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At last! At last! A page dedicated to me! (manic laughter). Yes, I've been shy and retiring long enough! This page is full of stuff about ME. If you're weak of stomach, I advise you to turn back now. Seriously, I get quite a bit of email these days, (before I was published I was lucky if I got one junk mailing a week -- usually someone trying to sell me environmentally safe cleaning products or cheap Scandinavian porn!) and below is a collection of the most popular questions I am asked.


What is The Barbed Coil about? And when will it be published?

The Barbed Coil will be published in September 97', along with the mass paperback edition to Master & Fool. It is not connected in any way to the Book Of Words Trilogy. It is a stand-alone fantasy (I needed a break from writing multi-volume epics) that revolves around the ancient and mysterious Barbed Coil. The Barbed Coil is the crown that has been worn by Garizon kings for exactly five hundred years. To give you a little preview, here is a description of the crown itself from Chapter 8:

Gaze circling the scriptorium, Izgard sought out his crown. The Barbed Coil shone gold in the candlelight. Hammer welded at white heat like a greatsword, fine rods of platinum, iron and lattern had been twisted into the molten gold. Once forged into a single billet, the cooling metal had been folded in upon itself a thousand times, then extruded to form a single strand of incalculable length before being beaten into a coil to fit a man. The gold looked like no other metal Izgard had ever seen. Its color and texture changed by the moment. And although it had once been tested and found to be nine tenths gold, it was harder than the finest fighting steel.

Worked in such a way that it reflected more of itself than its surroundings, the Barbed Coil seemed to glow with a private, inner light...

Are you going to write any more books about the characters from The Book Of Words?

I am currently planning to write a series of either 3 or 4 books that will be set in the Known Lands, but in the unchartered territory beyond the Northern Ranges. All the characters will be new, and people will be able to read it without having read TBOW first, BUT it will contain some definite and very deep connections to the first series. One or two characters from TBOW will cross over into it, but I can't tell you who or I'd have to kill you! Sorry for being cryptic, but as the series is in a very early stage I don't want to give too much away.

Why is Melli a blonde on the cover of The Baker's Boy?

I get asked this a LOT. First of all, let me start by saying that I LOVE my covers. Darrell K.Sweet is one of the top fantasy artists around today, and is much sought after by editors for his work. Robert Jordan and L.E Modesitt are just two of the writers who I (jealously) share Mr. Sweet with! Now, as for Melli being a blonde... mmm... personally I'm just thankful she has hair and is not altogether bald! Artistically, Melli's golden locks make for greater contrast against the dark background - perhaps that is the reason. Truth is I'm not sure. None of this matters to the good folks in England, though, as Melli has mysteriously disappeared from their cover!

melli pic

Where do Bodger & Grift come from? And when will The Bodger & Grift Guide To Dating And Beer hit the shelves?

Bodger & Grift

Bodger & Grift are probably the characters that I get the most email about. People feel very strongly about them. More than a few have asked when Bodger & Grift's collected wisdom will be published in a single volume. I'm sorry to say there are no plans as yet, and even if there were, rounding those two up for a national publicity tour would be mighty difficult! Beer would be needed.

As for where they come from, that's easy: Milwaukee!

B&G courtesy of Warren Wu

Who is your favorite character from TBOW?

I love all the people in my world. Every single one of them. I know I'm not supposed to have a favorite, but I do. Maybor is the apple of my eye. He's unrepentantly vain, lavishly selfish and yet strangely endearing all the same. Whenever I wrote about him I found myself smiling.

Who is the character that it most like yourself?

This is an easy one: Tavalisk. Yes, I'm mean, sarcastic, gluttonous and a confirmed couch potato. Now all I need is a Gamil to do all my work for me.

How long did it take you to write the complete series? And what are your writing habits?

The series was written over a three year period. The Baker's Boy took me about 3 months to write (I was obsessed, and since I didn't have a clue about what I was doing, I wrote in blissful ignorance of all the mistakes I was making). A Man Betrayed and Master & Fool both took about eight months apiece to write. They were both a lot harder than my first book, as I'd learned a good few rules about writing by then so was more careful of what I wrote.

I find it very difficult to write and am a very slow writer. I force myself to write 3.3 pages every day (which can take anywhere from 4-8 hours to write), as by the end of each month I have a hundred pages. When I'm in the middle of a book I work weekends and holidays. I work from a complete and detailed outline, yet I like to change things here and there as I go along.

How much do you have to do with your website?

I do a lot of the work on my site: graphics, layout, text, even do quite a bit of the HTML stuff myself. I have help from Ian Sokoloff and John Yang with some of the more tricky stuff and cgi programming, and any really good graphic pages (like Highland Fling and JVJ's SF Links) were done by my brother Paul. All the ideas are mine (what can I say: Bodger's Badger's Tongue Twister seemed like a good idea at the time!).


What hobbies and interests do you have besides writing?

Cary Grant

I have one rule for all hobbies and interests: they must be do-able from the comfort of my living room couch! So that pretty much rules out mountain climbing, skiing, kayaking, ballroom dancing and pot-holing! I like to stay inside; reading (especially about history, art, nature and anthropology), playing computer and video games (DOOM II is still my favorite), surfing the Net, doodling around with graphics programs (does the phrase "Queen of Plug-Ins" mean anything to you?) and watching old black and white movies (anyone who doesn't think Cary Grant is the best leading man of all times just step away from the screen now, and run don't walk to your nearest video store and rent Bringing Up Baby, The Bishop's Wife and Topper).

Cary Grant: look at that face!

When will you be doing a booksigning near me?

Yes. I shall be traveling around the US in September, promoting The Barbed Coil and the completed Book Of Words Trilogy. Here is a list of the cities I shall be visiting. Hope to see you soon!

Well, that's all for now. As things occur to me I'll add them to this page. Thank you for bearing with me on this on this ME-fest!

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