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David Farland répond à nos questions !

Par Gillossen, le vendredi 17 avril 2009 à 13:14:10

Interview with David Farland, english version

Your Runelords series is back on track here in France. How do you feel about this second release?
I'm delighted! The books have been re-released in a couple of countries, and in England I think that they're doing even better than they did on the first time around.
Have you ever been consulted about the French translation of your work?
No. Generally speaking, my foreign publishers hire the best people that they can get forthe job. Only once twice have I ever been consulted--once by a German publisher, and once by a Japanese.
Does The Runelords hold a special place in your heart?
Absolutely. It is a story that deals with a number of contemporary issues. On a thematic level, it's about a world where greedy merchants and politicians nearly destroy their world by taking all that they can from their people. Though the books have been out for ten years, I'm suddenly getting a lot of fan mail from people, probably because they now see it as being timely. It also deals with two cultures--one European, and one very much based on the Arabs--squabbling over finite resources at a time when larger global issues confront them.
In short, when I began writing this back in the mid-1990s, I was looking at the issues that I believed would become important over the next few decades and writing about those.
By the way, what can we expect from « The Lair of Bones», which will be out next year in France?
Ah, THE LAIR OF BONES culminates the first storyline in the series. It tells of Gaborn's redemption as the Earth King and Raj Ahten's death.
Do you have a favourite character from the Runelords universe ? And if so, why him/her?
My favorite minor character is probably Baron Waggit. He is of course brain damaged, which is why he so strongly craves endowments of Wit, and when he wins those endowments through his courage in book 2, it's a great moment. So long as he has them, he not only seems whole, but he becomes a wise man, an advisor to kings. Yet he must live always knowing that if he loses his endowments, he could sink back into ignorance in the blink of an eye.
His story is a sad one, I think, and I've often thought that I could devote an entire novel or two to him.
Endowments were - and still are ! - a stunning magical system. How did you come up with?
When I began the Runelords, I first came up with the systems of Earth/Fire/Water/ and Air magic. But I knew that I wanted more. I desired a system of magic that would let me deal with corporate economics--which meant that something would have to be traded, something would have to be lusted after. I pondered the question for months, and suddenly it all hit me rather suddenly while I was on a trip to Scotland.
What is your take on the fantasy genre these days ? What are your favourite authors? Is there a sense of competition between you?
I like a lot of authors: Brandon Sanderson is perhaps my favorite overall, but I also like George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfus, and a new author who will becoming out this fall, John Brown.
Personally, I don't feel competitive with other authors. I write what I like to write, and just hope that others will like it, too. With each of the other authors in the business, I find that they make choices that don't quite suit me--and that is okay. It is like painting. Some people like to paint the human form, others landscapes. It is just a matter of personal taste.
What is your favourite aspect of writing?
I love to create new worlds!
How could you compare writing and computer game development? Did your past work in videogames help you?
Actually, I used to play role-playing games when I was young. If anything, that was the most help. My brother and I developed our own games back in the early 1980s, and I was a "Dungeon Master" for several years, presiding over those games.
When I began working with the computer games, it was as a result of my background in role-playing. I had become familiar with the problems inherent in designing role-playing games.
I didn't actually do a great deal with the games. I was co-leader of the design team for StarCraft's Broodwar, and I scripted a game that you might have seen in France called Barbarians. I also scripted a couple of others.
Are you influenced by book reviews, or do you seek to write something that satisfies you in the first place?
You can't let book reviews influence you too much. I mean, I write the books to satisfy me. I almost always get good reviews, but you have to realize that even a good bookreviewer will have an off day. On my last book, THE WYRMLING HORDE, one reviewer thought that it was too dark and hopeless at the end. But this is book 7 in a 9-book series. So my characters are on the darkest stretch of the road. The book needed to be gloomy.
So I got a little worried when I saw the review, but what could I do? The book had already been printed. I couldn't make any changes.
To my surprise, the book that the reviewer thought was too dark and gloomy has been loved by the fans. I've gotten more fan mail from it than any other book!
Is the web an important tool in terms of communicating with your readers, do some research, etc? I've seen that you have a Twitter account.
I've started using the web just a bit more. I get a lot of fan mail on the web. In fact, nearly all of it comes over the web nowadays. But I don't do much in the way of blogging.
I do use it a lot for research. I just finished a historical novel about pioneers who crossed the prairie here in the US back in 1856 pulling handcarts. I was able to get a surprising amount of research done online. Similarly, I'm writing a thriller that has to do with terrorists. The great thing about the web is that I can go to the sites run by real terrorists!
How would you define your relation with fans? Can their expectations sometimes weigh you down?
Actually, my fans have been very supportive. Their expectations don't weigh me down, they buoy me up! I often read fan mail and find that it inspires me to work harder and try to get the next book out just a little quicker.
Could you tell us a few words about your « Writing Workshops »?
I usually teach a couple of writing workshops per year. These are aimed at writers who are very serious about breaking into the business, and I try to give them the advice that they can't get in a university writing program--tell them the ins and outs of the business, for example. But I also teach a good deal about audience analysis and give them advanced writing tips that you can't easily find in books.
If anyone is interested, they can get more information at www.davidfarland.net.
I've been thinking of putting one on in the UK. I suppose that if I had enough French readers who would like one, I could hold one there. I've always wanted to visit France!
And about your Ravenspell series? Could we hope to discover it in french someday?
I'd love to have it in French. Let us hope that the gods of publishing let it happen soon.
Why did you choose « David Farland » as a pen name?
When I began writing fantasy, I knew that I wanted a name that would put my books in the middle of the shelves. You see, my real name, Wolverton, always leaves my books on the bottom shelf.
So I began looking for something, and decided that something that began with an "F-a," would be good. I had a friend once who had the last name of Farland, and I thought it sounded good. I've since discovered that I have a great, great grandmother who also had the last name of Farland.
A Runelords movie has long been rumored to be in the works. Is this project really dead/on hold?
About six years ago I went to Hollywood and raised three million dollars to begin pre-production of the movie. We got a director, distributors, and were well on our way to making the movie when the project went sour. So it is on hold for a bit, probably until the option expires with its current owners, which happens in August. However, there is a huge amount of interest in the project in Hollywood right now. I hear from producers and directors almost on a weekly basis, so things may move forward very rapidly in a few months.
What books, fantasy or otherwise, have been enjoying lately?
My latest discoveries I've already mentioned. I'm reading Brandon Sanderson's MISTBORN series and I'm looking forward to his novel WARBREAKER that will come out next month. I recently read Patrick Rothfus's THE NAME OF THE WIND and found it to be excellent, one of the best books in the last couple of decades. Mostly, I'm just working on my own novels!
Last but not least, is there anything you wish to share with your French fans?
I'm extremely pleased to have my books back in French. I'm currently working on book 9 in the series, the last of the books, and it's my hope that the books do well enough so that you can see them all.
I love to hear from my readers there!
  1. L'interview exclusive de David Farland, version française
  2. Interview with David Farland, english version

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