I love being asked off-the-wall or unusual questions from people who have read my book. It makes me think creatively, or at least cock my head and blink several times. The one I was asked the most recently came from a professor – to be specific, an Apple-loving professor from India who teaches in my department. In the midst of a conversation with him about computer systems last week, he suddenly looked at me in horror and said, “You didn’t write your novel on a Windows machine, did you? No self-respecting novelist would use a Windows machine.”
Got to admit, that one took me off guard.
A question that I’ve been asked more frequently, however, has to do with where I wrote my book rather than what type of computer I used. As it turns out, The Quest of the Unaligned was written in quite a lot of places. Here are all the ones I can remember:
–In Pasadena, California (my hometown).
- At home on my laptop,
- Scribbled on the back of church bulletins in between services
- Outside on the patio
- Inside on the big-screen desktop computer when I wanted multiple windows open at once
- In the car (while I was a passenger, don’t worry!)
–In Grove City, Pennsylvania (my undergraduate school)
- In my dorm-room.
- In a friend’s dorm-room.
- In the antique study hall.
- In the English Suite.
- In the Sociology Suite.
- In the library.
- In the hallway in between classes.
- In class for the five minutes before class actually started.
- Outside on the lawn.
- In fact, pretty much everywhere.
–In Lincoln, Nebraska (my current school)
- In my apartment.
- In my office.
- In a hotel room on my first visit to the city. (I actually remember this one quite clearly: I wrote the scene where Alaric and Naruahn leave Lord Deshamai’s lands while sitting cross-legged on a hotel bed. I really didn’t want to stop writing and go to sleep, even though I had my grad-school interview early the next morning.)
–In airplanes. Lots of airplanes.
–And airports. I get so much writing done in airports – especially when they don’t have free Internet!
So yes. The United States is quite well geographically represented in the creation of The Quest of the Unaligned – on the ground, as well as above it. But yes, it is also true that I didn’t write a word of it on a Mac. If that fact makes you think less of the book, you’re entitled to that opinion. I, however, will continue to consider myself a self-respecting novelist, and keep typing away at my Windows machine wherever I happen to be, from coast to coast.