Message From The Author

Author's Message

Three Questions for Mercedes Lackey

The fantasy author took time out from
her busy writing schedule to chat
with us. (She has
several books in the works, including a new Valdemar book, Collegium Chronicles: Foundation, out next month.) Check out Lackey's The Phoenix Endangered, co-written with James Mallory, reviewed in this issue and out now from Tor.

What is the best thing about writing novels in a fictional universe? The best thing about it is also the worst thing: You get to -- and have to -- build it all from scratch. What exists there that also exists here, what doesn't, how the rules of magic work, for instance, and how you make it different from other fantasy worlds you've created.

The advantage of using the real world is that for the most part you don't have to explain everything; everyone knows what a toaster, a VW Beetle and a 747 look like. With a completely constructed world you have to be very careful that you don't end up with great indigestible lumps of description.

What fantastical aspect of your books do you wish existed in real life? The element of the world of Phoenix Endangered that I really do wish existed is the Wild Magic. I think it might be instructive for people to have to deal with a force where you have to sacrifice something personally to get what you want.

What's the best thing about co-writing a book? The best part about co-writing a novel is that there is never a moment when you hit a wall, because when you do, you can just pass it off to your partner, who almost always has a solution or a fresh outlook. The whole truly is much more than the sum of the parts.

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