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Simon Says
Seeker

36 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2004 :  23:15:44  Show Profile  Visit Simon Says's Homepage Send Simon Says a Private Message

Never thought the "Questions for Elaine Cunningham" folder would become so cat-astrophic.

(...Never thought I'd see an A-list author quote "Spaceballs", but... hey, she also used to quote "Buffy"...)

Here's a Dog-vs-Cat quickie (just bloody delete me if you've seen this one, y'all):


A DOG'S DAILY DIARY

8:00 am - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9:30 am - Oh Boy! A car ride! My favorite!
9:40 am - Oh Boy! A walk! My favorite!
10:30 am - Oh Boy! A car ride! My favorite!
11:30 am - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
Noon - Oh Boy! The kids! My favorite!
1:00 pm - Oh Boy! The yard! My favorite!
4:00 pm - Oh Boy! The kids! My favorite!
5:00 pm - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
5:30 pm - Oh Boy! It's Mommy! My favorite!
6:00 pm - Oh Boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
6:30 pm - Oh Boy! Sleeping in master's bed! My favorite!


A CAT'S DAILY DIARY

Day 687 Of My Captivity:

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape and the mild satisfaction I get from destroying the occasional piece of furniture.

Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant. Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded; must try this at the top of the stairs.

In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair; must try this on their bed.

Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of and to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed condescendingly about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan.

There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event, however I could hear the noise and smell the food. More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to my power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant, and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time...



And the trees were all kept equal - by hatchet, axe, and saw. --Peart
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2016 Posts

Posted - 19 Mar 2004 :  23:48:19  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Simon Says


Never thought the "Questions for Elaine Cunningham" folder would become so cat-astrophic.


Better than being dog-matic.

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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4372 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2004 :  00:45:07  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bookwyrm


Then again, lady clerics aren't likely to be attracted to him. He's a Roman Catholic, and he's going to take the position that Socrates had on the Greek gods: they aren't really gods. That's . . . not likely to go over well.




Theres a cult that lives in Sigil who believes that, there the novel Finders bane

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31459 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2004 :  05:06:44  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
They're not a cult Dargoth, they are a Faction of like-minded individuals called the Athar, who believe that the current slew of deities are nothing more than supremely powerful mortals who can die, keep their followers happy, and feud among themselves. They believe that deities like Thor, Zeus, and the others are impostors.

However, while believing this, they also hold some thought for the possibility that there might be a true god, or maybe even more than one, but such power is beyond all understanding.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Bookwyrm
Great Reader

USA
4740 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2004 :  08:16:59  Show Profile  Visit Bookwyrm's Homepage  Click to see Bookwyrm's MSN Messenger address Send Bookwyrm a Private Message
[delete]

Hmm . . .

[delete]

[delete]

[delete][delete][delete][delete]

Aw, shucks, doesn't work. Oh well -- I guess I'm stuck with you, Simon.

I wonder what the Diary of a Parrot would be like?



Dargoth, I'm aware of that faction. I'm not certain that they and Jack will mesh well, if they ever meet. It depends on how Sage NPCs them, if at all.

Hell hath no fury like all of Candlekeep rising in defense of one of its own.

Download the brickfilm masterpiece by Leftfield Studios! See this page for more.
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Dargoth
Great Reader

Australia
4372 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2004 :  09:13:29  Show Profile  Visit Dargoth's Homepage Send Dargoth a Private Message
*chuckle*

I cant see christians coping well with the whole "God created man in his own image" when they run into there first Lizardman or Mindflayer

*mentally pictures Jack Chick meeting a Mindflayer (although the poor Mind Flayer would probably starve to death*

“I am the King of Rome, and above grammar”

Emperor Sigismund

"Its good to be the King!"

Mel Brooks
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31459 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2004 :  09:35:32  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bookwyrm


Dargoth, I'm aware of that faction. I'm not certain that they and Jack will mesh well, if they ever meet. It depends on how Sage NPCs them, if at all.

It's highly unlikely that Jack Archer would ever come into contact with the Athar for two reasons. One, since the 'Faction War', the Athar really haven't been as active in promoting their beliefs as they had in the past. And two, the Athar are mostly active on the Astral Plane now - they have been 'cast-out' of the City of Doors. Anyway, besides all that, I want this adventure to be about characters, not groups and place...

The FR/PS PbeM will focus mostly on Waterdeep, at least for much of the early stages of the game. The use of Sigil in the campaign is mainly for the continuance of the developing plot.

Now, enough of this, we have elves, cats, and Ms. Cunningham's regular musings to occupy us now...

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2016 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2004 :  15:10:10  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bookwyrm

... I was feeling rather confused myself. After all, that rule of yours seems just too hard-and-fast. After all, if they're not stories directly touching on yours (such as using your characters), then it's no different than reading other published works.


Maybe I am too dogmatic about fanfic. After all, published authors can and do claim that other writers steal their ideas. I recently read about a lawsuit concerning Dan Brown's extremely popular book The Da Vinci Code by a writer who claimed it was similar to a book he had published years ago. It seems to me, however, that when you're working in a shared world, the chances of stepping on someone's toes are much greater. The anonymous origin of online fanfic also strikes me as a more uncertain scenario. When you add that risk to the time issues, a no-read policy is the only way for me to go. Milage may vary.

quote:
PS - considering that particular "author" (using the term loosely), I'm glad I stressed that I was not asking you to read it.


Most people who ask are reasonable souls who readily understand why working writers can seldom read other people's manuscripts. But it doesn't hurt to ask, and I don't think less of people who do.

With the possible exception of those who won't take a polite no for an answer, or those who expect me to do their research; i.e., "I want to write about drow, and I want to get the culture right, so can you describe it in detail?" or "I heard that there are only 20 basic plots. Can you describe them, and give me examples of stories that use each one?" Real examples. No kidding.

There's always a chance that you might might hit someone at the right moment, and they can make time to read your stuff. Case in point: Ed Greenwood reading your Jack Archer story. Don't hesitate to ask writing-related questions, either.

One thing I've tried -- and would like to do more of -- is sitting down with aspiring writers one-on-one, doing a line edit of a writing sample. We tried that at ShoreCon (a great little con in New Jersey) a couple years back, and it seemed to work out well. (Even then, however, I specified "no shared worlds.") Writing workshops are common offerings at conventions, but how often can aspiring writers get an hour of undivided attention from a more experienced writer? It seems to me like the sort of thing we should be scheduling for GenCon.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 20 Mar 2004 16:15:12
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2016 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2004 :  15:15:58  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bookwyrm
By the way, what was the title of that cat story you did? I'd like to see if I can find it.


Percival, the familiar in The Unicorn Hunt, is the only significant feline character in any of my published stories. I also wrote a fantasy book with sentient animal characters -- a couple of swashbuckling racoons and a feline bard -- set in a world known as Mornmist, created by Ed Greenwood and Lynn Abbey. Unfortunately, the start-up publishing company folded before the book was published, and there is little chance of it seeing print.

Other than that, I have ideas for various cat stories, but haven't gotten around to writing them yet.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 20 Mar 2004 15:32:31
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31459 Posts

Posted - 20 Mar 2004 :  16:07:02  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
Err...Ms. Cunningham, you can delete double posts. Just use the trashcan icon which is sitting in the date and time title bar atop of the particular post to be removed...

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Bookwyrm
Great Reader

USA
4740 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2004 :  17:39:43  Show Profile  Visit Bookwyrm's Homepage  Click to see Bookwyrm's MSN Messenger address Send Bookwyrm a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

When you add that risk to the time issues, a no-read policy is the only way for me to go. Milage may vary.



Well, I promise that I'm not going to step on any of your toes with Jack. It'd be pretty hard to do that, anyway -- Jack's not a mover-and-shaker; I'm attempting to stay away from the normal stereotype of transfer fantasy: "Hi, I'm a twentieth/twenty-first century American/Briton/Pole/other and I see you're lacking all the modern conviences, so I'll just insert myself into your local ruler's circle and start modernizing you."

That's not to say that I mind that sort of story. I've another story that uses that sort of plot, but that's as the result of prophecy, as well as some real politik. I'm just being realistic with this one. The closest Jack's getting to Danilo is (maybe) hearing some gossip.

quote:
There's always a chance that you might might hit someone at the right moment, and they can make time to read your stuff. Case in point: Ed Greenwood reading your Jack Archer story.



Actually, I think that his speed-reading abilities helped there. Though again, I figured he'd just glance at the story's direction.

Which reminds me, I really need to finish that next part . . . .

quote:
Don't hesitate to ask writing-related questions, either.



Okay, I'll keep that in mind.

quote:
One thing I've tried -- and would like to do more of -- is sitting down with aspiring writers one-on-one, doing a line edit of a writing sample. We tried that at ShoreCon (a great little con in New Jersey) a couple years back, and it seemed to work out well. (Even then, however, I specified "no shared worlds.") Writing workshops are common offerings at conventions, but how often can aspiring writers get an hour of undivided attention from a more experienced writer? It seems to me like the sort of thing we should be scheduling for GenCon.



Oh, that sounds nice. You wouldn't happen to be coming by Washington, D.C. anytime soon, would you?





quote:
Originally posted by Dargoth

I cant see christians coping well with the whole "God created man in his own image" when they run into there first Lizardman or Mindflayer



It's generally understood (read: "by people who don't bury their heads in the sand") that what that means is that God created souls. To put it another way, it means he created beings that are aware of themselves. I, for one, do not reject evolutionary theory, nor natural selection (which are two different things, by the way). What I reject are people who reject using the brains God gave them.

quote:

*mentally pictures Jack Chick meeting a Mindflayer (although the poor Mind Flayer would probably starve to death*



Oh, my. Uncharitable of me, to be sure . . . but that's a nice mental picture.

Hell hath no fury like all of Candlekeep rising in defense of one of its own.

Download the brickfilm masterpiece by Leftfield Studios! See this page for more.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2016 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2004 :  21:29:01  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bookwyrm
You wouldn't happen to be coming by Washington, D.C. anytime soon, would you?


Actually, I don't have any cons on the agenda for 2004, with the possible exception of GenCon. I might do a few area signings for the paperback of Windwalker, coming out next month, but that's the extent of my FR promotion plans for 2004.

Maybe I'll get out from behind the computer when the Waterdeep book comes out in 2005.
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Prince Forge of Avalon
Learned Scribe

USA
117 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2004 :  06:42:07  Show Profile  Visit Prince Forge of Avalon's Homepage Send Prince Forge of Avalon a Private Message
Lady Elaine,
Any idea where or what my favorite " little raven" Liriel is up to these Realms days? What she might want to do, etc?

By now you know I'll always be a fan of yours, and there could never be enough stories with your characters in it, and I'm quite certain you will never write as fast as I can read, so I'll wait for the new waterdeep novel anxiously! Hope all is going well.

PFoA/Joe
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2016 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2004 :  15:08:23  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
I received in this morning's email a note that quoted a post from the RAS board, something I wrote in response to the perennial question, "What would happen if Drizz and Liriel met?" For those who might be interested in my take on the matter, here 'tis.

*********************************************

Liriel: (Oo! Cute little drow toyboy! Thank you, Eilistraee, goddess of the butt-neckid moonlit dance.)

Drizzt: (Danger! Matron-in-the-making! Strengthen me, Mielikki, whose unicorn favors the chaste and virtuous.) ::draws his two scimitars::

Liriel: ::sniffs:: "Put away the cutlery, honey, and take a look at THESE twins..."

::At this inopportune moment, Catti-brie walks in, and the ensuing catfight makes the season three showdown between Buffy and Faith look like a sorority tea party.::

*********************************************************

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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2016 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2004 :  15:25:15  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Prince Forge of Avalon
Any idea where or what my favorite " little raven" Liriel is up to these Realms days? What she might want to do, etc?


I have ideas, certainly, but I don't think they will become published stories --at least, not any time soon.

At present, I have two FR stories in the pipeline: "Gorlist's Dragon," the short story in the upcoming anthology Realms of the Dragons, and the Waterdeep book. That's all I have in the planning stage at this point. I'm not sure what I'll be writing for the Realms after the Waterdeep book.

I do have several outside-of-the-Realms projects lined up, including a new series of contemporary mysteries with dark fantasy elements. The heroine is darker that Liriel Baenre -- in character, not complexion. It seems that elves are alive and well and living in urban New England, and they have more in common with the Sopranos than with Tolkien tree-huggers. The first book is Shadows in the Darkness, and it will be out this fall. I'm also talking to another publisher about possible involvement in a terrific shared-world series, one with a lot of potential for fun, fast-paced adventures. The central character will be a bard, and I've already started work on original music to go with this project. (Gives me a good excuse to dust off the music degree and upgrade the midi equipment.) And I've got a historical novel in progress, and an Arthurian novel in the planning stages. I'm also world-building a setting based on African mythology, with a young adult fantasy novel in mind (with promotional d20 material and ready-to-play adventures available as free downloads.) And next month I'll be doing website construction -- rebuilding my own site from the ground up, getting the drow art gallery online, creating websites for a couple of writer buddies. So with one thing and another, I keep busy.
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Magic Matt
Seeker

USA
70 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2004 :  16:27:32  Show Profile  Visit Magic Matt's Homepage Send Magic Matt a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

[quote]

I have ideas, certainly, but I don't think they will become published stories --at least, not any time soon.

At present, I have two FR stories in the pipeline: "Gorlist's Dragon," the short story in the upcoming anthology Realms of the Dragons, and the Waterdeep book. That's all I have in the planning stage at this point. I'm not sure what I'll be writing for the Realms after the Waterdeep book.

I do have several outside-of-the-Realms projects lined up, including a new series of contemporary mysteries with dark fantasy elements. The heroine is darker that Liriel Baenre -- in character, not complexion. It seems that elves are alive and well and living in urban New England, and they have more in common with the Sopranos than with Tolkien tree-huggers. The first book is Shadows in the Darkness, and it will be out this fall. I'm also talking to another publisher about possible involvement in a terrific shared-world series, one with a lot of potential for fun, fast-paced adventures. The central character will be a bard, and I've already started work on original music to go with this project. (Gives me a good excuse to dust off the music degree and upgrade the midi equipment.) And I've got a historical novel in progress, and an Arthurian novel in the planning stages. I'm also world-building a setting based on African mythology, with a young adult fantasy novel in mind (with promotional d20 material and ready-to-play adventures available as free downloads.) And next month I'll be doing website construction -- rebuilding my own site from the ground up, getting the drow art gallery online, creating websites for a couple of writer buddies. So with one thing and another, I keep busy.



____________________________________________________________________

Do you ever sleep? Yikes, what a workload!






"You had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war."
-Winston Churchill- (to Neville Chamberlain)

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
-William Shakespeare, "As You Like It", Act 5 scene 1

He who will not reason is a bigot. He who cannot is a fool. and he who dares not is a slave.
-Sir William Drummond-
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Bookwyrm
Great Reader

USA
4740 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2004 :  17:16:23  Show Profile  Visit Bookwyrm's Homepage  Click to see Bookwyrm's MSN Messenger address Send Bookwyrm a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

At present, I have two FR stories in the pipeline: "Gorlist's Dragon," the short story in the upcoming anthology Realms of the Dragons, and the Waterdeep book. That's all I have in the planning stage at this point. I'm not sure what I'll be writing for the Realms after the Waterdeep book.

I do have several outside-of-the-Realms projects lined up, including a new series of contemporary mysteries with dark fantasy elements. The heroine is darker that Liriel Baenre -- in character, not complexion. It seems that elves are alive and well and living in urban New England, and they have more in common with the Sopranos than with Tolkien tree-huggers. The first book is Shadows in the Darkness, and it will be out this fall. I'm also talking to another publisher about possible involvement in a terrific shared-world series, one with a lot of potential for fun, fast-paced adventures. The central character will be a bard, and I've already started work on original music to go with this project. (Gives me a good excuse to dust off the music degree and upgrade the midi equipment.) And I've got a historical novel in progress, and an Arthurian novel in the planning stages. I'm also world-building a setting based on African mythology, with a young adult fantasy novel in mind (with promotional d20 material and ready-to-play adventures available as free downloads.) And next month I'll be doing website construction -- rebuilding my own site from the ground up, getting the drow art gallery online, creating websites for a couple of writer buddies. So with one thing and another, I keep busy.



Keep it up, and I may have to get something to catch the drool.

Hell hath no fury like all of Candlekeep rising in defense of one of its own.

Download the brickfilm masterpiece by Leftfield Studios! See this page for more.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2016 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2004 :  18:29:40  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Magic Matt
Do you ever sleep?


Yep -- alternate Tuesdays.

Just kidding, alas. I envy the people who can cruise along on 4-5 hours/night.

Right now I'm still frantically catching up, but by early May I'll be moving on to new projects and settling into a better schedule. My post-panic goal is 10 good (ready to print) pages a day, 50 pages a week. Ambitious, but workable.

Getting the schedule under control is extremely important right now, and not just for the obvious professional reasons (late manuscripts = unhappy editors). I'm in the process of further complicating life with a return to grad school.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 24 Mar 2004 19:54:14
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2004 :  04:31:13  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
Yep -- alternate Tuesdays.



Sirius looks around unamused. Which scribe gave one of the FR authors permission to sleep?????

quote:

I'm in the process of further complicating life with a return to grad school.



Talented and brave, a nice combo...What field you are going to obtain your graduate degree in? Good luck to you in your studies.
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Bruce Donohue
Learned Scribe

Canada
94 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2004 :  04:49:18  Show Profile  Visit Bruce Donohue's Homepage  Send Bruce Donohue a Yahoo! Message Send Bruce Donohue a Private Message
Elaine, of the Song and Sword series which one do you feel that you have enjoyed the most or are most proud having written? In my humble opinion, the one that seems to bring out your musical talents the most, along with a sense of history, was Spellsong. I got the impression that, that particular book flowed easily for you.

The second one that seemed, to show some of you or your personality was Windwalker. It gave us an idea of how you viewed the telling and spinning of tales as might been done from your Grandmother as you so eloquently put in your dedication.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2016 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2004 :  15:42:48  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Donohue

Elaine, of the Song and Sword series which one do you feel that you have enjoyed the most or are most proud having written? In my humble opinion, the one that seems to bring out your musical talents the most, along with a sense of history, was Spellsong. I got the impression that, that particular book flowed easily for you.


Each book has its own challenges. Each has things I'm happy with and things I wish I'd done differently. It's hard to point to a single book and say, "This one." Nor can I say that Elfsong flowed easily, though it's always good when people get that impression. I wrote it shortly after we'd moved to Los Angeles (which I hated), working mostly late at night and during my younger son's nap times. I was seriously sleep-deprived during the entire process and further slowed by a bad case of mono. One of the challenges in writing is to keep your personal life OUT of the books.

quote:
The second one that seemed, to show some of you or your personality was Windwalker. It gave us an idea of how you viewed the telling and spinning of tales as might been done from your Grandmother as you so eloquently put in your dedication.


There are some commonalities. My ethnic background is primarily Slavic, and Slavic folklore was part of Fyodor's "voice" from the beginning. I don't think the book is a personality indicator, though, except to say that Fyodor's personality -- a mixture of fatalism, humor, melancholy, and fervent nationalism -- is familiar to me. He's not based on any person I know, but his portrayal is consistent with people I know.

I'm not sure that books are good indicators into the personality, life styles, and belief systems of the writers. One of many reasons I shook the dust of the WotC forums off my feet is that so many people there think it's okay to comment on Ed Greenwood's personal moral code, simply because some of the characters in his fantasy novels take off their clothes. I have from time to time been amazed at what people infer about me from my stories; for example, Thornhold convinced a number of amatuer reviewers that I have no regard for authority and do not respect those who choose a religious life -- a sweeping judgement on my value system from people who wouldn't be able to pick me out in a crowded elevator.

But people make assumptions. A WotC promotion person recently sent me an email interview to do for the company website. It contained at least three questions about how much of "me" is in various characters and their experiences. Which character am I most like? Do I have Danilo's sense of humor? How does Liriel's experience mirror my own? The answer was, repeatedly, "None of my books are autobiographical."

Of course, books do reflect the writer's interests and, to some extent, values. One of the themes that can be seen in almost every plot element of Thornhold is the complexity and the importance of family. Elfsong is about the power of music and the important of understanding history -- coming from someone who has taught both, and has seen how our educational system (and our society as a whole) denigates the study of both. Windwalker is about cause and effect: actions have consequences, which are sometimes unexpected and far-reaching.

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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2016 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2004 :  15:55:19  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack
What field you are going to obtain your graduate degree in?


I'm still debating whether to focus on history, comparative literature, or creative writing. I'm going to start taking classes as part of the decision-making process. Whatever the eventual direction, anything learned in any of those disciplines will be interesting and useful to me.
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2004 :  16:01:33  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
I'm still debating whether to focus on history, comparative literature, or creative writing.



Each of those fields would be fascinating to study.

quote:

Windwalker is about cause and effect: actions have consequences, which are sometimes unexpected and far-reaching



Mission accomplished. It would be interesting to get to see Liriel a few years after that novel's events to see what change have taken place with her personality and outlook on life.
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Kameron M. Franklin
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
228 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2004 :  16:51:59  Show Profile  Visit Kameron M. Franklin's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham
I'm not sure that books are good indicators into the personality, life styles, and belief systems of the writers. One of many reasons I shook the dust of the WotC forums off my feet is that so many people there think it's okay to comment on Ed Greenwood's personal moral code, simply because some of the characters in his fantasy novels take off their clothes. I have from time to time been amazed at what people infer about me from my stories; for example, Thornhold convinced a number of amatuer reviewers that I have no regard for authority and do not respect those who choose a religious life -- a sweeping judgement on my value system from people who wouldn't be able to pick me out in a crowded elevator.

But people make assumptions. A WotC promotion person recently sent me an email interview to do for the company website. It contained at least three questions about how much of "me" is in various characters and their experiences. Which character am I most like? Do I have Danilo's sense of humor? How does Liriel's experience mirror my own? The answer was, repeatedly, "None of my books are autobiographical."

Of course, books do reflect the writer's interests and, to some extent, values.


As much as I've looked forward to the day of finally being published, and am honored to have been chosen by WotC, I've struggled with writing Maiden for the reasons you've listed. I feel like I'm walking a moral line with some of the content and have the definite fear that people will equate the characters' actions and beliefs with my own. I know there is a difference, but there's a little voice in the back of my head that keeps telling me I'm stirring up a hornet's nest. Yet, I think there are themes about different views of the same religion packaged up within all the "pain & suffering" dogma that make the story worth writing.

"You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2016 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2004 :  18:15:57  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kameron M. Franklin
I've struggled with writing Maiden for the reasons you've listed. I feel like I'm walking a moral line with some of the content and have the definite fear that people will equate the characters' actions and beliefs with my own. I know there is a difference, but there's a little voice in the back of my head that keeps telling me I'm stirring up a hornet's nest.

Get ready for it.

That's probably not what you want to hear, but you'll encounter more than a few readers who'll assume that what you WRITE tells them who you ARE.

That said, these assumptions tend to be somewhat selective. I never was accused of being devious and manipulative simply because I wrote about the drow. Religious themes, unfortunately, are frequently equated with personal belief. You can write battle choreography without too many people assigning you a violent nature, but write about sex and they'll label you a pervert.

Sometimes it can go to extremes. At last summer's GenCon, a conversation with an editor included a discussion of a popular series, one with lots of sexual content. The editor mentioned that this author is frequently invited to three-somes and more-somes by fans who assume that her lifestyle mirrors that of her characters.

In my observation, it seldom works that way. I've been to several GenCons, and never once was the "Elminster Speaks" seminar held in a massive hot tub, with people thrashing about while Ed intones in his resonant baritone, "Speak, all ye who desire to know the Sage of Shadowdale, and Elminster will come into me...and then you, and you, and you..."

One of the reasons we read fiction is to see the world through viewpoints very different from our own. It shouldn't require a huge leap of logic to understand that WRITERS do exactly the same thing. Most people get it. A few won't, however, and unfortunately, they're the readers most likely to post on amazon.com and hostile message boards.

quote:
Yet, I think there are themes about different views of the same religion packaged up within all the "pain & suffering" dogma that make the story worth writing.


Good to hear. That's a very worthy and important goal, and I'm looking forward to reading the story. But you realize, of course, that many people don't have the philosophical framework to support the possibility of different views of the same religion -- at least, nothing more nuanced than yours-vs-mine, right-vs-wrong. People whose world views offer such limited options are likely to assume that the religious viewpoints you write about are those you espouse.

Geez, aren't I a ray of sunshine today? Must. Get. Sleep.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 25 Mar 2004 18:30:18
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