Transcripts

Nancy Varian Berberick is the author of nine fantasy novels and over two dozen short stories. Several of the stories and novels are set in the Dragonlance fantasy world. She has translated Old English poetry, written several articles on the subject of writing fiction, and is hard at work on her tenth novel.

 

Work for Hire -- Pros and Cons with Nancy Berberick January 16, 2003



Legend:
Questions from the Audience are presented in red.
Answers by the Speaker are in black.
The Moderator's comments are in blue.

mary rosenblum

Welcome everyone!

 

This is our regular Professional Connection life interview, and tonight we're visiting with Nancy Varian Berberick.

 

She is the author of nine fantasy novels and over two dozen short stories. Several of the stories and novels are set in the Dragon Lance fantasy world. She has translated Old English poetry, written several articles on the subject of writing fiction, and is hard at work on her tenth novel.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Hello!

mary rosenblum

Nancy, welcome!

 

We're delighted to have you here, tonight.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Thanks, Mary. It's great to be here.

mary rosenblum

Just a personal note here, Nancy used to critique my work way back before I sold anything. And I really appreciate it, too.

Nancy Varian Berberick

We both helped each other, Mary. It was fun.

mary rosenblum

It was.

 

Critique groups can be very worthwhile.

Nancy Varian Berberick

I'm glad we re-connected through the Long Ridge Group

mary rosenblum

So, Nancy, when did you first know that you really wanted to write?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Oh, I think since I learned to read. I wanted

 

to tell my own stories.

mary rosenblum

I think that's true for most writers I know, including myself!

 

You've always written fantasy, right?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Pretty much. There was a brief

 

foray into children's lit ,

 

but that was SF.

mary rosenblum

Cool! I didn't know about the children’s connection! So what was your first sale?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Ah, a story called

 

"The Merlin's Gift."

 

To a small press magazine.

mary rosenblum

Not a bad way to start! So why do you write fantasy?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I've always been in love with mythology,

 

and I think my first favorite stories were from the Brothers Grimm.

mary rosenblum

Do you read a lot of mythology on your own?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Oh, yeah. I love it. Right now

 

I'm reading Greek mythology,

 

but my favorite is Norse.

mary rosenblum

Interesting. That's not particularly usual.

annie

What's a good book for learning about myth archetypes?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Archetypes? Try Joseph Campbell's work.

 

Or if you want something less dense,

 

look for a book called "The Writer's Journey:

mary rosenblum

Do you remember the author, Nancy?

Nancy Varian Berberick

The author? Let's see, I have it here somewhere !

 

OK, "The Writer's Journey" is by

 

Christopher Volgler

mary rosenblum

Thanks, Nancy! Remember, all you writers looking for story ideas,

 

mythology is full of them. Star Wars, the original, is Campbell's Hero's Quest.

Nancy Varian Berberick

For learning how to structure a story. I love Writer’s Journey.

mary rosenblum

I'm going to get a copy.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Oh, Star Wars is Vogler's favoerite example.

mary rosenblum

Is that a work for hire venue?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Star Wars? Yes, it is. The work is hard

 

I hear, but the money is fine.

paulplqn

Star Wars also follows the classic fairy tale format.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes, it does. I think that's what makes it

 

a strong story. Bold strokes.

mary rosenblum

Is there a difference between myth and fairy tale?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Oh, sure. Myth is someone's old religion .

 

Fairy tale is the story a culture made up.

 

Legend is something else again.

paulplqn

Star Wars was my example when I taught fairy tales to 8th grade.

Nancy Varian Berberick

I'll bet that was a hit.

mary rosenblum

You've written work for hire for Dragonlance, right?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Oh, yes. Lots. Several novels and many short stories.

 

In fact, I'm working on a novel and a short story now.

mary rosenblum

I suspect some members of our audience are not sure what 'work for hire' means. Can you define it for us all?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Sure. "Work for hire" means that the writer will provide

 

a novel or story to the editor's specification

 

and will share in the royalties, receive and advance ,

 

but have no rights after that. This means no

 

control of foreign sales ... (while receiving compensation)

 

and no right to resell the book.

mary rosenblum

So basically, you don't own the work, but you do get paid for it.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes, If you pick your project well, you are handsomely

 

compensated for the rights you trade.

mary rosenblum

How did you begin writing for Dragonlance?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Dumb luck. I'd sold a story to DRAGON magazine,

 

which was owned by TSR .. the DL publisher. They were

 

looking for new writers and the editor of the magazine spoke well of me.

sojourner

Is this the same as ghost-writing?

Nancy Varian Berberick

No, though the effect on the bank account can be similar. Ghost

 

writing is writing a book and letting someone else get the by line and credit.

chatty lady

What if you have an agent that sells the book for a movie? Do they share in those profits?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes. Most agents will facilitate contracts that give them a share

 

in all the deals a book generates. Not all, but most.

mbvoelker

Could you compare work for hire with selling all rights? Are they the same or are there significant differences.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Hm. Perhaps not different, but I'm not sure why a writer

 

would sell all rights forever.

mary rosenblum

I think they are pretty much the same in effect, just different in legal language.

bingocliff

Is your authorship credited to the work?

Nancy Varian Berberick

In work for hire? Yes, it is.

charley51

What type of places would want this kind of "work for hire"?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Dragonlance, Star Wars, Star Trek, White Wolf Publishing.

 

I should caution new writers, though, that there are pitfalls to work for hire.

mary rosenblum

What kind of pitfalls?

Nancy Varian Berberick

The major one, I think, is that the writer is subject to

 

intense editorial participation *at the outset.*

 

The author doesn't generate the story, or most often doesn’t. This

 

can be difficult.

annie

Is this a good way for an unpublished writer to get published?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Hm. If you are a good writer, you might be given a chance. But

 

Star Wars, Star Trek, DL all have a dependable

 

stable of writers and they don't often

 

take a chance with a novice.

 

My best suggestion is to find your own voice and

 

tell your own stories. Good work will

 

find a publisher.

mary rosenblum

I know people who write for Star Wars, and you are very limited as to what you can do, story-wise.

Nancy Varian Berberick

*Very* limited. It can be stifling.

 

I will say the work I enjoy the most is self-created.

mary rosenblum

How do writers find these publishers, if they are interested in trying work for hire.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Check the web sites of the publishers, see what their guidelines are

 

and approach them in your best professional manner.

 

This isn't schlock work, though it is often difficult

 

and being turned out very fast.

mary rosenblum

If someone is looking through a writers market listing, will these publishers be listed as 'work for hire' in some way?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Probably not under that category. But if you find

 

a publisher that interests you, the listing

 

might say "work for hire"

paulplqn

Do you have to be very familiar with the characters ,

 

setting, and story lines to write for hire?

Nancy Varian Berberick

You must be very familiar with the characters

 

and you must be seen to be a professional

 

who can meet tough deadlines,

 

take *tons* of editorial input

 

and know how to revise, rewrite and revise again

mary rosenblum

In other words, you cannot be proprietary about your words!

Nancy Varian Berberick

That's it!

paulplqn

Is this where sequels are born? "Next Generation," etc.?

Nancy Varian Berberick

No. Next Gen, etc came out of the can in Hollywood.

chatty lady

Should you send them a sample of your work if you are unpublished?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes. You should follow the guidelines exactly ...

 

and those almost always ask for samples.

 

Another caution ...

 

not to be discouraging ...

 

but the market is tough now,

 

and many of the people writing for

 

these lines are seasoned veterans

 

trying to keep their hand in.

mary rosenblum

Did you enjoy writing for Dragon Lance?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I do enjoy it. I've been rambling

 

around the world of Krynn since the '80s,

 

but I do like writing my own stuff, too.

 

I try to be sure to do that often.

mary rosenblum

Has being the author of Dragon Lance books helped your Fantasy reputation over all?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I think being the author of 9 novels has

 

helped. It's all about sales

 

these days. My short stuff is not

 

Dragon Lance, and that's where I try to make my reputation

 

as a serious fantasy writer.

mary rosenblum

Since I know that we have several Fantasy writers in the audience,

 

what are good markets for short Fantasy fiction these days?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Realms of Fantasy; The Magazine of F&SF; many of the smaller

 

presses. There is a good market list from The Gila Queen. Check the web.

 

That one is inexpensive, and comprehensive.

 

One thing I've learned over the years is that

 

the market for SF and Fantasy expands and contracts.

charley51

It seems easier to just send in short stories, then, right?

 

Better than "work for hire"?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Easier? Yes. And I think in the long run

 

better. It allows you to establish your own voice,

 

get good experience, and develop

 

the kind of career that will make you

 

attractive to any publisher.

mary rosenblum

I think that's' very good advice, Nancy.

 

Do your prefer working in your own world, or in Dragon Lance?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Well, thanks. I think it worked for me.

 

Funny, when I'm not writing DL, I think I miss it.

 

But when I'm writing DL, all I want to do

 

is write my own stuff.

mary rosenblum

Gee, I'm not sure that's just work for hire!

 

When I'm in the middle of one book, I can't wait to start on something new. :-)

Nancy Varian Berberick

Oh, no. Do you think we're fickle?

mary rosenblum

Too full of ideas, maybe?

 

So which do you like better?

 

Novel or short stories?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Lately, I've been struggling with short stories. I think

 

that's because I've been writing novels for

 

the last few years and the short form

 

seems odd to me. I've lost my short stride.

mary rosenblum

Better than me! I just write 100,000 word short stories! :-)

chatty lady

Why not do more than one at a time? It can be done.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Ha! I've done that, too. I have a goal

 

to keep them short -- and never meet it.

 

More than one short story? Or more than one project? Right now

 

I'm doing both, short and long.

 

That isn't my preferred schedule thought.

mary rosenblum

How do you feel about revision? Is it fun, or a major headache?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Generally, I like to revise. I like polishing a story, or

 

rethinking it.

paulplqn

On write for hire - how long do you have to

 

produce your work for the publisher?

Nancy Varian Berberick

OK, hang on to your chairs!

 

My last book was turned around in 5 months.

 

For the first draft.

mary rosenblum

That could be okay, or really problematic,

 

depending on how fast you write.

 

Are the deadlines rock solid?

 

What happens if you don't turn that draft in?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Ach. In the best of all worlds, I'd have a year.

 

Deadlines can be flexible, depending

 

on the publisher's schedule.

paulplqn

Work for hire is not for the part-time writer! =:-o

Nancy Varian Berberick

If you don't turn in a draft? Not good.

 

You'd be in breach of contract.

arfelin

How do you keep the creative juices flowing when working under the pressures of writing for hire?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I think I'm fully stoked for the rest of my life.

 

I am sometimes frustrated when I have to do something

 

I wouldn't normally think is a good idea,

 

but that doesn't happen too often.

mary rosenblum

Do you get many 'commands' to radically change plot or characaters?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes. Often they make sense and so it's not too bad.

mary rosenblum

Do you have any latitude to argue, if you REALLY don't want to make this change?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Some. I get to make my case and

 

if the editorial staff can see my point is

 

valuable to the story, they'll give.

mary rosenblum

Sounds a bit like writing scripts for Hollywood!

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes. I figure I'm well prepared for that if

 

I ever want to try.

paulplqn

I guess I keep my day job for a while longer!

bingocliff

What would you do different, if had a chance to start over?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I'd start earlier. I've been quite

 

fortunate in my career, getting good paying

 

work and getting to explore my own paths.

 

I'd like to do this forever.

chatty lady

Maybe I'm confused but WHO writes this stuff to begin with that you're changing etc?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Um. I'm not changing anything. I'm one of several

 

authors the Dragonlance team counts on to

 

write novels.

mary rosenblum

In this type of work for hire, Chatty Lady, you write the story,

 

but the editorial committee can demand changes. It's their story

 

not yours. Correct, Nancy?

Nancy Varian Berberick

That's right. I do have input at the start, but the

 

editorial team is in charge of the overall story

 

arc for a series that has been in print since

 

the 80s. It's a looooong story.

mary rosenblum

In a series like this, is there a long term plot plan that covers many books?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes. Many books ... over 100. There are

 

several authors telling the overall tale.

sojourner

So, do you have to coordinate with the other writers too?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Sometimes. Mostly the editorial team does that

 

to be sure there are no train-wrecks.

mary rosenblum

In the Star Wars universe, they give you an updated 'Bible' of storyline. So that you don't make mistakes.

paulplqn

Do you write more than one series for DL?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Star Wars authors are lucky. No such thing exists in DL.

 

I've written in the Classics series and in the Age of Mortals series.

mary rosenblum

So what do you see as the main difference between Fantasy and mainstream, or even Magic Realism?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I believe mainstream deals with life in the real world. Fantasy can be

 

a metaphor for real life, or simply an

 

escape. Magical Realism is a kind of

 

fantasy --

 

one I find very difficult to write.

paulplqn

Are the Dragonlance stories designed to be "cliffhangers" to keep the series going?

Nancy Varian Berberick

No, I don't think so. Each book is self-contained,

 

but any one will sometimes refer to another.

mary rosenblum

Does a new writer need an agent to work for a series like Dragon Lance?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I don't think it is necessary, but a new writer will

 

be well advised to have an agent for any long-term

 

contract. An agent can't often affect what is

 

being offered by the publisher,

 

but her or she can keep an eye on things

 

to make sure all agreements are being honored.

annie

How can I find a good agent?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Check the Writer's Digest book markets book.

They have a good listing of reputable agents.

 

And they'll tell you how to go about it.

mary rosenblum

What do you see as elements that are particular to fantasy?

Nancy Varian Berberick

magic, first of all, and a sense that the reader

 

is not in the world as he or she knows it.

mary rosenblum

What is it important to include in a fantasy story?

Nancy Varian Berberick

A structured world-view for the fantasy world,

 

magic that works not because the author says

 

it does but because it is seen to be germane to

 

the world you are creating.

mary rosenblum

In other words, the magic needs to have rules? It can't just do anything you need to accomplish?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Magic must have rules. It's like science,

 

it works because it lives in the world you create,

 

because it is part of that world. If it were a different

 

world, the magic would be different.

mary rosenblum

Nancy, I know we have several fantasy writers in the audience.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Excellent.

mary rosenblum

Could you take us through the process you would use to create a new fantasy novel?

 

Do you begin with magic?

 

Characters?

 

World?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Every story, novel or short, begins with a character. If I have been kicking

 

around an idea for a fantasy world, I look to see what kind of world

 

this character would live in. I did this for Shadow of the Seventh Moon and The Panther's hoard.

 

The main character is a dwarf and he needed a real

 

mythology, a real belief system, a real world. So I set his

 

world in Dark Ages Britian, after the fall of Camelot.

 

I gave him a history by making him part of

 

the Anglo-Saxon culture,

Nancy Varian Berberick

took the magic from there, and the Celtic culture,

 

gave him some conflicts with the Welsh,

 

gave him a god to be mad at (Odin)

 

and set him on his way.

 

He's been in 4 stories and two novel so far.

mary rosenblum

I believe I remember him from long ago!

Nancy Varian Berberick

Oh, yes. Garroc. He never goes away

mary rosenblum

But I can't remember...did you use the Anglo Saxon culture, but rename it

 

to fit your fantasy realm, or did you use the historical names and place?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes, I did huge research on Britain in the time after

 

Arthur, I have a whole research library now.

mary rosenblum

Does it work for a writer to transpose say, old Anglo Saxon culture, into a new world with new names?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Well, I was trying hard to be as historically

 

accurate as possible. I have seen good books'

 

that take some of the AS culture and mix it with the Celtic

 

culture, and then create a delightful hybrid.

mary rosenblum

So that can be a good source of a fantasy 'history', then?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Guy Gavriel Kay's "Fionavar Tapestry" is one.

 

Oh, yes. History is practically fantasy anyway. It's

 

the story told by one side of a conflict, but not both.

mary rosenblum

How true!

 

What are you working on now?

Nancy Varian Berberick

A new DL novel, and I'm trying to get a proposal together

 

for a novel that will be based on Tennyson's

 

"The Lady of Shalot."

 

Poor little Elaine ...

mary rosenblum

This is your own novel, right? Not DL?

Nancy Varian Berberick

My own. I've been growing the idea

 

for about 5 years now. I think it's

 

finally where it needs to be. Now, talk about

 

a mix of history and fantasy -- the

 

legends of Arthur are that.

mary rosenblum

I would think that writing about Arthur is like writing a book set in the Civil War. There are TONS of experts waiting to catch any errors you make!

Nancy Varian Berberick

Well, I have a friend who writes novels

 

about the Civil War, PG Nagle, and she would agree

 

with you about the tons of experts. I don't think too many

 

people are going to jump on Arthurian novels, though.

 

Too many legends diverting from each other.

mary rosenblum

What about fantasy set in the real world? Do you see much of that in the market?

 

Contemporary fantasy?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Ah, urban fantasy. Yes. There's "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman. I just

 

finished that. It's great.

mary rosenblum

I haven't read it yet. It's on my list!

mbvoelker

Is there room for more fantasy set in an analog of medieval Europe or is a new author better off in a different setting?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes, there is. the analog Medieval Europe setting is

 

a staple of fantasy. I hear from

 

editors that they would like other cultures

 

too, but I'm not sure about the readers.

mary rosenblum

What kind of 'other cultures' do you think would interest editors, if a new writer wanted to break and and be noticed?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Me, I'd try something with a Mid-eastern setting. I

 

know that's a hot spot in the real world

 

but I have a feeling it would

 

spark interest.

mary rosenblum

What about native cultures in the Americas? Maya, Inca, and the like?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I'm not sure, there is some sensitivity there, or so

 

I gather from fellow writers.

paulplqn

My thoughts go to Asian - Ancient China or Japan.

Nancy Varian Berberick

The author would have to make a choice.

 

Hm.

 

I think the audience is pretty set

 

in the med-european analog,

 

but I also believe that anything

 

new and good will find an audience. It

 

seems to be a matter of the author

 

and editor trying to find a new thing

 

and hoping it catches fire.

 

Everyone has to be in the mood to gamble.

 

Ah. The truth about the fantasy market is

 

that it is very conservative in its tastes.

 

You wouldn't think so, but it seems that

 

people are looking for something too different

 

from what they consider their comfortable

 

fantasy. That's why Tolkein clones abound.

mary rosenblum

So what reference books do you think are a must-have for the fantasy writer?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Bulfinch's Mythology, whatever books pertain

 

to the needs of the world you are creating.

mary rosenblum

Campbell's books?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I keep a set of trail guides for nature references.

 

Oh, yes, Campbell. I like the

 

Foxfire books, too. They talk about

 

living in a low-tech world.

mary rosenblum

Any recommendations for writers who need to know about details of medieval life?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes. Read books on medieval castles,

 

books about life in the Middle Ages, find children's books

 

at the local lilbrary on these subjects. The nice

 

thing about kid-lit is that details are

 

large and colorful, having to do with sound

 

and sight and feel and taste. Fill in

 

the grown up details later. That's how

 

I learned about Viking ships.

paulplqn

David McCaulley has a book

 

on castles that is great.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes! love that one.

mary rosenblum

I do, too. It's in that 'How Things Work' series, as I recall.

Nancy Varian Berberick

You know what else is a good source? The History Channel.

 

I'm learning all about how terribly dangerous

 

the war axe is.

 


mary rosenblum

What about visiting your local SCA chapter? I've found some members to be very knowledgeable about many things.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Some are, but you have to be careful. Many of their

 

publications are good, but some are flawed. I prefer

 

to get my info from standard sources, and

 

then visit the SCA folks to see how things work.

mary rosenblum

For any of you who don't know the initials, SCA

 

is Society for Creative Anachronism. This is a group that recreates medieval life for fun.

paulplqn

Mcauley also has a book about the Roman city.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yep. And you want to be a teeny bit careful

 

of the word 'creative.' Good folks, though.

 

I haven't seen the Roman city one.

mary rosenblum

Are you writing full time, Nancy?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes, I am. I'm about to do a stint of part time

 

office temp work though. The slow

 

economy is hurting everyone, even

 

in publishing.

mary rosenblum

No kidding. How do you balance your writing life with the real world?

paulplqn

How much time per day is devoted to writing?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Oh. There's a real world? I consider my

 

writing my job as well as my love, and so

 

the two mesh nicely. I do like to get out

 

of the office, though and talk to people whose

 

dialogue I don't have to write. I get a little

 

antsy in the four walls after a while.

 

How much time for writing ? Just now,

 

on deadline, I'm up at 7 to take out the

 

dog, get right to work, and stop

 

for lunch, then get on with it

 

till about 4.

mary rosenblum

That's a solid day.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Oh yeah. When I'm not on deadline

 

I do slouch off, though.

mbvoelker

Can you talk about the main fantasy subgenres -- sword and sworcery, heroic fantasy, urban fantasy, etc.? What sort of fantasy is in the greatest demand?

Nancy Varian Berberick

sword and sorcery -- my favorite -- is making a comeback now

 

urban fantasy like the kind Charles deLint writes is

 

rising, too. Heroic fantasy is looking a little bland these days,

 

but it will always find a marker. Particularly

 

with the success of the Tolkien movies.

 

Or, one hopes.

mary rosenblum

I do suspect we'll see a few Tolkien clones on the shelves shortly!

 

How do you organize all the information you generate for your worlds?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I guess so. I'm hoping all fantasy will have a good run now.

 

I used to do it in my head, but I was much

 

younger then. I've started a note-book per project system now.

gerald

Could you explain "urban fantasy"?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Let's see. It is generally set in modern times ,

 

and one sees an intrusion of fantasy elements into

 

the lives of the characters. It's almost like

 

magical realism in which a fantasy world intersects

 

with the 'real world.'

mary rosenblum

I think the real division between 'urban fantasy’

 

and 'magic realism' is whether the publisher is a mainstream house or a genre publisher!

Nancy Varian Berberick

Ha. Someone around here tonight said magic realism is 'highbrow fantasy'.

mary rosenblum

Yes. The book is published by Harcourt and it costs more. :-)

mbvoelker

Is actual magic necessary?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I'm not sure what you mean by 'actual magic'. It must be real to

 

the world you're writing about.

mary rosenblum

I am guessing that Mary Beth means, can you simply create a fantasy world...

 

but one that does not include magic.

 

I'm curious, too.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Hm. I'd say you can, as long as the elements of

 

fantasy are interesting enough to engage your reader.

paulplqn

Does artwork help keep your fantasy world in your mind's eye

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes! I have lots of pictures that suggest setting to me,

 

and music helps, too. For those of you

 

old enough to remember them, I'm

 

a great fan of Jethro Tull.

mbvoelker

Where does fantasy end and alternate history begin?

Nancy Varian Berberick

I think alternate history is a subset of fantasy.

mary rosenblum

Remember, these labels are marketing terms

 

that tell a bookstore where to shelve a book.

 

One editor's alternate history is another editor's fantasy.

Nancy Varian Berberick

And that tell a fan of the sub-genre where to find the book.

mary rosenblum

Do you think that a writer who has produced a fantasy that simply doesn't fit the usual forms of fantasy will be able to sell it?

Nancy Varian Berberick

If it is fresh and new and the kind of thing that will

 

attract readers, yes. I wouldn't be afraid to

 

try something new.

mary rosenblum

Nancy, you have been very informative, and I thank you.

 

We all do!

Nancy Varian Berberick

It's been a lot of fun. Thanks for having me.

mary rosenblum

Do you have one closing piece of advice for our audience?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Yes. Keep writing. Write whenever you can. Write what

 

you love, and don't worry about the marketing. Never give up.

mary rosenblum

Never give up should be engraved on every aspiring writer's forehead

mary rosenblum

so you see it in the mirror every time you look! :-)

Nancy Varian Berberick

Oh yeah.

paulplqn

I'm off to find my copy of "Thick as a Brick"!

Nancy Varian Berberick

All right! Tull rules!

chatty lady

Mary....drfranke asks when should flashback be used in story.

mary rosenblum

Do you use much flashback, Nancy?

Nancy Varian Berberick

When you need to bring the reader emotionally into the character's backstory, or take

 

him to an event that will have an impact on characters or situations in the "present."

mary rosenblum

Thanks, Nancy.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Your'e welcome.

mary rosenblum

We have really enjoyed talking with you.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Thanks for all the good conversation.

mary rosenblum

I'll be watching for your new book. When is it out?

Nancy Varian Berberick

Ah, The Lioness is out now. Th new one is nothing

 

but a bunch of ones and zeros in the computer just now.

mary rosenblum

Is Garroc in The Lioness? I loved him.

Nancy Varian Berberick

No, alas. Garroc's books can be found in used bookstores everywhere. Shadow of the Seventh Moon, and The Panther's hoard. However, a short story of his is in Black Gate this month.

mary rosenblum

Great! I'll check that out. Thanks so much for taking the time to be here. We appreciate it! Good night, Nancy.

Nancy Varian Berberick

Good night all.

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