In Episode Four, “Stolen Treasures,” Layla has crossed over from investigator to family friend of the Rothkopfs. “Volunteering” at the Rothkopf Gallery puts her in close proximity to suspected illicit art dealer Bennett and to his son James. She is starting to wrestle with the repercussions of letting things get so personal.
From the Writers’ Room is a regular feature where we invite the writer behind the most recent serial episode to give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse at just what went into this week’s installment.
Content From This Feature
In real life, when I’m not writing, I love to travel, though I suspect I’m a lousy travel companion. This is because I’m never really not writing. I write international mysteries / thrillers. My first three books were set in Japan, Ecuador, and Turkey, respectively. I’m always looking at my surroundings with my radar up for danger. I’m looking for trouble around every corner and down every alley – or at least a book idea lurking somewhere in the shadows. I’m never fully relaxed. And nothing inspires me like travel. That’s partly what drew me to working on False Idols – the chance to write about more international settings. If I’m not able to visit a location for research, I’m frequently combing travel guides and websites with that same eye for intrigue. A marketplace or a festival? Great! How could I propel a high-speed chase scene through it? Pretty sunset over the river? No time to enjoy it! A yacht...Read More >
Spoiler alert – it should be obvious now that things are different this season. In the first episode saw the return of a fan-favorite character, but in Episode 2, “Signal to Noise,” we learn that not all’s well with our surviving remades.
How does a country-born commoner transform herself into the ruler of a duchy? Why would an unambitious man set out to remove one of the most powerful figures of the establishment?
Do you remember when we first met Davenant? Diane noticed how handsome he was. He was charming. There was a little mutual flirting. He didn’t make your skin crawl, or sound any warning bells in the depths of your subconscious. How do you feel about Davenant now? Davenant is very intelligent. He’s excellent at any game, be it Chasse or Social Graces, or Getting Away With [Spoilers]. He loves a challenge and he hates to lose…and that’s what makes him a little stupid (that special kind of profound stupidity found in people who are a bit too aware of their intelligence). He can’t back down, even when common sense dictates that he should. Rather than focusing on what’s important, Davenant can and will get distracted by an opponent who forgets their place within his understanding of the hierarchy of power. Watch Davenant playing cards with Micah. It amuses him to let her win. Why not? He believes she is still...Read More >
Here is a confession that surprises everyone I tell it to: if I were a character on Tremontaine, I’d be Rafe.
Beginnings are hard, and even though Save Point is the fourth episode of ReMade season 2, it was my first for the season—essentially a sequel to last year’s storyline—and I was worried I’d forgotten how to write Loki and ReMade.
ReMade season 2 is underway, and boy was writing it a roller coaster! This season will look smooth as glass to you in reading it, but we hit a couple of unusual bumps while we were writing this season. Mind you, we’re used to having to do a lot of reconciliation after the fact. Stuff like… “Wait, you think this is a jungle? I thought this was a forest!” and “Okay, but are they camped inside the ruins, or are they right outside, or like five miles away?” This time, though, we wound up doing some pretty heavy-duty restructuring to make a more compelling season for you. For one thing, the first episode, “Patch Job,” was originally written as the third episode. (You’ll see the original first episode when the third drops this week–they swapped places, and you’ll see how it could’ve worked either way when we get there.) We also cut an entire episode from the middle of the...Read More >
I’ll begin with a confession: This is the only episode of both seasons I’ve worked on Tremontaine that I’ve not enjoyed writing. Even in season two when I murdered Arthur, though I avoided the moment, mourning the poor kid, writing that episode was exciting, fun, and I reveled when that moment finally came. Though S3:E6 has several character moments I wanted to write (Esha and Reza meeting, Rafe taking Reza on a swordsman hunt), when I was working on it, from outline to first draft, I couldn’t quite enjoy it. I also believe that if a writer is bored or uninterested in a scene, that comes through on the page and readers will sense it I told myself over and over to cut myself some slack because the same month this episode was due, I was going through some intensive final revisions for one of my novels, and that was eating all the joy from my life. That’s definitely true,...Read More >
When I look back over the posts I’ve written on my previous visits to the Writer’s Room, I see that I’ve written about the intersections, some intentional, some unexpected, of my Tremontaine episodes with the real world—especially in terms of politics. So though I’m writing this two days after off-term elections that saw a repudiation of the Trump agenda, I’m going to resist the temptation of drawing any parallels to my episode, “Every Face a Forgery.” By the way, isn’t that a killer title? I owe it to my brilliant colleague Tessa Gratton, who came to my aid when, despairing, I whined to the writing team on our Slack channel that I was at a total loss for an episode title. Tessa, like the awesome writer and editor she is, rummaged around in my manuscript draft, and guess what? The title I was desperately searching for was already there, written into a scene with Riverside’s favorite forger, Tess. All I...Read More >
If you already have the book, or part of it, in mind (and it sounds like you do!) then you probably already know a little bit about what happens inside it.
I want to take this opportunity to apologize to my collaborators for the terror I regularly put them through. Tessa, Karen, Paul, and Racheline are deeply, deeply responsible writers and would no sooner think of turning in an unfinished draft than they would, I don’t know, eat a baby. I, on the other hand, think babies are delicious, especially medium-well. Which means that I turn in unfinished drafts far more often than I know I wish I did, and far more often than I’m quite certain they wish I did. Part of the problem is that, when I’m having trouble with a scene, I end up just leaving a lot of place markers in the text—essentially, my drafts are filled with “WRITE THIS PART LATER.” Mostly, I do this when I know that a sentence or paragraph calls for something that will be difficult for me to think of, and rather than stop in my tracks for ten minutes to...Read More >