To kick off Geek Week we have to ever elegant and wonderful Zoe Marriott talking about her love of the Geek and how she’s found a way to fit Geek into her work
Dear Readers (and Laura!) thank you for having me on your blog. It is always delightful to be here among My People, the geek community. It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or has read my blog that I am a ginormous nerd. An ultra-otaku. An unashamed, out-and-proud GEEK.
But it might come as a surprise to people who’ve only read my books because, so far, they have been a (seemingly) geek-free zone.
How can this be? Have I turned my back on my own people? Have I betrayed my geek roots?
Well, I haven’t meant to. You see, when you’re writing high fantasy – epic novels set in secondary worlds – it’s hard to find a way to include geekisness or geek characters. I did my best. Otieno, the hero of Shadows on the Moon (a Cinderella retelling set in fairytale Japan) may be a muscular hottie with a talent for archery, but his primary passion is books. He writes the heroine poetry and makes cheesy jokes. He’s as close to a geek as I could squash into that world. But he couldn’t exactly turn up to woo the heroine in an Inuyasha t-shirt or display his geek cred by ironically quoting Buffy or talking about Star Wars. It just doesn’t fit. And that means many people may have missed his adorable geekishness.
As for my heroines? They’re usually far too busy ruthlessly seeking revenge, kicking people’s butts, bringing war-torn countries together or struggling to make sense of unruly and dangerous magics to enjoy the full fruits of geek activities. Even if there was an internet in any of their universes (which there isn’t) they wouldn’t have time to enjoy it. And trust me, some of them could really use some Lolcatz in their lives.
This is a sorrowful admission to make. I have always maintained that the nerds shall inherit the earth, and also all the hotties. Every smart girl knows that geeks make the best boyfriends, and every smart boy knows that nerds make the best girlfriends (and the same is true for guys seeking guys and girls seeking girls).
But it’s OK! It’s all OK now. Because a couple of years ago I had this amazing idea for a story set in contemporary London that would draw on Japanese myths and fairytales – a trilogy of books, actually – and as soon as I began to write it, a myriad of geek characters presented themselves to me. There’s Mio, my heroine; an anime and manga otaku of the highest order, who dresses up as Rukia from Bleach to go to her friend’s fancy dress party, and accidentally ends up unleashing the ancient and awe-inspiring power of her family’s ancestral sword on London (ooops). There’s her best friend Jack, a devoted Goth who is obsessed with 80’s films and TV shows – the cheesier the better – and can usually be relied on to pull out a Top Gun or She-Ra quote at the worst possible moment, like when facing down an army of feral cats that want to eat everyone alive. And there’s Hikaru, who isn’t actually human but is so fascinated by them that he geeks out over their books and films and reads the Chronicles of Narnia over and over again.
I’m so happy that I finally get to write about My People. I’m so happy that I finally get to share my true geekish colours with my readers.The Night Itself, book one of The Name of the Blade trilogy, will be out on the fourth of July this year, and I cannot WAIT to show the rest of the world just how hard geeks can kick butt when they’re called on to avert the Apocalypse. Because, let’s be honest now – we all know that’s just what geeks are. Heroes in waiting.
My geek heroes are waiting to meet you. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.
Thanks for having me over, Laura!