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Haldelar Baxter wrote:
I'd like to thank all the authors that take the time to answer questions here and all the great products you produce for everyone.
You are most welcome... but we're all gamers, too, so, for me at least, this is truly a labor of love.
As a GM, I learned story telling and how cool it was to create something people could enjoy. From that, and a ton of practice, I get the same joy out of people enjoying my fantasy tales...
There's nothing better than getting a thank you from a fan, so, in turn, thank you for enjoying my work.
Steve Geddes wrote:
How does a novel get commissioned? Do you guys go to James Sutter with a story idea and pitch it to him, does he come to you? Does it generally start as something loose: "We want you to write a pirate novel" or is it more defined: "Here's a completish outline of the story we want written - note the goblin with a lisp in chapter four"?
Pretty much what Liane just said...
My first approach to Paizo was at Gencon, and I pitched myself as a nautical fantasy writer, not with any specific idea for a story in mind. I talked to Sutter directly, and just happened to have something that nobody else was pitching at that point.
It varies from novel to novel a lot for me how much input I get from the editor on story plot. As Liane stated, we pitch an idea, then get approval or approval with changes or suggestions, then hand in a chapter-by-chapter outline. For me this is no problem, since that's how I start anyway. Maybe that's one reason I like working for Paizo so much...we are on the same page on a lot of things.
John Kretzer wrote:
So are the PF Tales authors excited about StarFinder and a chance to write sci-fantasy?
I already am writing some Pathfinder "Swords and Planets" fiction for a third party company, Legendary Games. The Legendary Planets AP isn't Starfinder, a lot more like John Carter of Mars meets Pathfinder, but it is a beautiful product. Seven installments coming, the first two and a primer are already out.
As for writing for Starfinder...That'd be fun, but there's no one even talking about that yet... Gotta get the game out first!
Gordrenn Higgler wrote:
When including spells with expensive components and creation of magic items, do you ignore the material requirements from the game mechanics or do you include something else?
Liane is much more detail oriented there than I. I sometimes get into spell components when it's a major issue, like casting scry, you have to have a silver mirror, so Celeste had to buy one, and that was kind of tricky because she was casting it from a scroll, but the mirror made sense to keep, so it was kept. I certainly don't use spell components as plot points much, but sometimes as a financial burden. In my novels, I've never had anyone in the story create a magical item. I tend to write sorcerers more than wizards. I do keep track of how much magical items cost, however. Not many pirates can dump 10K gold on a trinket!
Will any of the Tale Tellers be at GenCon and be willing to autograph their works?
Sorry I missed this post, Athos! Yes, several of us were there. Paizo always arranges signing times at their booth (schedule is posted on the side of the big purple wall.) I'm pretty much always going to be at GenCon and DragonCon, at the very least.
DM Mathpro wrote:
Might ask Sutter that question...
I love that audio also.
Isn' it all fan fiction?
Well, we're all fans of Pathfinder, but people don't get paid to write fan fic...or at least most of the time. There are programs where fan fiction approved by the IP owners can earn, but I think the question was about free fan fic. I don't think Paizo would appreciate people writing PFT fan fic and making money on it...
In fact I know they wouldn't like it...
Ross Byers wrote:
Tatiana Maslany is an amazing actress and could do any part! With perhaps a bit of CG and makeup, I think she could do a manic gnome easily... WIN!!! Thanks for the suggestion!
DM Mathpro wrote:
If you guys were to see your novels turned into a movie who would you like to see play your main characters? Really interested in seeing Chris's response to this but its for anyone/everyone.
I posted this somewhere, but I can't remember where...
Curiously, Torius is a hard one to cast. Maybe Chris Pratt... The scene in GotG when he's kicking cave rats reminded me of Torius. Half badass, half smartass.
Celeste: Zoe Saldana... OMG, she's perfect
Vreva Jhafae: Catherine Zeta Jones (again...perfect)
Grogul: Vin Diesel He could tear that part to pieces...
Thillion... another tough one, not sure.
Snick. I totally balked on this one. I don't know of a single actor who could pull it off. Suggestions?
Any idea when the Audiobook for this will become available?
The audio is now available, and the sample is quite nice! Steve West does Torius Vin, doing an Thuvian accent! Sweet!
Have any of you read any particularly good books lately?
Reading the Dennis Lehane "Kenzie/Genarro" novels... Damn fine writing.
One of my biggest problems is that I do not read enough. I can't turn off my internal editor. I'm actually leaning toward audiobooks for this reason. I'm not as critical when I'm listening.
Mark Moreland wrote:
FYI, Forge of Ashes author and Paizo editor Josh Vogt is doing a Reddit AMA today. You can ask him questions about Pathfinder Tales, books in his Cleaners series, or whatever (literally, ask him anything). The AMA can be found here.
Forge of Ashes also just got short listed for a Scribe Award! Woot to Josh!
For those of you fine folk who are full-time (or close to it) authors, how long did it take for your writing to become your primary source of income?
A very long time... I started writing "seriously" about 25 years ago. I quit my day job to do some sailing in 2009 (figuring I could maybe get four years in before having to go back to work) about the time the Scimitar Seas novels were starting. Those did well, I started writing for Paizo, then had a self-published series hit on digital. We have been very lucky and have been paying all of our bills (few though they may be, since we're just sailing around with no mortgage) with our writing proceeds for the past four years or so.
Financial independence as a writer (as your only income) is hard to achieve. The vast majority of "professional writers" have day jobs. The old adage goes "Don't quit the day job unless you've got three years of income in the bank." Good advice.
Not sure if you mean with Paizo, or writing in general, so I'll answer both.I wrote a few novels, and tried submissions directly, which failed. I got an agent, which turned into a disaster (no details there) and I got disgusted. So, I self-published three novels and started marketing at conventions. At conventions I met other writers, and got a recommendation to a small press, who picked me up to write a series. If you are serious about getting into SFF writing, conventions are an excellent place to make connections and get exposure, but they're not cheap, so for those first several years, my day job was paying for my writing career, but it turned out to be a good investment. That series (the Scimitar Seas novels) did well, and since they were nautical fiction, I pitched myself to Paizo (at GenCon) as the guy who could write Pathfinder pirate stories. They had just come out with Skull and Shackles, so there was a market for this, and a niche for a novelist to fill. Sutter liked my samples, and the Stargazer short story, and picked me up for a novel. Serendipitously, just before Pirate's Honor came out, one of my self-published titles, Weapon of Flesh, which has always been one my fans have been bugging me to continue with a sequel, went crazy in digital sales, so that series continued and is doing pretty well.
Now I'm a full-fledged, and full-time, hybrid author, writing for a few different publishers and myself.
How do you folks outline your novels? Bullet points? Mindmapping? Sticky-notes with push pins and string and low-res pictures on a cork board a la conspiracy theorist?
I outline all my novels because I've got a crappy memory. Also, as far as the PFT stories go, we have to submit an outline before we get the green light to write it, so...
I hate sticky notes (but my wife loves them). I always create a "timeline" document to keep a quick reference of what is happening in which chapter.
Sorry I missed this one!
So, unfortunately, I don't know when the audio is coming out, but I'm dying to hear it. As far as magical powers go... all I can do is make rum disappear without a trace!
As for the next novel, yes, it's in the works, and no, I can't talk about it yet... But it's cool... And I'm dying to have you all read it!
DM Mathpro wrote:
Not hard at all, since I've been a gamer for about 40 years. I like gamers' enthusiasm. Had a fantastic time at PaizoCon last year just hanging out with folks I can identify with.
Hmmmm...one quick question...do Nagas have mage's hand as a at will spell-like ability or do they use telekinesis as per the spell? I've always wondered how Celeste is manipulating objects without arms or hands.
They have mage hand, prestidigitation, and open/close as 0-level spells that they can use at will... Just one of the benefits of having no hands!
To All the authors: What was the biggest/coolest thing you bought with the money from your first novel?
Well, hmmm... I think it had something to do with my boat... I was doing a lot of refitting prior to going sailing when I first started to make more than I spent being an author. Prior to that, just about every cent and more went into marketing, conventions, and a new laptop every time mine melted down.
I'm dying to hear it myself! Can't wait!
You have no idea how good that makes me feel... Really...
Thanks, Adam. That's what I thought but I don't know how to do it. I'll do a search to find out. I'm familiar with a couple of the standard methods but either never heard it put that way or something. As you can guess, I don't play. I'm in the collecting-Pathfinder-stuff phase. Anyone ever mention there is a lot to read?!
A great way to learn character creation, advancement, and building of feats and skills is to play with Herolab. You can get a demo version for free (can't save your characters) that is good to practice on.
Oh, and there is even more to read... You should check out the web fiction page (also free) and maybe some Pathfinder Tales...
Gotta say, I've listened to the Audible versions of Pirate's Honor and Pirate's Promise, and I'm pretty happy with the narrator, John Pruden. He does an awesome job with Vreva Jhafae, and especially awesome with Snick. Well done on that choice, whoever made it! You can get a free taste on the commercial page.
Is anyone working on any new tales that feature any of the new occult classes ? Would be interesting to read reactions of people seeing a ghost following the main character everywhere they go :-)
I'm thinking about it... I love the new classes in Occult, and I think a good spooky story would go well... Haunted ghostly pirate ship, maybe??? Muaaa haa haaa!
[Legendary Games] The Hypercorps 2099 Kickstarter has launched - 5 Free PDFs, Phone App demo, and Cyberpunk Superheroes in your Pathfinder game!
However, all the accents and voices in the Harry Potter audiobooks (which ARE excellent) are all UK accents. I would imagine that it is difficult to find a person who can rapidly switch between drastically different cultural accents.
Listen to the R.C.Bray audio of "The Martian". The guy does about a dozen accents, and really good voices. I had an audio trilogy done by a good actor, Jeff Breslauer, who did all the voices beautifully. Hard to find a good one, maybe, but they are out there.
That said, I really am looking forward to the audio of Pirate's Prophesy. Can't imagine Torius Vin with a British accent...we'll see.
Since there are a bunch of scattered threads where we, the PFT authors, tell people where we will be, I figured I'd put it in one place.
To start things off, this year I will be at:
DragonCon in Atlanta, GA, Sept. 4-7, in the Dealer Room
Necronomicon, in Tampa FL, Oct. 9-11, doing panel discussions.
If anyone is affiliated with a game- or bookstore and wants a visit, post here and ask.
I would disagree with that, actually. The reason I got into RPG's was the story-telling element, not the wargame aspect. I like strategy games, but I play RPG's to roleplay. For me, it's all about the characters, as you can probably tell by reading my fiction. Different people play for different reasons, and games like PF give what the player wants, whether that's cool character archetypes, a ton of rules to tweak, awesome settings, or the ability to take all of these and spin a really fun story for your players.
I learned storytelling by GMing, and wouldn't be a writer if I hadn't started playing D&D.
I do agree that publishing the stats for characters is problematic. Once you do it, you're locked in to those stats. Fiction characters can grow, just like your RPG characters can, and their next level might not be what you, or they, expect...
John Kretzer wrote:
Had a fantastic time at GenCon, especially hanging out with Howard... We only see each other once a year, so sipping a beer with him and catching up is great. Josh and Gary (the young guns) are both great and fun to talk to, not to mention talented and professional... I wish I'd gotten my start that early.
Also got to chat with the Tor editor handling the distribution deal with Paizo. Very good feeling about this. It's a win for everyone, really, and they are not intending on meddling with the line.
I also showed a *few* people the new cover of Pirate's Prophecy...though it has not been officially released yet. I love the artwork...it's very different from my previous covers, and instead of a map in the inside, we did a cross sectional diagram of the Stargazer, which I like very much as well. It just went to the printer... You should see it soon, and the release is scheduled for early next year.
So, yeah...a good GenCon. You were missed, Dave!
Thanks for getting the chronology straight. Important to note that although the short story Stargazer was posted after the release date of the novel Pirate's Honor, chronologically it is a prequel to the novel. Once again, it's not necessary to read the web fic first, but elements of the web fic are mentioned in the novel.
Hmm...I suppose that would depend on the stowaway. They're not so heartless as to simply throw a stowaway overboard, and circumstances would certainly enter into the decision whether or not the person was put ashore at the first convenient port, taken to someplace safe, or taken on as one of the crew. Nothing is impossible, but if said stowaway turns out to be a soul-eating demon from the Abyss in the form of a harmless looking, doe-eyed halfling waif...well that would be an entirely different dilemma...
I just want to say, as a closing note, thanks to everyone for a great discussion. I love hearing everyone's views. It's great to see that I evoked so much emotion with the story.
Here are some points for thought:
Torius has real issues that he keeps buried deep. He does hate pesh, though it's not as "visible" as his loathing of people who sell sex. I think living with a mother drug-addict/prostitute damaged him deeply. He does refuse to carry pesh as cargo in the first book, but that's as far as I went. Probably should have gone farther. His loathing of addiction was the main focus in that regard. He certainly has an addictive personality.
Zarina: She totally went a little crazy when she found out what Vreva had done to her. There is a horrible violation, in her eyes, of the betrayal Vreva perpetrated upon her. She seduced her, and even loved her, and it was all a lie. Killing Saffron (whom she did not know was a familiar) was lashing out. Also, he did attack her... What she did to Vreva was sheer revenge for her own pain, justified by her profession, and she undoubtedly regretted it the moment it was over. She's a very complicated character...
So, I'm happy everyone enjoyed it, and can't wait for February. I have seen the preliminary cover art, and you are all in for a treat...and quite a surprise where I take the characters.