JMW: Hello. This is Jean Marie Ward from BuzzyMag.com With me today is best selling fantasy writer, Glen Cook, author of “The Chronicles of the Black Company,” “The Garrett Files,” and many more wonderful books. Thank you so much for joining us, Glen.
Glen Cook: You’re welcome.
JMW: “A Path to the Coldness of Heart,” the ninth book in “The Dread Empire” series was published in January. As often happens with your fiction, this book closed with a number of loose ends hanging. You like to make things real. Does this mean you might write more in that world someday?
Glen Cook: It’s entirely possible. There’s very few of my projects that are absolutely closed end things. Originally, “The Dread Empire,” was planned to be many more books than had been published, so the wrap up book actually covers material that was originally planned to be in four different volumes. As I say, there could have been several more stories. It’s possible. Someday, if somebody at a publishing house wants to see it, it could happen.
JMW: You left the door wide open and it was deliberate?
Glen Cook: Not so much deliberate as that’s just the way I write. Nothing ever actually, completely, finally ends. There’s always survivors, so to speak, and they will have a future life and so, I often know what that is and sometimes I have to write.
JMW: Do you consciously strive for realism in your work? I know we’re talking fantasy here, and I know we’re talking worlds that are not our own, but within the context of a fantasy world, do you strive for emotional and psychological realism?
Glen Cook: Yes, I do. I want my characters to behave like real people would behave if they find themselves caught in those situations.
JMW: Was that part of the inspiration for “The Black Company”?
Glen Cook: Yes. When I set out writing “The Black Company,” what I wanted to do was write real people, ordinary, everyday people caught up in a situation that was way, way, way huger than they were. The out of the ordinary guys that got caught up in the war of the rings in “The Lord of the Rings”.
JMW: Not just the good guys caught up in it, but we’re talking the bad guys, aren’t we?
Glen Cook: Yes. In fact, the story starts out from the viewpoint of the ordinary soldier working for the head bad guy because I don’t think that anybody doing an everyday job thinks of themselves as working for the bad guy, or being the bad guy. They’re just doing what they have to do.
JMW: Was this at all influenced by your time in the military?
Glen Cook: The characters in one novel were. The characters are based pretty much on people I knew, within certain limits. I didn’t know any sorcerers, or anything like that, but just the general behavior and of the way soldiers behave and the way ordinary working men behave (inaudible 03:45). That’s very much.
JMW: Nobody ever feels they’re working for a bad cause. They always feel they’re working for the good.
Glen Cook: Everybody’s on God’s side and the other guy is the bad guy.
JMW: He believes the same thing you do from a different direction. When can we expect to see the next book in “The Black Company” series?
Glen Cook: I couldn’t say for sure. Probably be a couple of years because I have other projects that I have to complete and deliver. The next “Black Company” book to appear will probably be the project I start toward the end of this year. I do have parts of it already published, pieces of short fiction in various anthologies.
Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between, including art books, novels (2008 Indie Book double-finalist With Nine You Get Vanyr), and short stories such as WSFA Small Press Award finalist “Lord Bai’s Discovery” and “Personal Demons” in the award-winning anthology Hellebore and Rue. Her videos include author interviews and tutorials.