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Nancy Varian Berberick NexusCon Chat Transcript

Monday, July 24, 2006

This is a transcript of the NexusCon Q&A session featuring Dragonlance author Nancy Varian Berberick.

Sephzero Greetings NancyVB.
Heron_ Hello Nancy
NancyVB Enter text here...Hi,y'all!
Ravenmantle Hey there and welcome to the NexusCon!
Archangel21 Hello Nancy
Carteeg Hello
JoshuaSigEp44 Hey Nancy
Kranar_Drogin Hi Nancy, glad to see yas here!
NancyVB Great to be here. I love online cons!
Ravenmantle So can we book you for the next one as well? ;-)
Ravenmantle Just kidding :)
NancyVB Count on it. Any con I can attend in my jeans and bunny slippers is tops with me.:)
Kranar_Drogin Haha
Sephzero Heh.
Ravenmantle Hehe!
Ravenmantle Good!
Sephzero Welcome back Bnaa.
Bnaa Hello everyone
Ravenmantle Welcome back Bnaa!
Ravenmantle Alright, since our guest of honor has arrived, why don't we get this show started?
Bnaa Yes, lets :)
Sephzero Aye
Ravenmantle Before we move on to the questions, is there anything you'd like to say Nancy?
NancyVB Thanks, yea. I want to thank all of you for showing up, and the con folks for coming up
NancyVB with this terrific idea. I'm looking forward to the conversaton.
Ravenmantle So are we :) Alright, let's start with our resident loremaster, Ben. :)
Kranar_Drogin Ok, guess I will get the ball rolling, first off glad to have you join us this evening
Kranar_Drogin [Question] WotC has released a new anthology, Dragons of Time, are you going to have a short story in that? If so, what is it about? Do you have a novel in the works?
NancyVB Thank'ee, sir. Well the new antho isn't out yet. It's still in the contract-signing/editing state but
NancyVB I think you're going to find this a fun one. The theme is ... well ... about all dragons across all the
NancyVB ages of Krynn,
Ravenmantle Glad ya didn't say orcs!
Ravenmantle :)
Kranar_Drogin oh, nice
NancyVB Yeah, well, I can't
Kranar_Drogin [Question] Who would you say is your favorite character that you have written about in all the stories and novels you have done?
NancyVB swear to there being no orcs. Just none in my story
NancyVB My favorite character ... you know, it's funny, I tend to fall in love with them all
NancyVB after I've written about them. But my all tinme favorite
NancyVB is probably Dalamar.
Kranar_Drogin really, any reason why?
NancyVB Hm. I think it's because I really, really, REALLLY didn't like him
NancyVB before I worked on Tears of the Night Sky ... then I began
NancyVB to find him charming. In a Dalamr kind of way.
Kranar_Drogin Actually, that answers my next question too lumped all into one, hehe
NancyVB Ooops. Sorry to be mindreading.:D
Ravenmantle Well, then we'll move on to Josh. :)
Kranar_Drogin Naw, no worries, I have more after the rest of the group
JoshuaSigEp44 Great, hi Nancy
NancyVB Hey, Josh!
JoshuaSigEp44 Here we go
JoshuaSigEp44 [QUESTION]Do you feel the role of the female protagonist has changed in Dragonlance since the death of the Heroes of the lance, and if so how has it changed?
NancyVB Wow. Yes, I do. I could write an essay on it. Let's see ...
NancyVB I've written about Crysania, Kerian and (ahem) Usha and I find that they're
NancyVB much stronger than women used to be.
NancyVB Tika, of course, was strong
NancyVB but she was strong in a comic sort of way.
NancyVB DL women these days live like mature women, not fantasy girls.
JoshuaSigEp44 Natural progression then
JoshuaSigEp44 I like that
NancyVB I think it is a natural progression. Paqrtly the sensibilities of the day, and partly that many
NancyVB of the DL women are reaching a time of their lives when they make choices
NancyVB differently than they would as younger people.
JoshuaSigEp44 Great, thanks
Archangel21 Hello Nancy glad you could be here
Archangel21 [Question] How much of Dalamar's story was given to you and how hard was it for you work off of a charecter that was already created?
NancyVB Well, by the time I wrote DoD, everyone knew his story in broad outline, so I couldn't stray too far.
NancyVB That was a bit difficult. Expectations
NancyVB had been understandably set in stone.
Archangel21 [Question] Do you find it easier writing short stories or novels?
NancyVB I find it much easier to write short stories when I'm working on a novel --
NancyVB and when I'm writing a short story, I long to be writing a novel.
NancyVB Each form has its charm for me. Right now, I'm enjoying writing short stories while
NancyVB I work on the pirate chicks book
Archangel21 Thank you for answering
NancyVB (H)
Ravenmantle Excellent, then our resident loremaster returns with some more questions :)
Kranar_Drogin lol, almost done with the "easy ones"
Kranar_Drogin [Question] Is there any particular race that you like to write about? Is there one you would like to explore more in the Dragonlance world?
NancyVB Ah, well. For me it's always dwarves. In Dl and in my own worlds. I wish I knew why ...
NancyVB just haunted by 'em.
NancyVB I do have a tough time with elves, though
Kranar_Drogin [Question] So after Dark Thane revealed a huge shake up in Thorbardin, would you want to write about the refugees or what is going on in the fortress?
NancyVB I'd love to, but I'm not sure I'm the editorial ideal for that type of project.
Kranar_Drogin [Question] Do you think we will see Stanach again in the future?
NancyVB Oh, dear. I was afraid someone would ask that. I don't really know. He might
NancyVB have survived the flooding of the tunnels, but I can't say for sure.
Kranar_Drogin Sorry, I had to ask that one since he is a fan favorite.
NancyVB Well, I'm gtlad you did. I took a vote around here to see if I should off him
NancyVB or leave it open. Doug said keave it open and the dog had no opinion
NancyVB so, it's open.
JoshuaSigEp44 Okay
JoshuaSigEp44 Always ask the dog, I do
NancyVB She's the wises one in the house!
JoshuaSigEp44 lol
JoshuaSigEp44 [QUESTION]What real life issues, if any, do try to incorporate into your novels?
NancyVB Whenever I can, I try to use something from the real world -- the nonfiction world.
NancyVB I don't intentionally use stuff from my own life
NancyVB but it does creep in. When i was writing DoD, much of what I used came right off the news papers fromt page
NancyVB the war in the Balkans
JoshuaSigEp44 Really
JoshuaSigEp44 I had no idea
JoshuaSigEp44 Makes sense though
NancyVB Well, it's easy to find a war to use, sadly. In those days, that ws the one
NancyVB the mode for the fleeing refugees.
JoshuaSigEp44 ah, yes
JoshuaSigEp44 okay my next one
JoshuaSigEp44 [QUESTION]Of the characters you have written about which do you relate to the most?
NancyVB Just now? Usha.
JoshuaSigEp44 lol
NancyVB She's living happily ever after (at the moment) so why not? ;)
JoshuaSigEp44 Agreed
NancyVB Well, that's a bit flip
JoshuaSigEp44 We got a chance to see that in Saving Solace
NancyVB the real reason is that she and I are of an age. I understand her well, I think; better
NancyVB than i would a teenager.
Heron_ Hello Nancy! Its awesome to chat with you. LOve your short stories! here is my {question} Do you recall your first story rejection and if so how did you feel?
NancyVB Hi, Heron! Glad to see you here! Oh, yeah, I remember.
NancyVB It was called "Vermont Fences." I had not a clue
NancyVB in the world what I was doing, wrote some thing, and
NancyVB got a kind rejection from an editor
NancyVB who wrote encouraging words. I did not die, like I
NancyVB thought I would.
Heron_ amazing
NancyVB Heh. These things tend to stay with you
Ravenmantle Alright, the next question is a tough one...
NancyVB go for it!
Ravenmantle [Question] Pirate chicks?
Ravenmantle :)
NancyVB Yep. That's the working title. It used to be "the dread pirate rose" but that
NancyVB got to be too long to say. So, Pirate Chicks, for now. Swashbuckler
NancyVB and lots of action.
Ravenmantle Nothing quite like a good High Seas adventure :)
NancyVB It'll be my first non-fantasy novel. I'm vey excited about it, and the agent is not unhappy. :)
Ravenmantle It does sound like an interesting story. Swashbuckling has always been one of my favorite kind of story.
Ravenmantle Anyway, Ben has the next question :)
Kranar_Drogin [Question] What influenced you on how to set up Usha's powers as showing future scenes in an image? Did you have free reign on that, or was that set up already?
NancyVB Tell ya, it was a strange process.
NancyVB I don't think the powers were rally pinned down by the
NancyVB time I started writing, or if they were, someone
NancyVB wasn't getting the word to me. Once everyone got it -- it was
NancyVB great to work with.
Kranar_Drogin [Question] Did you then assist Doug with how to work her magic into Saving Solace storyline? I must say that it is a neat concept for her.
NancyVB Probably not. I mean, not intentionally, but he's my first
NancyVB reader for everything I write, and I'm his. So there might
NancyVB have been a bit of cross-pollination, so to speak.
NancyVB In fact,
NancyVB it's more likely he helped me.
Kranar_Drogin ah, ok :D
Ravenmantle Alright, next up is AA21.
Archangel21 [Questions] About how many times were you rejected before one of your storys were accepted, and what did you learn from those experiences?
NancyVB Oh, I'm stubborn. I think I must have turned around stories
NancyVB for a year or more when I got to
NancyVB writing seriously before
NancyVB I made a sale. I learned to just keep going.
NancyVB Themore you write, the more you learn about writing.
JoshuaSigEp44 I think my turn
Ravenmantle Aye.
JoshuaSigEp44 [Question] Is there a character in DL that you would like a chance to write about?
JoshuaSigEp44 That you have not yet of course
NancyVB Yea, but she's dead now. Laurana. She's what I mean about DL women growing
NancyVB up. She was a kind of bratty kid and turned out to be
NancyVB an amazing women, graceful, wise and always courageous.
NancyVB But, her sotry is all told, I guess.
Kranar_Drogin yeah, pretty much :(
NancyVB Yeah, that's just a fantasy.
Kranar_Drogin [Question] Of all the characters you have named, have any been after real life people? Or how about their actions?
NancyVB Yes, a dwarf in one of the short stories, Guarinn, is named after ... me. His name is the oldest
NancyVB version of my family name, Varian.
NancyVB As for actions ... no, not a lot of warrior action in the family these days. Not since
NancyVB my brothr got hone from vietnam.
Ravenmantle [Question] Do you, or have you ever, play the Dragonlance game?
NancyVB You know ... no. I played D&D for a while, but it didn't take. Odd, isn't it?
Ravenmantle Hehe that's life :) Odd and surprising.
Heron_ [Question] I often see other authors say, read everything under the soon if you want to be a writer. Do you agree?
Heron_ sun not soon:)
NancyVB Yes, indeed! Read everything you can, and read often. Good writing
NancyVB needs to be fed by good reading.
Heron_ writing full time must be stressful? juggling work, family and writing
NancyVB It isn't, really. I love to write. There's not much family to juggle, just me, Doug ane Piper the dog. teaching
NancyVB is a good gig, so it all works out well.
Ravenmantle Read everything you can, you say. Recently I heard Weis mention that she doesn't read fantasy literature. Is that the same with you? Do you primarily go beyond fantasy?
NancyVB I'm not sure why Margaret said it, but I'm pretty mucy
NancyVB er, much, in the same boat. I've been reading
NancyVB fantasy forever and I feel like I need to
NancyVB read other things to keep my own fantasy fresh.
Ravenmantle Well, it was about not hearing another fantasy author's voice when she writes.
Ravenmantle *not wanting to hear
NancyVB Yep. I agree with that, too. When I'm writing, I put ALL books down.
Bnaa And Tracy said he found himself trying to "fix" the story if it was fantasy.
NancyVB LOL! That's great. I'm pretty much banished from the
NancyVB family room when peiople are watching dvd because'
NancyVB I get the plot right away and
NancyVB it's annoying to to other when I do.
Ravenmantle Hehe :)
Ravenmantle AA21 is up next.
Archangel21 [Question] How much of Tanis' parents story was given to you, and how do you feel about the story now?
NancyVB I had no story when I began the book. No one pointed me to The Shadow Years, so I was starting
NancyVB with the factoid of a rape.
NancyVB I love the story, but the controversy give me a headache.
Archangel21 I understand, we have quite a big thread about that on the boards right now
Kranar_Drogin I personally liked how you spun it out and you shouldn't be ashamed of it one bit in my opinion.
Sephzero [Question] In the short story "The Knight's Watch" starring Dalamar. What is the story behind that odd dimension where magic flows widly and has imprisoned sorcerers within it?
Archangel21 No I personally loved ready the story
Archangel21 Reading
NancyVB Thanks, guys!
NancyVB Oh, the odd magic in "The Knight's Watch" ... hm, I's read
NancyVB an old lengend about Roland, I think it was, who will return when his people
NancyVB need him -- like Arthur and all good kings -- and the
NancyVB legend say he's sitting ina cave somehwere with his beard grown'so long that it grew right throught he stone
NancyVB I liked that, and only needed a reason to use it. Gae the kid something awful to guard
NancyVB and that was that. ;)
Sephzero Interesting backdrop to it. Always was curious about the reason behind it.
NancyVB Heh. It was more about the beard than anything else!
Kranar_Drogin [Question] Is there any particular book series you like to read other than Dragonlance?
NancyVB I'm pretty much off series these days. It takes too long to get into them. But I'm in love with
NancyVB trashy 18th century novels. I mean, the real grim gothic stuff written back then.
Kranar_Drogin really, interesting
Kranar_Drogin and my last one of the evening: [Question] Are you excited to hear that a Dragonlance anime movie is in the works and the Keifer Sutherland is voice acting in it?
NancyVB I'm thrilled! I thin Keifer sutherland will do a great job. Lucy Lawless, too!
Heron_ Lucy Lawless rocks! [Question]Ever read anything of Hunter S. Thompson and if so what did you think?
NancyVB Oh, gee. I'm not a fan. He was certainly over the top, but I do a good enough job
NancyVB spinning my own political whirlwinds without help from anyone!;)
Heron_ maybe a fear and loathing in Palanthas then?
Heron_ :D
NancyVB LOL! Now that would be a fun book!
Ravenmantle We've now hit the one hour mark so we'll end this chat with a question from Josh.
JoshuaSigEp44 [Question] Growing up what fantasy novel has had the greatest impact, or most influence on your writing?
Heron_ Thanks Nancy! Maybe you can write it?
JoshuaSigEp44 Softball pitch for the last one
NancyVB Without a doubt, LOTR. I love it ... and had to spend years trying to
NancyVB undo Tolkien's influence on my style before I could develop a real one of my own.
JoshuaSigEp44 I think you turned out alright :)
NancyVB Why, thank you8!
Kranar_Drogin I agree with you on that
Heron_ Ditto
NancyVB :)
Ravenmantle I'd like to thank you very much for joining us here tonight! It was great chatting with you! We hope you'll consider visiting us here in the chat once in awhile :)
Sephzero Thank you very much for coming here and answering our questions, Nancy.
Kranar_Drogin if not here, it is good to see you involved on the boards, we like it when authors drop in
Archangel21 Thank you and I must agree with the other's your writing is great and I can't wait to read more from you
Bnaa Thanks very much for coming Nancy, the room's now set to unmoderate so the guys can say their fairwells :)
Darcwulf Thanks Nancy!
JoshuaSigEp44 Good times, good times. Had fun Nancy
Ravenmantle Oh, one final question! When will Pirate Chicks be out? :)
NancyVB No data on that, it's still being written.
Ravenmantle Ok :)
NancyVB G'night, guys! You've been fun!
Kranar_Drogin Cya later!
Sephzero Night then Nancy.
Archangel21 Night Nancy