Alison Goodman Interview

Alison Goodman, author of Singing the Dogstar Blues, which won the Best Young Adult Novel Award in the Aurelais Awards in 1998, is interviewed by Jason Nahrung in "The Courier-Mail". The author's new fantasy novel, The Two Pearls of Wisdom, has just been published by HarperCollins.

The society of Two Pearls is drawn from numerous influences, with Goodman having had a Japanese aunt whose influence is plain in (Killing the Rabbit, the author's crime novel from 2007), and also drawing on Goodman's travel experiences in Asia. It's not surprising that her book is being compared to Lian Hearn's widely successful Tale of the Otori, set in a mythic Japanese-style universe.

"It's an imagined Asian country which has many sources feeding into it," says Goodman of her universe. "I like not being tied to a specific period. It was fun mixing the cultures and etiquettes.

"I did a lot of reading about China and I've been to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and done a lot of research.

"I love getting a feeling space and how people use it, to see and touch artefacts that people have been using for hundreds of years.

"You can't beat the feeling of holding something in your hand. Sensory detail is very important to me when I'm writing. I like to get sensory specificity.

"I had some lessons with a practice Chinese sword, learnt some moves so I knew what the heft was like. It's very long and curved, I couldn't move my wrists for days.

"But I wanted to know what happens when something stops a sword. My teacher kindly wrapped himself up and allowed me to whack him to get that feeling of hitting something."

The sequel, The Necklace of the Gods is due to be published in 2010.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 21, 2008 9:04 AM.

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