Your Questions for the Author Answered

December Questions

When will the new Corean Chronicles book be out?

I am still working on Lady-Protector, and that means Tor has not scheduled it, and likely will not until I finish, but I anticipate that it will appear sometime in the first part of 2011.

Do you have a certain process you always use to create a universe for a book or series, or does it all come together as you write it?

I’m not an author who can put together a “universe” on the fly, so to speak. In working on a fantasy series, the magic system always comes first, setting up the rules, not to mention the social, economic, political, technological, and military implications. Then comes the geography and political-economic setting, followed by the main characters and the problems they face.

November Questions

Who reads your books before they go to the editor?

With two exceptions, no one has ever read a complete novel of mine before my editor did. The first exception was my very first book, The Fires of Paratime, later republished by Tor as The Timegod, which several other editors saw — and rejected — before my present editor bought it. The second was The Soprano Sorceress, which I insisted my wife read, for the obvious reason that she is a soprano and a professional in music, which I am not.

Will you ever write a sequel to The Ethos Effect?

I have no plans to write a sequel, but The Ethos Effect is essentially a sequel to The Parafaith War, and I originally had no plans to write a sequel to The Parafaith War. If I ever do, however, it won’t be in the near future.

October Questions

Who determines where you go on a book tour?

The short answer is the publisher, but it’s actually the publicity office of Tor, which takes into account where I’ve toured in the past, when I last visited an area, if ever, and how fantasy and science fiction books sell in a possible tour city or locale. As a practical matter, they won’t schedule tours in places where bookstores are few and far between, or where turnout has been abysmal in the past, either for me or for other F&SF authors. Also, given the hard economic times facing publishers, tours are generally getting to be less frequent and shorter.

Will you ever have a book made into a movie?

While I’d had some interest occasionally over the years, based on those incidents, I think that it’s highly unlikely… but not impossible. So much of what I write about takes place on a large and complicated canvas that simplifying and shortening for a cinematic format would effectlively gut most of my books. A series or a minseries would be better, but the odds of such are rather long at this point.

September Questions

Why do you write so many books about younger characters discovering themselves and their powers?

This tends to be a common misperception. While I certainly have written about young characters discovering themselves, less than a third of my books, surprisingly, deal with that theme. I suspect people confuse characters who learn something with young people discovering themselves, but more than 60% of my books feature characters who have a chronological age older than 30, and more than 40% feature characters older than 40.

What is the longest book you’ve written?

That depends on the definition of book. In the first-printed version of novels,The Magic Engineer is the longest book. In any version on one cover, the three-novel compilation of The Forever Hero is the longest, although the three novels were originally printed in paperback separately.

August Questions

What do you mean by Commonocracy?

Commonocracy is a term I’ve used, if sparingly, in several books. So far as I know, no one else has employed it, but that’s certainly possible. What I was attempting to convey was the idea of a democracy run wild, where the government responds almost immediately to popular whim, rather than responding to popular concerns in a considered and thoughtful manner.

Will there ever be a Recluce novel about the first “Demons of Light” who founded Cyador?

Currently, I have no plans to write about those events in the history of the world of Recluce. That’s not to say that I won’t, but it’s unlikely in the near future. I haven’t considered what time and area of Recluce I’ll explore next, but I’m hoping that readers will enjoy Arms-Commander when it comes out in January.

July Questions

Are there any plans for Recluce or Corean Chronicles audiobooks?

At present, there aren’t any audiobooks scheduled beyond Imager’s Intrigue, but I imagine that whether the audiobook publisher decides to issue other titles as audio releases will depend on the sales of the Imager audiobooks.

When will the third Imager Portfolio book be released?

Imager’s Intrigue is scheduled for release in the fall of 2010.

June Questions

How do you pronounce your name?

It’s pronounced MODD-ess-it, where “Modd” rhymes with “odd.” The pronunciation breaks a number of rules, but it wasn’t my decision, obviously.

Will the next Recluce novel continue the story of Rahl and Deybri?

Much as I personally like both Rahl and Deybri, the next Recluce novel, Arms-Commander [due out in early January 2010], tells the story of Saryn, beginning roughly ten years after the end of The Chaos Balance.

Is Hamor a remnant of a breakaway Cyadoran sect or were the ancient Cyadorans heavily influenced by Cyador?

Both, in a sense, in that Hamor was the other continent most strongly influenced besides Candar and because, with the fall of Cyador, a number of refugees settled in Hamor. The Hamorian legal code is a direct crib from that of Cyador, as Kharl finds out in his studies of law.

May Questions

Is there any one character in the Recluce Saga who is surprisingly like you?

Although I suspect that every author puts parts, if not large parts, of himself or herself into books, I honestly don’t think that any Recluce character is “surprisingly” like me. Lerris does have, of course, the same sort of cluelessness that I had at that age, but the rest of his character is considerably different.

Will you ever write a book in the Recluce Saga dealing with events in Cyador after the time Lorn is emperor and before Cyador falls?

While I will not be writing another book about Lorn, whether I’ll write more about Cyador still remains to be seen. At this point I just don’t know.

March Questions

After the last Corean Chronicles book with Alucius, what happens to all the structures created by the Ifrits? Will there be more books about what follows with all those characters?

The structures remain… at least they don’t vanish instantly, or in the immediate future. Currently, I’m deeply involved in writing other books, and I haven’t decided whether there will be more Corean Chronicles books, and if so, in what time period they will be set.

Will a clean white map ever be available for the Corean Chronicles?

As some readers may know, I get more questions about maps than about any single subject, and almost no one is happy. Either the maps don’t have enough detail; they aren’t current to whatever Recluce book they’re included in; some particulars don’t match the text. The map for the Corean Chronicles was designed as a colored end paper, and then, for reasons not shared with me, was copied in black and white, which is extremely difficult to read. Unfortunately, given the exceedingly dismal financial state of the publishing industry at present, I don’t see Tor springing for the cash to commission a black and white map… not unless I commit to write at least another trilogy in that world, which, at the moment, I have not done.

Do you ever intend to commission an art book or compendium for any of your series?

Right now, it would be premature for me to attempt this, because it’s still possible that I may add to most, if not all of my fantasy series, and when I add another book, there’s always new “stuff.”