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Answers to Questions, or “Beyond my Control”

I’ve been getting so many great letters through this site, and I really appreciate it. I know I’m really slow at answering them, but I do intend to, swear. But there’s a whole genre of questions that I can answer right now, all at once.

Basically, I write the books and the publisher pays me, and that’s pretty much the extent of what I have influence over. Sometimes they mention cover ideas or show me ads they’re thinking of doing, but I don’t really have much say. I’m not complaining; I’m explaining. I control the words in the story, the plot of the story, the characters in the story.

I want to explain this all upfront, because I get so, so many letters from people who are upset that they can’t find certain books, or the format of books, or which countries the books are sold in, or why books cost so much. And letters about the book covers, and the models on the covers, and the art on the covers.

And the answers to all those questions is: I don’t know. I *sometimes* might know, possibly, when a book will be published for the first time, but in general, they usually don’t tell me if a book will be reissued or discontinued or get a new cover or put in a new store. But I have no idea why some bookstores have certain copies of Sweep but not others, or if they’ll make a boxed set some day, or why certain editions are really hard to find. I have no idea who the models are on the covers. It would be fun if I did, and I would feel happier if I knew why some bookstores had my books and some don’t, or if I knew when or why a publisher makes other decisions about the books, but I simply don’t. Most authors don’t. Really big name authors sometimes do. But I don’t.

I hate to disappoint you guys by writing back, I don’t know, I don’t know, but it’s just how it is.

I like answering other questions, though.

Love, Cate

4 Responses to “Answers to Questions, or “Beyond my Control””

  1. Clare says:

    You are such an inspiration to me that I want to be able to write my own books someday. Your sweep books are absolutly amazing and I hope they turn into a film and come alive one day. As I read them I form a picture in my head what it would be like, I wish our world was like it. I can’t get enough of the characters I need to staart reading Balefire now I think. I just wanted to ask from a writers point of view how you began writing and if you have any tips for someone like me who wants to start writing. Thanks.

  2. latanya says:

    im looking forward to a movie made on sweep make sure they match the characters :( your a godessess !!!

  3. Cate well i tried to send a letter to your house in Durham but i don’t know your address so i don’t know how that will work out =) but i really enjoyed sweep and i wanted to ask you if you could run the idea of some more books on sweep to your publisher maybe he\she will say yes!

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