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By Patrick (2007-12-30)
Dear Mr. Donaldson,
First of all, let me thank you for being gracious enough to take some time off your busy schedule to answer these questions. We really appreciate it.
- When asked why it had taken you so many years to finally begin working on The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, you replied:
That's complicated. One perfectly valid reason is that I wanted to prove to my readers--and to myself--that I could write other types of stories, and write them well. Another is that a significant number of other stories (in fact, twelve books' worth) came to me to be written. But perhaps the deepest, most personal reason is that I was afraid. At my first glimpse of "The Last Chronicles," I knew that it would be astonishingly difficult to write; that as a narrative exercise it would make the previous "Covenant" stories look like a stroll in the park. If this last story is done right, if it fulfills my intentions, it will complete and unify the entire saga. But in order to accomplish that goal I'll have to go far beyond my known abilities, both as a story-teller and as a writer. The prospect terrified me. It still does. The argument could be made that everything I've written since I first conceived "The Last Chronicles" has been an attempt to expand my abilities and resources; to make myself ready for the story I'm writing now.
Given your stellar career and the quality of your work, past and present, exactly what aspect of this series made writing The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant such a daunting task?
On every level, this story is both more complex and more intense than anything I've ever tried to do before. It's like sky-diving into The Abyss.
- With THE RUNES OF THE EARTH and FATAL REVENANT now under your belt, do you feel that you have achieved what you set out to accomplish with this series, at least as far as the first two volumes are concerned?
So far, I've come closer to meeting the challenge than I thought I would--or could. Unfortunately, the demands (on me) of the story will continue to increase through the next two books.
- Without giving anything away, what can you tell your readers about FATAL REVENANT?
It's time to buckle your seatbelts.
- What can readers expect from the subsequent two volumes of the series?
I'm sorry. I don't know what else to say except that I'm going to give this my best shot. Maybe that will be good enough.