I just got a reply from my favorite fantasy author, Lawrence Watt-Evans, today. I’ve read almost all of his work, except for the Lords of Dûs series which I just couldn’t get into for some reason. I especially like his Ethshar series of books and stories. I really like the flow of his style of writing, what people in the writing game call an author’s “voice”. It’s real familiar and comfortable to read. I find his work more relaxing than just about any other author I’ve read, including the incomparable Frank Herbert and Ernest Hemmingway. (I read those two authors for different reasons than I read Lawrence Watt-Evans.)
Anyway, I’ve been working at writing some fiction again (no, not my resume!) and I ran into a bit of a snag: naming. See, I’ve been hiding behind that for a relly long time, something in the neighborhood of ten years, to keep from writing. That bothered me enough this past week to get past it and just start writing. But, before I did, I turned to my favorite fantasy author to see how *he* made his character names.
Well, the lucky, *professional* author was off in Europe on vacation, so he didn’t get a chance to respond to me for a week, or so. Lucky me. If he had, I might not have actually started writing the damn story. See, he went through a process much like I had been trying to go through, but I had some significant difficulty with it and I used that as a reason to not write. So, if he’d responded sooner, I might have gotten bogged down again.
Anyway, I wanted to encourage everyone in the world to go buy Lawrence Watt-Evans’s books. I highly reccomend “The Misenchanted Sword” and “With A Single Spell”, which are both great places to start in the Ethshar books. Also, I highly reccomend “Dragon Weather” and its sequel “The Dragon Society”, which are not set in Ethshar, but are superior fantasy novels. Keep in mind, this isn’t Tolkein-esque work here, it’s much, much more accessable than all that. Nor is it a cheap copy of someone else’s style. Lawrence Watt-Evans is in a class all his own.
You can find out more about Lawrence Watt-Evans, and Ethshar, at Ethshar.com or Watt-Evans.com