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Ouroboros
June 17th, 2003, 09:01 AM
There is a three-page interview with UK author David Gemmell in the current issue of SFX magazine ("The world's greatest Science Fiction magazine" :D ).

It's generally a good read, if guilty of erroneously (in my opinion) presenting Gemmell as a hard man, with much mention of his door work, broken noses etc. Having met Gemmell, I will say that he is a big guy, but I got the impression he is far more Siebien than Druss.... Minor gripe aside, the interview is generally interesting, and he reiterates the fact that the next Skilgannon novel will be almost certainly set a thousand or so years in the future.

The reason I place this in this thread is that there an interesting page which lists all the books he has written with a few comments on how and why they take the shape they do. Too much detail to list here, but I'd recommend our UK forumites to look at this page.

Most interesting was that he says that, in effect, he just sat down and began to write both the Drenai and Sipstrassi novels with literally no planning. He began cold and made both mythos up as he went along. No pages of files, no character pamphlets, no maps, no encyclopaedic background world-building ... just a skilled writer seeing where the story went from the first page. In fact, he says that the reason he wrote 'Legend' as a fantasy as opposed to setting it in our world, as historical fiction, is that he did not want to have to go through the rigamarole of actually doing research and planning. He wrote it as a fantasy novel precisely so that he could begin immediately.

Conspicously, he had rich internal stuff going on when he began both series: his life has in turmoil due to illness, relationship problems, financial strain and so on. 'Legend' and 'Wolf in Shadow' are both, at their core, outgrowths of dark periods in Gemmell's life.

There was also some discussion of stand-alone novels. Dark Moon as containing role models for the mentally ill, and Echoes of the Great Song examined in the light of militaristic U.S foreign policy.

I, Brian
June 17th, 2003, 04:50 PM
Good suggestion.

Met Gemmell at a book signing - didn;t want any books signed, just wanted to talk about authors and writing. Like other published authors I met, he's very encouraging to aspirants and understands the problems of getting published in today's markets. I wrote to him later on and he replied with some important advice.

Not a big man and not aggressive seeming. Well earthed.

Hungry Jo
June 17th, 2003, 06:57 PM
I also think I have met Dave Gammell, however I was only about 3 at time I believe so I don't remember it :)

He is basically a sort friend of my parents friend, my Dad checked one of his books for historical authenticity (I think it was Lion of Macedon - his names Paul Henderson it's in the aknowledgements I think) but we don't see him anymore because we now live in London and have for last 8 years. Shame really because although although my parents don't know him that well I'm sure I would have run into him.

Anyway, I've read a few of his books and they are pretty cool (particularly Legend) but not a great Fantasy man so I've only read 4, but enjoyed them all.

pcarney
June 18th, 2003, 09:13 AM
Is that interview on line anywhere (I'd assume not, otherwise you'd post it). Not sure if we get that magazine here in the states.

As far as Gemmel goes, I picked up a book of his a few months ago, and I liked it a fair bit. I'll get the next in the series, when I have a moment.

On another note, the only hardass author I've ever heard about was Hemingway..if you count getting drunk and beating up the locals as hardass...

Ouroboros
June 19th, 2003, 07:36 AM
I can't see the SFX Gemmell interview being online anytime soon... their website is pretty sparse.