1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.
Right now — and this is remarkable for me to write — my current level of insanity is perched at a very nice and lovely ONE. Despite the fact that I’m suffering from jet-lag and have deadlines — a lot of work to do — my ideas are flowing, and life is good. Life is always good, but I’m not letting myself get stressed about things. I’m taking it easy.
2. Recently, you announced that you’d be writing six issues of Marvel’s NYX series. How is writing a comic different from writing a novel?
Not that different at all, except in the format. Telling stories is mostly the same, no matter whether it’s a comic book or a novel, but it does take some getting used to when writing a script versus prose. I’ve been lucky, though, to have received a lot of support from my Marvel editor, John Barber.
3. Even before NYX, you have had experience writing in worlds not your own. Two years ago, you published Dark Mirror. Do you not find it constraining in anyway?
Not really. Because even when you’re writing a character that isn’t yours, you still have the opportunity to explore that character is ways no one ever has. And that is very fun, indeed — especially when you’re getting the opportunity to play with characters as remarkable as the ones in the Marvel library.
4. Every author influenced by who she is and where she’s from. You are half-Chinese, you majored in East Asian Languages and Culture, and your first book, Tiger Eye, is set partially in China. Have you ever read the old Chinese folktales, and if you have, do you have a favourite supernatural creature amongst them?
I have read them, and while I must say that Monkey is my favorite supernatural creature in the Chinese pantheon — of all the books I’ve read, folklore or otherwise, the Chinese literary masterpiece, THE DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER, remains the most lovely, as does the hero of the story — Bao-yu, the magical stone who is born upon earth as a boy, to learn the ways of man.
5. What’s the one thing you think that one must do in Shanghai? And aren’t you excited about World Expo 2010?
There are so many things to do in Shanghai! First off, just walking around on the side streets of the old city, mingling with locals, is a lovely experience. Wander! Keep your eyes open! But if you like more formal experiences, I highly recommend the Shanghai Museum, the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, strolling along the Bund — during the day, and at night — and exploring some of the parks in the evening, when the elderly come out to practice their ballroom dancing. There are also some beautiful bookstores in Shanghai.
And yes, I’m very excited about World Expo!
6. Name a place that you’ve been and would love to include as a setting in one of your books, but haven’t yet done so and tell us why.
Gosh. I’m pretty good at mining most places I’ve gone to. I would love to travel to Europe, though, and see what inspires me there!
Marjorie’s latest release is The Iron Hunt.
And one lucky winner will get a mystery prize!