Questions for author David B. Coe

David B. Coe is the Crawford Award-winning fantasy author of The LonTobyn Chronicle and Winds of the Forelands.

Official Website: http://www.sff.net/people/DavidBCoe/

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Postby Ferdy » Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:51 pm

Rufae wrote:I would like to see you do another character like Cadel. Yes I know. There can only be one Cadel, BUT I think it would be an interesting story arc to develop in the future. I saw that you were developing a more modern setting for one of your future projects. I think a Cadel like character would fit into that very well. Maybe name him Ledac? :wink:


After reading around, it seems Cadel IS one of the more popular characters. Might be a nice idea to make a series about Cadel, like, of his "adventures" before the Forelands series David :D

I'd defenitly get them, as Cadel was one of my favorites characters, but I liked Grinsa more, he was both cool AND made funny jokes ^^
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Postby Rufae » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:06 am

Yeah Grinsa was cool and at times funny... but, Cadel had that certain.... oh I don't know.... bad ashness. You know. Any minute he could (and would) whip out a dagger and slit your throat and smile while doing it. :o Of course he was gettting kinda old there at the end but you didn't get old in his business without being good.
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Postby Rufae » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:13 am

David>> How does the Qirsi magic work? Is it a mental kind of psionics or is it an energy? Perhaphs a power flowing through all things? I have often wondered this. And question two, when two Qirsi battle, is it a battle of wills or is strength in the power? Is the way a weaver fights another Qirsi alike/different from two regular Qirsi fighting?
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Postby JJd77447 » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:44 am

I enjoyed your books very much so much that I broke a rule of mine an bought Weavers War in hard back becasue I could not wait fo rit to come out in paper back. When I seen that Donalson was an influnce on your writing I understood why I enjoyed your books so much. He has always been my favorite Having read the The Chronicles to many times to remeber since 1st reading them in 82. the winds of the foreland are the 1st books since to cause me to read them again after finishing with out a waiting a year or so to read again. I am excited to see a new Book coming in Dec. Really don't have a question just keep up the great work
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Apologies

Postby DavidBCoe » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:12 pm

Dear friends,

I've just leanred that there are several posts on this site to which I haven't replied. I've recently switched email servers and it may be that the alerts from the forum didn't get through. I'm sorry for the delay in responding to all these messages and I promise to reply soon. I've just found out about them today and I'm leaving town for a couple of weeks tomorrow. But upon my return I'll take care of this. I promise.

Again, my deepest apologies.

All the best,

David
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Postby clong » Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:12 am

Have a pleasant holiday, David. We'll look forward to hearing from you when you return. I'll add a couple more questions. . .

Just as others (from the comments above) I found Cadel to be a surprisingly sympathetic character. When you started Winds of the Forelands, had you already mapped out Cadel's development as a character?
Spoiler: show
and where and when and how he would meet his fate?


The back cover for my paperback edition of Shapers of Darkness includes a rather major spoiler for the ending of Book 3. Do you have any input on book blurbs? Have you gotten any complaints about this?
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Postby Ferdy » Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:14 am

I also have another question.

Is a Qirsi fating just one of many possible paths the future can take?

Spoiler: show
Because Xavers showed him within the ranks of the kings guard and that he had a beautifull wife. However, in Shapers of Darkness, he gets killed quite gruesomely. Wich I found to be sad, I liked Xaver. :(


On a totally different note, do you take character naming requests? :P
It would be totally awsome if the name of an old role playing character of mine could end up in one of your books :P
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Postby DavidBCoe » Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:58 am

Well, I'm back. Two and half weeks out West, the first few days with my Wife's family in Idaho, the rest camping in Colorado with my brother and his family. Gorgeous scenery, fascinating places, great weather. Fun times.

Again, my apologies for being such a slacker the past couple of months. I'll try to be better about posting replies.

To your questions:

Cadel was a really fun character to write and was particular fun because of the contrast between him and Tavis -- the villain you like versus the hero you hate. Now Tavis improves with time, but still Cadel served a very definite purpose in the story arc. Yes, Curt, his fate was mapped out from the start, including
Spoiler: show
the first encounter between Tavis and Cadel that occurs in Book II
That said, I really don't think that his life would be interesting enough to turn into a series in and of itself. It would be entertaining, but there wouldn't be enough meat there to keep me interested as a writer. I like to write about stuff that touches on larger issues -- race, ethnic identity, prejudice, or, as in earlier work, ecology and technology. I'm not sure I see how Cadel's life would allow me to do something like that. On the other hand, I could certainly see writing a few shorter pieces about him -- stories for an anthology or 'zine. That could be fun.

Qirsi power, to answer Rufae's question, would basically be closest to psionics, although it's not exactly that either. Their power is based in their minds, but their physical strength is taxed, too, so that a stronger person might well prevail in a battle of magic, particularly if their magics are the same type. But that's where it get's tricky. Different Qirsi have different powers, so that someone with Language of Beasts fighting against a shaper is definitely at a disadvantage, unless there happens to be a bear handy.... Fighting a Weaver is a whole other matter, because in that case it's not just the number of magics the Weaver wields, it's also the fact that a Weaver can take control of the power an ordinary Qirsi wields and squelch it, or turn it against the poor sap. Generally speaking, unless you can surprise him or her, or unless you're a Weaver yourself, you don't want to be getting into a battle of magic against a Weaver.

Curt, the back cover blurbs are written, usually, by my editor. Sometimes he gives stuff away, as he did with Shapers of Darkness, other times he does a very good job of setting the stage without spoiling anything. He generally lets me read them and comment before they go to press. The one that bothered you (rightfully) got away from both of us. Really, I've no one to blame for that but myself.

JJd77447, thanks very much for the very kind comments about my books. I loved Donaldson's books and read them through several times. It's flattering to think that someone has done that with my work. Thank you.

Ferdy, yes Qirsi Fatings are just one possible future for a given person at a given time (I believe that Grinsa says something to this effect to Tavis in explaining his Fating). They are, in effect, "snapshots" of one's fate. But things in the Fating cosmos (if you will) are constantly fluid. One random decision or action by another can change things in subtle ways, or dramatically.
Spoiler: show
Xaver was shown having a good life, a wife and children, a fine career as a soldier. But even Qirsi gleaning magic has it's limits and the gleaning stone couldn't foresee all the events and circumstances that would lead him to be on that battle field at that particular time. I on the other hand, knew exactly what was going to happen to him (evil grin).


As to your other question, no I'm afraid I don't take naming requests. Sorry!
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Postby pianoman » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:42 pm

1) I would like to know more about the development of the 'religion'/mythology of the Qirsi and the Eandi. David will you be exploring this in the 'Blood of the Southland' trilogy? Or maybe writing a few short stories about it?

2) I would like to know more about the division/sundering of the world in 'The Lon-Tobyn Chronicle' and the development of the peoples powers and their concomitant religion/religious views. Will you be writing a few short stories about it?
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Postby DavidBCoe » Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:01 pm

Thanks for the questions, Pianoman.
1) The religious mythology of the Forelands was a lot of fun to develop. I took a couple of months prior to writing the first book, prior even to outlining the books or putting together my maps, to read Greek, Roman, Norse, Celtic, and even Basque mythology. I wanted to create a pantheon of gods who were powerful but also flawed and subject to the kinds of foibles -- jealousy, pride, arrogance, greed -- that we see in humans. In this way I was following the Greek tradition, as well as Celtic. I have some mythology on my website. http://www.DavidBCoe.com Go to the pages on the history of the Forelands. The Gods of the Southlands are much the same as those in the Forelands, and I do spend some time dealing with them, but it's a different kind of series and different kind of world. I don't have any plans to write any short stories about these things just now. I have other projects I'm focusing on.

2) The LonTobyn mythology and the LonTobyn religions, I have to admit, are far less well developed than in the Forelands books. And it's been a good number of years since I wrote in that world, so I'm a bit hazy on all of it. The central conflict in the relious myths of this universe was between Lon and Tobyn who were brothers and who fought over everything, including the land they were given by their father. They also fought to win the love of Leora goddess of light who eventually favored Tobyn. Arick, their father, sundered the land out of anger at their bickering, and so their lands (Lon-Ser and Tobyn-Ser) developed separately. Again, my memory of the subtleties surrounding the growth of the religions in the two lands is foggy. Leora favored Tobyn and she imbued his land not only with light and beauty but also with magic. Lon-Ser, having no magic, developed technology to do the things that magic did for the people of Tobyn-Ser (protection, medicine, etc.) and as technology took over the land, their devotion to all the gods lessened. This is pretty much all I remember off hand. And no, I'm afraid I have no plans to explore this in short stories either. Sorry!

Thanks again for the questions.

David
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Postby Ferdy » Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:40 am

Speaking of fatings once again. Isn't the fating Grinsa did for Tavis one that would (most likely) not have come to pass if only he hadn't shown that image?

I mean, the fact he saw himself in that dungeon caused him to drink and attack Xaver, lending credibillity to the accusation :lol:

Also, would appearing in ones dream work on Eandi?
Spoiler: show
Grinsa said he did not know, though he tought it wouldn't. Would be kinda sad for Tavis if it doesn't.
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Postby DavidBCoe » Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:42 am

Appearing in one's dreams won't work for an Eandi (ie. a Weaver can't walk in the dreams of an Eandi; only in those of a Qirsi) because in entering someone's dreams, a Weaver is accessing his or her thoughts by way of his or her magic. That's the link that allows such a connection in the first place. No magic, no link.

Spoiler: show
Yes, it is sad for Tavis, and for Grinsa, too.


As for Tavis's Fating, fate, I believe, is a tricky phenomenon. You could certainly argue that the Fating itself led Tavis down that path, by plunging him into despair and causing him to attack Xaver. On the other hand, as Grinsa points out later in the series, our fates are constantly shifting, altered again and again by each new choice we make. So it's possible that his attack on Xaver changed Tavis's future by alerting him to the demons that lived within him. Perhaps, in some odd way, all that happened between the Fating and
Spoiler: show
Brienne's murder (no real spoiler there, guys; it happens early in book I. But I blacked it out anyway.)
made him stronger and better able to endure all that is done to him while a prisoner in Kentigern.

Hard to say, but fun to ponder. :)

Thanks very much for the comment, Ferdy.
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Postby Elsewhere » Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:35 pm

Well, yet another newbie here. Most of my questions have already been answered in the thread (nothing new for the Lon-Tobyn fans, no, I've been dying for an in-depth explination of the world's magic system.)

Also, I guess I'm in the minority, because I utterly hated Cadel in the Winds of the Forelands series. I am never fond of the 'uber-elite unstoppable assassin who kills oh so casually to look cool' characters. But, he got what was coming to him, so I'm not complaining too loudly.
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Postby DavidBCoe » Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:38 pm

Thanks for the comments, Elsewhere. Sorry to hear that you hated Cadel, though I guess I can understand -- assassins have never been my favorite people to hang with....

The magic system in the LonTobyn books was fairly straight forward, though like the religious pantheon it probably wasn't as thoroughly fleshed out as it might have been had I been a more experienced writer when I came up with it. In essence, the process of bonding to a bird of prey (or rarely, as in the case of Phelan and his wolf, an animal of some sort) imparted to a mage the ability to draw upon the bird's life force and turn it into magic. Only those who were mages to begin with, who possessed a certain propensity for magic, would be chosen by a hawk or owl in the first place. I suppose you could say that the bird sensed this propensity, that they were in fact searching for it. The limits on this power -- and I should say here that in creating magic systems I feel it's ALWAYS important to have limits on the magic -- were, primarily, the strength and endurance of the bird, and secondarily, the strength and skill of the mage. A careless mage could literally work his/her bird to death. And, of course, an unbound mage -- a mage with no familiar -- had little or no magic at his/her disposal.

Hope that's helpful.
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Postby Ferdy » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:41 am

Hey David, just a question all Lon Tobyn fans would surely love to have an answer to.

With Blood of the Southlands, you are making a new series, that while not directly in the same area as Winds, it is from what I can make up for now, a direct continuation to Winds, set in a new area.

Do you have any plans to make such a move with the Lon Tobyn series? I personally would love a book or series that would take place in that world with the possibility of learning how everyone fared after the end of Eagle Sage.
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Postby DavidBCoe » Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:46 am

Thanks for the question, Ferdy.

I have to say that I get this question more than I do any other one. It seems that many people either weren't satisfied with the ending of Eagle-Sage or just couldn't get enough of those characters and that world. Clearly, I'd like to believe that the latter is true, but I have a feeling that the question has more to do with the former.... :wink:

The short answer is that I have no immediate plans to go back to LonTobyn. I'm working on Blood of the Southlands now, have a contemporary fantasy series that I've started and am trying to find a home for (writer-speak for "I haven't sold the series to a publisher yet"), and already have in mind what I want to do with my next project.

The longer answer, the one that's harder to explain to readers, is that I don't have the passion for LonTobyn anymore. It was my first series -- Children of Amarid was the first novel I ever wrote. It didn't appear in print until 1997, and the whole series was only three books, but I lived and breathed LonTobyn for eight years. Because it was my first series and I was trying to get myself established as an author, because my parents both died while I was writing the series, because my daughters were both born while I was writing it, my feelings about the books, the characters, the world, etc. were incredibly intense. When I finished Eagle-Sage, I was relieved to be done with it and eager to do something -- anything -- else. So on the one hand, I was burnt out on the world when I finished and I've never quite gotten over that.

On the other hand, while I'm still proud of those books, I've always thought that I could do better both in terms of the writing and the world-building. That belief has been borne out by my experience with Winds of the Forelands and now Blood of the Southlands, which I believe are superior in every way to the LonTobyn books. So not only do I lack the passion for LonTobyn, I also am not drawn back to the world.

The reason I turned to Blood of the Southlands after the Winds books was that I felt that the world I built was and is rich enough to sustain many more tales. I don't know if I'll go back to the Forelands/Southlands once I'm done with this new project, but I know that I could, that there's enough in the world to fill many more books. I don't believe there's that much left to be mined from LonTobyn.

Finally, I ended Eagle-Sage the way I did intentionally. I wanted to leave future possibilities open for all my characters, and I wanted my readers to imagine for themselves what might happen to Cailyn, to Jaryd, Alayna, and Myn, to Orris and Melyor. I have ideas about what became of them all, but I'm not sure I want to publish them, because in a way the ideas of all my readers on the subject are just as valid as my own.

Anyway, those are my reasons. I hope you understand, and I hope you'll give my new projects a look, even if they're not what you were hoping I'd write.

Best,

David
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Postby Ferdy » Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:42 am

Thanks for the long answer David. The reason for the question was defenitly because I can't get enough of the series. To be honest, I find it abit sad, as I loved the Lon Tobyn series, but your reasons are obvious.

DavidBCoe wrote:Thanks for the question, Ferdy.

Finally, I ended Eagle-Sage the way I did intentionally. I wanted to leave future possibilities open for all my characters, and I wanted my readers to imagine for themselves what might happen to Cailyn, to Jaryd, Alayna, and Myn, to Orris and Melyor. I have ideas about what became of them all, but I'm not sure I want to publish them, because in a way the ideas of all my readers on the subject are just as valid as my own.


And this is something I REALLY want to know. I am VERY curious about what you believe what happened to them :)
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Postby DavidBCoe » Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:06 pm

Sorry! As I said, I don't want to plant ideas of my own.

Besides, if I ever do go back to write in that world, I don't want the IBDoF to have an archive filled with spoilers!!! :wink:
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Postby kat002 » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:06 pm

I too was disappointed that LonTobyn was never extended. Having read both, I still feel that I like this series better. I have to agree that your creation and writing is much better in the second, however, there was a sort of magic and mysticism in LonTobyn that I really loved and now really miss.

However, I can understand your reluctance to go back. I have often imagined further stories in that world and it is nice sometimes to be given that option. Sometimes, it just leaves you wanting more.

For me, it was definitely that I couldn't get enough of the world and those characters.
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Postby DavidBCoe » Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:03 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Kat. I'm glad to know that you enjoyed the LonTobyn books so much. For all that I said about being burnt out on the world and feeling that the Winds books are better, LonTobyn will always hold a very special place in my heart. There are times when I miss some of those characters, particularly Melyor, Cailyn, and Gwilym.
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Postby Ferdy » Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:11 am

On another note concerning the LonTobyn books.

Are there plans to reprint them? I would really like to buy them again, as my current copies are starting to fall apart :(
Waiting for "The horsemens gambit" to be released...
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Postby DavidBCoe » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:59 pm

That's a good question, Ferdy, and one that I'm grappling with right now with my editor. Children of Amarid is still in print in paperback, but it seems that The Outlanders and Eagle-Sage are currently out of print. I know that Tor intends to print more on a POD basis (Print On Demand, for those of you unfamiliar with the acronym), but I don't know when that will begin. If you're looking for hardcovers, though, I'm afraid your best bet is used book sellers. There are some out there, but they can be hard to find, particularly Children of Amarid.
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Postby Ferdy » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:30 pm

I don't like to buy used books, unless they are in absolute tip top shape. I have the Dutch paperback versions of the lontobyn books, but my copy of the Eagle Sage, is basicly 2 parts held together only because they are attached to the same cover.

I am really fearing they will fall apart on of these days. So yeah, reprints would be awsome, not necesarily hardcovers, although I do prefer those as they are sturdier :)
Waiting for "The horsemens gambit" to be released...
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Forelands + Southlands

Postby kapil111 » Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:31 am

Hi David,

You have most likely seen my e-mails with wich I have entered the book contests already, and while in almost each one I state how I love your work, I can't stress it enough, so I'll say it again: I absolutely love your work. :lol:

Question: After you have finished the "Blood of The Southlands" series will you be doing another seires combining both the places ? Since you were inspired by Tolkien(of whom I'm a BIG fan)...I was wondering if you would be doing a big and complex series like LOTR...concerning the Forelands & Southlands of course. :?: :idea:
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Postby DavidBCoe » Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:09 am

Hi Kapilan! Nice to see you here. Glad you found the forum.

My current plans are to finish Blood of the Southlands, and then move on to something a bit different. This is not to say that I won't come back to the Forelands/Southlands at some point in the future. There's a lot more I can do there, and there are still parts of that world that I'd like to explore. But my next project in fantasy is going to be a bit different and it's going to take place in a new world that I've already started creating. I'm very excited about it. I'm not going to say more about it at this stage, because I'm still very early in the process.

As with LonTobyn, I know that people like to see worlds like the Forelands and Southlands go on. I've invested a lot in them as a writer and I understand that my readers feel invested in them too. But I have to keep my work fresh and exciting for me. Otherwise my books will suffer. So for a while at least, I'm going to take a break from the Forelands universe.

That's probably not the answer you wanted, and I apologize for that. But I promise that this next project will be entertaining and worth a look.
:)
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