WILL THE CROWN BE PUBLISHED?
AREN'T YOU WRITING MORE BOOKS ABOUT DAIN?
was my publisher's decision to suspend the Nether/Mandria series
for the time being due to dropping sales.
GOING TO HAPPEN TO TALMOR?
I love this character and have much more adventure planned for
him, providing my publisher will agree to bring out more books
about Mandria. He's the real father of Prince Guierre, although
that's a state secret unknown to the boy or the Mandrian court.
WHY DID YOU LEAVE YOUR MANDRIA/NETHER SERIES TO WRITE THE
It was time to let Dain, Alexeika, Pheresa, and Talmor take a break.
I felt ready to try something different, especially since I think
writers can become stale when they don’t take
on new challenges. The Pearls and The Crown (2008) are a two-book
set dealing with Lea, the younger sister of the protagonist in
The Ruby Throne trilogy that I wrote several years ago. They are
not strictly sequels to that old trilogy, although I tied up a
dangling plot question that got overlooked in the original books.
Enough people kept asking me what happened to the child Lea that
I decided to write about her as an adult. She was an endearing
little girl, lively and cute and able to see the truth about people,
able to command the spirits of air, earth, and water, and able
to see – possibly even affect – the future. What would
become of her as she matured into a young woman? I figured that
she would continue to be extraordinary and special, so special
that people might come to idolize her too much. I wanted her to
be uncomfortable with excessive adulation, and I wanted her to
retain the qualities of goodness and compassion despite the corruption
of an imperial court and the evil people determined to harm her.
Q: HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CHARACTER
OF LEGION COMMANDER SHADRAEL?
A: I wanted a foil character for
Lea, someone who’s dark,
brutish, sworn to shadow, etc. Initially he was just going to be
an abductor who carries her off. But of course that was too simple.
I started thinking about how and why a man would become a mercenary.
That led to my decision that he would be exiled from the army.
If he’d achieved the rank of legion commander, it meant he’d
been a very successful soldier, so what led to his discharge? That
was easy to work out, but I wanted him to be even more complex.
Why would an intelligent, capable man swear his allegiance to shadow,
and why would he remain loyal thereafter? I’m intrigued by
the ways in which people justify committing wrong or self-destructive
actions. I chose to make Shadrael a man who’s lost his soul,
so he can operate among the dark forces, yet he’s retained
enough elemental decency to regret it. When he meets Lea, he falls
pretty hard for her, and that gives him the motivation to want
his soul back. Taking him through that severe inner struggle gives
him some depth, and I hope he proves to be as interesting to readers
as I found him.
WHEN WILL THERE BE MORE BOOKS ABOUT THE ALIEN CHRONICLES?
A: To my knowledge, there are no more books planned for the series
at this time.
ARE THE ALIEN CHRONICLES GOING TO BE MADE INTO MOVIES?
A: They were never intended to be filmed.
I WRITE A SCRIPT OR NOVEL ABOUT THE ALIEN CHRONICLES, WILL YOU READ
IT OR PERSUADE GEORGE LUCAS TO LOOK AT IT FOR ME?
A: Although I’m delighted that the characters remain compelling
enough for people to want to write more about them, my schedule
is such that I regretfully don’t have time to look over anyone’s
I have never met Mr. Lucas. If you want to show him any of your
material, you should contact him directly through LucasFilm Publishing
DOES IT TAKE SO LONG FOR MORE BOOKS ABOUT DAIN AND ALEXEIKA TO COME
A: Publication of the adventures of Dain and Alexeika alternates
with books about Pheresa and Talmor. Due to my teaching schedule
at the University of Oklahoma, I’ve slowed down to writing
only one book a year. So if you want to read only about Dain, for
example, I’m afraid you’ll have to be patient. I’ve
just finished writing a new one about him, Alexeika, and their children,
and expect it to be published in 2005.
YOU EVER GOING TO WRITE ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE BESIDES NETHER AND MANDRIA?
A: As long as enough fans want more books about Dain, Alexeika,
Pheresa, and Talmor, I’ll keep writing them. However, I am
working on some new ideas as well. We’ll see what my agent
and editor think.
YOU GOING TO WRITE MORE ABOUT THE BOY ANOC?
A: Yes. Anoc was created in The King Betrayed to set in motion a
number of events that will lead Dain and his legitimate sons to
war. Although Anoc doesn’t appear in the 2004 book, The Queen’s
Knight, he is featured in the manuscript that I just completed.
It should be published sometime in 2005.