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Weis and Hickman Dwarven Depths Chat

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The following is a transcript of the chat with Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman conducted by Wizards of the Coast on July 18, 2006

Dwarven Depths Chat Transcript

[WizO_KiRin] Thank you all for coming to this special chat with Margaret Weiss, one of the authors of Dragons of the Dwarven Depths.
[WizO_KiRin] Protocol will be in effect.
[WizO_KiRin] Please refrain from chatting to screen except when you are called upon.
[WizO_KiRin] If you want to ask a question, type ? to screen.
[WizO_KiRin] If you want to make a comment, type !.
[WizO_KiRin] You will be called upon in turn.
[RPGjunkie] ?
[hmmmm] ?can we talk in the Peanut Gallery?
[Yukino] ?
[Valharic] ?
[WizO_KiRin] Please have your questions pretyped so that you can just hit send when you are called on.
[WizO_KiRin] Hmmm, you sure can talk in the Peanut Gallery.
[hmmmm] Okay.
[WizO_KiRin] When you're finished typing, please type ga so we know your finished.
[WizO_KiRin] (Margaret, please also type ga when you're finished, so I can go on to the next person.
[WizO_KiRin] And with that, Margaret, welcome! Would you like to say a few words before we get down to the questions?
[MargaretWeis] I'm very glad to be here tonight. Returning to the companions has been a great experience for both Tracy and I. And this has been even more fun because of the new DL movie that is being made.GA
[RPGjunkie] ?
[WizO_KiRin] Okay, RPG, go ahead with your question.
[MargaretWeis] Whenever anyone is ready!GA
[RPGjunkie] Can Margaret Please give a over view of the book, for us that have not yet seen or read it? GA
TracyHickman has entered the room
[hmmmm] Hello.
[TracyHickman] Greetings ... sorry I'm late.
[MargaretWeis] The book takes the heroes from Riverwind and Goldmoon's wedding into Skullcap and the dwarven kingdom of Thorardin in search of the Hammer of Kharas.GA
[hmmmm] How are you today?
[WizO_KiRin] Good evening, Tracy! Welcome to the Great Hall!
[TracyHickman] Nice to make it at last .
[WizO_KiRin] Tracy, we're into the Q&A portion of the chat.
[RPGjunkie] The Kobold got indigestion.
[TracyHickman] Glad to join in.
[WizO_KiRin] Please feel free to answer all the questions along with Margaret. Type ga when you're finished, so I can go on to the next person.
[WizO_KiRin] Okay, let's go on to Yuk's question.
[Yukino] How would you describe the tone of the book? More mystery or more adventure? ga
[TracyHickman] I see this book more as epic.
[MargaretWeis] The tone is about the same as the other Chronicles, though in this book we have more room to concentrate more on character.
[MargaretWeis] GA
[Archmage_Eternal] ?
[TracyHickman] We have the grand scale of events and the close personal storyline of the characters.
[TracyHickman] There is both mystery and adventure involved of course, but I don't necessarily see it as leaning either way.
[TracyHickman] GA
[WizO_KiRin] Val, your question?
[Valharic] Were there any pleasant discoveries or things you had forgotten from the original trilogy that you discovered while writing DotDD? GA
[Ravenmantle] ?
[MargaretWeis] I think the most pleasant discovery was joining up with the companions again and finding that I still knew them and they still knew me.GA
[TracyHickman] It was rather like a pleasant reunion.
[TracyHickman] GA
[WizO_KiRin] Rach, go ahead.
[WizO_KiRin] Er, Arch.
[Archmage_Eternal] I have not yet seen this book in stores, when was the release date? GA
[MargaretWeis] July 11 ga
[RPGjunkie] ?
[WizO_KiRin] Raven, your question?
[Ravenmantle] Tracy, in the podcast from Chicago (I think it was) you mentioned that you'd prefer to leave some parts of the story as a mystery (such as how Theros got his silver arm and the Gilthanas/Silvara story). Were there any other parts of the Chronicles you decided not to elaborate on? ga
[TracyHickman] Well, it is certainly true that many parts of the story which I would have preferred to have left a mystery have been 'illuminated'.
[TracyHickman] There was a time when I thought every scribble I'd made while working in design would be turned into a plotline or product. ;-)
[TracyHickman] However, the world is a vast place with horizons far beyond those of the continent of Ansalon. The continent itself was originally only about the size of England.
[TracyHickman] As to story ... yes, I prefer to leave a great deal of the world in the shadowy realm of dreams ... but no particular part of it beyond those mentioned in the podcast occur to me at the moment. GA
[TracyHickman] ?
[WizO_KiRin] RPG, go ahead.
[Dragonhelm] ?
[RPGjunkie] WAs the book only Released in hardcover? GA
[TracyHickman] For the time being, yes. The paperback will follow later. GA
[MargaretWeis] Yes. I don't know when the paperback release is scheduled. GA
[WizO_KiRin] Tracy, you had a question?
[Valharic] ?
[TracyHickman] Yes ... I was wondering how many here have heard the podcasts from our book tour.
[TracyHickman] GA
[WizO_KiRin] Okay, those who have heard them go ahead and type !
[Pony] !
[WotC_Mel] if I count -- !
[Valharic] I listen to your podcast an a regular basis
[Magistar_Veneficus] ! most definitely
[Granakrs] !
[MargaretWeis] Of course you count, Mel!
[Archmage_Eternal] Where can I find it?
[Dragonhelm] !
[Ravenmantle] I have :) A very nice feature indeed, guys! It lets those of us who live across the Pond get as close to it all as possible.
[Archmage_Eternal] ? *
[Granakrs] !in fact, I'm playing it now while i'm on this chat.
[WizO_Shadow] ?
[WizO_KiRin] Excellent! Looks like the podcasts are winners. :)
[Archmage_Eternal] ?
[WizO_KiRin] Okay, go ahead with your question, Dragon.
[MargaretWeis] You can link to the podcasts from the site. Right?
[WotC_Mel] gives you instructions for podcasts - *12*
[Archmage_Eternal] Thank you.
[Dragonhelm] As you guys have said, writing the Companions again is like coming home and seeing old friends. You've known these friends for over 20 years. Have you discovered that there are still new things to learn about the Companions? GA
[TracyHickman] For those who are looking for it ... you can find it at *12* You can listen to it either through you mp3 player, iTunes or directly through your web browser.
[TracyHickman] Sorry ... GA
[MargaretWeis] I always learn something new about them every time I meet up with them again. GA
[WizO_KiRin] Val, go ahead.
[Dragonhelm] Margaret, I'll add a link if one isn't there already. Sorry, GA.
[TracyHickman] Not only do we learn something about the characters each time ... but also how they interact with each other.
[WizO_KiRin] Val?
[TracyHickman] Their relationships are dynamic -- it's one of the most fascinating things about them.
[TracyHickman] GA
[MargaretWeis] While Val is typing I'll add that I'm working on the second book in the series and I"m learning lots about Kitiara! ga
[TracyHickman] I think she's a bad influence on you, Margaret! GA
[RPGjunkie] lol
[Yukino] lol
[MargaretWeis] I've always liked Kit.:)
[MargaretWeis] ga
[Valharic] Sorry...Are the events that happen in the Lost Chornicles translate over to the SP release of Dragons of Autumn gaming supplement coming out soon? GA
[TracyHickman] Next thing you know, we'll be seeing you both on some cross country spree...
[TracyHickman] GA
[MargaretWeis] Mmmm. I wish Jamie was here to answer that, but he's on his way to Comic Con. Dragonhelm, can you answer that one? GA
[Dragonhelm] Yes, we talked about it in the chat last night.
[Dragonhelm] Lost Chronicles won't be affecting Dragons of Autumn.
[Dragonhelm] GA
[WizO_KiRin] Okay, Arch? Go ahead.
[MargaretWeis] But Dragons of Autumn does have some things in it relevant to Lost Chronicles. Am I correct? Sorry, but I have been on book tour and I haven't read it! ga
[Archmage_Eternal] Do you do like release parties, of sorts, in different areas? GA
[TracyHickman] I've been on book tour and am not sure what day it is yet... GA
[Dragonhelm] I'm not sure how much Lost Chronicles will affect Dragons of Autumn. I'm sure it will have some effect with the Hammer of Kharas. (Sorry, Jamie knows more on this than me.) GA
[TracyHickman] I enjoy meeting everyone there.
[Yukino] ?
[RPGjunkie] ?
[MargaretWeis] We do an in-store event in each city we visit. We answer questions and sign books. The podcasts are recordings of those events.
[MargaretWeis] ga
[TracyHickman] We share the story and good times at our events ... it's a great chance to get directly in touch with you.
[TracyHickman] Ga
[WizO_KiRin] Shadow, go ahead.
[MargaretWeis] And somtimes Tracy sings.:) ga
[TracyHickman] I think you can tell what a good time we have by our podcasts! GA
[WizO_Shadow] What compelled you to write about this specific piece in time/events? ga
[TracyHickman] This is a return for us ... a closing of the circle as it were. We have come back to the place where we began.
[MargaretWeis] We were sitting at the WoTC booth at Gen Con signing books and I said one thing I wanted to do was to go back and rewrite Chronicles and add all the parts we'd had to cut out.
[MargaretWeis] Tracy said instead of doing that, why don't we turn those lost episodes into books. So we did! ga
[TracyHickman] Ga
[WizO_Shadow] ?
[WizO_KiRin] Yuk, your question?
[Valharic] ?
[Magistar_Veneficus] ?
[MargaretWeis] Any questions about the movie?ga
[Yukino] Have you guys ever heard of the bands that were inspired by the Dragonlance Saga and named some of their songs after the characters? ga
[RPGjunkie] Yes ?
[MargaretWeis] I've heard some of them. Raistlin and the Rose was one, I
[TracyHickman] There have been a number of people who were inspired to creative acts by the books. We've heard of the bands of course and watched the 'Trailer Project' online.
[Yukino] 'Trailer Project?'
[TracyHickman] What a wonderful tribute to have people feel so inspired that they, too, have to express themselves. GA
[WizO_KiRin] RPG, go ahead.
[TracyHickman] Yes, it was a group in Eastern Europe who produced a 'preview' for a Dragonlance film ... quite imaginative! GA
[RPGjunkie] Is there a web site that gives information about the movie? GA
[TracyHickman] It is the official website. GA
[MargaretWeis] This site will be doing frequent updates as they're allowed by Paramount to post more information. Right now they have the list of the voice actors, including Kiefer Sutherland as Raistlin!!! ga
[WizO_KiRin] Okay, Shadow? Your question please.
[WizO_Shadow] Do either of you have a role in the movie? Will you be making some sort of appearance? ga
[TracyHickman] We do!
[WizO_Shadow] Sweet!
[WotC_Mel] cool
[Granakrs] ?
[MargaretWeis] Yes, we will! We're in the Inn of the Last Home.
[TracyHickman] In fact, we will soon have 8x10 glossies of each of us from the film that we can sign for the fans!
[MargaretWeis] And we're slaves in Pax Tharkas, sadly.:)
[RPGjunkie] lol, Nice
[Yukino] lol
[TracyHickman] I spoke with Cindi Rice earlier and she thinks it would be a lot of fun.
[MargaretWeis] Will we have those for Comic Con? ga
[TracyHickman] We may even have them as early as Gencon.GA
[WizO_KiRin] Excellent!
[TracyHickman] Cindi thinks its an easy approval.GA
[WizO_KiRin] Val, go ahead.
[Valharic] Following up from Shadows question. Did you write the book in it^`2019s entirety recently or did you pull old writings that were from the original chronicles that were cut out? GA
[TracyHickman] One of the big questions for us when we began was regarding writing style.
[MargaretWeis] We wrote the book recently, but we used the basic plot we developed twenty-two years ago. GA
[TracyHickman] We've grown a lot in the last two decades plus as writers ... but, as Margaret says, we use the plots that were lost originally and write them with the best craft we now know.GA
[MargaretWeis] With many changes, of course, since we didn't foresee lots of things happening to the characters that eventually happened and which we had to take into account. ga
[WizO_KiRin] Magister, your question?
[Magistar_Veneficus] At the book signing in novi you said that the story was originally focused around tanis kit and laura. Did you see raistlin becomeing such a popular character in the series? he is my favorite character in any genre btw. ga
[TracyHickman] Many times characters will surprise you in the writing.
[TracyHickman] Raistlin was one of those times.
[MargaretWeis] No, that was pretty much a surprise to me! ga
[TracyHickman] Lord Soth was certainly another! GA
[WizO_KiRin] RPG, did you have another question?
[WizO_KiRin] If not, let's go aon to Gran.
[Archmage_Eternal] ?
[Dragonhelm] ?
[WizO_KiRin] Gran?
[WizO_KiRin] Well, if there's no Gran, then Arch is up.
[Valharic] ?
[WizO_Shadow] ?
[Yukino] ?
[Archmage_Eternal] Will you be continuing into the series "The War of the Lance"? Movie wise. GA
[Granakrs] ! woops. my bad. go ahead.
[MargaretWeis] Depends on the success of the first movie. ga
[WizO_KiRin] Gran, you can go ahead now.
[TracyHickman] For many years people have written us asking why we don't do a Dragonlance Movie ... we have no more say in a sequel than we had in getting this movie started! ;-) GA
[Magistar_Veneficus] ?
[WizO_KiRin] Okay, let's go with Dragon.
[Dragonhelm] The one character that you have disagreed on is Elistan. Margaret has said that he^`2019s a bit dull being a ^`201cgoody two-shoes.^`201d Margaret, could you elaborate on this? Tracy, why do you find him to be endearing? GA
[MargaretWeis] Elistan is just hopelesly good. He has no faults. He has no complexes. Though I did have him get angry in Highlord Skies.
[TracyHickman] I find him endearing because he is a 'goodie two-shoes.' The problem with relentless and unending evil is that without something good and worthwhile for contrast -- evil is dull and depressing.
[MargaretWeis] Don't make a cleric of Paladine angry... ga
[TracyHickman] True! I love that scene!
[TracyHickman] GA
[WizO_KiRin] Val, you're up.
[Valharic] Funny, I had this queue up befoe DH asked his question, but I've noticed through your writings and the podcasts that Margret enjoys writing "darker" characters and Tracy seems to enjoy writing about the more "do-gooder" heroic type. Does this dichotomy seems to help your writing as a team or can it get in the way sometimes? And Margret, considering your love of the character Elistan are you ever going to write a novel about his early years? Wink, Wink ;)
[MargaretWeis] When Elistan was a drug dealer in the sewers of Pax Tharkas? No, probably not.:)
[TracyHickman] Remember that earlier remark about those parts of the story that should remain hidden?
[Valharic] haha
[Yukino] lol
[Granakrs] ?
[TracyHickman] Margaret and I are very different people but this has not only helped our writing down the years but been the foundation of a wonderful friendship.
[TracyHickman] GA
[RPGjunkie] lol, oh my
[WizO_KiRin] Shadow, you're up.
[WizO_Shadow] Will you be coming to Dallas anytime soon for a book signing?
WizO_Shadow ga
[MargaretWeis] No, unfortunately. My family lives in College Station and I'd love to visit them! ga
[TracyHickman] I'd love to come to Dallas -- and I've got a few people I'd like to visit in Houston for that matter.
[TracyHickman] It's a pretty big state ... you'd think it wouldn't be that hard to hit it! GA
[MargaretWeis] A list of cities on the book tour is up at
[MargaretWeis] ga
[WizO_KiRin] Yuk, you're up!
[Valharic] ?
[Yukino] What do you have in store for the Fifth Age? You know with Palin and Samuval and others?
[MargaretWeis] I think other authors are going to carry on with that. ga
[Yukino] ga
[WizO_KiRin] Magister, go ahead.
[Magistar_Veneficus] I am very excited about the movie. Was writing the script difficult for the movie knowing what to put in and what to leave out for time sake and still capture the essence of the book? ga
[MargaretWeis] We didn't write the script. But we did have approval on it. Dragonhelm has done an interview with the script writer. When will that be up? ga
[TracyHickman] Adaptations are a very difficult form of writing. I think that given the parameters he had to work under, the Scriptwriter did an amazing job.GA
[WizO_KiRin] Gran, go ahead. [Granakrs] thanks. ? When you wrote the Dragons of Dwarven Depths, you two had several prominent Draconians as characters (villains). What prompted the use of such fun characters? GA
[TracyHickman] Part of it was a problem we had in the beginning of the book!
[Dragonhelm] Margaret, I'll have the interview up in the next few days. Also, here's the book tour dates:
[Dragonhelm] Sorry, GA.
[TracyHickman] The question of the fate of Verminard, wasn't it Margaret?GA
[MargaretWeis] I wanted a way to make it plausible that Verminaard was dead at the end of Autumn Twilight, yet there were Verminaard "sightings" after that. The idea that a draco would be able to impersonate him was pretty logical. ga
[WizO_KiRin] Val, go ahead.
[Valharic] What books would you recommend to a starting writer about developing story craft? ga
[MargaretWeis] I simply read lots of books and studied how they were written and learned from there. ga
[TracyHickman] I would recommend Stephen King's 'On Writing.'
[TracyHickman] GA
[WizO_KiRin] Okay, the queue is empty, and we're about out of time.
[WizO_KiRin] Let's thank Tracy and MArgaret for joining us tonight!
[Archmage_Eternal] Thank you mates.
[Archmage_Eternal] : )
[Pony] Thank you
[WizO_Shadow] Thank you!!!
[TracyHickman] Thanks everyone for coming tonight! Margaret and I will be on the road again next week ... and podcasting from every event.
[WizO_KiRin] We're so happy to have you here, and we hope you won't be strangers to our chatrooms in the future!
[MargaretWeis] You are very welcome. I frequent the message boards on, so if you have any more questions, you can reach me there! ga
[Valharic] Thanks Margret and Tracy!
[RPGjunkie] I just want to say this has been an enjoyable learning experience.
[Ravenmantle] Thanks guys for spending some time with us in the midst of your book tour!
WizO_KiRin applauds.
[Bnaa] Thank you, for comming :)
[TracyHickman] It's nice to be among friends!
WizO_Shadow applauds as well
[WotC_Mel] thank you for your time Margaret and tracy, this will be up in a transcript later this week!
Archmage_Eternal stands up and drops his bottle and claps
[MargaretWeis] And we'll be at Comic Con, Gen Con, and Dragon Con, not to mention all the cities in between!:)
[TracyHickman] Yep ... if it's a con ... we're in on it! ;-)
[RPGjunkie] Thank You Both
[MargaretWeis] Good night, all!
[TracyHickman] Night everyone!