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 Questions for Elaine Cunningham [II]

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
The Sage Posted - 14 Jul 2010 : 01:53:58
Well met

This being another collective scroll of any questions the Scribes and visitors of Candlekeep wish to put to a renowned author of the Realms, namely - Elaine Cunningham, whos works include: Elfshadow, Elfsong, Daughter of the Drow, Tangled Webs, Windwalker and of course Evermeet: Island of Elves, to name but a few.

Present your questions herein and check back to see what news may also come forth from the quill of this author.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 02 Aug 2020 : 18:36:27
If you were part of the Candlekeep Seminar last night, you may have heard Elaine mentioning getting this topic re-opened... After confirming with her, we have re-opened this topic for discussion.
Alaundo Posted - 31 Dec 2019 : 14:42:20
Well met

Your wish is my command, Elaine, and very sorry to see you go, if indeed you need to. I'm locking this thread at your request, but please feel free to remain at Candlekeep, and if at any time you would like this to be reopened then please contact me via PM or email.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 31 Dec 2019 : 12:15:57
Folks, for the reasons given in the post above, I think it's time for me to leave the Candlekeep forums. I can no longer answer many of the questions posed, and since it doesn't appear that the Realms will reopen for new stories any time soon, I don't have anything meaningful to contribute.

Admins, would you close this thread to comments?

Wishing you all sweet water and light laughter,

Elaine Cunningham
ElaineCunningham Posted - 31 Dec 2019 : 11:55:36
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Hi Elaine

In another question that may or may not interest you: approximately how long after the fall of Myth Drannor in 714 DR did Zoar Moonflower become the ruler of Evermeet? I was thinking that the Year of the Sharp Edge (763 DR) or the Year of the Elven Fortress (781 DR) sounded auspicious. Any thoughts?




It isn't that I'm not interested, but Evermeet was published in 1999, twenty years ago, and offering an opinion on fine details would require research, which would require source materials I no longer have.

I don't have my FR novels and game books from that era--they were all lost in a basement flood, along with several hundred other books. All my notes from the research-and-novel-writing process, including timelines, were lost when we moved from Maryland to Rhode Island shortly after the book was written.

So while it may appear that I'm brushing off questions from certain books, it's more a matter of precision than lack of interest. If I can't give an informed opinion, I'd rather not comment.
George Krashos Posted - 31 Dec 2019 : 08:55:46
Hi Elaine

In another question that may or may not interest you: approximately how long after the fall of Myth Drannor in 714 DR did Zoar Moonflower become the ruler of Evermeet? I was thinking that the Year of the Sharp Edge (763 DR) or the Year of the Elven Fortress (781 DR) sounded auspicious. Any thoughts?

-- George Krashos
ElaineCunningham Posted - 22 Dec 2019 : 15:45:31
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

Hi Elaine,

Did you have any thoughts on the activities of Grimnoshtadrano during the Rage of Dragons in the Year of Rogue Dragons (1373 DR)?

Examples of what we wrote for other dragons are found in Dragons of Faerun, pages 42-44.

Thanks,

--Eric



Nope, no thoughts on this. Please feel free to add to the Grimosh story as you see fit.
ericlboyd Posted - 14 Dec 2019 : 16:05:55
Hi Elaine,

Did you have any thoughts on the activities of Grimnoshtadrano during the Rage of Dragons in the Year of Rogue Dragons (1373 DR)?

Examples of what we wrote for other dragons are found in Dragons of Faerun, pages 42-44.

Thanks,

--Eric
Wooly Rupert Posted - 25 Nov 2019 : 01:45:21
I had a similar reaction when I saw the art for Kyriani. Inexplicably, they made her look full-on drow -- even though there's something like 30 comic books with her in them that they could reference to see that she looks like a regular half-elf.
sleyvas Posted - 24 Nov 2019 : 02:18:38
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham


quote:
[i]

::snip:: I was playing Lords of Waterdeep the other day with some friends, and one of them got Danilo as their Lord and didn't know who it was (half the people playing aren't gamers). and this may sound stupid, but for just a moment I was jealous... and I actually recognized that it was jealousy that I wanted to be that lord instead of the one I had.



Ha! I hope you told them, "Danilo doesn't REALLY look like that. The card art is a copy of a bad portrait, which also doesn't look like him."





LOL, you know what, I actually did say something like that. I said "who the hell chose THAT picture for him though?"
ElaineCunningham Posted - 23 Nov 2019 : 22:21:17

quote:
[i]

::snip:: I was playing Lords of Waterdeep the other day with some friends, and one of them got Danilo as their Lord and didn't know who it was (half the people playing aren't gamers). and this may sound stupid, but for just a moment I was jealous... and I actually recognized that it was jealousy that I wanted to be that lord instead of the one I had.



Ha! I hope you told them, "Danilo doesn't REALLY look like that. The card art is a copy of a bad portrait, which also doesn't look like him."

sleyvas Posted - 23 Nov 2019 : 16:43:30
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Hi, Sleyvas.

Probably Danilo, not only because he's fun for me to write, but also because there are layers to his "not quite what he appears to be" persona. Every character has a backstory, and his is surprisingly dark--there's a reason Khelben Arunsun took over his training at a young age. People are what they do, but they are also defined by what they overcome.

e

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Elaine,

Just out of curiosity, if you had to pick a favorite character from your realms novels that you wrote about, which one gave you personally the most fun? I know it can be a lot of difference for a reader versus the writer.





You know, it shows. Of all your characters, none shines so bright in my memory as much as Danilo Thann. I was playing Lords of Waterdeep the other day with some friends, and one of them got Danilo as their Lord and didn't know who it was (half the people playing aren't gamers). and this may sound stupid, but for just a moment I was jealous... and I actually recognized that it was jealousy that I wanted to be that lord instead of the one I had.
AJA Posted - 22 Nov 2019 : 14:12:23

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
Yeah, a LOT got cut from that novel. The folk tale referenced below was included in the anthology The Best of the Realms Book III: The Stories of Elaine Cunningham. easily recongized by the lime green cover and the omg wtf artwork.

Ah, of course! (the short story "Tribute," for those wondering). It's been so long since I'd read BotR III that I had forgotten all about it (I still remember the cover, tho)!

Always a pleasure to re-visit some Realmslore long forgotten. Thank you for the reminder, Elaine!

ElaineCunningham Posted - 22 Nov 2019 : 13:01:45
Thanks for the kind word, Aureus.

No worries about the "reader's edits." Every writer understands that the book they write is not necessarily the book the readers reads. Everyone views life--and stories--through lenses of experience, values, and current frame of mind. I would be very surprised if people did NOT perceive that scene between Arilyn and her relative in very different ways, because family is an especially fraught issue and a deeply personal one.

Best,
ec

quote:
Originally posted by Aureus

I have very recently read Elfshadow, Elfsong and Silver Shadows. I really really liked them and I could talk in depth what I liked about what and so on.

Simply know this, even almost 20 years after publishing, there is still a new reader that thinks what you wrote was cool. <3


And for the funzies, after the (main)events of Silver Shadows, when Arylin walked in to meet a certain very important relative of hers, I actually had trouble mentally vocalizing the words written. In my mind Arylin limped in using her drawn Moonblade as crutch (not because the blade that supports her lack lack of personal strength, but because it is like an extension of her true self, like a healthy, functional and reliable third leg or arm,; also drawn because then the blade is as naked and raw as Arylin is in her emotions; it is all symbolic^^), emotionally roiling while naming her price for the job completed (a particular strip of land) and followed by punching said important relative straight in the face only to just after that embrace said relative and tearfully ask said ancestor why on the gods' good Abeir-Toril she (and people of similar parentage) were not allowed to come to a certain place.

Edit: I know Arylin didn't do this, but I couldn't help replace replace what had happened on emotional level with what made sense to me with my emotional fabric of the time that I post this.

Edit2: It just made more sense to me that way^^ No harm, no foul and I am currently reading Thornhold :)

Edit3: Never cease writing^^

ElaineCunningham Posted - 22 Nov 2019 : 12:58:54
Yeah, a LOT got cut from that novel. The folk tale referenced below was included in the anthology The Best of the Realms Book III: The Stories of Elaine Cunningham. easily recongized by the lime green cover and the omg wtf artwork.

quote:
Originally posted by AJA


Hello Elaine,

I've recently come across a couple of old snippets of interest involving your work that I'd like to inquire about.

First, looking back through some old REALMS-L posts, I found this response from Eric way back in October of 2003:
quote:
Originally posted by Eric L. Boyd
As for Elaine's most-excellent "Counselors & Kings" series, there is in deed just one laraken in that book. I know that Elaine has done a write-up of "Aklauer's laraken" (again unofficially), but it hasn't been posted anywhere and it's not mine to post. Maybe someday she'll have a place to publish it.


Second, back in Ed's 2007 Thread The Hooded One wrote the following in the course of some The City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel chat:
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
To answer your "what got cut" question: an entire Gemcloak and his subplot, throughout, a folk tale of Elaine's that Ed termed "short but very pretty,"

(y'know, looking back on it I said "old snippets," but perhaps "hoary" would have been a better descriptor )

....Nonetheless, would you be able to share anything further on these (or point me in the right direction if you were indeed able to make your laraken material available)?



ElaineCunningham Posted - 22 Nov 2019 : 12:55:40
Hi, Sleyvas.

Probably Danilo, not only because he's fun for me to write, but also because there are layers to his "not quite what he appears to be" persona. Every character has a backstory, and his is surprisingly dark--there's a reason Khelben Arunsun took over his training at a young age. People are what they do, but they are also defined by what they overcome.

e

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Elaine,

Just out of curiosity, if you had to pick a favorite character from your realms novels that you wrote about, which one gave you personally the most fun? I know it can be a lot of difference for a reader versus the writer.

ElaineCunningham Posted - 22 Nov 2019 : 12:51:06

Hi, Eric. Thanks for asking, and for including a reference.

I did not have a last name in mind, so feel free to invent.

ec


quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

Hi Elaine,

Hope you are doing well.

Did you have a last name in mind for First Axe Glammad __ of Hastor? (Tangled Webs, page 283.)

Thanks,

Eric

ericlboyd Posted - 18 Nov 2019 : 09:34:21
Hi Elaine,

Hope you are doing well.

Did you have a last name in mind for First Axe Glammad __ of Hastor? (Tangled Webs, page 283.)

Thanks,

Eric
sleyvas Posted - 08 Nov 2019 : 14:16:16
Elaine,

Just out of curiosity, if you had to pick a favorite character from your realms novels that you wrote about, which one gave you personally the most fun? I know it can be a lot of difference for a reader versus the writer.
Aureus Posted - 06 Nov 2019 : 21:03:01
I have very recently read Elfshadow, Elfsong and Silver Shadows. I really really liked them and I could talk in depth what I liked about what and so on.

Simply know this, even almost 20 years after publishing, there is still a new reader that thinks what you wrote was cool. <3


And for the funzies, after the (main)events of Silver Shadows, when Arylin walked in to meet a certain very important relative of hers, I actually had trouble mentally vocalizing the words written. In my mind Arylin limped in using her drawn Moonblade as crutch (not because the blade that supports her lack lack of personal strength, but because it is like an extension of her true self, like a healthy, functional and reliable third leg or arm,; also drawn because then the blade is as naked and raw as Arylin is in her emotions; it is all symbolic^^), emotionally roiling while naming her price for the job completed (a particular strip of land) and followed by punching said important relative straight in the face only to just after that embrace said relative and tearfully ask said ancestor why on the gods' good Abeir-Toril she (and people of similar parentage) were not allowed to come to a certain place.

Edit: I know Arylin didn't do this, but I couldn't help replace replace what had happened on emotional level with what made sense to me with my emotional fabric of the time that I post this.

Edit2: It just made more sense to me that way^^ No harm, no foul and I am currently reading Thornhold :)

Edit3: Never cease writing^^
AJA Posted - 03 Nov 2019 : 13:42:35
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
Unfortunately, I no longer have this material. It lived on a computer that crashed something like 15 years ago.

Well, fiddlesticks. The Eater-of-Computers (more dead drives for the dead drive throne!) once again proving itself a true nemesis of all things Realmslore, second only to the all-encompassing horror of The Dread NDA.

And thank you for the reply!

ElaineCunningham Posted - 03 Nov 2019 : 13:07:40
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

Hey Elaine. How've you been? I was wondering if there was an elven name for the flower that Foxfire is named for? Also, do you have an image of his rune? I hope all is well. I hope you are still active here. Your voice is needed in the Realms.



Sorry, I do not have an image for this rune, or an elven name for the flower.
ElaineCunningham Posted - 03 Nov 2019 : 13:06:55
quote:
Originally posted by AJA



....Nonetheless, would you be able to share anything further on these (or point me in the right direction if you were indeed able to make your laraken material available)?





Unfortunately, I no longer have this material. It lived on a computer that crashed something like 15 years ago.
AJA Posted - 03 Nov 2019 : 04:13:32

Hello Elaine,

I've recently come across a couple of old snippets of interest involving your work that I'd like to inquire about.

First, looking back through some old REALMS-L posts, I found this response from Eric way back in October of 2003:
quote:
Originally posted by Eric L. Boyd
As for Elaine's most-excellent "Counselors & Kings" series, there is in deed just one laraken in that book. I know that Elaine has done a write-up of "Aklauer's laraken" (again unofficially), but it hasn't been posted anywhere and it's not mine to post. Maybe someday she'll have a place to publish it.


Second, back in Ed's 2007 Thread The Hooded One wrote the following in the course of some The City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel chat:
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One
To answer your "what got cut" question: an entire Gemcloak and his subplot, throughout, a folk tale of Elaine's that Ed termed "short but very pretty,"

(y'know, looking back on it I said "old snippets," but perhaps "hoary" would have been a better descriptor )

....Nonetheless, would you be able to share anything further on these (or point me in the right direction if you were indeed able to make your laraken material available)?

Fellfire Posted - 07 Oct 2019 : 06:51:06
Hey Elaine. How've you been? I was wondering if there was an elven name for the flower that Foxfire is named for? Also, do you have an image of his rune? I hope all is well. I hope you are still active here. Your voice is needed in the Realms.
Sunderstone Posted - 20 Aug 2019 : 02:51:07
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Sunderstone

Hi Elaine. I've loved all your books and how much you brought Waterdeep to life any many of them. I have a question about Piergeiron between Thornhold and Waterdeep City of Splendors. In Thornhold, he seemed more political and there was obviously tension between he and Khelban. In City of Splendors, he seemed much more open and Kingly, a kind of King Arthur figure. And there didn't seem to be any implied tension between he and Khelban and Mirt was obviously very protective when he was attacked. Was this more of a story point or a difference in Ed's interpretation of Piergeiron?
Thanks!



Hi, Sunderstone.

The differences can be attributed to two things: theme and narrative point of view.

Thornhold was all about politics, the Harper organization in particular. It was originally intended to be a "pivot novel" that would open a story line about a Harper schism. The editorial direction shifted, so not all of those themes played out, but the political issues remained central to the story. A central question in City of Splendors was "What is a hero?" Piergeiron is both a politician and a heroic warrior, but those roles can look quite different.

Point of view can also make a huge difference. In Thornhold, we see Piergeiron mostly through Khelben's eyes, in the context of two government officials working through some difficult issues. In City of Splendors, Piergieron is seem through the eyes of a young admirer who does indeed see him as a bright and shining paladin/king.

I'm sure we'd get yet another perspective of Piergeiron in a novel about his early life and training, or a novel told from the viewpoint of his future wife during their courtship, or a story told from the POV of his teenaged daughters. All of these portrayals would be different, all of them might be accurate, and none of them would tell the whole story of the man and his life.




Thanks! Here is hoping you get to take us back to Waterdeep with old friends like Danilo and Arilyn one more time!

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