I’m still writing a book and I’m still feeling mouthy about it, and Julian is still asking questions...
Seems like music and mind control are recurring themes thus far. Is this related somehow to the insect world, or more a reflection of your interests?You characterize it as “mind control”—I see it as a way of literalizing some behaviors in nature; camouflage, deception, and eusociality a.k.a. the “hive mind” phenomenon. In the case of the last I’ve tried to portray a couple of different models of correspondence. Among the Emeth, for instance, adherence to prescribed roles in reinforced by strong taboos and conformist pressures. For the Mélif, by contrast, the model is top-down and pheromone-based—more or less as it is in an actual beehive.
(And there are limits to the Regina’s Influence, as well: There’s a whole separate thread about the intrigues going on at the apiary that’s barely been touched on so far, because I’m writing it out of sequence. I don’t want to blow the reveal, but: Suffice to say that her control is far from absolute, and is maintained far more by terror and violence than by her Influence per se—and in this, too, the entomological underpinnings inform the plot points.)
As to music: It’s an interest of mine, yeah, but I would hope that I’d be able to resist the temptation to shoehorn my own personal hobbyhorses into the work simply for their own sake. Fiddlin’ Katy ended up a musician because I needed a viewpoint character who was an outsider, and who had freedom of movement; as a contrasting figure to the Emeth, she of course became a grasshopper—and, well, what do grasshoppers do, after all?
The musical component of the Crazy Eights episode was even more pragmatically conceived. I needed a way to convey to the reader the maddening experience of having a sticky thought lodged in your head, and the earworm phenomenon is something I figured would be
familiar to most of us.
(And if you really must know, it was this.)
Take advantage of me while I’m
drunk in a talkative mood! Queries in the comments or at jfeerick AT rochester DOT rr DOT com. And hey, thanks for reading, everybody who’s reading.