Q. Wait. Did you say puppeteer?

A. 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

Q. How did you get started in puppetry?

A. 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.

Q. Will you read my manuscript?

A. 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.

Q. Is Robinette your maiden name?

A. 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 true Southern tradition of double-names.

Q. 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.

Q. 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.

Q. Do you record audio fiction for people?

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

10 thoughts on “FAQ”

  1. Well Hello Ms Mary. Remember an Australian puppeteer at the O’Neil Puppetry thingie back in ’93? I’m still puppeting away, currently in charge of sculpture and fabrication on Walking with Dinosaurs – the Live Experience (www.dinosaurlive.com) and producing my own childrens’ shows (see http://www.tadpole.net.au)
    Looks like you’ve been busy too.
    I’ll write more soon, I’m still at work at the theatre, better get back to it.

  2. I just read your story Clockwork Chickadee over at Clarkesworld, and I thought it was really sharp and fun. Looking at your bibliography, you seem to have published quite a few stories – my question, naturally, is when can we expect the first print collection?

  3. First of all, thank you for your kind words.

    My first collection will come out from Subterranean Press in June 2009. It’s called, Scenting the Dark and will be illustrated by Sandro Castelli.

  4. Hello, Mary.

    What typewriters do you own? I am just starting to collect them and am at 12 units now.


    Oh, and advice to budding writers in, say, 20 words or less?


  5. Hi Tim,

    I’m sorry, I somehow missed your question coming in.
    Groma Kolibra
    Royal Sterling Portable
    Underwood Portable
    Oliver No. 5
    Blickenderfer No. 8
    Corona No. 3
    Royal (1930s?)
    2 Woodstocks of unknown vintage
    Royal Deluxe 1937
    Royal Duotone 1932?

    Advice to budding writers:
    Finish the story. You can’t make a sale until you finish the story.

  6. Mary, 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?

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