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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2012 :  18:09:30  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'll be on Dungeon Crawlers Radio tonight at 6 PM EST, 7 PM CST, etc.

http://www.dungeoncrawlersradio.com/index.html
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2012 :  14:10:20  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My November column on Airlock Alpha takes a look at Marvel NOW;

http://airlockalpha.com/node/9425/astrojive-musical-chairs-marvel-style.html
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2012 :  18:13:53  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here's an interview with me. I wish I'd know it was going to be a video interview and not just audio. But anyway: http://authorfeast.com
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2012 :  01:34:53  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  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

My November column on Airlock Alpha takes a look at Marvel NOW;

http://airlockalpha.com/node/9425/astrojive-musical-chairs-marvel-style.html

I like what Gillen's doing with Iron Man... as Stark's personal technologist-philosophy has always been at the heart of what I love most about the character.

I'm definitely intrigued -- for the first time in years -- about a new Captain America book. Remender's proposed slant for the series sounds somewhat reminiscent of all that I loved about Cap from the craziness of the late 70's in his original book.

Really, though, the upcoming title for Marvel NOW that I'm most looking forward to... is Superior Spider-Man. Slott's run has been nothing short of "Amazing," so the new book is definitely going to be a hard-sell for me.

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Edited by - The Sage on 01 Dec 2012 01:38:19
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2012 :  20:54:02  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, everybody. I could use your help. My horror novel The Vampire's Apprentice is being republished as an ebook, and there's a poll running to choose the cover. You can see the entries and vote here:

http://99designs.com/other-packaging-label-design/contests/create-next-packaging-label-design-heliosphere-books-imprint-179389/poll/28flin?utm_source=voting_app&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=voting
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  07:25:44  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Voted. My first choice is also currently at the top of the rankings.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  07:39:15  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Looks like we voted for the same.

Every beginning has an end.
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  07:48:36  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great minds think alike.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  14:19:24  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank you for voting, guys. I appreciate it.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29652 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  16:42:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I liked #92 the best; it currently has the highest rating. It has a nice, gothic feel, and isn't slapping you in the face with the vampire.

My second choice is #132, which is currently 3rd. It, too, isn't as painfully overt about the vampire, and the hand from the grave is a subtler kind of creepy than a scray-looking dude with fangs.

I did not like #78 or #102; the partial of the face is just weird.

#129 just looks like some dude screaming, like he got kicked somewhere soft and squishy.

#109 and #126 I didn't like, because I don't like monstrous-looking vampires. I don't want them glittering, obviously, but I prefer the juxtaposition of a normal (or even attractive) appearance with the monster lurking within.

#47 bugs me because I don't like closeups, and I again don't want something overt.

As I said, I prefer my vampires to appear to be normal, charming individuals, with that veneer of civility covering the lurking darkness within. I like vampires that embrace their nature, and that enjoy being predators lurking among their ignorant prey. For me, a vampire should be subtle in his/her deeds, and only reveal their nature when they're feeding. I want Count Dracula, not Count Orlok or Edward Cullen. And if I'm looking at covers of vampire novels, those preferences dictate how I want the art to be.

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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  18:54:58  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There's another round of polling to really, really, really finally, ultimately decide on the cover for the ebook republication of The Vampire's Apprentice. Once again, I would greatly appreciate your input.

9designs.com/other-packaging-label-design/contests/create-next-packaging-label-design-heliosphere-books-imprint-179389/poll/fj24s7?utm_source=voting_app&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=voting
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29652 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  19:16:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

There's another round of polling to really, really, really finally, ultimately decide on the cover for the ebook republication of The Vampire's Apprentice. Once again, I would greatly appreciate your input.

9designs.com/other-packaging-label-design/contests/create-next-packaging-label-design-heliosphere-books-imprint-179389/poll/fj24s7?utm_source=voting_app&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=voting



Is that URL correct? I copied and pasted it into a browser window, but it didn't find the site.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  19:31:30  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
No, it is not, as someone else just informed me. Here's the correct one:

http://99designs.com/other-packaging-label-design/contests/create-next-packaging-label-design-heliosphere-books-imprint-179389/poll/fj24s7?utm_source=voting_app&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=voting
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29652 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  19:58:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
#75 is my new fave. I prefer the color in that one to the color in #92. As of this post, it appears others share my preference. #132 is now my third choice, and I still don't like the other two at all.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13124 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  22:06:56  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agreed. The subtler text is better by far. A good book doesn't need garish lettering to sell.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1705 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2012 :  02:51:41  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry to have missed this book. I checked Barnes & Noble tonight, and they don't have it; out of print they say. Feeble excuse, I say. I did find a couple of brief reviews on Amazon, but I need one point clarified. Is the story set in 21st century suburbs, or ancient castles, or something else?
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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1705 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2012 :  04:15:03  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I voted. And apparently I'm bucking the trend. I think 78 (the beast-face in blood) is the best choice, because it sounds like this isn't the civilized kind of vampire. He might *try* for the veneer of civility but he's unable to blithely ignore his baser instincts. He's a beast, and 78 is a picture of a beast. That said, my original first choice was 126... somewhere between beast and civility. I thought 109 was a strong choice too.

102's metallic silver and glowing red eyes remind me of the terminator... I'm expecting a shapechanging construct made of metal, which for whatever reason resembles a lion or gargoyle. Cool, but not a vampire. 78 clearly says blood and here the bestial features take my mind straight to vampires... very good. However (here's the mix) I think a black background might be a better choice than white.

I like 92, but does it depict some place in the story? If so, that's cool. My point is just that picking up a book with 92 on the cover, I'm going to be expecting a story that prominently features misty forests and old castles (hence my question about the setting). I'm not necessarily going to think guts & gore, action, and betrayal of friends. The irregularity of the lettering leads me to expect some humor or goofyness rather than a punch in the face story about one guy's hell on earth. Is that what I should be expecting? 75 is an improvement, and makes the lettering issue a moot point... although I would change the gray "Vampire's" to a glossy wet-looking red (evocative of blood, but no dripping) because as it stands it lacks color/drama/charge and certainly the story doesn't lack those things.

I like 132. The hand coming out of the earth could mean zombies, and the moon could mean werewolves, but with the red eyes the combination gets me to vampire so it works. The colors are good, and the lettering doesn't cover up the artwork. Solid choice, but not better than 126 (or 75).

I rank them 78, 75, 92/132, 102.

I thought it was peculiar that none of the art options feature people. This guy isn't in a vacuum... it's not just him wrestling with his unwelcome new nature. I get that he's alone in a sense, and it's not that I necessarily want to see a bunch of carnage, but... part of any vampire story is the battle between human and beast. Obviously that will be in the story so I'm not criticizing the book at all. This is part of the reason why I *like* 75 and 92 as art and gave them the #2/3 votes, but I don't think they fit the book... because they emphasize an isolation that seems antithetical to a vampire story.

I guess it just struck me as odd that all of the art being considered omits one whole side of the battle.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13124 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2012 :  05:12:35  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The blood-face was my number two choice, despite my dislike of the plain face and/or the red text. For some reason the face just works in the red.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2012 :  06:45:51  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The book is currently out of print, but Endpapers Press is republishing it as an ebook in 2013. (We don't have the exact release date yet.) Hence, the need for a new cover.

I wrote the novel circa 1989, and that is when it's set.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13124 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2012 :  06:52:46  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So your story actually predates the vampire craze?

Good... I've hated vamps ever since Buffy the Vampire layer. I want monsters, not Fabio with fangs.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Dec 2012 06:53:11
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2012 :  11:51:20  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I voted for 75 as well. Its the best option, 132 was my least favorite. The whole hand rising from the grave thing is more appropriate for Zombies nowadays.
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2012 :  14:01:05  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Markustay.

It depends on which vampire craze you're talking about. Anne Rice's vampire novels had already hit big, and there were some other popular vampire series by people like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro as well. My book was sort of a reaction to some of that stuff, particularly Rice's work. She made being a vampire glamorous and appealing, and my book makes it anything but.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29652 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2012 :  05:19:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

Hi, Markustay.

It depends on which vampire craze you're talking about. Anne Rice's vampire novels had already hit big, and there were some other popular vampire series by people like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro as well. My book was sort of a reaction to some of that stuff, particularly Rice's work. She made being a vampire glamorous and appealing, and my book makes it anything but.



Yeah, I've read a couple of her books... Her vampires are forever young and sexy, without any real drawbacks to being a vampire. As I recall, in one of the books, two vampires decided to sleep in a church!

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Entromancer
Senior Scribe

USA
388 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2012 :  16:56:14  Show Profile Send Entromancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Richard, could you talk a bit about the writing process for The Year of Rogue Dragons? Did you have a difficult time deciding who would be the central protagonist and how big the scope would be, given that it was an RSE?

"...the will is everything. The will to act."--Ra's Al Ghul

"Suffering builds character."--Talia Al Ghul
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1758 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2012 :  18:06:47  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Year of Rogue Dragons had its genesis when WotC told me they wanted a trilogy showcasing the dragons of the Realms, they wanted me to write it, and they thought it would be a good idea for it to center on a new Rage of Dragons. So I knew from the start that it was going to have to be a big, big story. Although I did make it even bigger than it arguably needed to be.

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

There had, of course, been a number of Rages in the history of the Realms. Hardcore Realms fans knew that, and they knew how they had always worked. The dragons went nuts, they did a lot of damage for a relatively short time, then the dragons recovered their sanity, and the Realms survived. I decided that to do something that would work dramatically in the context of an epic trilogy, I had to go beyond all that. I needed to create the worst Rage ever, a Rage that constituted a problem that somebody actually had to go out and solve, because otherwise, the results would be truly catastrophic. Solving the problem would mean solving the mystery of why Rages even happen and putting an end to them for all time. (I wasn't worried about losing an interesting story element from the Realms by ending Rages because the next one wasn't due for several hundred years of Realms time anyway.)

The alternative to this approach, it seemed to me, was just to do what would have amounted to a Godzilla movie in medieval drag, and I didn't think that would satisfy anybody (although I subsequently heard from some of the people who dislike the trilogy that they did want exactly that.)

As far as protagonists go, I knew my hero was going to have to be a guy who could fight evil dragons and would end up working with good ones. So I came up with Dorn. As a professional monster hunter, he had the skills he needed, and because he was a guy who started out hating dragons, he would (I hoped) have an interesting time trying to relate to any of them as something other than hated foes.

Of course, the book really has a number of heroes, conceived to make the plot work and inspired in part by various models. Taegan's in there because I needed some kind of guy representing elves given that I pinned the origin of the Rage on them. He reflects my love of fencing and was intended to stand out from lots of other elves in fantasy by being ashamed of his race instead of proud of it. Will and Pavel are my tribute to the classic bickering buddies dynamic you see with characters like Monk and Ham from Doc Savage and the Thing and the Human Torch from the Fantastic Four. Pavel's also in the story because I needed a genius scholar to help work out the mystery. (And Pavel actually is a genius scholar even though he's chosen the rough-and-tumble life of a wandering adventurer and his buddies don't quite realize just how erudite he really is)
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