Explaining Graceling, Fire, Bitterblue, prequels, sequels, companion books, and all the others ways I’m confusing people :o)

Starting with newsy bits of newsy news:
  • Graceling is on the 2009 Amelia Bloomer List (Recommended Feminist Literature for Birth through 18). What an awesome list to be on. Thank you!
  • It’s also on the Locus Magazine 2008 Recommended Reading List, in the First Novels category.
  • In case you’re interested, the February issue of the magazine SFX contains a profile of me and a super-nice review. It’s the issue with Wolverine on the cover. :o)
  • I’ll be a guest of honor, along with Tamora Pierce and Sherwood Smith, at Sirens, a conference about women in fantasy literature taking place in Vail, Colorado next October. I’ll put up more info about this soon.
  • Graceling is on the Long List for the brand new David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy. Your votes decide who makes the Short List, so, if you care to vote for, ahem, anyone in particular, please go here. :o)
  • Congrats to all the Cybils winners!
Moving on, I’m still working on my FAQ Project. Here are a few questions I get a lot. Spoiler status: The following FAQS are spoiler free.
1. You talk about Graceling, which is out now; Fire, coming out in the fall; and Bitterblue, which you’re currently writing. How do they fit together? Are they prequels, sequels, etc.?
They are loosely connected. Fire takes place about 35 years before Graceling in a nearby land. Bitterblue takes places six years after Graceling, in the seven kingdoms. I’m going to refer you to my My Books page, which answers the question more fully (and which does contain some minor spoilers, along the lines of what you’d find on a book jacket).
2. Why did you decide to write the books that way?
When I began Graceling, I never had any intention of writing another book in that universe. But then, at some point, a character in Graceling mentions an imaginary land he’s heard about in a story, and I found myself thinking about that land. I asked myself, what if it were real? Where is it, and how does it connect to Graceling? An idea for a new book came to me (Fire), and I had to write it. The same thing happened with Bitterblue. While writing Fire, I never intended to write a third book in this universe. Then, one day, a loved one said out of the blue, “Hmm, what about Bitterblue?” It was kind of a revelation. An idea began to latch onto my mind, and I realized I had to write it.
3. Will there be more books that take place in this universe?
I don’t know. If a fourth book starts growing in my mind and demands to be written, then yes. If not, then no. Sometimes, writers aren’t as in control of what they’ll write next as you might think! I’ll have to go with what feels right.
4. When is Bitterblue coming out?
I don’t know. Sometime after I’m done writing it. :o)
5. Is Graceling going to be made into a movie?
No one has optioned Graceling at this point. If and when anyone does, I’ll explain more about how it all works. (Getting optioned does not mean it will necessarily ever be made into a movie.)
That’s all, folks! Happy Monday ^_^