Interview with Dennis L. McKiernan

Here is an interview I conducted with writer Dennis L. McKiernan author of the bestselling Mithgar saga. Enjoy!

1. How’s life recently? I’ve read that you were a judge for the World Fantasy Awards for 2008, how was everything at the World Fantasy CON?

Life is busy. I have written a couple of mysteries, and that’s taken a bit of time. My agent currently has them, and so I am not certain that they will ever be published.As far as the judging of the world fantasy awards went, over the summer five of us read something like 275 fantasy books, as well as several magazines (F&SF, Realms of Fantasy, etc.). We divided the work, and each of us would pick a novel and read at least 50-100 pages in a novel before we decided whether to continue or not. If it didn’t capture us by that time, we’d set it aside. But if it was a good one, we’d read it to the end and recommend that the other four judges read it as well. There were a good number of anthologies as well as collections of short stories, and we’d read them as well, again dividing up the work. But even though we divided the task, it was a difficult job to get through all of the books. At the end, each of us rank-ordered the ones we liked best, and then we voted. Without the Internet, it would have really been difficult, but we had a really nice way of choosing the winners. There were awards for Best Novel, Novella, Short Story, Anthology, Collection, Special Award Non-Pro, Special Award Pro, and Lifetime Achievement.The convention itself was fun, and the award winners were hailed by all the attendees.I did a reading at the convention, and served on a couple of panels. All the readings and panels were well attended.Oh, and the convention was held in Calgary, Canada.

2. Where do you think fantasy will be in 5 to 10 years?

If I knew the answer to that, I would be a Seer. I think it’ll keep clicking along mostly ion hardcovers and paperbacks, though somewhere along the line there will be electronic books. People like reading a book, rather than reading a screen, and so I think books will still be around.I also think that the entertainment dollar will be divided among books, video games, and other activities. Books will diminish somewhat, but not be gone.

3. For a reader of Fantasy finding a great fantasy novel can be a daunting task. What 5 books would you recommend that are from the sixties to modern day in the Fantasy genre?

LOTR, the Mithgar series (had to put that one in), any of Patricia McKillip’s books, Roger Zelazny’s Amber series and others, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan books (technically speaking, they are from the 1930s, but they didn’t get widespread publication until the 60s onward).

4. You have written many Mithgar books set in many different eras. What order would you recommend someone to read your Mithgar novels in?

On my web page, I list the publication order as well as the chronological order. I think anyone who would like to read them in any order should do so. However, I suggest reading Silver Wolf, Black Falcon third from last, City of Jade second from last, and Red Slippers last.

5. Typing in front of a computer (or typewriter.) can be a very lonely task, especially when writing non-fiction, so how do you stay sane?

Actually, the creative process keeps me sane. There is a lot of fun and surprises in writing a book of interest, and that keeps me happily busy.

6. What is your current project you are working on? (If it’s a secret, we’ll understand.)

At the moment, having just finished a mystery, I am goofing off. I’ll probably start another book sometime after the holidays. As to what it will be, I haven’t given that much thought.

That’s it, Jake. Thanks for asking. Regards,
—Dennis
http://www.mithgar.com/

*NOTE: If you would like to see a certain author interview on my blog, feel free to mention this.

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