And of course you have the Tswana are now capable of fighting back.
Exactly! And I feel like that’s one of the exciting things about introducing dragons into this world. This was a time period in which the world very rapidly shrank, because of sailing ship technology. So what aerial dragons mean is that a society that has an aerial force has some hope of withstanding a society that had guns, and because dragons were not easy to transport over the ocean so that actually makes for a leveling effect that I think changes the world in all sorts of interesting ways and forces societies like the British that, their mental attitude is very imperialistic, and it kind of forces them to grapple without actually having that superiority.

In fan fiction, do more people want to have a dragon or be a dragon?
Most fanfic is character based, using characters that are already in the work. Role-playing kind of scenario probably... I’ve heard from people, there were gamers who were introducing the Aerial Corps idea into their tabletop games, but that’s more large scale. I know that I would certainly dream of having a dragon. Who doesn’t dream of having a dragon?

I had the pleasure of meeting your husband at the Backspace conference. He’s Charles Ardai of Hard Case Crime and he’s an author as well, very different genre, very different style of writing.
We are complete opposites!

Do you read each other’s work and can you critique each other’s work?
I try to make Charles read my work much more often than he wants to because I like feedback on a page-by-page basis. If I write something, I love it but I have a lot of beta readers. I love to be edited. I love to revise. I’ll throw out 10 chapters and rewrite them, and Charles hates to revise. He doesn’t like to be edited. He likes that pulp writer thing of banging away. I tend to be kind of a wimp. I’m very much an optimist and I think that comes through in the Temeraire series. I think that the world is a positive place, and his writing comes from that place where the world is dark and terrible and bad things are going to happen to good people and bad things are going to happen to bad people. A Cornell Woolrich vision of the universe. So I tend not to read his stuff as often. I obviously enjoy reading his things, but I don’t tend to critique his work.

Well, that’s about all the questions I have and I’ve gone over the time I requested, so thank you very much!
Thank you!

(A few minutes later, I call back to ask the obvious:How did Peter Jackson read your books before they were published?
They were sent to him by my agent on the West Coast.)

NAOMI NOVIK READS AT PANDEMONIUM BOOKS JULY 17.

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