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October 6, 2009

Mermaid's Madness - Jim C. Hines One-Question Interview

I've been a big fan of Jim C. Hines' work since I stumbled upon his first book, Goblin Quest at White Dwarf books here in Vancouver.  It sounded funny and I needed some light reading for my upcoming flight home.  I really enjoyed the book, but as my review said, I was a bit put off by the blurbs talking about how hilarious the book was.  It made it sound like the book was a parody of typical Dungeons & Dragons goblins, with Ed Greenwood saying "a hilarious good read. One of the funniest dungeon-delving epics ever!"  I complained that while I did find the book funny, that blurb actually made me a bit lukewarm toward the book in the first 50-100 pages before I just decided to go with the flow and enjoy the book on its own terms.  I then grew to love it, with the few caveats given in the review.

As many of us do, I tend to do Google searches on my name just to see if anybody is linking to something I did or what have you.  I noticed that Jim had a blog post about blurbs and humour and that he referenced my review.  We corresponded a couple of times, and I've found him to be a very personable man to talk to, one of the few authors with whom I've interacted outside of just "love your book!" "Thank you!" kinds of exchanges.  That's one reason he's one of my Facebook friends too.

So I've been hooked from Day 1, and when the other Goblin books came out (Goblin Hero and Goblin War), I picked those up immediately as well.  I loved them even more than the first book.  Karen, I think you would greatly enjoy these, since you're into D&D, as would any other D&D fan.  And, of course, any other Fantasy fan as well.

So now he's moved onto light-hearted takes on the fairy tales we're all familiar with.  The first book was The Stepsister Scheme, probably Jim's best book yet.  Here's my description of the plot, from the review:

"Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White - sure, we all know the stories, but are they really true? Cinderella (nee Danielle Whiteshore) has married her prince, but her story doesn't just stop there. Her stepsisters are still jealous and plot against her to steal back the man they believe is rightfully theirs. When one of the stepsisters allies herself with a powerful sorceress, Danielle will need a little help. It's a good thing that Sleeping Beauty (or Talia) is a martial-arts master whose fairy blessings have made her virtually invincible, definitely helpful as part of the Queen's Secret Service. The other member is Snow (White, of course), a shameless flirt who also happens to excel at mirror magic. But will these three ladies be able to rescue the prince and save Danielle's unborn child?"

So why am I posting about this now?  Because the second book in the series, Mermaid's Madness, is out today.  Eschewing the usual interview format (how many of you read long author interviews anyway?), he offered many of us bloggers the chance to ask one question.  We would post that question on our blog, linking back to page where all of the questions will be housed.

So, without further ado, here's mine:

Q: What inspired you to create Jig?  Did he come from your gaming experience (if you have any) or did you have some other kind of inspiration?  Or did he just pop into your head?

A: More than any other character I've written, Jig sprang fully-formed into my brain (pretty much the opposite of Athena and Zeus).  I knew his name, I knew he was motivated purely by survival and cowardice, I knew his relationship with the other goblins and his fire-spider Smudge ... he was just there from day one.
I've never actually role-played a goblin in our gaming sessions, but I had a lot of sympathy for Jig.  I know what it's like to be bullied, to be clever but not as physically intimidating as the rest of the kids--  I mean, as the rest of the goblins.  Jig isn't a stand-in for me as the author, but I do understand him, and I love the little guy.  Even though he'd probably carve me into spider-sized pieces after all the things I put him through.

Oh yes, I can't forget Smudge.  What a cute little fire spider he is!  The parts about him in the Goblin books are some of my favourite ones.

If you want an idea of the stories in these books, I encourage you to go to my reviews, as I think they give a pretty good idea.  They also showcase how enjoyable the books are.

Thanks, Jim!  Best of luck with the new book.


  1. A valuable post and it much helpfull to all.Thanks a lot for your post.

    Karim - Positive thinking


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