Source: Wikipedia – Margaret Edith Weis (born March 16, 1948 in Independence, Missouri, United States) is a fantasy novelist who, along with Tracy Hickman, is one of the original creators of the Dragonlance game world and has written numerous novels and short stories set in fantastic worlds.
Margaret is one of my favorite fantasy writers. She inspired me to begin writing and further get into the fantasy world of knights and dragons.
Me: Let me start by saying I’ve been a huge fan of yours since I was a child, starting with Dragons of Autumn Twilight. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? Why Fantasy?
Margaret: I have always been a story teller. Ever since kindergarten when my teacher would have me tell stories to the kids during nap time. I have always loved to write, but didn’t decide to major in English/Creative Writing until college. That’s when I had a Blues Brothers moment (the heavens opened!) and I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. As for why Fantasy, I went to work for TSR and met Dragonlance!:)
Me: Who/what are your inspirations as a writer?
Margaret: Wow! So many! Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, Mary Renault, Chaim Potok, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexander Dumas . . .
Me: I read Soulforge last year and couldn’t put it down. What was the inspiration behind Raistlin and the Majere twins?
Margaret: I was working on developing the plot line for the DL novels. The game design team had come up with the characters and Larry Elmore had painted them. All they had were the stats. So I knew Raistlin was a third-level mage and that he had a twin brother, Caramon. I asked why Raistlin had gold skin and hour glass eyes. They said, “Because the artists thought it would look cool!” So I had to come up with a reason. That led me to thinking “what if he had to take a test for his magic?” And that led me to thinking failure would be fatal and how would his twin brother feel and that led me to understanding the co-dependent relationship.
Me: Surely world building can be a near Herculean task. Describe the experience of coming up with such a complex world as Krynn.
Margaret: Mostly I didn’t! That was all done before I came to TSR by the DL game design team, led by Tracy Hickman.
Me: Classic author question time. If you could have dinner with any author, dead or alive, who would it be?
Margaret: Charles Dickens!
Me: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Margaret: See above!
Me: I never got into D&D much, but I did dabble in Magic The Gathering when I was younger. When did you decide to get into game designing?
Margaret: I really don’t get involved in the game design process much. I have experts to do that.
Me: How are novel writing and game designing similar? different?
Margaret: Very different.
Me: What advice can you offer other writers looking to get published?
Margaret: Advice an author gave me: Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep your day job.
Me: Do you recommend Self-publishing or going through a Publishing company?
Margaret: Self-pulishing is very difficult, even in these days of e-books. But going the publishing route is very difficult, too. What’s important is that you are writing.
Me: In a world ever-turning toward eBooks, do you still feel print books hold importance, or is ePublishing the way to go?
Margaret: There will always be print books. Just another evolutionary phase. Like the days when authors swore that newfangled machine, the typewriter, would destroy the creative process.
Me: Thank you for allowing for this interview! Do you have any final words for the readers?
Margaret: Motive. Make certain your characters have a solid reason for doing what they are doing.