(reblogged from Bookwraiths)
I’m so very honored to welcome Harry Turtledove to Bookwraiths today. As a longtime fan of all his amazing books, I’d be hard pressed to name my favorite. Publishing stories in the fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction, and alternate history genres, there is a Turtledove story which will tickle everyone’s fancy, and now he has turned his sights to the world of baseball, where his alternate history novel The House of Daniel takes place in a Depression Era America where magic works and baseballs fly!
Hello, Mr. Turtledove. Welcome to Bookwraiths. Thanks so much for sparing some time to answer a few questions.
Thanks for inviting me here.
You have a new book coming out, The House of Daniel. Some might call it a departure, of sorts, from most of your recent alternate history series. What can you tell us about it?
It isn’t really. Something like a third of my overall ouput is fantasy of one kind or another, though I haven’t done so much the past few years. THE HOUSE OF DANIEL is an urban fantasy set during the Depression in a world that isn’t quite ours because magic works and things like vampires and zombies and werewolves coexist with ordinary people. It centers on baseball, because I’ve been a fanatical fan for many years.
How long did it take this story idea to germinate before you were able to put it down onto paper?
I spent one summer night talking baseball with Peter S. Beagle over dinner; he’s the same sort of obsessive fan at I am. He’s older than I am, too, and he remembers further back. I thought, I ought to do something baseballish. I started writing just a few days later.
What drew you to this period of American history?
It’s the heyday of the minor leagues and especially of semipro ball, which this book is about. And my parents were young adults during the Depression, so I heard a lot of stories about it growing up.
Other than sheer entertainment, was there any message you were hoping to convey to readers with a story such as The House of David?
Mark Twain said it best in his introduction to HUCKLEBERRY FINN: “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.”
Having been publishing beloved novels for over thirty-five years now, is there any historical period you have not written about but desperately wish to?
I have some nineteenth-century ideas I’m playing with right now, maybe turning some Victorian conventions upside down and inside out.
How comfortable are you with the title “the master of alternate history?” Has it ever caused any of your non-historical stories to be more difficult to publish?
You don’t like, or I don’t like, to do the same thing all the damn time. If I do the same thing over and over, might as well drive a truck.