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David Farland’s Runelords series of books, published in the US by Tor, is one of the more successful fantasy series currently being published, both critically and in terms of sales. On the Web site for the series http://www.runelords.com, fans postulate what will happen in the next volume in various discussions and polls started by the forum members. The third and most recent book in the series Wizardborn, was published earlier this year, reaching the extended New York Times Bestseller list. The first two books in the series are Runelords: The Sum of All Men and Brotherhood of the Wolf . In the following interview, we discuss the monstrous creatures, The Reavers, the complexities and fun of successful world building and Mr. Farland’s future plans for the series.
Q: Do you have a title for the next book?
A: I've got several that I'm toying with, but haven't decided on a final title yet. I understand that fans at the Runelords web site are calling it "The Adventures of Stompy the Reaver." I kind of like that, but think my editor would have a heart attack.
Q: Wizardborn focused more on Averan and the growth/development of Raj Ahtan. Will the next book(s) continue to feature those two or will we see more about Gaborn or new characters?
A: The next book will be a big book, with focus on Gaborn, Iome, Averan, Borenson and Myrrima. There may be new characters, but I don't anticipate that I will put more focus on them.
Q: The two obvious Questions: when can we expect the next book and how many books do you intend the series to be?
A: I plan on finishing book four this summer, so it should be in stores next spring. I don't like the idea of having an "endless" series. So book four offers a major break in the series. It will finish the tale of Gaborn and Iome, let them draw to a close, and serve as the foundation for a new tale. The next series will feature their children. That series will have five books, I think. It's a larger tale.
Q: That said, when you complete this series, would you return to the world and maybe tell some stories about Daylan Hammer, Earth King prior to Gaborn or prior human-Reaver encounters
A: I don't know for sure. I do have a couple of other large stories that I'd like to set in the Runelords world, but I also love world creation, and I think that by the time I finish these two series, I may be ready for another large world to create. Or I could split the difference. I may, for example, set stories in Indhopal, Inkarra, or other more exotic areas in the Runelords world.
Q: The Reavers are a very complex group of creatures. Initially they can be seen as simply malevolent magical beasts. In Wizardborn, we learn a good deal more about them and their society through Averan. What kind of challenges and research did you face when, essentially, you created a "new" creature?
A: As a teen I wanted to be a wildlife biologist, following in my brother's footsteps. At sixteen I wrote my first book: a text on mammalogy. I used to skip classes in high school and go to Oregon State University to attend classes on marine biology. So, for me, creating new creatures is a blast. Basically, you have to adapt the creature to its environment.