New video trailer for Tad Williams’ “The Witchwood Crown”

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enguin Books has just released a new video trailer for Tad Williams’ The Witchwood Crown, the fifth volume in his international bestselling Osten Ard saga. Over epic music, the camera pans over legendary artist Michael Whelan’s illustrations of the Great Swords of Osten Ard: Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.

Cover of “The Witchwood Crown” revealed!

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he cover for bestselling speculative fiction author Tad Williams’ new novel, The Witchwood Crown, has been revealed this week, and we at Treacherous Paths are excited to bring you this exclusive sneak peak. The Witchwood Crown, volume five in the four-thousand-page-long Osten Ard saga, continues the story begun in The Dragonbone Chair (1988), and subsequent sequels Stone of Farewell (1990), To Green Angel Tower (1993), and The Heart of What Was Lost (2017). It is the first volume in the “Last King of Osten Ard” series.

The cover art, painted by legendary artist Michael Whelan, depicts the Hayholt, with Hjeldin’s Tower looming ominously, its red windows glowing. The Hayholt’s buildings in the background closely resemble those depicted by Whelan in 1993 for To Green Angel Tower — a nice bit of continuity. The buildings in the background appear to be in the Inner Bailey and thus are likely to be the Residence, with its dome, and Holy Tree Tower.
thewitchwoodcrownThe cover art appears on the DAW Books Advance Reader Copy of the novel, so there may be some differences between this cover and the final US edition, which will be released in June of this year.

The ARC is 721 pages long, including a 25-page index. It also includes a dedication, acknowledgements, an author’s note, a frontispiece map, a foreword, and more maps.

The Witchwood Crown is expected to be released on June 27, 2017 in the US and UK, with Germany, the Netherlands, and other countries to follow. It will be followed by Empire of Grass, The Shadow of Things to Come, and The Navigator’s Children.

Tad Williams announces the completion of “The Witchwood Crown”

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here’ve been lots of interesting things happening this month, some of which we can now share with you. Yesterday, Tad Williams, author of the classic “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” books, announced the completion of The Witchwood Crown, volume one of “The Last King of Osten Ard”. The book is scheduled for release in April 2017, just a few months after The Heart of What Was Lost, another Osten Ard novel, is scheduled to hit store shelves.

Williams writes:

Hi, guys.  I’ve just sent in the final manuscript (except for the page proofs, once it’s been typeset) for [The Witchwood Crown].  My last pass actually added a few lines, net, I think.  347K words — that’s about a 1200 page manuscript for me.  I think that might come in second behind only [To Green Angel Tower] — I’d have to go back and check the Otherland books.

Anyway, it’s good to have someone take something like this out of my hands, because I’d keep fiddling ’til Doomsday otherwise.

347,000 words would make The Witchwood Crown Williams’ third-longest novel, with the order in length being:

1. To Green Angel Tower (520,000 words; 1,083 pages)
2. Sea of Silver Light (443,000 words; 922 pages)
3. The Witchwood Crown (347,000 words; 721 pages)
4. City of Golden Shadow (303,193 words; 770 pages)
5. Shadowheart (295,038 words; 730 pages)
6. The War of the Flowers (686 pages)
7. The Dragonbone Chair (288,297 words; 654 pages)
8. Mountain of Black Glass (285,272 words; 689 pages)
9. Shadowmarch (269,602 words; 656 pages)
10. Shadowplay (266,486 words; 656 pages)
11. River of Blue Fire (266,003 words; 634 pages)
12. Stone of Farewell (269,000 words; 589 pages)
13. Shadowrise (236,103 words; 564 pages)

(The Heart of What Was Lost comes in at a comparatively slender 224 pages). Williams later added:

The sad thing is, I can’t be as celebratory as I’d like because I’m several weeks overdue to start writing [Empire of Grass], the second full volume.

However, the good thing is that means I can sit around staring into the air for a few days while I order my thoughts about how the book is going to be shaped.  That’s my favorite part of writing, to be honest.  The part where you just think, not write yet.

Meanwhile, legendary illustrator Michael Whelan is hard at work creating the cover art for the new book, which will be the fifth in the Osten Ard series. On his official website, Whelan writes:

I’ve been painting a LOT of weird trees lately for the new Osten Ard Trilogy, trying to come up with a design idea that Tad Williams, Betsy Wollheim, and I like. The trees figure importantly in the new books so I’ve been working on them for weeks! It’s been a long slog, but I edge a little closer each day and I know it will all be worth it in the end.

Excerpts of The Heart of What Was Lost are already appearing in the Blogosphere, as Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist shared an excerpt on October 9th, and Treacherous Paths’ own contributor ylvs laDuchesse shared a sample of the text on Twitter yesterday. We at Treacherous Paths will be sharing more excerpts soon!

Dragonbone Chair Reissued; Tad Williams Talks About Upcoming Novels

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ots of interesting news this week, as DAW Books issues a newly-revised trade paperback edition of Tad Williams’ classic fantasy novel The Dragonbone Chair, book one of “Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn”, the same week that they release the book in audiobook format.

U.S. readers have been denied the audiobook for many years, but at long last the audiobook, read by Andrew Wincott, is available to an American audience. The audiobook runs 33 hours and 19 minutes and is available for purchase right now on Amazon.com. A sample file clip is available here.

The-Dragonbone-ChairThe new trade paperback features beautiful new cover art by legendary artist Michael Whelan, who also created the original cover art for The Dragonbone Chair 28 years ago, upon the book’s original 1988 publication.

The new edition runs 652 pages and measures 6 x 9 x 1.5 inches. The cover features a blurb by George R. R. Martin: “Inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy… it’s one of my favorite fantasy series.” The back cover features quotes praising The Dragonbone Chair written by popular fantasy authors Patrick Rothfuss and Christopher Paolini.

Inside, the the book is largely the same as in previous editions. However, there are a few new extras, one being a new introduction by Williams’ longtime editor, Betsy Wollheim, titled “How Tad Came to Write The Dragonbone Chair”, and a new acknowledgement page at the end of the book. (We at Treacherous Paths are extremely pleased to have been included in the acknowledgements).

The book is definitely worth picking up just for the new cover art, which features one of the Great Swords mentioned in The Dragonbone Chair. Sequel novels Stone of Farewell and To Green Angel Tower will be re-released later this year, and in audiobook format for the US as well.

Also new this week are a few snippets from Tad Williams’ official message board, where the internationally bestselling author discussed three of his upcoming Osten Ard novels, set in the same world as The Dragonbone Chair. Williams discussed his on-going work writing/revising The Heart of What Was Lost, which will be published in January 2017. He wrote:

As I’ve been going through the copyedited manuscript of HoWWL [The Heart of What Was Lost] this afternoon, I’m realizing I’m going to have to write a Tolkien-ish “On Norns and the Sithi” piece as well as a complete index of characters, because otherwise it will just be too confusing for new readers.  My poor copyeditor is asking about what the differences are with Hikeda’ya/Zida’ya/Norns/Sithi/White Foxes/Keida’ya (a term that will be new to the new books, meaning the race before they split up) and various others, as well as if Rimmersmen are Northmen and if mortals only means them or others…and so on.

I always worried about the fine line between not boring the readers who already knew Osten Ard and those new to the place.

Long-time readers of Williams’ novels will remember that in Williams’ world of Osten Ard, the Gardenborn, the elder elf-like race who came to Osten Ard from the east on eight great ships, were divided into several tribes. These tribes included the proud Sithi (also called “peaceful ones”, Zida’ya, or Dawn Children), as well as the embittered Norns (“white foxes”, Hikeda’ya, or Cloud Children) and the pacifistic Dwarrows and Niskies (variously called “dvernings”, Tinukeda’ya, or Ocean Children).

The Keida’ya is a term not mentioned in the original series. Williams states that the term is new, and refers to (some of?) the Gardenborn before they split into factions.

Williams also wrote about the progress of the novels:

I finished the final draft of HoWWL a while back, but this is the copyedited manuscript, which has comments on it from the copy editor (and others — everybody likes to get in on the Exciting Tad Action).  Then I’ll have one more pass at the proofs stage, which is mostly about looking for mistakes in typesetting, but is also my last chance to kill an infelicitous phrase, or at least bury it in disguising prose.

On a few hundred pages at most it’s not such a big deal, but I’ll be really sick of Osten Ard by the time I’ve been through all the different versions of TWC [The Witchwood Crown].  I’ll also be writing EoG [Empire of Grass] at the same time, so I’ll be doubly or even trebly sick.

Thank God I’m used to this kind of getting-sick-of-my-own-book.

The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the upcoming “The Last King of Osten Ard” series, is scheduled for publication in April of 2017, with sequel novels Empire of Grass and The Navigator’s Children following sometime thereafter.

 

New Covers for “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” revealed!

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oday, Random House website Suvudu.com revealed three brand-new re-issue covers for international bestselling author Tad Williams‘ classic “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” dark fantasy series. The covers feature beautiful new cover art by legendary science fiction/fantasy artist Michael Whelan, who painted the original covers for “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” almost thirty years ago.

The updated artwork is the first major revamp of the classic covers of The Dragonbone Chair, Stone of Farewell, and To Green Angel Tower since the books first went to print in the late 1980s/early 1990s, at least in America. Whelan, winner of fifteen Hugo Awards and three World Fantasy Awards for best artist, is known for his detailed and painstaking work, which often involves months of research and manuscript reading.

The new covers will appear on updated U.S. DAW Books trade paperback editions of the original trilogy, with a newly-revised edition of The Dragonbone Chair scheduled to appear in July 2016, followed by Stone of Farewell in September 2016, and To Green Angel Tower in November 2016. These volumes will be closely followed by two brand-new Osten Ard novels: The Heart of What Was Lost in January 2017 and The Witchwood Crown in April 2017. Three or four additional novels are planned, with The Witchwood Crown being the first volume in the highly-anticipated sequel series “The Last King of Osten Ard”.

The-Dragonbone-ChairFirst up is the new cover for The Dragonbone Chair, the cardinal volume, which features a blurb by George R. R. Martin, author of the bestselling A Game of Thrones: “Inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy… It’s one of my favorite series.”

Whelan’s artwork accurately depicts the sword Minneyar, also known as “Year of Memory” or simply Memory, one of the Three Great Swords spoken of in the Mad Priest Nisses’ ancient prophecy:

“When frost doth grow on Claves’ bell
And shadows walk upon the road
When water blackens in the well
Three Swords must come again.

“When Bukken from the earth do creep
And Hunën from the heights descend
When Nightmare throttles peaceful sleep
Three Swords must come again.

“To turn the stride of treading Fate
To clear the fogging Mists of Time
If Early shall resist too Late
Three Swords must come again.”

Stone-of-FarewellScheduled for September, the new cover for Stone of Farewell features the Great Sword Sorrow, also known in the Sithi language as Jingizu. Whelan’s illustration accurately portrays the double-hilted sword, which is made of both iron and witchwood, two materials which were considered inimicable, perhaps because neither the iron nor the witchwood are native to the lands of Osten Ard: iron was brought from Ijsgard east to Osten Ard on King Elvrit’s longboat Sotfengsel, while witchwood was brought westward to Osten Ard by the undying Sithi on their eight great ships.

The great sword Sorrow is described in the text: “… in a sheath at [King Elias’] side was the sword with the strange crossed hilt […] there was something queer and unsettling about the blade… [It] had a strange double guard, the cross pieces making; with the hilt, a sort of five-pointed star. Somewhere, deep in Simon’s self, he recognized this last sword. Somewhere, in a memory black as night, deep as a cave, he had seen such a blade…”

The new cover contains a blurb from author Patrick Rothfuss (“The Kingkiller Chronicle”): “Groundbreaking… changed how people thought of the genre, and paved the way for so much modern fantasy. Including mine.”

To-Green-Angel-Tower

The third volume, To Green Angel Tower, is scheduled for a November 2016 re-release. The cover features Michael Whelan’s depiction of the Great Sword named Thorn.

The text describes the sword thusly: “it was a sword like no other he had ever seen: long as a man’s arms spread wide, fingertip to fingertip, and black. The purity of its blackness was unmarred by the colors that sparkled on its edge, as though the blade was so supernaturally sharp that it even sliced the dim light of the cavern into rainbows. Had it not been for the silver cord wrapped around the hilt as a handgrip— leaving the uncovered guard and pommel as pitchy as the rest of its length— it would have seemed to bear no relationship to mankind at all. Rather, despite its symmetry, it would have seemed some natural growth, some pure essence of nature’s blackness extruded by chance in the form of an exquisite sword.”

The cover features a blurb from author Christopher Paolini (Eragon): “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is one of the great fantasy epics of all time.” We at Treacherous Paths can’t disagree.

We will keep readers up to date on more news as soon as we’re authorized to release it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ein Interview mit Tad Williams, Teil 2

Part One of OstenArd.com’s exclusive interview with Science Fiction/Fantasy author Tad Williams into German language by OstenArd.com contributor Olaf K is here. Below is the translation of the second part of the interview, translated by OstenArd.com contributor Ylvs, for German-speakers.

In diesem Teil des Interviews fragen wir Tad Williams, wie es sich anfühlt nach Osten Ard zurückzukehren, wie er auf Michael Whelans Ankündigung reagiert hat, erneut die Umschläge der Originalausgabe zu illustrieren und was er für ‚die Hexenholzkrone‘ so alles recherchiert hat.

Michael Whelan Originalcover von ‚das Geheimnis der Großen Schwerter‘

Michael Whelan Originalcover von ‚das Geheimnis der Großen Schwerter‘

OstenArd.com: Kürzlich wurde angekündigt, dass Michael Whelan, der schon die Originalcover von ‚das Geheimnis der Großen Schwerter‘ gestaltet hat, für ‚Der Letzte König‘ wieder zum Pinsel greifen wird. Als ich im November persönlich mit Michael sprach, war er begeistert und stolz wieder gefragt worden zu sein. Was sagst Du dazu, dass seine großartige Kunst wieder Deine Bücher zieren wird?

Tad Williams:  Ich finde es schlicht wunderbar. Es ist auch schwer vorstellbar, sie irgendjemand anderem zu überlassen, so sehr hat Michael ihnen seinen Stempel aufgedrückt. Ich habe Michaels Arbeit immer geliebt, lange bevor sich unsere Karrierewege kreuzten. Lange bevor ich überhaupt eine Karriere hatte. Ich bin total begeistert und neugierig, was er erschaffen wird und sehr stolz, dass er wieder dabei sein will.

OA.com: Auf dem TadWilliams.com message board hast Du eine Teilliste der Charaktere veröffentlicht. Gibt es Pläne eine detailliertere und umfänglichere Liste zu veröffentlichen? Oder würde das zuviel verraten?

Tad: Ich habe vor die Liste irgendwann – vermutlich nachdem die erste Überarbeitung des Manuskripts abgeschlossen ist – zu  korrigieren und zu aktualisieren. Ich werde vielleicht auch die Kapitelüberschriften verraten. Sie enthalten nichts, woraus man verlässliche Schlussfolgerungen ziehen könnte, aber werden sicher für prima Spekulationen sorgen.

OA.com: Bei der Erstveröffentlichung von ‚die Großen Schwerter‘ war die Reaktion von Kritikerseite enttäuschend, da diese das Werk als reine Genreliteratur lasen und seine Vielschichtigkeit übersahen. Nur einige wenige Kritiker (wie Roz Kavenay) haben über den Tellerrand hinaus geblickt und es als revisionistische Fantasy erkannt. Heute, 30 Jahre später, wird die Trilogie von einer neuen Generation Schriftsteller  (Brandon Sanderson, Christopher Paolini, sogar GRR Martin) als Vorbild genannt und weithin als Klassiker betrachtet.
Bist Du nach wie vor über die  mangelnde Anerkennung durch die Literaturkritik enttäuscht? Und glaubst Du, die neue Trilogie wird das ändern?

Tad: Ich habe mich weitgehend damit abgefunden, dass ich – aus welchen Gründen auch immer – eine dieser seltsamen Geschmacksrichtungen bleiben werde, wie diese merkwürdigen Eiscremesorten, nach denen einige Leute ganz wild sind und andere nicht verstehen, was das ganze Gewese soll. Und um fair zu bleiben: ich schreibe einfach nur die Fantasy- und Science-Fictionbücher, die ich selbst gern lesen würde. Ich halte mich selber nur für halb so wichtig. Aber ja, es ist ermutigend, wenn Leser tatsächlich mitbekommen, dass ich jede Menge Hirnschmalz und Sorgfalt in diese Bücher stecke, dass ich nicht einfach nur extralange Rollenspielabenteuer schreibe, dass ich einiges mehr an Fähigkeiten und Interessen ins Spiel bringe. Meine Frau sagt immer: „Mach dir keine Sorgen, sie (Kritiker und Trendsetter) werden Dir den Hintern küssen, wenn Du erst mal tot bist“, worauf ich gemeinhin antworte: „Das klingt für uns alle nicht lustig.“

OA.com: Hat sich die Gesellschaftsstruktur in Osten Ard in den vergangenen 30 Jahren verändert? Hatten Simons  Jugenderlebnisse nachhaltigen Einfluss auf sein Königsein und wenn ja: war er in der Lage Dinge zu verändern? Wollte er das überhaupt?

Tad: Das wird ein Teil der Geschichte sein, deshalb ist es schwierig zu beantworten ohne Sachen zu verraten. Aber ja: Simon und Miri und die Lektionen, die ihnen das Leben erteilt hat, haben eine Menge damit zu tun, wie sich Osten Ard entwickelt hat. Sie wollen beide „gute“ Herrscher sein und haben seit dem Ende von ‚der Engelsturm’ viel Zeit damit zugebracht herauszufinden, was das bedeutet und wie es erreicht werden kann – mit gemischten Ergebnissen (was für uns alle für alles gilt).

OA.com: Wie schwierig ist es „mit Dir selbst“ zu arbeiten, eine Fortsetzung von etwas zu schreiben, das Du vor über 20 Jahren abgeschlossen hattest? Versuchst Du Stimmung und Stil des Originals zu treffen oder vertraust Du einfach Dir selbst, dass es schon richtig werden wird? Erwischst Du Dich dabei, wie Du Dich an Gedanken oder Gefühle von damals erinnerst, als Du Das Geheimnis der Großen Schwerter geschrieben hast, an Dinge, die Du völlig vergessen hattest?

Tad: Das werde ich erst wissen, wenn ich fertig mit Schreiben bin, denn während ich schreibe besteht alles aus losen Enden und rauen Kanten, die zusammengeführt und geschliffen werden müssen. Da bin ich grade: lauter lose Enden.
Einiges ist einfacher als bei einem ersten Roman, weil ich zum Beispiel schon sehr grundlegend weiß, wer Simon und Miriamele sind und ich ein sicheres Gefühl dafür habe, was für ihr erwachsenes Selbst angemessen ist und was nicht. Aber selbstverständlich versuche ich nicht nur den Stil zu treffen oder die älteren Charaktere glaubhaft aus ihrem jüngeren Selbst zu entwickeln; ich versuche darüber hinaus Eindruck und Auswirkung zu rekreieren. Ich weiß natürlich, dass ich nie wieder eine Geschichte schreiben kann, die den älteren Lesern genauso viel bedeuten wird, doch ich wünsche mir, dass sie sich passend anfühlt, dass ich alten Lieblingsfiguren gerecht werde und gleichzeitig die Fortsetzung durch neues Material rechtfertigen kann. Und natürlich darf ich auch all die neuen Leserinnen und Leser nicht vergessen, die die alten Bücher gar nicht kennen. Die will ich nicht ausschließen, indem ich ein Nostalgiefest feiere. Es ist wirklich ein spannendes und  machmal auch beängstigendes Projekt.

OA.com: Du hast mal erwähnt, dass Du für die Shadowmarchreihe ausführlich recherchiert hast, beispielsweise Geologie, wenn ich mich recht erinnere. Was recherchierst Du für ‚der letzte König‘ ?

Tad: Ach herrjeh, was recherchiere ich nicht? Ich zähl mal ein paar zufällig ausgesuchte Lesezeichen auf:

Die Morrígan,
die Schlacht von Walcourt,
Liste Anglo-sächsischer Ortsnamen,
Eishöhlenbild,
3D-Pläne von Skipton Castle,
Tetraplegie,
Traditionelle gälische Namen,
Mönchtum in Westeuropa,
Männliche und weibliche Tierbezeichnungen,
Geschichte des Wollhandels,
Krähenhorst,
Indoeuropäische Urspache,
Akasha (Name),
Entheogene in der Antike,
Parthenokarpie,
Zentralasiatische Steppen,
das mythische Thule,
Sámi Volk,

und so weiter und so weiter, so ungefähr fünfhundert Lesezeichen lang. Ganz abgesehen von den etwa vierzig Referenzfachbüchern, die ich allein für diese Geschichte benutze und den unzähligen Notizen zu den ersten Büchern und verschiedenem anderen Zeugs. Es steckt eine Menge Recherche in all meinem Kram, aber ich glaube dies hier wird – was die Menge an Material angeht, das ich benutzt habe – nur von ‚Otherland‘ übertroffen.
(wird fortgesetzt)

An Interview with Tad Williams, part 2

Below is Part Two of OstenArd.com’s interview with Science Fiction/Fantasy writer Tad Williams, author of the “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”, “Otherland”, “Shadowmarch” and “Bobby Dollar” books, and who recently announced the completion of the first draft of The Witchwood Crown, the first volume of a series of sequel novels to his classic “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn” trilogy.

(Part One of the interview can be found here).

In this interview, we asked Williams what it’s like to return to the world of Osten Ard, how he’s reacted to the announcement that Michael Whelan will be illustrating the covers, and what he’s been researching while working on The Witchwood Crown.

Michael Whelan painted the covers for the US and UK editions of "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn".

Michael Whelan painted the covers for the US and UK editions of “Memory, Sorrow and Thorn”.

OstenArd.com: It’s been recently announced that Michael Whelan will be doing the covers for the new Osten Ard books, just as he did for the classic MS&T series. When I spoke to him in person in November, he was excited and proud to be asked to create the new cover art for your books. How excited are you to know that his amazing work will be on the new books?

Tad Williams: I think it’s wonderful. It’s hard to imagine what anyone else could do with them, since Michael put his stamp on them so authoritatively. And I’ve always loved Michael’s work, since long before he intersected my career, or I even had a career to intersect. So, yes, thrilled to see what he’ll come up with, proud that he wants another go.

OA.com: On the TadWilliams.com message board, you revealed a partial character list. Any plans to reveal a more detailed or more extensive character list? Or would that be too spoilery?

Tad: I intend at some point — probably closing of rewrite of first draft — to update and correct that list. Also, I may very well release the chapter titles, which won’t necessarily give anything away conclusively, but will certainly inspire some guesswork.

OA.com: When MS&T was first published the initial critical reaction was disappointing since critics only read it as a generic fantasy trilogy and failed to see more than that. Only a few critics (like Roz Kaveney) saw beneath the surface and recognized it as a revisionist fantasy. But 30 years on, a new generation of writers is acknowledging their debt to MS&T (Brandon Sanderson, Christopher Paolini, even GRRM), and MS&T is widely regarded as “classic”. Are you still disappointed over the lack of critical appreciation? Do you think that the new trilogy will change that?

Tad: I’m kind of resigned to the fact that for whatever reason, I will remain one of those weird tastes, like some odd ice cream flavor, that some people will be passionate about, and others won’t quite get the fuss. And, in all fairness, I’m just writing fantasy and science fiction books that I’d like to read. It’s not like I think I’m all that important myself in the first place. But, yes, it’s heartening when people DO understand that I put a lot of thought and care into this, that I’m not just writing extra-long role playing adventures, that I bring a few other skills and interests to the table. My wife says, “Don’t worry, they (critics and trendsetters) will kiss your ass after you’re dead”, to which I usually reply, “That doesn’t sound like it will be all that much fun for either of us.”

OA.com: Has Osten Ard society changed in the last 30 years? Does Simon’s upbringing have lasting influence on his kingship and if so was he able to change things? Did he want to?

Tad: That’s one of the things that will definitely be a part of the story, so It’s hard to discuss without giving things away. But, yes, Simon and Miri and the lessons their lives have brought them will have a lot to do with the future of Osten Ard, and they both want to be “good” rulers, so they’ve spent a lot of time since the end of TGAT trying to figure out what that means and how to accomplish it, with mixed success (as is true with all of us with just about anything).

OA.com: How difficult is it to “collaborate with yourself”, as it were, in writing a sequel to a story you wrapped up over twenty years ago? Are you trying to match the style and mood of the original, or are you just trusting yourself that it will come out right? Do you find yourself remembering any of the feelings or thoughts you had when writing MEMORY, SORROW AND THORN, even things you’d forgotten until now?

Tad: I won’t really know until I’ve finished, because when I’m writing things they are always composed of dangly bits and rough edges that have to be fixed, and that’s where I am right now — all dangly bits.

Some of the process is easier than a first-time novel, because for instance I already feel I know who Simon and Miriamele are in a deep sense, and can guess which things would be appropriate to their adult selves, and which wouldn’t be. But of course I’m not just trying to match a style, or match older characters to their younger selves, I’m also trying to match an -impact- as well, because I’m messing with material that in some ways means more to readers than it does to me. While I know I will never be able to write new stories which have the same impact for the older fans, I want them to feel appropriate, and that I took the best possible care of old favorites while justifying a sequel by adding new material. And of course, I can’t forget about all the people who may read this without having read the first books. I don’t want to freeze them out and make it some kind of nostalgia fest. So it’s a very interesting, occasionally terrifying thing to do.

OA.com: For the Shadowmarch series, you mentioned doing research on geology, iirc. What sort of research did you do (are doing) for TLKOOA?

Tad: Ohmigod, what amn’t I researching? I’ll pick some bookmarks at random:

The Morrigan
Battle of Walcourt
List of Anglo-Saxon place names
Ice Cave Picture
3D plans for Skipton Castle
Tetraplegia
Traditional Gaelic Names
Monasticism in Western Europe
The Male and Female Names of Animals
History of the Wool Trade
Crows roosting
Proto-Indo-European
Akasha (name)
Entheogens of Antiquity
Parthenocarpy
Central Asian Steppes
Mythical Thule
Sami People

and so on and so on, to the tune of about five hundred bookmarks. Not to mention the fact that I’ve got about forty or so research books that I have out and in use just for this story alone, as well as copious notes from the first book and various other bits and bobs. (Message Board conversations, Maps, etc.) So, yeah, there’s research in all my stuff, but I think this one is second only to OTHERLAND in terms of how much material I’m using.

(To be continued…)

Part Three