There were a lot of Red Rising fans who didn’t get to attend Pierce’s Pepperdine Event this past week. For all of those poor Howlers, and the one’s who forgot to take notes, you’re in luck. The next best thing to attending an event in person is hearing all about it from someone who did. The awesome, Essie (Give Me The Mad Dogs) recapped her experience for all of you. Read the full thing here:
Pierce Brown at Pepperdine
Pierce signed everyone’s books and took loads of time with each person, answering more questions, chatting about the books, and just in general being super awesome to everyone. He signed my copy of RR to myself and the Red Rising Skype group 🙂
There was also a hilarious moment wherein he spelled someone’s name wrong and they failed to mention it until way later on, and he (very jokingly) gave them a ton of shit for not saying anything. Then he crossed it out and corrected it, and started calling them “the Inconsiderate Howler” XD
(Also, the room we were in was called the Surfboard Room, and if you can’t tell why, I worry about you)
Q & A
Okay the questions section from yesterday! There’s quite a few and my notes are very messy (I was scribbling on the back inner pages of the book because I forgot PAPER I’m the worst), so most of this will be disorganized paraphrasing. As usual: SPOILERS for Golden Son and Red Rising abound.
I’ll get some of the ones I think (well, that I know) some people will be a bit disappointed about out first:
Pierce mentioned briefly that they are aging up the characters for the film. I knooooooow. But, in the end, I think it does make sense. There’s just a lot of things in the books I guess couldn’t go to ground if the characters were still children in the first, and by the time Golden Son comes around, they are in their 20s anyway. So, we trade younger ages for plot points.
Second: Lysander isn’t in the third book (I’m so sorry lysander-au-lune), at least not in any kind of substantial capacity. MY THREE PAGE ESSAY WAS FOR NAUGHT. I asked him about it three different times, too, just to make sure, whilst crying (ok, I didn’t actually cry but I was very sad). Also, I asked him if we would see more of the Furies, specifically the third unnamed sister – he said no… I didn’t really inquire further and now I realize that I’m not sure if he meant we wouldn’t see any of the Furies, or just the third specifically – I think he means the 3rd, because I feel like it would be impossible not to encounter Aja again.
The good news is that the reason a lot of these characters won’t be reappearing is because the book is already packed to the brim with things happening and there simply wasn’t room to bring back some of the more minor characters. So sadly, some of them will just have to live on in our imagination folks.
Okay on to my questions, because I wrote them down and thus could organize them neatly:
How is the Gold prefix “A-U” pronounced?
It’s pronounced [drumroll please] ………… “ow”
I actually asked Pierce if it was “ow” or “oh”, and he said “ow” though honestly, he is fine with people saying whatever they want. So I guess the debate ends thusly: just pronounce shit however the hell you want.
Would Pax, Tactus, and Quinn have followed Darrow if they knew his true cause?
The answer is….. YES!!! THEY ALL WOULD HAVE!!! I squealed when he said that. Then he gave me this doozy of a followup: Out of the three of them, it would have been hardest for Quinn.
So naturally I asked why that was, because I had always assumed that out of all of them, she’d have been the first to sign up. Pierce said that because Quinn is naturally concerned for other people, and she is good, she’d instinctively understand where the revolution was heading, which boils down to: war and genocide. She would have essentially the same question his mother asked Darrow when he came back home: “What’s the plan?” As of right now, by Pierce’s own admission, Darrow doesn’t have one.
As for the other two: Tactus would have followed Darrow because Tactus only cares about Tactus. [Sidenote: Pierce also said Tactus’d totally talk in the third person as well, and I love it.] But more importantly, as I’ve theorized before, Tactus would realize that if the revolution succeeded, it would make him stand out, and it would put him closer to the top than he’s ever been. It would also be exciting, which automatically interests him.
And Pax of course, is loyal. Pierce also said, and I LOVE this, that Pax is all about using his immense strength to protect the weak. So this would just be a natural course of action for him.
So, Pinks are the pleasure slaves of the Society, while Browns are the house servants. Why in Golden Son does Darrow employ a Pink to do many of the things I’d assume a Brown would?
Older Pinks like Theodora, ones that have fulfilled their “use” in Society, tend to be valets. These Pinks serve a role as advisors to Golds, though much different from the highly educated/schooled Politicos. Pink valets are top notch players in the game of courtly intrigue, well versed in the world of sexual intrigue, scandal, and gossip.
Most of these Pinks are actually a type known as Roses. They are raised in the Rose Garden, which is where these types of Pinks are trained to be more like courtesans than the type you’d find in a red light district. They are highly intelligent strategists (I bet Matteo is a Rose!!!).
Why does Fitchner describe himself as a bastard (he calls Sevro a “bastard’s bastard” or something to that effect)?
Fitchner isn’t a bastard in the traditional sense of the word, it’s just the connotation. Because he comes from a weak family line, rather than a prominent one like the Augustuses or Bellonas, this is just how people describe Golds like him as a shorthand. [More royal court terms – love it]
Okay now I’ll do questions asked by other people. My memory is bad, so you’ll have to forgive me essentially making up the question, because I only wrote down the answers!!
On Obsidians, including Ragnar and SISTER OF RAGNAR!
The Obsidians are a matriarchy. Everything in Obsidian culture revolves around the beginning and ending of life, because they are born to kill others. Because of this, the women of the culture lead, because life begins in the womb. Pierce said they send the young off to war very early.
Ragnar has a sister, who we should be seeing in Morning Star! The bolded letters way of speaking is unique to their family entirely, even among the Obsidians. Pierce said he just likes writing it that way, because it’s fun 😛
Also, we know that Ragnar sleeps with his eyes open. A running joke in his family is the fact that his sister tattooed eyes on her eyelids, because she basically was like “screw that noise”. [THIS IS HILARIOUS.]
Pierce’s top three favorite books are…
The Count of Monte Cristo, Lord of the Rings (and he re-reads the Hobbit every year, so we can lump them together), and Dune.
This isn’t related to the above, but he also is a Dungeons and Dragons fan.
On the source of the prefixes, specifically “au”…
Pierce got it from the periodic table specifically. I didn’t have the chance to tell him that it means “of the family” in Latin, sharky-head! I’m not even sure he knows about the happy coincidence.
Apparently, an editor for another version of the books messed up one of the parts at the end, and it went to print with Timothy au Podginus for that one Copper character (supposed to be Timothy cu Podginus). He said it’s the only time he’s ever been angry with something over his books. Sidenote: he pronounces “cu” as “soo” – I’ve been saying it “koo”! oops
On interesting fan interactions…
He said the strangest one he’s had is someone who gave him an envelope with a note in it saying “for Lorn au Arcos’s plumbing”. The envelope also contained VIAGRA and they handed it to him in the middle of a signing and he was just left holding a box of Viagra in a panic and wondering what the hell just happened.
He also has met a lot of people who hug him and then won’t let go.
Pierce loves fanfiction, and he is actually honored when people want to write anything with his characters in it. He loves writing and creating, and if things he wrote about fuel someone else’s inspiration, he’s happy with that 🙂
On Octavia and her Furies…
Octavia was abused by her father as a child (though Pierce specifically said NOT sexually abused). This is why her closest cohorts are the all female Furies. Sheds a new light on her hopes and fears where Lysander is concerned, and why she was so willing to murder her own father. Killing Lysander’s mum still = NOT COOL, though. But once again it looks like Gold families basically SUCK.
Pierce also said that Aja is the most dangerous person in the Society. Eep!
On Pierce’s next projects…
Pierce’s next project is a FANTASY NOVEL!! He said that though Red Rising was his breakout, it’s one of the few times he’s written sci fi (wow). Fantasy is where he belongs, and he described this next project as a cross between Harry Potter and American Gods, and if that doesn’t excite you, you must be a cold, unfeeling lizard person (or you don’t like fantasy, which is a foreign concept to me, but okay fine).
He briefly described the opening scene for us: a boy walks down a road under the sweltering son, barefoot and blistered. Suddenly, the mirage of an ice cream truck appears in the distance… 😀
On the inspiration for his characters…
There’s only one character in the books who is based off a real person and that is… Sevro. Yes, the crazy goblin is someone real from Pierce’s life. Growing up, this guy was always the kid everyone picked on, but Pierce was always nice to him (he doesn’t know why).
As it happened, Pierce was getting bullied by the same group of people one day when one of them was tackled from behind by not-Sevro, who proceeded to pull a Mike Tyson and bit off part of the other kid’s ear. I can only assume the bullies fled in a panic, but Pierce said that after the fight was over, his new friend said to him “That was fun – let’s find another one.” And that is the story of how they became best friends.
That was a lot of questions, and I was even half an hour late for the Q&A (apparently, they skipped the reading), which went an hour and 15 min over schedule, because Pierce is just awesome and has a great time chatting with people who care about Red Rising, writing, and everything in between.
That is everything I was able to write down/remember. Will post other things if they bubble up in my brain, or maybe other people who were there can chime in and add stuff!!
Thanks to Essie for recapping the event! If you’re on tumblr, make sure you follow her here for all kinds of Howler awesomeness. And of course to all of you for making this fandom the very best fandom there is. Later, Howlers.