Jim C. Hines: Inventing Nicola Pallas

Nicola Pallas is not one of the main characters in the Libriomancer series, but to me, she’s one of the most important.

In the world of the books, Nicola lives outside of Chicago, where she serves as the Regional Master for the Porters, a magical organization founded by Johannes Gutenberg. She manipulates magic through song, and is powerful enough to knock you on your ass just by calling you on your cellphone and singing a little tune. She raises chupacabras, which she’s been trying—with some success—to cross-breed with poodles.

She’s also autistic.

I began writing this series shortly after one of my children was diagnosed as autistic. This is one of the reasons I decided to write Nicola the way I did, and one of the reasons I was so invested in getting her right.

What does that mean? For starters, it means I wanted her to be a real, […]

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It’s Raining Deadlines — Jim C. Hines

Faith Hunter was kind enough to invite me to do a guest post for Magical Words back in January of this year. We agreed I’d contribute a post for early August, to coincide with the release of Codex Born. And then I did something that makes me Hulk out and smash my desk: I forgot about the commitment I’d made, and missed my deadline.

I emailed her to apologize. Fortunately, Faith is both kind and forgiving. As a fellow author, I think she understands that no matter how hard we try, sometimes life gets in the way. She commented in her email to me, “For instance, today, I have to get groceries, go to the vet and the dry-cleaners, show up for a doctor’s apt, and, oh yeah. Write a couple thousand words.”

Sometimes things slip through the cracks. Sometimes we blow it.

This wasn’t much of an issue when […]

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