In a city that never was, sex scandal, and swordplay combine in deadly fashion. Enter a world inspired by Elizabethan London, 18th century Paris, and 1980s New York where your wit must be as sharp as your steel. Intrigue is afoot when a Duchess, a scholar, a swordswoman, and a genius, are brought together by long-buried lies and truths that cannot be denied.
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.
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Welcome to Tremontaine, where ambition, love affairs, and rivalries dance with deadly results. In this serial, Ellen Kushner and a team of writers return readers to the world of scandal and swordplay introduced in her cult-classic novel Swordspoint. Readers familiar with the series will find a welcome homecoming while new fans will learn what makes Riverside a place they will want to visit again and again.
Welcome to Tremontaine, the prequel to Ellen Kushner's beloved Riverside series that began with Swordspoint! A Duchess whose beauty is matched only by her cunning; her husband's dangerous affair with a handsome scholar; a foreigner in a playground of swordplay and secrets; and a mathematical genius whose discoveries herald revolution--when long-buried truths threaten long-held deceptions, betrayal know no bounds. Mind your manners and enjoy the chocolate in a dance of sparkling wit and political intrigue.
Some of our extensive research on art relics did made its way into the story at various points, or served as strong inspiration for fictitious scenarios. Other relics were completely invented – either because that made for more convenient storytelling, or because investigations are ongoing, which makes descriptions of actual stolen objects hard to fictionalize.
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 >