Friday, February 20, 2009


I would just like to take this opportunity to correct the doggerel that Rossamund recalls of Swill early in Lamplighter. I got the metre all out o' whack and would like to offer to you a slightly improved version (and so let you in on my restless and constant polishing of the H-c)

Honorius Ludius Grotius Swill
Will saw off your limbs, but eschews the pill;
For coughs he takes fingers, a sneeze he'll take toes,
But fevers will cost you your ears and your nose.

So no its syllable count for each line is 11, 10, 11, 11 whereas before it was 11, 9, 12,11 - which does not sound like much but I like the rhythm in the more even structure of the new version better - sounds more lilting in my head.

If at this point you think I a little nuts, you just might be right...

To answer a couple o' questions:

Yes Jenny M, MBT will be a trilogy but I truly intend and hope to bring you other tales from the Half-Continent over the years in what, Lord willing, will be a long term relationship between me and you all, an ongoing expounding of this pretend place through story and reference, a picture book (cheers Differlot) maybe film, and what ever else can express it best. What the next book after Factotum will be, I can as yet not really say... I do have ideas though.

Kathryn I will be showing the little man's face in Book 3.

And right now Portals I am just about to finish the 1st draft of Book 3 (such as it is), and for most f this year shall be editing it (several times), drawing character illos, writing the Explicarium for Book 3 (which may need to be shorter to make room for the story), complete the cover for the US edition and tweak the ANZ cover, attend various public events, finish off the map for Book 3, finalise the Appendices for Book 3, make all necessary corrections to all of the above... And in the period between handing everything up and it going to the printers I will be taking a great big breath.


Anonymous said...

Huzzah, I get first comment.

As always you amaze me with your brilliance Master Cornish.

... not much of a comment, I fear.

RottenPocket said...

This post just makes me remember the comment you made a while ago about Monsters' music, and how a majority of the time it's just a jig some bogle overheard being sung by children.

I can imagine that this particular song might be a favourite of the little blighters. What with all the dismemberment of people's limbs and all.

Ooooh, could you imagine if Swill was a master of dark practices and finds himself cornered by monsters? All the monsters start singing the tune as they..... do things involving pain, vengeance, and a little more pain.

Begrawn: The name I'd bear If I were a Nicker

(coolest verification word I've gotten yet)

That would be awesome.... Anywho, what's shakin'? :D

Rowan said...

I've always thought that I'd rather not see the faces of main characters (especially their film counterparts) because it ruins how I envisage them. I have yet to decide about MBT, no doubt curiosity will get the better of me.

I really like Swill as a character. Sure, he's wicked and aloof, but his portrait really surprised me (his youth in particular) and I yearned so much to know all about what was going on in his secret rooms.

I know we did the favourite monster bit, but I as wondering what everbody's single favourite line from each book is.

Here's mine:

Foundling:- 'You have been a revelation' (Miss Europe's heart-warming glimpse of humanity)

Lamplighter:- 'Without thinking, he leaped from the bed where he had been sitting and flung his arms about the fulgar.' (My god I'd been waiting so long for it to happen :) )

Can't wait for Facotum! I still hope everyday you'll do a Paolini on us and make a 'cycle'. Haha

RottenPocket said...

Single favourite line? sheesh... Anything that comes out of Freckle and Numps' mouths is tops.

I get very analytical when I read, so I like riddles and big plots... That's why they're my favourite characters and that's why Harry potter annoyed me so: So many tangents that went unfinished in that story...

People are asking many favourites...So I ask, what is your favourite item of clothing from the HC?

Me? The Jackcoat and matching thrice-high of course.

Klesita said...

I'm exhausted from reading all the things you have to accomplish before my copy of Factotum sees the light of day. I'm just about to ask you to stop writing in this blog (but I'm not because I need this until I can have my factotum - the book that is). I'm so glad you have thought about the map. Thanks!!!

portals said...

"More days than Numps has finers and toes?"

Coachmans Cloak and thrice-high

R.J. Anderson said...

You sound a little overwhelmed by the prospect of all the work ahead of you, but I have every confidence that in the end your fans will think it is absolutely worth the wait and be glad for the effort you put into it.

I can only hope that the same proves true when I finish my own revision slog... *trudges back to the laptop*

Klesita said...

Hey Portals, your past few comments have been very cryptic. Are you OK?

M. Walker said...

"Factotum" is one of my most anticipated books. Keep up the good work!

Differlot said...

If the other empires and continents are sedorners does that mean you could find a monster walking in the street?

You know what would be great. if other books were about the other kingdoms and the adventures there!

portals said...

Klesita- Yeah, Lol. They're just responses to other comments.

Mr. Cornish, Factotum will be great no matter what. With the new explicarium, maps, appendices, and illustrations, we can still spend hours going over the book. I'm looking forward to it

Anonymous said...

Good day Mr. Cornish,

I expect Rossamund to look a lot like Freddie Highmore did when he was younger. Not trying to influence his looks, but just that cutesy, innocent, fragile look.

It sure sounds like lots of fun trying to piece together the remainder of your story.

Perhaps your stories will take on a Terry Pratchett Discworld genre, with central characters revolving throughout the whole series of stories in the HC. And of course, yours would not be nearly as satirical.

Anonymous said...

and word was insti: a held back sneeze or cough.

portals said...

I thought he looked good at the convention.

such a cool WV
Gramosis- Disease

Zesty Zombie said...

I can't wait for Factotum's release. I had to go home and I retrieved my copies of Foundling and Lamplighter. This series is one of the only ones I have the urge to read over and over again. But please don't make it into a movie!!! I don't think I could stand it if they messed it up like so many wonderful books have already been. Anyways. Keep up the good work!!! You're in my prayers.

-Hanna Mae

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cornish.
Firstly, thank you for answering my question about the invalid silk worms. Next I'll say that a certain friend of mine will be glad to have a bit more story in Factotum (he was a little disapointed to find the Lamplighter narrative a hundred pages thinner than the spine suggested). Personally, I say bring on the appendices!
I also wonder how nearly the present editions of Books 1 and 2 match their original drafts. In hindsight, would you have written them very differently?

E.N. Reinmuth.
Favorite article of clothing:
The Misbegotten Schrewd's smock, hands down. The Sabrine Adept's harness was a very, very near second.
I'll have to get back to you on the favorite line.

midef: [mee DEF] An academic slang term for incompletely documented research. (a truncation of mediocre definitiveness) e.g. Ben's term paper on Norse myth was a thrice-blighted example of midef.

Sylvenger said...

Sorry to be off topic, but in the video from Youtube for Lamplighter, it pronounces Europe's name exactly like the continent "YUR-up". I don't know, when I read the books I just thought it would be pronounced with a little more sophistication, like "yoo-ROE-puh".

Anonymous said...

E N Reinmuth-
1) not having the books anywhere handy, i cannot for the life of me remember the names of all the awesome sartorial finery that struck my fancy. but i am SO finding a way to make Europe's crow-talon hair-tine.
2)even if i could remember specific lines, [see 1)] i don't know that i could pick a particular fave. let me do some research. darn--i guess i'll have to re-read the books again...:)

leere-(!!!) a professional read-aloud-er

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just wanted to say I like the little details you put into your story. The about hundred pages in the backs of the books show just hpw much effort you put into worldbuilding, and it shows in your books. I love stuff like that! Just the information there fascinated me almost as much as the main story. Thank you!

ms_ventress said...

Hi monday,

I have successfully made Europe's Talon hair piece. If you want to contact me via email in my profile I can show you pictures and give you a tutorial on how I made it, if you like. :)


portals said...

Anyway - Gramosis- disease in which heart tissue becomes denser and harder.

Something I've been wondering, are all sedorners just sympathisers like Rossamund, or do you get hardcore crazies who worship monsters?

Anonymous said...

I believe the Explicarium of Foundling mentions false-god cults obsessed with stirring up these primeval leviathans. Such individuals are considered enemies of the state because the appearance of a false-god always spells doom for civilization.

portals said...

Ty Ben

pearl said...

Wow, haha. It's been a while since I last posted... Maybe I should make my presence known again.

Favourite line.... Hardest question ever. I suppose I'd have to agree with ENR, and to that add the sharp, quirky things that Europe does, and the innocent ignorance of Rossamund. And where he just sat down when being threatened in Foundling.

Favourite clothing.... equiteer boots and fancy frockcoats.

Prume: (You have no idea how tempted I am to say "Prune a plum tree".) The loose, frayed leather edges on old boots.

RottenPocket said...


Argh! So true, I can't believe I forgot that bit. I guess Numps in book 2 kinds shoved Rossamund out of my mind a little.

Yonsizin: A fruitful flower in the shape of a sombrero, and has an affect unto monsters much like catnip to felines. To humans, it smells like crap...

Anonymous said...

Numps is awesome. Nuff said.

But anyway, my favorite line would have to be.....huh. It's so hard to choose. *bites lip* Perhaps that scene that Pearlius brought up, where Rossamund just sits down when he's in trouble. It's just something that comepletely and utterly fits his character.

Anonymous said...

The swedish crownprincess Viktoria got engaged today. They guy is just an "ordinary" man, not an nobility and they have been dating for many years. Not sure what to think. I just hope it doesn´t turn out like the english court with divorces and scandals.

the Moribund Rose said...

Didn't you show his face in Book 2? Or is this someone else?

Kathryn said...

it's good to know that you are showing Rossamund's face right at the end of the series because in the mean time it gives people a chance to use their imagination on what he looks like. Good choice!