The Lost Journals Out Today
Read our interview with the author, Mur Lafferty!
ARGGH! Oh, sorry. I know no one likes it when I start these articles by screaming in your face. But I can’t help it! I’ve just been reading one of the scarier scenes in The Lost Journals, the third official Minecraft novel – out today in the US and UK on Minecraftshop.com and other retailers!
As well as a page-turner and all-round great read, this is probably our most mysterious novel yet. Who wrote The Lost Journals? Was it me? Or was I too busy slacking off and playing Into The Breach to even get this article finished on time? Tragically, we all know the answer to that one.
But it wasn’t my fault! I remembered how great Into The Breach was when I interviewed the author of The Lost Journals, Mur Lafferty, about her new Minecraft novel:
Tom: Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer?
Mur Lafferty: I was a voracious reader as a child, but once I started reading science fiction and fantasy by women (Anne McCaffrey, Madeline L'Engle), about women and girls, is when I got interested in writing it. I studied English in college and about ten years after graduation I decided to get serious with this writing thing. Aside from books, I've written for magazines, role-playing games, video games, and serialized podcast fiction.
Tom: What can you tell us about The Lost Journals?
Mur Lafferty: The Lost Journals is about three kids, all looking to find the author of a torn journal, and finding a lot more than they bargained for. It's about friendship, family, terrible enchanters, a loyal wolf, and lots and lots of mobs.
Tom: Do you play a lot of games yourself?
Mur Lafferty: Oh yes, far too many if you ask anyone around me. Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Rune Factory 4, Skyrim, Pokemon, Into The Breach, No Man's Sky, Overwatch, Dragon Age, FTL... the list can go on and on.
Tom: What made you want to write a book in the Minecraft universe?
Mur Lafferty: Minecraft is one of the best universes to write in because there's little plot involved with the game. So you can tell nearly any story within its "walls" so long as you follow the rules of the world.
Tom: How did you handle the restrictions of having to stick to the rules of Minecraft?
Mur Lafferty: It wasn't that difficult since I was already familiar with the world. The roadblocks that surprised me was when I had to edit meal scenes because the food the family was eating was not available in the game! I also discovered I'd made obsidian far too easy to destroy in the book, and had to edit some key scenes.
Tom: Was there any Minecraft features you really wanted to get into the book?
Mur Lafferty: There are some quirks of the game that I really like that were a lot of fun to add. My favorites were the ability to breed different colors of sheep, calling your pet wolf to you and having it teleport, and the balance you must strike to make ridiculous monsters - namely a mob of chicken jockeys - both hilarious and terrifying.
Tom: Some passages of the book are handwritten with splotches of ink hiding some of the text – can you tell us more about that stylistic choice?
Mur Lafferty: Our poor heroes have trouble deciphering some of the journals because the original author did not intend for anyone else to read it. I wanted the real-life book to reflect some of the puzzling aspects of the journals and was delighted when the designers were able to include such a beautiful recreation of what I had in mind.
TOM: Mur Lafferty, thank you very much!