One-on-One with Richard A. Knaak

The man behind the Minotaur Wars, Dragonrealm and the upcoming Warcraft Trilogy recently sat down with the Fantasy Section interview questions and here are the results, which brought upon a realization to your Editor that she really isn't knowlegable at all when it comes to some fantasy series!

1. How did you first come up with the idea for the Dragonlance series?

Actually, the series was created by others before I came in. I was one of the first freelancers to join. I immediately focused on two groups, the Knights of Solamnia and the Minotaurs, both of whom displayed different aspects of honor. I've focused on this aspect in all my stories concerning either of them and have become one of the favored authors for the minotaurs, especially. It is because of that that the creators and editors requested me to write the new trilogy, THE MINOTAUR WARS, which is the successor to Margaret's and Tracy's WAR OF SOULS.

2. Do you have a special routine when you're writing, or can you just sit down at a computer and start typing?

I take some notes in advance, then sit down and try to let the story flow. If things are working out, the characters will help guide that. I do a lot of rewriting as I go along. Makes me glad to have a computer instead of a typewriter, believe me.

3. Who are your literary influences?

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edgar Allan Poe, Andre Norton, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Roger Zelazny are the most significant, especially Zelazny, who wrote the Amber Chronicles and Creatures of Light and Darkness.

4. Generally how long does it take you to write an average novel? How many different revisions do you usually go through?

Four to six months on average with anywhere from no revisions to roughly three. Depends on the project.

5. How do you deal with writers-block?

I try to work on something else for a day or two. Generally, writers-block hasn't been a problem for me.

6. Out of everything you've written, which would you say is your favorite; which gives you the most satisfaction of a job-well-done?

THE LEGEND OF HUMA is one. NIGHT OF BLOOD another. Overall, I've been pretty pleased with most everything I've written. They'll never be perfect, of course. You can always find things to change.

7. Do you have a favorite character that you've created?

Kaz the Minotaur in Dragonlance. Darkhorse in my Dragonrealm series. Frostwing, from the novel of the same name. While I have many favorites, they're certainly among the top.

8. What do you think makes a good fantasy author?

Imagination. Being well-read. Trying to make a few different twists from what has been done countless times before.

Stubbornness to the extreme. :)

9. Can you tell us what you're currently working on and when you expect it will be available in bookstores?

Currently, I'm working on TIDES OF BLOOD, the second in the MINOTAUR WARS. That should be out in June of 2004. I've turned in THE WELL OF ETERNITY, the first volume in my WARCRAFT TRILOGY. That, too, should be out in 2004, but I don't have a date on it. Right now I'm also promoting NIGHT OF BLOOD, already out in THE MINOTAUR WARS.

10. Random quote or piece of advice you'd like to share to end this with?

You never know what you can do unless you try.

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