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By Patrick (2006-05-21)
- Is a World Fantasy Award something you covet?
(LCH) You know, we never think about awards. We both write for the love of it and for our readers.
- How does working with your wife Laura differ from working with Margaret Weis?
(TRH) Every partnership is unique: they have their different strengths and ways of making it work. The important thing, however, is to put the integrity of the work first – before egos. If you are asking ‘what is best for the book’ and stop asking ‘what is best for me’ in a collaboration, you’ll have much better success both with the book and the collaboration.
- How does it feel to have the possibility to share your books with people from around the globe, in different languages?
(LCH) The Russian language translation was the first to license our Bronze Canticles. We were both thrilled. We believe that modern fantasy has its ancestral roots in world mythology and therefore speaks to and connects the global audience in ways that other literary forms do not.
- Honestly, do you believe that the fantasy genre will ever come to be recognized as veritable literature? Truth be told, in my opinion there has never been this many good books/series as we have right now, and yet there is still very little respect (not to say none) associated with the genre.
(TRH) I think that depends upon who one credits as granting such recognition. I’ve had numerous students over the years write to me, telling me that their assignment was to do a report on an author of literature but that their teacher told them that what I write isn’t ‘legitimate literature.’ I’m always curious as to what they mean by ‘legitimate literature’ and by what standard they are using to make that determination. From what I have seen thus far, I’m not certain that I crave the ‘respect’ of the academic community as I once might have done.
(LCH) The whole question of legitimacy doesn’t make sense – mythology is the most ancient of literary forms. Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ I would think of as legitimate and yet it is every bit as much a fantasy as anything written today.
- Characters often take a life of their own. Which of your characters (and God knows there have been many!) did you find the most unpredictable to write about?
(TRH) Lord Soth from our Dragonlance series! Every time that character made an appearance in one of our books he would try to run off with the story. We practically had to beat him off the page with a stick.
- How would you like to be remembered as an author?
(LCH) That’s an interesting question. When I think about being remembered I think only of our progeny; I’d like my grandchildren to know how much I love the arts.
(TRH) Fame in terms of the world is such a fleeting thing. When I think about being remembered, I think about those wonderful, sincere people who have come up to us and shared how our books somehow changed their lives. When a huge, bearded and long haired man in a leather motorcycle jacket stands speechless in front of you, grip your book with both massive hands as tears roll down his cheeks struggling to tell you how your books saved his life – that’s when you remember why you write and are grateful that God gave you the opportunity and talent.
- After what can only be called an illustrious and prolific career, what motivates you to keep on writing?
(LCH) When Robert Frost was asked that same question, he answered ‘the money.’ That helps, of course, but there has to be a daily blissful drive – the kind of drive that when you hear the doorbell ring at noon, you look up in alarm from your keyboard, realize that you’re still in your PJ’s and that you’ve literally been in another world since 6 am! That’s love.
(TRH) There’s a joy that comes in creating something worthwhile – the act of creation itself is alluring.
- How strong is the temptation to return to the worlds of your previous series? You have already done so in the past. Do you have any plans to do so now?
(TRH) The great thing about going back to a previous setting is that you don’t have to spend as much time explaining the world to the reader – you can assume much of the setting and get about telling the story of the book. The problem is that there are so many new and fascinating worlds for us to explore that we keep moving into new ones.