worlds and characters, and since I can’t read fanfiction (see above), I enjoy fanart and other things that much more. The things you all come up with are truly incredible, and it just reinforces the fact that I have cooler fans than anybody.