FAQ about Mary

  1. How should your name appear in print?
  2. Is Robinette your maiden name?
  3. Wait. Did you say puppeteer?
  4. How did you get started in puppetry?
  5. Will you read my manuscript?
  6. How do you pronounce your last name?
  7. You’re from the South? But you don’t have a Southern accent.
  8. Who’s that guy in the photos with you?
  9. What can you tell me about [blank] on Lazytown?
  10. What is it like to work with [blank] on Lazytown?
  11. Do you record audio fiction for people?
  12. What typewriters do you own?
  13. What advice do you have for budding writers in, say, 20 words or less?
  14. I’ve read some of your free fiction on here and fell in love with your storytelling. (Also your narrating) I’m trying to get my hands on an audio copy of Scenting The Dark, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Is there one? And if so, where can I find it?
  15. I was at your panel on reading aloud at WorldCon and came here looking for your lessons on the subject. I can't find them, help! Great panel, by the way, with a lot of info I'd never even heard of before, much less knew anything about. :) Angie
  16. What if I’ve got another question that you didn’t answer here?
  17. I was delighted to discover your glamourist novels recently, so much so that I have read all three already! When do you plan to publish the fourth book you have in mind for that series, and will there be a fifth? Thanks.
  1. Rating: +0

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    How should your name appear in print?

    Any of these variants are fine Mary, Mary Robinette, Kowal, or Mrs. Kowal. It should never appear as Robinette-Kowal or Mrs. Robinette Kowal. Robinette is my middle name, not my maiden name.

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    Is Robinette your maiden name?

    No, actually, it’s my middle name. Though it is tempting, it should never be hyphenated with my last name. Robinette was my grandmother’s middle name, and her father’s middle name and the last name of the minister who married his parents. If you could eavesdrop on my family in Chattanooga you would hear a number of them calling me Mary Robinette in the Southern tradition of double-names.

  3. Rating: +1

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    Wait. Did you say puppeteer?

    Yes, I’ve been a professional puppeteer since 1989. For more information about the kinds of work I do, swing by to my company’s website http://www.otherhandproductions.com

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    How did you get started in puppetry?

    The short answer is that I was one of those kids who wanted to do everything and puppetry combined them all. When I was in college, a professional puppeteer came to see a production of Little Shop of Horrors, which I was in, and I realized that people would actually give me money to do puppets. Instant change in career plans. The long answer is in a post, here.

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    Will you read my manuscript?

    Alas, no. Don’t feel singled out, there are days when I don’t have time to read my own fiction, either. I also don’t have the time to read all the fiction my close friends write. Sorry.

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    How do you pronounce your last name?

    Co-wall, with the emphasis on the first syllable. It’s like Kowalski, without the ski. As I understand it, my husband’s grandfather Americanized his name when he came over from the Ukraine to make it easier to pronounce.

  7. Rating: +1

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    You’re from the South? But you don’t have a Southern accent.

    A. My answer to that depends on my mood. When I’m cranky I say, “This is a southern accent.” When I’m garrulous I offer the long form. The lack of accent comes from three factors.

    1. I lived in Raleigh, NC where most of the people I knew were transplants who came to the South to work for IBM so I really wasn’t exposed to the southern accent that much.
    2. I also had a speech impediment and couldn’t pronounce the letter “r” or “f.” Speech therapy gave me very clean speech.
    3. Finally, I watched way too much British television.
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    Who’s that guy in the photos with you?

    That is my husband, Rob Kowal.

  9. Rating: +2

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    What can you tell me about [blank] on Lazytown?

    Nothing. The company is very generous by letting me blog about my work, so I try to be considerate by not posting photos or spoilers. In the two seasons I’ve been doing this, they haven’t felt the need to censor me and I’d like to keep it that way. They are nice people, why make them cranky

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    What is it like to work with [blank] on Lazytown?

    Honestly, I will always answer this as “Fun!”

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    Do you record audio fiction for people?

    Absolutely. Drop me a line if you’d like to talk about getting some audio fiction recorded. I prefer to do stories with female POV characters, but I also work with very talented actors at Willamette Radio Workshop.

  12. Rating: +3

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    What typewriters do you own?

    Groma Kolibra
    Royal Sterling Portable
    Underwood Portable
    Underwood
    Oliver No. 5
    Blickensderfer No. 8
    Corona No. 3
    Royal (1930s?)
    2 Woodstocks of unknown vintage
    Royal Deluxe 1937
    Royal Duotone 1932?

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    What advice do you have for budding writers in, say, 20 words or less?

    Finish the story. You can’t make a sale until you finish the story.

  14. Rating: +0

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    I’ve read some of your free fiction on here and fell in love with your storytelling. (Also your narrating) I’m trying to get my hands on an audio copy of Scenting The Dark, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Is there one? And if so, where can I find it?

    There isn't one currently and I've just realized that I've never recorded any of the stories. Hm...

  15. Rating: +0

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    I was at your panel on reading aloud at WorldCon and came here looking for your lessons on the subject. I can't find them, help! Great panel, by the way, with a lot of info I'd never even heard of before, much less knew anything about. :) Angie

    You can find them by clicking on "Fiction" and then on that page, clicking "Reading Aloud" OR you can just click this link which will take you directly there.

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    What if I’ve got another question that you didn’t answer here?

    That’s what the handy comment form below is for. Ask and I’ll try to answer.

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    I was delighted to discover your glamourist novels recently, so much so that I have read all three already! When do you plan to publish the fourth book you have in mind for that series, and will there be a fifth? Thanks.

    The fourth book, Valour and Vanity comes out on April 8th, 2014 in the US. The fifth, and final book, of this cycle of books will be in 2015 and is called Of Noble Family

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