I have the honor of hosting a few words from Margaret Weis.
Creator and author of Dragonlance (together with Tracy Hickman), Bestseller and E Gary Gygax Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 recipient!
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on, if any?
Lots of places, from Tom Sawyer’s cave to Puccini’s statue to Oxford.
What is the first book that made you cry?
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
Not sure I can think of any! If you’re talking about major publishers.
What would you recommend today regarding publishing?
Get an agent.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Trying to tell the entire story in the first chapter.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
A big ego never helps anything.:)
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Can’t really think of anything. I love writing.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? And if so have you? And why?
Haha! Roger Moore and I once wrote an Endless Quest novel in a day when we worked for TSR. We each wrote half. Neither of us would claim it so we wrote under the name of Susan Allison.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I always tell my story.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I know some well enough to wave to at conventions.:)
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Every series stands on its own.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing, if it did?
I used to write at night and on weekends because I had a day job. Now I can write all day if I want!
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
My first Apple computer.
What did you do with your first advance?
I think I paid bills.:)
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
When I told stories to my fellow kindergarteners.
What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Any novel by Rex Stout.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
A box full!
What does literary success look like to you?
Finishing a novel. Or a poem. Or a short story.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Lots of research. Research as I write.
Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
No, just fun.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I just tell their stories.
How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
How many hours a day do you write?
Four or five
Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
No, not really.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Various methods. The Oxford Book of Names is useful.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I used to be an editor.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I use what I find to be useful.
What was your hardest scene to write?
Death of Sturm.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
I strive with every book to become a better writer.
What is your favorite childhood book?
the Three Musketeers.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Keeping the dogs quiet.:)
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I wouldn’t change anything.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Varies for every writer. Some take years. Others months.
Can you tell us anything about your next book?
Writing Kingmaker, the last book in the Dragon Corsairs series. Court intrigue, spies, pirates and dragons.