Your Questions for the Author Answered

May Questions

The ensign of Recluce is a black Ryall upon a white background, but what is a ryall?

A ryall is a three-lobed flower, similar in shape to the fleur-de-lis, except that the petals are more rounded at the ends.  The petals are black, with white edges, and occasionally, white veins through the petals.  It generally grows in desolate and rocky places and blooms infrequently.

Would you ever consider turning one of your books or series into a video game, specifically Imager or Recluce?

I’d be more than happy to have someone make a decent video game out of any of my books, but, alas, it’s not so easy as it looks. Over the past ten years, I’ve had three game developers take an option to develop a Recluce game and attempt to create one.  Two were small; one was an established mid-sized gaming company.  All gave up, for reasons never made clear to me and never got as far as running a prototype by me.  I’ve even talked to several larger  gaming companies, and no one seemed interested.



April Question

What about the character of Magister Cassius? Is there more you can tell us about him besides that he was pulled through a chaos-order rift?

Actually, Cassius’s tale is told as a story in my collection — Viewpoints Critical — which is available in hardcover or trade paperback.  The story is called “Black Ordermage.”

March Question

Will you ever write about the founding of Cyad?

At present, I have no plans to write about the founding of Cyador or the landing of the Rationalists.

February Question

Will the the books from the Saga of Recluce ever be produced in an audio book format?

At present, the only works of mine available in audio books are the first two books of The Imager portfolio — Imager and Imager’s Challenge — although the third book [Imager’s Intrigue] will be will also appear in audio format once the hardcover is released, and one single SF novel — Haze. If the Imager books are successful in audio format, Tantor may consider an audio version of the Recluce Saga, but at this point, none of the audio book producers have shown any interest.

January Questions

Will there be a fourth book in the Imager Portfolio?

I honestly don’t know, but I expect I’ll decide that in the immediate months to come.

Will you ever publish a cookbook for all the different foods you mention in your books?

I’ve been asked this several times over the years, and while some of the dishes are ones I’ve prepared, alas, many exist only in my imagination, and I lack the time to actually realize them. So, for now, the cookbook will have to wait.

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.