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Alaundo
Head Moderator
Admin

United Kingdom
5570 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2004 :  10:45:18  Show Profile  Visit Alaundo's Homepage  Click to see Alaundo's MSN Messenger address Send Alaundo a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Well met

This being a collective scroll of any questions the Scribes and visitors of Candlekeep wish to put to a renowned author of the Realms, namely - Lisa Smedman, whos works include: Extinction, Heirs of Prophecy and The House of Serpents Trilogy.

Present your questions herein and check back to see what news may also come forth from the quill of this author.

Alaundo
Candlekeep Forums Head Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Valondil the Ranger
Learned Scribe

USA
109 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2004 :  16:50:24  Show Profile  Visit Valondil the Ranger's Homepage  Send Valondil the Ranger a Yahoo! Message Send Valondil the Ranger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I suppose I'll post the first question.

Ms. Smedman, I loved Venom's Taste and I can't wait for Viper's Kiss. I just have one question for you. Was it your choice to include a psion in the story? It seems to me that you did the right thing if you did, because many people were getting disappointed without psions ever being included in FR stories.

Thank you for answering my question and keep doing what you do best, bringing us hungry fans filling stories.

--Your humble ranger,
Valondil

Check out my webpage at http://iankappos.blogspot.com/
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VEDSICA
Senior Scribe

USA
466 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2004 :  03:19:17  Show Profile  Visit VEDSICA's Homepage Send VEDSICA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agreed Valondil.Great work Lisa on Venom's Taste.Enjoyed it very much.I also can't wait for Viper's Kiss.Oh and so glad that Alaundo was able to track you down.Was wondering if his Wand of Locate Author needed recharged.Welcome and well met!!!

LIFE,BIRTH,BLOOD,DOOM---THE HOLE IN THE GROUND IS COMING ROUND SOON----BLS
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Lisa Smedman
Forgotten Realms Author

12 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2004 :  04:41:07  Show Profile  Visit Lisa Smedman's Homepage Send Lisa Smedman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Greetings Alaundo,
Yes, a psion protagonist for Venom's Taste was indeed my choice. It's a class I very much wanted to explore. The guidelines for the trilogy were relatively simple: it had to focus on the yuan-ti. Noticing that the yuan-ti had psionic abilities, I wanted to pit against them a protagonist who could hold his own.
I also chose a psion because I enjoy "fleshing out" what are otherwise mere game mechanics, giving color and flavor to how magic (in this case psionics) works. How it looks and feels. I threw in a dash of yoga and tai chi, chose five of the chakras, and used the latter as the basis for a rationalization of how/why secondary effects occur when psionics are used.
The one down side of choosing a psion was that the rules changed in the middle of it all, with the release of the Expanded Psionics Handbook. Some of the powers I'd used disappeared, others changed names or had their descriptions altered slightly. Too late to change Venom's Taste, since it was already in print, and now I'm trying to decide what to change (if anything) in terms of the powers Arvin manifests in Book 2, in order to stay consistent with the new rules. I'll probably just wind up fudging it, straddling both rule books and hoping for the best!
Cheers, Lisa
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Valondil the Ranger
Learned Scribe

USA
109 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2004 :  05:08:19  Show Profile  Visit Valondil the Ranger's Homepage  Send Valondil the Ranger a Yahoo! Message Send Valondil the Ranger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't wait for it, Ms. Smedman. It sounds so cool.

One other thing. I love your writing. It's so original and is highly unique and definately stands out among all the other FR authors. I find that you have sort of a modern tone in your writing, whereas the others tend to write in a more...well I don't really want to say it...but, a sort of prissy, matter-of-fact style. I can't really word it. You write gritty and slightly darker stuff that really fits the Hlondeth setting. Thanks so much for your stories and I hope all goes right with Viper's Kiss/

--Your humble ranger,
Valondil

Check out my webpage at http://iankappos.blogspot.com/
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Sarelle
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
508 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2004 :  10:45:47  Show Profile  Visit Sarelle's Homepage  Click to see Sarelle's MSN Messenger address Send Sarelle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welcome to the boards, Ms. Smedman.

This question has been asked of all the other contributing authors - maybe its a Candlekeep right of passage! - but how did you feel joining up in the middle of the War of the Spider Queen saga. What did you find difficult/easier about it, and did you enjoy working with characters not made by you?

Chair of the The Rightful Return of Monster Deities to FR Society (RRMDFRS)

My character, drawn by Liodain: Sarelle / Sarelle (smaller)

Edited by - Sarelle on 28 Jun 2004 01:31:17
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2004 :  15:25:22  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sarelle
Also, how did you feel about penning the gods? The confrontation between Vhaeraun and Selvetarm, and the decription of Lolth, are all 'BIG' stuff, lacking a better way to put it!



If I recall correctly, that scene took place at the end of Condemnation by Richard Baker. However, Lisa Smedman does show us the followers of another drow god in Extinction. From Sembia nobles, to drow, to yuan-ti...I believe Ms. Smedman is going higher and higher up the ladder of intrigue.

Edited by - SiriusBlack on 27 Jun 2004 15:25:50
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Valondil the Ranger
Learned Scribe

USA
109 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2004 :  23:25:03  Show Profile  Visit Valondil the Ranger's Homepage  Send Valondil the Ranger a Yahoo! Message Send Valondil the Ranger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ms. Smedman, I also want to ask a question about the back of the book. The main character was Arvin, yet on the back it said that Dediana was. So, what's up with that? Did WotC make the back themselves and not even look at the manuscript, or what? I only found about two or three references to Dediana throughout the whole story.

--Your humble ranger,
Valondil

Check out my webpage at http://iankappos.blogspot.com/
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Sarelle
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
508 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2004 :  01:33:05  Show Profile  Visit Sarelle's Homepage  Click to see Sarelle's MSN Messenger address Send Sarelle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack

quote:
Originally posted by Sarelle
Also, how did you feel about penning the gods? The confrontation between Vhaeraun and Selvetarm, and the decription of Lolth, are all 'BIG' stuff, lacking a better way to put it!



If I recall correctly, that scene took place at the end of Condemnation by Richard Baker. However, Lisa Smedman does show us the followers of another drow god in Extinction. From Sembia nobles, to drow, to yuan-ti...I believe Ms. Smedman is going higher and higher up the ladder of intrigue.



That early in the series? Wow. Sorry - I haven't personally read any WotSQ books (though I do plan to) so I was basing that on assumtion.
Thanks for the heads up Sirius - I've edited my post to make things clearer.

Chair of the The Rightful Return of Monster Deities to FR Society (RRMDFRS)

My character, drawn by Liodain: Sarelle / Sarelle (smaller)
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2004 :  02:33:40  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sarelle
That early in the series? Wow. Sorry - I haven't personally read any WotSQ books (though I do plan to) so I was basing that on assumtion.
Thanks for the heads up Sirius - I've edited my post to make things clearer.



You're welcome. If it helps any, Lisa Smedman's WOTSQ novel revealed that one series' character might be facing a divine challenge very soon.
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Lauzoril
Seeker

Finland
71 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2004 :  21:01:28  Show Profile  Visit Lauzoril's Homepage Send Lauzoril a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ms. Smedman, I really enjoyed your work on the Sembia series and the Extinction. Speaking of Sembia, can we expect to see Larajin someday again in a new adventure?
I will read Venom's Taste when I have the time. So many novels, so little time.


"Death to the enemies of Bane."
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Lisa Smedman
Forgotten Realms Author

12 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2004 :  16:35:03  Show Profile  Visit Lisa Smedman's Homepage Send Lisa Smedman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello all, and thanks for your kind words. It's always nice to get feedback about my writing. Now I'll tackle a few of the questions.

Larajin: I enjoyed creating this character very much, but have no immediate plans to return to her. Too much else on my plate! But in case you missed it, check out Dragon magazine #299, which contains "Memories" a short story prequel to both "Halls of Stormweather" and my novel "Heirs of Prophecy." This short story includes her first meeting with Kremlar, the dwarf who later is her good friend.

War of the Spider Queen: A challenging series to work on, in terms of maintaining continuity, but a fun one. All those protagonists... and the authors of books 1-3 kept tossing more characters into the mix, none of whom could be killed off!
When working with protagonists that had already been created and defined I try to add something new to the mix. Flesh them out just a little more. Ryld was interesting to me, because of his terrible childhood. Halisstra because of her conflicts over going over to a new goddess. As for Quenthel, I played up the dependence she has on her whip... how it's coming to control her. We'll see what Phil Athans does with this in book 5.

Venom's Taste: Yes, Dediana is on the back cover blurb, although she doesn't come on stage in the book. In hindsight, it should have been Zelia who gets a mention on the book cover. She's becoming the chief bad guy (and Arvin's nemesis) of the trilogy. I didn't see the back cover blur before the novel came out (marketing just takes it and runs with it) or I would have mentioned that this needed to be changed. Ah well.


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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2004 :  16:40:37  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Smedman

Hello all, and thanks for your kind words. It's always nice to get feedback about my writing. Now I'll tackle a few of the questions.



Thank you Ms. Smedman for taking the time to reply to the questions.

I enjoyed your characterization of the Eilistraee followers in Extinction. What resources, FR or otherwise, did you draw upon, to flesh out the followers of this faith?

Thank you again for your time here and for some wonderful moments reading your work.
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Sarelle
Senior Scribe

United Kingdom
508 Posts

Posted - 04 Jul 2004 :  00:31:21  Show Profile  Visit Sarelle's Homepage  Click to see Sarelle's MSN Messenger address Send Sarelle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack

quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Smedman

Hello all, and thanks for your kind words. It's always nice to get feedback about my writing. Now I'll tackle a few of the questions.



Thank you Ms. Smedman for taking the time to reply to the questions.



Indeed - thanks for answering my question.

Chair of the The Rightful Return of Monster Deities to FR Society (RRMDFRS)

My character, drawn by Liodain: Sarelle / Sarelle (smaller)
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Valondil the Ranger
Learned Scribe

USA
109 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2004 :  20:10:14  Show Profile  Visit Valondil the Ranger's Homepage  Send Valondil the Ranger a Yahoo! Message Send Valondil the Ranger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ms. Smedman,

I was wondering something about how you came about to writing in the FR setting. I know that you hadn't written in this setting up until your short story in Halls of Stormweather. So, did you want to write in FR or did somebody who worked at WotC like your writing and invite you in? Just curious.

And thank you again for answering our questions--and especially mine. I know that I've done most of the questions and that might seem a bit annoying.

--Your humble ranger,
Valondil

Check out my webpage at http://iankappos.blogspot.com/
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Ordin_Solandar
Seeker

Canada
40 Posts

Posted - 14 Jul 2004 :  02:18:21  Show Profile  Visit Ordin_Solandar's Homepage  Click to see Ordin_Solandar's MSN Messenger address Send Ordin_Solandar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Greetings Ms. Smedman!

Loved the hightened tention between the party members, especially Quenthel vs. Pharaun and Ryld's justification for leaving the wizard to rought so to speak.

Couple of quick questions about "Extinction":

In "Condemnation" weapons master Andzrel weilds a double bladed sword during the battle at the pillars of woe. However in "Extinction" he weilds a long swords in the caverns of Baufwalf, is it because of the cramped fighting condition?

Does Triel's whip the duplicate of Quenthel's also influence her. Or does it lack demon possessed heads?

Anyhow thanks greatly for volunteering your time, and please continue to further your influence apon the realms; it is very refreshing!


Its easy not to care what people think, it harder to try!
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Murray Leeder
Forgotten Realms Author

Canada
220 Posts

Posted - 18 Jul 2004 :  05:59:45  Show Profile  Visit Murray Leeder's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Lisa. Thought I'd say hello as a fellow Canadian Realms author (Calgary here). I've been finally reading Extinction, and I'm curious if you borrowed the name "Oothoon" from Blake's Visions of the Daughters of Albion.
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Lisa Smedman
Forgotten Realms Author

12 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  06:43:25  Show Profile  Visit Lisa Smedman's Homepage Send Lisa Smedman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello all,
Since I only log on here occasionally, I'll answer a bunch of questions at once.
The name "Oothoon" was one I made up. I suppose I must have drawn it from the collective subconscious, if Blake also used it. :-)
I began writing in the FR setting as a result of editor Phil Athans inviting me to. I had previously done a ton of design work for the Ravenloft world, and also design work and fiction for the Dark Sun world. Now I'm writing pretty much exclusively in Forgotten Realms.
Andzrel, as weapons master of House Baenre, would need to be proficient in a variety of weapons. A long sword seemed to fit the bill for this particular battle. As for Triel's whip, it is indeed a duplicate of Quenthel's (in game mechanics terms). I decided to play with the relationship between Quenthel and her whip, to have her "slipping" a little when it comes to who's in control. This made her a more interesting character to write. It's up to the remaining War of the Spider Queen authors if they want Triel to succumb to the same problems.
The resources I used when writing the Eilistraee priestesses were the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting sourcebook and Demihuman Deities. I took and ran with the "high hunt" that's mentioned in these books, looking at what might be its darker side, in that those who get hunted are sometimes innocent victims (these are drow priestesses, after all) and added a lot of birth metaphors to counter this darker side and to show Halisstra's spiritual rebirth. The birth stuff was bubbling around in my subconscious big time, since I was writing Extinction just around the time my son was born. (Any continuity errors I'll blame on the sleep deprivation he inflicted upon me. :-))
Cheers, Lisa
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Ordin_Solandar
Seeker

Canada
40 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  07:07:36  Show Profile  Visit Ordin_Solandar's Homepage  Click to see Ordin_Solandar's MSN Messenger address Send Ordin_Solandar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Righty O Mrs Smedman.

Jah I am starting to see just how often the authors of WOTSQ really weren't given a great time table for writing and conferring with one another. Considering most of the previous books arn't finished by the time an author has to write there story. I guess its a little late for Triels whip to tweak her nose a bit, Lloth returing and all. Andzrel's is a weaponsmaster so I can readily accept that he would use different weapons because to the situation. "Cramped quarters of the Dark Dominions tunnels, ect"

Anyhowzen congrats on the newest addtion to the family hope he has fallen into a regular sleeping pattern, and that teething isn't too much of a discomfort. I did enjoy "Extinction" and am looking forward to your latest book.

Its easy not to care what people think, it harder to try!
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  07:16:46  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa Smedman
The resources I used when writing the Eilistraee priestesses were the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting sourcebook and Demihuman Deities. I took and ran with the "high hunt" that's mentioned in these books, looking at what might be its darker side, in that those who get hunted are sometimes innocent victims (these are drow priestesses, after all) and added a lot of birth metaphors to counter this darker side and to show Halisstra's spiritual rebirth. The birth stuff was bubbling around in my subconscious big time, since I was writing Extinction just around the time my son was born. (Any continuity errors I'll blame on the sleep deprivation he inflicted upon me. :-))



Thank you for answering my question and congratulations on the birth of your son. Be forewarned, the lack of sleep continues once he becomes a teen, but for different reasons.

For what it's worth, I think Richard Baker did a wonderful job showing a person of faith in Condemnation with a certain character's death. That scene planted a wonderful seed for Halisstra's rebirth that I think you pulled off with great emotion in your novel.

SB
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2004 :  07:18:31  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ordin_Solandar
Jah I am starting to see just how often the authors of WOTSQ really weren't given a great time table for writing and conferring with one another. Considering most of the previous books arn't finished by the time an author has to write there story.



Well there was the initial meeting that outlined the series where everyone was included but Paul Kemp to my knowledge.
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Panador
Seeker

Austria
28 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2004 :  00:27:50  Show Profile  Visit Panador's Homepage  Send Panador an ICQ Message  Click to see Panador's MSN Messenger address Send Panador a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you Ms. Smedman for the great novel Venom's Taste, I really loved it. When I bought it I didn't think I would like it as much as for example the War of the Spiderqueen books, but that was just because the Yuan-Ti never were of much interest to me in the past, but that has changed .

I also liked a psion being the main character, at least in the FR novels I've read this far they didn't appear very often, which was kinda sad in my opinion because they seem to be very interesting.

My question concerns the cover - the front, not the back. Maybe this has already been said, alas I coulnd't find anything about it, if this question has already been asked and answered before please tell me and delete this pos, let's not trouble Ms. Smedman with nonessential questions.

Which persons are shown on the front cover? Are they, to this point, unknown persons and do they make an appearance in the next novels or do they have nothing to do with the story?

I don't think it's Arvin because he's not wearing his gauntlet and the yuan-ti may not be Zelia as her hair is black and not red as Zelia's hair is supposed to be.

*Still thinking about a signature...*

Edited by - Panador on 29 Jul 2004 00:29:10
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Lisa Smedman
Forgotten Realms Author

12 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2004 :  06:11:51  Show Profile  Visit Lisa Smedman's Homepage Send Lisa Smedman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello again,
As to the question of who is on the cover of "Venom's Taste," the guy is definitely Arvin. Notice the dagger, and the little finger of the left hand, which is missing a chunk. The artist left his magical glove off so this would be visible. As to the female, it's probably meant to be Zelia. Interestingly enough, in my original concept of the trilogy, I was going to use Zelia only for book 1. But she's proving to be a really popular "baddie" and I'm having fun with her, so she figures even more prominently in books 2 and 3.
Just so you know, authors usually get only limited input into the covers of their books. The way it usually works is that we provide a description of the major characters and an idea for a scene (how the characters would be interacting, e.g. hostile, friendly) and let the artist do their thing from there. Sometimes we get to see a rough of the cover before the book is published, sometimes not.
In the case of the first gaming tie-in book I wrote, "The Lucifer Deck" for the Shadowrun series, I got to see the cover before publication. I commented that the artist had made the Pita character (who's an ork) too much of a babe. This mattered, since most of what the character does is driven by the fact that she's morphed into an ork as a teen and has a lot of self-loathing. She just couldn't be pretty. The artist "orked" her up, and the final cover reflects this change.
One of my favorite game novel covers is the one for "Psychotrope." The novel is set almost entirely in a virtual reality, and the cover shows two of the protagonists as they appear in that reality, as a scythe-wielding black skeleton and a cigarette-smoking gargoyle. I just love it.
Another cover I just love is the one that's on my most recent novel, "The Apparition Trail," which is published by Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy, a Canadian publisher based in Calgary. To check this cover out, visit http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/apparitiontrail/at-catalog.html.
"The Apparition Trail" is set in 1884 and follows the adventures of a Mountie who has to solve a paranormal crime. It's got lots of cool Native magic, a mystery, and authentic characters and events from this period in Canadian history. The cover shows the protagonist and one other Mountie on an "air bicycle" powered by a perpetual motion device.
If you're a fan of the Deadlands game, you'll probably enjoy "The Apparition Trail." While I was writing the novel, I turned the idea into a Deadlands scenario for my own players. They had a lot of fun with it.
If you'd like to read a review of "The Apparition Trail," visit http://www.vancourier.com/issues04/081204/entertainment/081204en3.html. "The Apparition Trail" was just released this month in the US. If your local book store doesn't have it, tell them it's available through the wholesalers Baker and Taylor, and also by Ingram Books.
Cheers! Lisa Smedman
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Wood Elf Ranger
Senior Scribe

USA
627 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2004 :  07:53:30  Show Profile  Visit Wood Elf Ranger's Homepage  Click to see Wood Elf Ranger's MSN Messenger address  Send Wood Elf Ranger a Yahoo! Message Send Wood Elf Ranger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd just like to say that Leifander and Larajin are two of my all time favorite characters Heirs of Profecy was just an amazing book. Heres to hoping we will see the two twins again someday

I also really like how Arvin is shaping up. His ropemaking background is really interesting. More authors need to take note of this: characters need a profession besides adventuring It sure makes for some wonderful plot twists and ties (not to mention rope twists and ties!)

~Lee N.

"Breaktime yes?!.. Yes?.. Maybe?.. Noo, baaack to work.." -Grovel the Goblin from NWN: HotU
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The Wanderer
Learned Scribe

USA
132 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2004 :  13:48:31  Show Profile  Visit The Wanderer's Homepage  Click to see The Wanderer's MSN Messenger address Send The Wanderer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just wanted to add to this thread by saying that I really enjoyed your new story in the Realms of the Dragon anthology. I think that Dwarves are not used enough in books, so I was happy to see a story in which they where the protagonists. I especially liked the way you protrayed them and their generational differences.

Was it hard to come up with all of those acronyms, BTW?

The Wanderer
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SiriusBlack
Great Reader

USA
5517 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2004 :  13:54:49  Show Profile  Visit SiriusBlack's Homepage Send SiriusBlack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer
Was it hard to come up with all of those acronyms, BTW?



I hope she answers you with a, "Nope, it was Standard author's procedure.
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