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By Patrick (2005-03-21)
If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
TW: I'm afraid the answer here is pretty much the answer to the "younger Tad Williams" question. Of course there are regrets, but once you start unstitching reality, any SF and F author will tell you you're asking for trouble. Better to take the rough with the smooth and move on.
Is a World Fantasy Award something you covet?
TW: I'd take one, yeah, with pleasure, but I don't covet anything in this world except a monkey I could train to ride in a little saddle on the back of our over-excitable poodle. I've always been a little disappointed I haven't been nominated for a WFA, but not shocked: I didn't make my way into the field through the normal small-universe route, through the magazines and so on, and I write for an American publisher which doesn't get the respect it deserves. Also, I am predominantly (although not entirely fairly) known for writing what's considered to be the most commercial (and I suppose least artistic) part of the genre, epic fantasy. So, like I said, disappointed but not shocked.
Initially, Shadowmarch was to be an ongoing series available on the web. What made you change your mind and decide to actually write it as a hard copy? Were the difficulties inherent to an internet-based project responsible for your change of mind?
TW: I wrote and published what amounted to the first volume online, but realized that I couldn't afford to keep doing that after the first year -- we didn't make enough money, and I had to write another book (WAR OF THE FLOWERS) at the same time. That said, I still wanted to finish the story, so moving it to regular book form made sense. I loved doing the online serial version, though, and would like to do something like that again someday.
There has always been a religious/spiritual aspect in both Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and Otherland which is not present in Shadowmarch. Will we see more of that in future volumes?
TW: Ah, you mean it's not present in SHADOWMARCh -so far-. I can promise you that the religious/mythological/spiritual element will be a very big part of the whole story.
What's the progress report pertaining to the second volume? Tentative title, release date, etc?
TW: I don't have anything like a release date -- I would hope a year from now at the very latest. I'm well into the second volume, but I lost several working months this fall to travel and other things, so I'm not as far along as I'd like to be.
Are you working on A Chronicle in Stone (short stories set in Osten Ard) while writing Shadowmarch, or has this project been postponed?
TW: That project has been postponed for a while, but definitely not forgotten. I hadn't intended to do SHADOWMARCH until the events above -- the needing to finish the S'MARCH story -- changed my plans for what I'd be doing the next couple of years.
Given the fact that all your novels are "Tad-size," how daunting was the task of writing short stories for the Legends anthologies?
TW: I've actually written and published a dozen or so short stories over the years. I love the form, and some of my favorite writers, like Bradbury, Ellison, Sturgeon, James Tiptree Jr., and M. R. James, probably did their best work in shorter fiction, so it's something I never intend to give up entirely. I liked writing both the LEGENDS pieces quite a bit.
What extensive research did the writing of Otherland entail?
TW: Oh my lord, it like to killed me. I not only had to research the actual science side of OTHERLAND, since it was set in the real-world of only a few decades from now, all the real-world stuff (like in Sydney, Cartagena, etc.) had to be researched as though they were current, and then there was all the historical and literary re-creations in the simworlds. I was researching for most of a year before I started, and then continuously throughout the process of writing the books. By FAR the most research I've ever done for any project.
This is probably the most asked question of all. Are there any definite plans to write a sequel to Memory, Sorrow and Thorn following Shadowmarch?
TW: Other than the Osten Ard short stories, no. But I have learned never to say "never." (Or "spendiferous", for that matter, because it doesn't sound, y'know, manly.)
We would like to thank you for kindly taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you continued success in your career, and hopefully we can do this once again in the future.
Thanks very much, and thanks to everyone who buys my books and thus Saves me from ever having to go back to retail shoe sales. I don't think I could handle all the bending now.
Interview by Patrick
Copyright - Patrick fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com