I’m excited about this one. I’m trying to catch up on the books now…
Today, R.A. Salvatore visits SciFiChick.com to discuss and offer a chance to win his latest book, The Ghost King!
Can you talk a bit about The Ghost King in your own words?
Well, the name of the series is Transitions, and The Ghost King certainly lives up to that description. It was time to shake things up for these characters I’ve known and loved for more than twenty years now. The Forgotten Realms have been changing dramatically, moving into the future, which of course has led to severe implications for many of my characters. So I had to go there, that dark place, and let the story be told correctly.
What inspired you to start writing fantasy and sci-fi?
Tolkien, plain and simple. I loved to read and write when I was a kid – Kindergarten, first grade – but then something happened. I believe that school beat the reading out of me by giving me books totally irrelevant to me at critical times in my life. You might argue that “Ethan Fromme” is a great book, but when I was in the eighth grade, I assure you, it was not. It got so bad that by the time I graduated from high school, I hated reading and writing; in fact, I started college as a math major. But in that freshman year, my sister gave me a white slipcover set of four books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series. A couple of months later, we had this historic blizzard in New England and I was trapped in my Mom’s house for a week. Except I wasn’t trapped there. I opened those books and started reading and was taken away to a magical place called Middle Earth by a hobbit named Bilbo.
What inspires you?
Good music, a starry sky, memories of simple moments made special by great friends and certain places where the ghosts walk. I once went to Duntulme, Scotland on the Isle of Skye, and when I got back home, I couldn’t stop writing for weeks on end.
The Shadowmask is also releasing this fall. How has the process developed, writing with your son?
It’s been a blast watching him develop his voice as a writer. This is really his series much more than mine. I held his hand through the plotting, outlining and pacing of the first book, but was much more hands off with this one – and let him run free on the third book, which he’s finishing now. It was a hard process for me emotionally because it became obvious very quickly that Geno didn’t need me. It was also a wonderful experience for me emotionally for the very same reason!
What do you do in your spare time, when you’re not writing?
I’m back to playing softball – I was leading the team in hitting until a late-in-the-year slump, and wound up second. (My shortstop, yep, Geno, passed me in the last week.) I still held the RBI lead and pitched almost every game. Not bad for a fifty-year-old. A couple of years ago, I could hardly swing a bat, and certainly couldn’t run without falling on my face. Seeing my deteriorating health, my wife dragged me to this Fit Camp program, and honestly, it’s been a new lease on life for me.
In the off season, I play my video games – currently playing Warcraft, mostly. It’s a wonderful distraction and a way to keep in touch with many old friends. And of course, we still have our Sunday night game at my house, whether Dungeons and Dragons or a round of Warcraft on the many laptops. Thank god for FIOS!
Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast, I have a giveaway copy of The Ghost King, by R.A. Salvatore for five lucky winners!
Contest is open to U.S. residents. To enter, just fill out the form below.
Contest ends October 30. I’ll draw names on October 31, and notify winners via email.
Hunting Memories, by Barb Hendee, is the 2nd book in the Vampire Memories series.
Following the concluding events in Blood Memories, the ruthless vampire Julian Ashton has fled back to Europe. And Eleisha Clevon has forged a new life with fellow vampire Phillip and the psychic human Wade. But she has been secretly corresponding with another vampire. Eleisha and Rose have a vision to provide a safe haven for vampires that don’t want to kill humans, safe from Julian. It seems there are other vampires out there that have escaped Julian’s killing spree.
Barb Hendee has created a different world of vampires, where the vampires are the hunted and live in hiding. Each character is given a dramatic backstory, with complex relationships and motivations. Incredibly suspenseful and eerily vivid, this sequel is once again fast-paced and hard to put down.
This fantasy series continues to impress me. I enjoyed this installment even more than the first. It wasn’t quite as dark and bleak, with Eleisha and Rose’s idea of a better life for everyone. With powerful characters and an impressive storyline, vampire and urban fantasy fans shouldn’t miss this unique series.
Tonight at 9:00 p.m. the Fringe episode “Momentum Deferred” will air, with Leonard Nimoy as a special guest star. SciFiChick.com was recently able to participate in a conference call with Leonard Nimoy to discuss his recent role as William Bell, in FOX’s hit show Fringe. Below is a transcript of that call.
Did you have any reservations on taking another role with the potential of such a fanatic following?
I love this question. I can’t help but laugh because you’re absolutely right. It’s an interesting set of circumstances. What attracted me to it was several things. J.J. Abrams, Bob Orci, and Alex Kurtzman, who I worked with on the Star Trek movie, I admire their talent and the work that they do. The series is at the very least to say intriguing. The character was somewhat of a blank slate, but we began talking about it and, therefore, attracted because there’s an opportunity to build an interesting and unpredictable character. I’m enjoying it a lot.
When will William Bell and Walter Bishop face off?
Unpredictable at the moment. In the episode tomorrow night, the scene in between myself and Olivia, I think we will learn a lot more than we have known in the past about what their relationship is all about and what William Bell’s intentions are, or at least we will be told what his intentions are. We’re not really quite sure that everything that he says is accurate or true.
Well, to follow up, what does William Bell do when he’s over there? Who is he spending time with?
William Bell is sort of a “master of the universe,” a brilliant man, very wealthy man, very powerful. We’ll find out a lot more about him in future episodes.
Tempest Rising, by Nicole Peeler, is her debut novel.
Jane True is an outsider in her own home town of Rockabill, Maine. She has a strange penchant for swimming in the cold ocean waters. When Jane stumbles across the body of a murdered man, she is introduced to a world she never knew existed. She is confronted by all manner of otherworldly creatures such as gnomes, shapeshifters, vampires, and much more. But the biggest surprise is that Jane, herself, is only half-human. The supernatural investigating the murder of the man Jane found is gorgeous and irresistible. But Ryu is a vampire and one of the more dangerous creatures.
Jane is an incredible likeable character. I was completely drawn into her story and lived it right along with her. Jane has a painful past. But when her eyes are opened to those around her, Jane is finally able to relate to people. And the other characters are just as vivid, sometimes larger than life. Ryu is a great leading man in this story, but I’m more excited to see where Jane’s relationship with a certain shapeshifter goes. He’s more brooding and mysterious.
As most urban fantasy’s go, the main plot follows a mystery – the murders happening in Rockabill. But this story focuses more on the characters and their interaction with Jane. There is a refreshing sense of wonder and excitement, rather than heavy-laden action and fight scenes. Tempest Rising is witty and fun, with a dash of dark suspense. Peeler has built a fantastic world in this debut novel. And I’m certainly eager to see what new adventures are in store for Jane True.
Tempest Rising releases from Orbit Books on October 27th.
Courtesy of Orbit Books, I have a giveaway copy of Red Claw, by Philip Palmer for 1 lucky winner!
Contest is open to residents in the US and Canada only. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends October 30. I’ll draw names on October 31, and notify winners via email.