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.
The exclusive, seven-part interview series with R.A. Salvatore continues throughout the week. Be sure to check it out these other stops on the blog tour:
Elitist Book Reviews
Sci-Fi Fan Letter
Suvudu (7:00 to 8:00 p.m. EST)
Fantasy Book Critic