There are always questions that don't get addressed by author biographies, and don't fit tidily into any larger category. I've tried to answer as many questions about my writing, my music, and getting through a fairy tale alive as I could. This section is for the questions that aren't as easily categorized.
This section of the page will be updated periodically, as new questions are asked, and as things change (as things have a tendency to do). As always, feel free to submit any questions that we may have missed.
1.1. Can we have the basics?
1.2. How do you pronounce your name?
1.3. Can I interview you?
1.4. Are your favorite colors really orange and green?
1.5. Who are your favorite authors?
1.6. What is your primary creative outlet?
1.7. Do you currently write full time?
1.8. What's up with your back?
1.9. Are you really the world's pickiest eater?
1.10. What is "DDP"?
1.11. Why do you have so many bios?
1.12. Where can I get a Seanan of my own?
A: Okay, here you go: I live in California, I write urban fantasy, science fiction, and young adult novels, I like to draw, I record albums of science fiction folk music in my spare time, and I once walked all the way across London just to prove that it could be done. Also, I always have at least four bios on the site, so it's pretty easy to find most of this stuff with a minimum number of clicks.
A: My name is pronounced "SHAWN-in," with the stress on the first syllable. It's an archaic form of "Janet." A surprising number of people can say "Sean" but can't say "Seanan," even though it's really just a "Sean" with an "an" at the end.
A: Oh, probably—I love doing interviews, I find them to be a lot of fun and a really exciting way to interact with people. I've done live interviews, phone interviews, and email interviews. That said, please don't ask to interview me until after you've read through the FAQs, at least a little. I don't mind some repeat questions, since they're necessary for context, but I really like being asked new things, too.
To arrange an interview, please email me via my website contact form. I try to respond to all requests, but cannot always do so immediately. Patience is awesome! I'm much faster about actually answering questions once I've agreed to an interview, as I don't want them to get lost in my inbox.
A: Although I may be messing with you, my favorite colors really are orange and green. I've always loved Halloween, and I just love the way those colors look in combination. Fortunately, my skin tone actually allows me to wear orange without looking entirely like an advertisement for Tang. I also have a tendency to paint my walls orange with green trim. I find it soothing.
A: I'm a voracious reader, and my favorite authors tend to shift and change with my mood. My overall favorite is Stephen King, closely followed by Terry Pratchett, Kelley Armstrong, and Steve Niles. I adore the works of James Tiptree, Jr., Tim Powers, Tanya Huff, and Jim Hines, as well as many others. When I'm feeling fluffy, I read a lot of trashy horror and some chick-lit, although I tend to be pretty picky about that sort of thing. I also read a lot of YA and children's literature. It makes me happy.
A: Writing. Without argument, writing. I sing mostly songs that I've written; I draw comics to go with scripts that I've written; I do both partially to give my brain the time it needs to recover between intense writing sessions. All of my creative endeavors are primarily designed to make it easier for me to spend long periods of time writing. I'm recursive.
A: I think being a full time writer is the dream of just about every author. I would love it because it would mean I'd no longer be juggling a day job, a night job, and three jobs-worth of hobbies. It isn't currently economically feasible for me to do nothing but write. I hope to get there someday.
A: People who see me at book signings or conventions may find that my level of mobility varies dramatically from event to event. Sometimes I'm bouncy and running hither and yon, and sometimes I'm sitting very still, or even using a cane to walk. This is because I have three herniated disks in my lower back (L3 to L5, for the morbidly curious), and they can cause me truly unpredictable levels of pain. So if I'm hiding behind a table and refusing to shake people's hands, it's not you, it's entirely me.
To answer the supplemental questions, no, I haven't had surgery, yes, we're trying to pursue non-surgical options, yes, this basically sucks, no, I don't let it stop me from doing the things that I enjoy.
A: "DDP" is an acronym for "Diet Dr Pepper," my drink of choice. The amount I can consume in a single day is staggering, and potentially very unhealthy. I will literally walk a mile to get to the one store in an area capable of replenishing my stash of diet soda. (Diet Dr Pepper was called "Dr Pepper Zero" in the UK the last time I was there. I spent a lot of time very confused.)
A: Because it's fun! I have the official biography, which is intended for use by anyone looking for accurate, professional information. I have a few alternate biographies that have been written for me over the years, usually for inclusion in convention programs, and then I have the deeply silly survey-style biography, which is really just an excuse to never need to do another Internet survey meme.
A: We're mail-order only. You can find ads for the cloning kit in the back of old Warren Comics, between the spider monkeys and the realistic glowing monster hands.
Q: Who draws your comic strips?
A: This question has been asked a surprising number of times, given that I can't imagine finding any comic artist who'd be willing to spend that much time illustrating the semi-biographical adventures of me and my friends. I'd probably have to pay somebody, which would make the art better. In short, I do.
Q: What is your preferred medium?
A: I work primarily in black and white ink. I've been known to play around with Photoshop coloring, Prismacolor markers (I own over three hundred), and watercolors, but the vast majority of my art is ink on paper.
Q: What materials do you use?
A: My comic strips are done on Canson comic strip paper. My art cards are done on Strathmore pre-cut artist trading card blanks, because I'm lazy. I like heavy paper, and most of my pens are Microns. I use Prismacolor markers for all my coloring. I have a variety of watercolor sets, and use whichever has the colors I need at any given time.
Q: What's the deal with the creepy girl in orange and green?
A: That's Mel. If I have a mascot, it's Mel. She probably wants to hurt you, but you shouldn't take it personally. You can follow Mel's homicidal hobbies in the Pretty Little Dead Ghoul gallery, linked under the "Extras" menu.
Q: What's up with the art cards?
A: The art cards are something I started doing for fun, and because I bore easily. They turned into an interesting, special prize that I could give away in conjunction with my books, a neat thing to do for folks, and also, something I could keep doing for fun. Their only real limitation is that I can't color while I'm traveling, because my marker box is too damn big.
Q: What do you do with your original comic strips?
A: I sell most of my comic strip originals, just for reasons of storage—owning one or two is awesome, owning eighty is a fire hazard. They're all done with archival ink on acid-free paper, and they frame really well. Currently, comic strip originals start at $40.00, plus $5.00 for shipping and handling. Some strips cost slightly more, due to complexity or additional materials.
To inquire about a specific comic strip, you can use the "contact us" link. Most of the early strips are long since sold, but there's generally a window between posting a piece and the piece leaving my possession.
Q: What do you do with your art cards?
A: Some are done specifically as book giveaways or prizes; these tend to be handed out according to whatever arbitrary standards have been set for that contest/signing/whatever. Others are done because I'm deeply bored. These either wind up going up for very limited sale, getting given away, or stuck to my bulletin board. Finally, I will occasionally do convention sketches or extremely limited commissions because I need something to do with my hands. Commissions will be announced on the forums; please don't email me asking when the next one will be, as I rarely know.
Individual art cards are not available for sale through this site at the present time.
Q: Do you post all your art cards?
A: No. Some, I don't have decent scans of; others, I didn't have time to scan at all. Finally, some are just too weird or too in-jokey to be worth posting, because I'd wind up explaining them all the time.
SITE AND STAFF
Q: Who does your graphic design?
A: My site's graphic design, and most of our promotional goodies, are courtesy of Tara O'Shea. She's clean, responsive, and altogether awesome. I'm thrilled to be able to work with her.
Q: Most of the promotional goodies? Who does the rest?
A: The fabulous Rae Hanson is occasionally tapped for welcome banners and icons, largely because she's, well, fabulous. Rae is an utter delight to work with.
Q: Who does your site code?
A: My site's code—which is both sexy and dynamic—comes courtesy of Chris Mangum, who has managed to build something that works well, but is still easy enough to use that Lilly could probably manage the site updates if it was necessary. And if she had thumbs.
Q: Who does your site updates?
A: Because of the aforementioned sexy, sexy code, I'm able to do most of the site updates myself. When that isn't possible, they default either to Chris or to Kate.
Q: Kate would be...?
A: Kate is my Unofficial Personal Assistant (tm), and is usually responsible for logistics, scheduling, and organization around here. She normally knows where I'm supposed to be, when I'm supposed to arrive, and what I'm supposed to be doing while I'm there. She accompanies me to a lot of conventions, and is basically responsible for my care and feeding while the con is going on.
Kate's primary responsibility in my life is, of course, telling me that I'm not allowed to own an army of genetically-modified predatory dinosaurs, designed to fulfill my every whim. You may thank her.
Q: Is your staff susceptible to bribery?
A: Absolutely. You can bribe Kate with yarn, Tara with shiny things, Chris with incomprehensible tech toys, and Rae with television gossip. Oh, and you can bribe the cats with just about anything. They're equal-opportunity in their affections.
Q: Why is there so much stuff on this site?
A: So here's the basic theory: everything is organized so as to be as easy as possible to find. You don't need to click six layers deep to find the landing page for the October Daye books, or to find out where I'm going to be. But if you really want to, the option is there.
Also, I find working on my website incredibly soothing. Soothing things are good to have.
As an opening note, this is probably going to be the next FAQ section to spin off into its own page, because the questions keep on coming. Basically, there's a lot of stuff about attending conventions that people need to know; I've been attending conventions for a long, long time; this is my attempt to help.