Interview with Janny Wurts

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your current projects?

A: Current project in the works is Peril’s Gate, the latest in the Wars of Light and Shadow series. It continues the saga of two half brothers cursed to fight each other – has intricate and deeper development of characters and magic on all levels, and will surprise quite a few fans of the series with the ending. The book to follow it will be Stormed Fortress, and that will complete the middle section of the series.

Q: Have you always been interested in fantasy?

A: My interest in fantasy began with books of faerie tales read as a child.I didn’t discover novels in the genre until much much later – I was already writing by then, and so had to “catch up” on my reading in the field.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the experience of coauthoring the Empire Trilogy with Raymond E. Feist?

A: Ray had an idea with a beginning and an ending, but no middle, and he asked me to collaborate. He wanted a woman main character, and had seen my touch with political intrigue in my first novel, Sorcerer’s Legacy.At first, I refused, being way to busy, but in the end the story attracted me enough to cave in.

We got together face to face at a World Fantasy Convention, and wrote outlines for Daughter and Servant in one sitting (four hours). Mistress came later, when we realized the story couldn’t end there.

After that, we each drafted scenes, then exchanged them by modem as electronic files, and overwrote and elaborated each other’s drafts multiple times, until you can’t tell who wrote what. It’s a true blend of styles, his and mine, and we finished, still speaking to each other.

Q: What plans do you have for the future?

A: Plans for the future include finishing my long series, Wars of Light and Shadow, which has been in the works and planning for over 25 years. I am completing the middle section, now. Also, I am just going to contract ona stand alone title, that will be a change from long, intricate works that take more than a year to finish. Of course, I haven’t given up doing artwork. Beyond doing my own book covers, when I get clear of my dense schedule, I want to do more paintings just for the fun of it.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

A: I advise aspiring writers of any age to read Swain’s book, Techniques of the Selling Writer, available from University of Oklahoma Press, there is NO other how to manual for fiction that can hold a candle to this one. Next, just write! You are the only one who can see our idea to fruition, and if you don’t tell that story, it will never be there to be shared.

Q: Do you have any explanation why so many fantasy authors have this fascination for animals?

A: I can’t speak for other writers liking animals – for myself, life would be much the poorer without them, and lacking a very treasured sort of laughter. They are fun, they are fascinating, and they teach us humans humility, when we are patient listeners.

Q: What has the Internet meant for you as an author?

A: I personally have not spent much time on the internet, so have little to say about it’s affecting me as a writer.

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