The Dragonlance Nexus

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http://www.dlnexus.com/features/interviews/11255.aspx

Tracy Hickman

Saturday, July 21, 2001


Here's the log from the chat session that was sponsored by the Nexus and Dragonlance.com.


Session Start: Fri Jul 20 21:10:50 2001
* Logging #Dragonlance to '#dragonlance_20010720.log'
<Nuitari> Let me discuss the rules first and make a few announcements!
<Nuitari> First Tracy and All of us would like to thank you for coming to this event. Tracy has stated he is more then willing to come back for monthly chats, right here.
<Nuitari> Second, Unfortunately since the chat had to be moved, Margaret can't be here tonight. However we will ask her to reschedule!
<Nuitari> Tracy can only stay for an hour or so, so heres the plan so far for tonight:
<Nuitari> from now until 9:30 or so I will be putting preselected questions that you all sent me for Tracy to answer.
<Nuitari> At 9:30 I will voice people who ask to be to chat with Tracy for a few minutes.
<Nuitari> A few notes on this: Lets be nice and no cursing, harassing members or anyone or anything like that. if we don't voice you don;t get discouraged, come back next month for a chance.
<Nuitari> Also, if you wish to chat, join #Chat. this room is moderated and will remain so for awhile while we do this.
<Nuitari> Mr. Hickman art thou ready?
<TRHickman> I am indeed ready and very excited to be here.
<TRHickman> Thank you for all turning out.
<Nuitari> Thats awesome :)
<Nuitari> Ready for our first question?
<Nuitari> Its like jeoparty ;)
<TRHickman> Absolutely ... let's begin!
<TRHickman> I'll take Dragonlance for 100.
<Nuitari> Yoda sent me this question for you:
<Nuitari> Are there any plans to continue the fifth age(or a new sixth age) after the current trilogy is over? Thanks.
<Nuitari> This I am interested in myself as well. ;)
<TRHickman> I cannot speak for Wizards of the Coast on this subject...
<TRHickman> All I can tell you about is our current feelings on the subject.
<Nuitari> Sure go ahead I think thats what they were aiming for :)
<TRHickman> We are VERY excited about the events that are being portreyed in the War of Souls WOS tirlogy.
<TRHickman> er... trilogy.
<TRHickman> (Now you know why we need editors ;-)
<Nuitari> lol Yes most people know about my mistakes with contractions ::whistles to himself::
<TRHickman> We created this series with the idea in mind of providing a world of adventure, gaming and stories that would carry the world forward.
<TRHickman> We also see WOS as a unifying story ... and always have.
<TRHickman> There definitely will be a Krynn and a Dragonlance world once the War is over.
<TRHickman> I personally am excited about that.
<TRHickman> However, Margaret and I believe this will be our last journey through Krynn.
<TRHickman> On the other hand ... I think this makes the third time we have written our 'last' book in Krynn.
<TRHickman> One never knows about the future.
<Nuitari> Tas might hafta come Kidnap you guys for another adventure :)
<TRHickman> I think I am safe in saying, however, that there will be more Draognlance after the War of Souls is concluded next spring.
<TRHickman> GA
<Nuitari> This is From Chris J. You met him last night I think.
<Nuitari> He sends, "Why did you kill Tanis off? He was one of my favorite charchters and he was killed so suddenly that I re-read the page to see if I got it right. Also did you always intend to kill him?"
<TRHickman> In Dragonlance, every death has come with a meaning.
<TRHickman> We have never killed anyone off just for spite ...
<TRHickman> Well, actually, maybe we DID kill one off for spite but that was Margaret's fault!
<TRHickman> She hated Elistan ... but that's another story.
<Nuitari> LOL
<TRHickman> Flint died because we wanted to show that heroes do not always die on the battlefield but are nevertheless to be honored.
<TRHickman> Sturm's death was, of course, most emphatic in its lessons.
<TRHickman> Tanis' death portreys the fact that not all death in war is glorious.
<TRHickman> For me, Tanis' death symbolizes my own feelings about Viet Nam and the brave, unsung men who put their lives on the line there.
<TRHickman> The very ignominious death of Tanis serves in part to honor them. GA
* Nuitari nods
<Nuitari> It was a good symbolization. I cried when I read it like I do with most things like that.
<Nuitari> hehe. Anyway right on to the next question.
<Nuitari> Tien sends, "Will we see Lord Soth in the upcoming WOS novel, what about in future endeavors?"
<TRHickman> Lord Soth is a wonderful character ... so wonderful, in fact, that there have been a lot of warm words cross the net over his fate.
<TRHickman> Some think he was much happier in his new digs in Ravenloft.
<TRHickman> Some, on the other hand, (I among them) believed that it all smacked of a special guest star appearance that was all out of place.
* Nuitari nods.
<TRHickman> I've since changed my mind about alot of that. The people who featured him in Ravenloft were doing good work.
<TRHickman> I admire what they attempted to do ... although I have often wondered how they would have felt if I had taken one of their own characters into new directions.
<TRHickman> That's not entire right either ... the point is that they did great creative work.
<TRHickman> Now, back to the question.
<TRHickman> The fate of Lord Soth in WOS is very much bound up in the foundations of what is happening in Krynn and the true roots of the Fifth Age.
<TRHickman> When you understand where Lord Soth is in WOS, you will have uncovered the great mystery behind the series.
<TRHickman> So ... having said that ...
<TRHickman> We're all going to have a FASCINATING discussion on this subject...
<TRHickman> Next spring when the final book comes out. Sorry! GA
<Nuitari> LOL
<Nuitari> We'll have to schedule an interview and a chat for that ;)
<Nuitari> What a teaser lol
<Nuitari> Moving right along...
<TRHickman> I'm very excited to tell you ... just next spring!
<Nuitari> Neva Asks, "Your writing is beautifully homogenized. What is your approach to writing together? Do you each write a separate sections or do you write together in the same time and space?"
<Nuitari> LOL
<TRHickman> I write all the adjective.
<TRHickman> Margaret does the nouns.
<TRHickman> We discuss verbs.
<TRHickman> ;-)
<Nuitari> LOL she's given me that answer ;)
<TRHickman> Actually, we have tried a number of different techniques over the years.
<TRHickman> The one that seems to work the best for us is when I do the initial creation of the story and the worlds.
<TRHickman> We then talk through it together at a meeting. I usually fly out to Wisconsin and we spend a few days putting the story together.
<TRHickman> Margaret creates the outline from the notes of that meeting and then begins to write.
<TRHickman> I continue to work on world background development as she does.
<TRHickman> When the first draft is finished, I go over it and make suggestions on changes and any additions of my own.
<TRHickman> Margaret then rewrites the entire MS so that the text has ONE VOICE. It is very important that you hear only one of us 'speaking' while you read ... that's the homoginous tone you percieve.
<TRHickman> Once that draft is finished, we mail the whole thing off in an incredibly thick printout to the publisher.
<TRHickman> We wait a while and soon we see it as a book.
<Nuitari> Magic at its best. A level 10 spell.. Bind book ;)
<TRHickman> They also send the check ... most important to get the check!
<TRHickman> GA
<Nuitari> A question of my own, how long does it take for such a project to do?
<TRHickman> Do you mean a book or a series?
<Nuitari> Just one book
<TRHickman> I usually set aside six months for a book. It works out to be about right. GA
<Nuitari> Ahh
<Nuitari> Brian N. asked me to ask you: Do you plan on making a film based on War of the Lance?
<Nuitari> A big all time question, I know ;)
<TRHickman> I would love to make a film on Dragonlance and, in fact, have already worked up a treatment for a film.
<TRHickman> However, the film rights reside firmly in the hands of Wizards of the Coast.
<Nuitari> Do you know if they have any plans with D&D the movie from last year and so on?
<TRHickman> There is always hope for it, but only time will tell.
<TRHickman> GA
* Nuitari points to his question above yer last statement ;)
<Brimstone> Perhaps if D&D the Movie had done better at the box office.....
<TRHickman> We are rather hoping that people will FORGET about the D&D movie from last year so that we CAN make a Dragonlance movie. ;-)
<TRHickman> Great ... looking forward to the open chat.
<Nuitari> I believe she is refering to dragonlance.com ;)
<TRHickman> I love the work that is done on the Dragonlance.com site.
* clarion perks up ears :-)
<TRHickman> Matt does a wonderful job both there and on the Nexus site.
<Nuitari> lol That got all our attentions cause most of us operators have stuff on there ;)
<Nuitari> I hope you've read my reviews, hint hint ;)
<TRHickman> I do, indeed, although my time is so very limited these days.
<TRHickman> I wish I had more time to read.
<TRHickman> Between the two book series Margaret and I are doing, plus the start up work for our new 'secret project' there just doesn't seem to be much time anymore.
<Nuitari> Yeah I understand. Picked up The Stand a month ago and read 20 pages. The Bus to GenCon is when I will be reading! :)
<TRHickman> I do know that Margaret is always looking for new talent to develop and we both try very hard to help starting authors get their break when we can.
<TRHickman> We are limited in what we CAN do ... but we do what we can.
* Nuitari nods.
<TRHickman> The flip side of that coin is that we have to be careful about being sued ... if you can believe that.
<Nuitari> I am still trying to get published myself. its rather hard :)
<Nuitari> Aye... A weird world ;)
<TRHickman> Should we read something by someone online and then it comes into one of our books ... either intentionally or subconsciously ... than we worry a bit about finding ourselves in court. It's just that kind of world.
<TRHickman> GA
<Nuitari> Aye its Weird.
<Nuitari> Now.
<Nuitari> We will be starting with the Open Chat :)
<Nuitari> If you Wish to be voiced.. I will be voicing 3 to 4 people at once for 5 to 10 minutes, please MSG me
<TRHickman> Wait! Let me get my helmet!
* Nuitari knows his msg bar will now have 50,000 msgs in it.
<Braxus> Hello Mr. Hickman... One quick question. :) With Dragons of a Summer Flame, I think I remember you saying at the Milpitas, California DoLS book signing event that it was supposed to be an entire trilogy of it's own. However, I don't quite remember why it was shortened to only one book. Did Margaret and you decide to shorten it or was it something that TSR/WoTC decided to do?
<Nuitari> Antrion Caidlan Mantis Velites you can chat now ;)
<TRHickman> It's hard to remember but the book was initially designed to be a complete trilogy. However, because of our relationship with TSR at the time, we were only going to be allowed ONE book to tell the story. I feel like it is a bit shoe-horned in.
<Caidlan_Songsword> Mr Hickman, when you say you try to help new authors, what do you mean? suggesting publishers...reading manuscripts?
<Nuitari> Hmm need more people ;)
<Nuitari> Tracy think you can handle 70 people chatting at once?
<Braxus> ah
<Velites> No, I'm just waiting my turn
<TRHickman> We cannot read manuscripts because our lawyers tell us we'd be open to litigation. We really can't recommend publishers or agents either. What we CAN do is look for new talent and bring them in on anthology projects when possible.
<Velites> Mr. Hickman can't answer us all at once
<Antrion> In Dragons of a Lost Star, when Gerard first meets Lady Odila, it is mentioned that she is a Knight of the Rose. This is mentioned a few more times afterwards, but then at the battle of Sanction, you say that Lady Odila is a Knight of the Crown. So which instance is incorrect? Is she a Knight of the Crown or Knight of the Rose?
<Stenzer_Staffire> I'm writing my own book, what inspired you for you books?
<Raist3274> one question at a time people
<TRHickman> (Thinking, I'm gonna have to get that editor later!)
<Velites> Hold up, we'll never get anything answered this way...
<Nuitari> hey guys its open chat for the voiced people ;)
<Nuitari> Don;t hafta ask serious questions could ask tracy what he had for dinner ;)
<Antrion> Well, if you need another editor...;)
<TRHickman> I believe she is a Crown Knight but what do I know?
<Mantis_852> Mr Hickman, In the death gate cycle, there is a character, Zifnab, much similar to Fizban. I wanted to know if he is the same person, and if so, when does it happen (befor e after dragons of summer flame)
<Raist3274> In that case Nuitari.....Mr Hickman, what do you think of all of Jean Rabe's books in the DL world?
<TRHickman> I find inspiration from movies and other books.
<Antrion> is she more Margaret's character?
<Stenzer_Staffire> Hmm..
<Velites> Okay, I just want to know how one can start a home dragonlance campaign based on the War of Souls... can we assume that Clerical Magic and Moon magic has returned?
<TRHickman> I actually haven't had dinner yet ... sigh. Wanted to talk to you all first!
<TRHickman> Just a moment ... trying to catch up on questions.
<Richard_Connery> Hello Mr. Hickman, 1st of all, thx for coming. Now, The original plan with Peter Adkinson was for you and Margaret to help produce the 3E DL Campaign Setting?
<Nuitari> Velites I believe we will have stuff on that on dlnexus.com
* Nuitari looks at the other dlnexus.com people
<Paladin> Yes, and no
<Velites> Nuitari> Before or after Dragons of a Vanished Moon? ;)
<Nuitari> Guys you have any incite on that?
<Stenzer_Staffire> How would one go about find a publisher willing to publish a new author like myself?
<Nuitari> Dunno :/
<TRHickman> Actually, the question of Zifnab and Zanfib is answered very clearly on my website FAQ. I heartily recommend that you visit it at www.trhickman.com.
<Paladin> I believe that it all depends on exacty what happens after the WOS trilogy, but we're developing material that uses the magic rules and other rules on The Nexus (dlnexus.com).
<Raven15> Can you tell us anything about the secret project?
<Velites> Yeah, see I want to know what I an do to play Dragonlance in the here and now, guidelines.
<TRHickman> As for Jean Rabe ... she is a very nice lady. She works very hard on her books.
* Nuitari nods to Tracy
<Velites> Since Takhisis is here, are the Gods back? Without that little tidbit, my campaign is stuck in limbo.
<Nuitari> I like her writing :)
* Nuitari whistles
<TRHickman> As to doing a WOS campaign in D&D ... I would love to tell you about the world after the WOS. It will be a TREMENDOUS gaming world. Unfortunately, I've got to keep all that secret until spring.
<Brimstone> Thanks Nuitari
<TRHickman> Can't help you until then.'
<Velites> Doh :)
<Nuitari> All these Secrets good thing yer not a kender Tracy!
* Raven15 thinks that's very funny...
<TRHickman> Yes ... we understood that the original plan was to produce a new WOS Dragonlance setting as a kickoff for an entirely new series of games. It just was not meant to be, sadly.
<Nuitari> Aye it is sad but we have the Nexus now atleast ;)
<Brimstone> I think that was a sad day for all of us, Tracy
<TRHickman> As to the secret project ... well, it's SECRET ...
<Nuitari> lol
<Nuitari> Ready for the next chatters Tracy?
<Nuitari> ;)
<TRHickman> It is also one of the most exciting worlds I have worked on in years.
<Brimstone> Nuitari...private question please
<Nuitari> Oh sure ;)
<TRHickman> We are teaming up with several prominent authors to tag team this secret project.
<Nuitari> Go while people ask me for voices
<Braxus> So Tracy, how many hours of sleep have you been getting lately?
<TRHickman> It will be broad spectrum ... film, games, novels, computer games, etc.
<TRHickman> Not enough.
<TRHickman> er ... sleep that is.
<TRHickman> GA
<Nuitari> lol
<Braxus> I feel your pain. :)
<Ty> Hey Mr. Hickman, I hear you're going to pen FR books, is that true?
<TRHickman> No ... but I did just finish a Starcraft novel.
<Nuitari> Hey Pearl ;)
<TRHickman> I've got some rewrites on that but I think it is slated for the spring as well.
<Brimstone> Really? By finish...you mean you wrote one? Or you just read one?
<Pearl> Hey :) Mr Hickman, was just wondering what your favorite book to work on was and why?
<Brimstone> That's realy cool. Will definately look for that one on the shelves in Spring!
<Nuitari> Welcome to the Chat you three ;)
<Murmel_Beutelleer> What is your opinion on the style of publishing translated books of yours in other countries? In regard to the splitting of original trilogies in "hexalogies" and *not* using the original cover art but instead lesser quality images which mostly don't have anything in common with Dragonlance at all, for example.
<Frantzeskos> first of all greetings mr hickmann, a fan from greece over here (you have lots of them in our country :))
<Nuitari> Lets not all talk at once he's not Lt Cmdr Data hehe ;)
<Nuitari> Eventhough he probably would think thats neat if it were true ;)
<Nuitari> hehe
<TRHickman> Great to hear from you in Greece!
<TRHickman> My best to all the fans over there.
<Frantzeskos> my question is about the second continent of krynn (i don't even remember its name!) i vitrually know nothing about it (as most of the fans) so do you or any other author have any plans to clear our question about it? :)
<Nuitari> Tracy did you see Pearl's question?
<TRHickman> My favorite book to work on was Starshield ... I had a lot of fun with those ... despite its loss.
<Nuitari> Ahh thats a yes ;)
<Frantzeskos> questions even
* Frantzeskos is really nervous :)
<TRHickman> The second continent is Taladis, I believe.
<Nuitari> lol Frantz He doesn't bite :)
<Frantzeskos> i know that! :)
<TRHickman> We actually did want to do something with that ... Margaret even put together a proposal for it.
<TRHickman> It didn't work out with Wizards, however.
<Richard_Connery> Hello again, do you know when will WotC publish Anvil of Time (great module btw :) and will it be a part of a module collection or standalone product? If you know of course. Thx again for coming!
<Frantzeskos> oh how sad :(
<Nuitari> Thats a bummer :(
<Frantzeskos> thank you mr hickmann! :)
<TRHickman> Actually, the Anvil of Time is slated to be the first adventure module published in an anthology!
<TRHickman> They are going to put the module in as part of one of the anthology books.
<Josh_Majere> hi mr. hickman
<TRHickman> Hey, Josh.
<abkot> is goldmoon really dead now, cause she has a tendancy to came back to life in msny dl novels
<Josh_Majere> youre the best author in the world man....just to let you know
<TRHickman> Yes, I can say emphatically that Goldmoon is REALLY dead.
<TRHickman> Thanks, Josh.
<Nuitari> ;)
<Nuitari> This Josh thinks so as well ;)
<Josh_Majere> :)
<Josh_Majere> thats all i wanted to say
<TRHickman> Goldmoon is SO very dead ... and the reasons will be clear in the last book.
<Josh_Majere> somebody else can talk now
<TherosIronfield> hi mr. hickman... could you give us any information as to whether there will be any future dragonlance videogames?
<TRHickman> I wish I could ... I just don't have any information on any Dragonlance Video games or plans to do any. I wish there were ... I think a Baldur's Gate type game would be cool.
<TherosIronfield> alright, thanks
<Thief_Grr> Greetings mr Hickman, another greek fan here.
<TherosIronfield> i think so too
<Nuitari> Baldur's Gate was VERY good.. I'd like to see.. Palanthas' Gates though ;)
<Fizzy> Hello Mr. Hickman. I wanted to say that you are a great author and that you have manys fans here in Latin America. My question is, out of all the characters that you've written which one is your favrit?
<Thief_Grr> First of all, you've got the best job for making wealth for a living by doing what _i suppose_ u enjoy most.
<Paladin> Video games -> I beleve there is a project to put together a Dragonlance world for "Neverwinter Nights". Msg Interus if you have questions about it or visit www.nwdl.net.
<Thief_Grr> a final suggestion: take a good consideration of the musician for your film
<Brimstone> I am patiently waiting for Dragonlance Neverwinter Nights
<Brimstone> :)
<TRHickman> Thanks ... I'll keep that in mind.
* Thief_Grr bows.
<Nuitari> I did not know that ;)
<TRHickman> While I am thinking of it ... everyone is invited to come and join my online newsletter.
<theShalafi> Hi Tracy, I was wondering when we could expect the starcraft novel you mentioned?
<TRHickman> It's free, comes in your email around once a month, and keeps you up to date on what we're doing.
<Nuitari> I was going to mention that when we wrap up in a sec Tracy :)
<TRHickman> You can read about it on my website at www.trhickman.com.
<Nuitari> ya read my mind! ;)
<TRHickman> Now back to our regularly scheduled chat!
<The_Seraphim> Mr. Hickman is there any plans for a follow up to the Rose of the Prophet series?
* Nuitari whistles
<Brimstone> shameless plug ;)
<TRHickman> I think that Starcraft novel will be out in the spring ... if I can get the rewrites done soon enough.
<Nuitari> That'll be awesome Tracy :)
<abkot> how do you feel about the dl series being criticized because of low quality books (not yours and margarets, of cource :))?
<TRHickman> Margaret and I both would like to get back to Rose of the Prophet but the new project takes up too much of our time right now.
<TRHickman> I think you need to take individual books on their own merits. Not every writer is at the same place in their career or in their skills. We are all growing.
<TRHickman> This is true of editors as well as authors.
<Nuitari> lol
<TRHickman> If some are not to your liking, then others might be.
<TRHickman> I hope my own writing is improving.
<Nuitari> How many editors have worked on the Dragonlance Saga?
<TRHickman> If it isn't ... I think I'm dead.
<Nuitari> Yes it is Tracy ;) Definately all Writers can always grow even the best ;)
<TRHickman> Many, over time.
<Paladin> Fizzy asks, "who is your favorite character?"
<Brimstone> Personally, I must say that I think _Well of Darkness_ is, speaking literally of course, some of yours and Margaret's best work
<Nuitari> Dragons of Summer Flame for me ;)
<TRHickman> Actually, asking which is our favorite character is like asking which is our favorite child ... we love them all for their uniqueness.
<TRHickman> Sturm is who I want to be. Tanis is more like who I am. I come across more like Fizban...
<The_Seraphim> Its that hat of yours Tracy....
<TRHickman> Well, good friends, the time has come for me to move into the night.
<TRHickman> It has been an absolute delight talking with you.
<Nuitari> Ahh
<TRHickman> If you have further questions, please either save them for our next chat.
<Nuitari> I see Tracy time to take over the world As Doug of the whitestone council would say ;)
<Braxus> Thank you for sharing your time with us! :)
<TRHickman> Or email them to me through my website.
<Paladin> Yes, thank you!
<Nuitari> We thank you for coming of course and hoped you had fun :)
<TRHickman> Glad to come. We'll do it again next month!
<TRHickman> I had a wonderful time.
<Nuitari> But of course!
<Nuitari> :)
<Dragonhelm> Thanks for your time, Tracy. We look forward to speaking to you next month.
* Braxus looks forward to it.
<Nuitari> Its been an honor ;)
*** Frantzeskos is now known as farewell_tracy
<Nuitari> lol
*** Dragonite is now known as Thanx_for_your_time
*** Aeon is now known as We_love_you_tracy
*** tas68 is now known as bye_tracy
*** Fizzy is now known as Bye_Thank_you_Tracy
*** Pearl is now known as come_back_soon
<Nuitari> :)
*** theShalafi is now known as Chat_Later
<Nuitari> Everyone is saying their Farewells ;)
*** che is now known as joins_the_corwd
<Dragonhelm> Wow, it's the unofficial Tracy Fanclub. Lol!
*** Bnaa is now known as fare_thee_well
<Nuitari> Feel free to come back anytime Tracy Theres usually someone around :)
*** joins_the_corwd is now known as bye
<Braxus> indeed
<Nuitari> and you know I'm always on tri-net ;)
*** tas68 is now known as love_ya
<Cya_Tracy> Cya Tracy!
<Caidlan_Songsword> bye!
<tas68> cya
<tas68> bye
<Brimstone> Thanks for your time Tracy! By the way...the Astronauts just made their first egress of the new "Front Door" of the Space Station
<Aeon> Indeed. =)
<TherosIronfield> goodbye
<Brimstone> :)
<Thanx_for_your_time> bye bye Tracy :))))))
<TRHickman> Bye all!
<Molech> peace travy
<Bye_Thank_you_Tracy> byeeee!
<Archemedes> bye
<Molech> *tracy
<Thanx_for_your_time> xxxxxxx
<Nuitari> :)
*** Bye_Thank_you_Tracy is now known as Fizzy
<tas68> bye
<ChadMagi> bye tracy!
*** Otik2 is now known as Otik2_says_have_fun_Tracy
* Murmel_Beutelleer waves at Tracy...:-)
<Archemedes> Wow i can talk
<ChadMagi> talk to u next month!
<Pearl> Bye Tracy! Thanks you!!
<Braxus> bai bai ^_^
<Mantis_852> hope you can find some time soon ;)
<Archemedes> cya
<Fizzy> Thank you! Bye!
<theShalafi> lol!
*** TRHickman has quit IRC (QUIT: .)