Q & A

For those seeking to learn more about Eldon or his work, this is a good place to start. Answers to commonly asked questions (or in some cases, the most unusual) are posted below. Have a question that has not yet been answered? Send us an email and we'll post a response as soon as possible.

Although there may be some overlap, we've done our best to organize questions and responses into the following categories:

  Story - Questions pertaining to the stories in Eldon's books, both general and volume-specific.

  Craft - Questions pertaining to the craft of writing.

  Personal - Questions about Eldon himself (background, goals, preferences, and more).

You may click on any question to view Eldon's response. For reasons of length (and to help avoid spoilers), answers will appear in a secondary popup window, which can be closed at any time.



Note: To help avoid potential spoilers, volume-specific questions are indicated by one of the following:

[CS] = Crimson Sword       [OK] = Obsidian Key       [DT] = Divine Talisman

Q: Did you forget about "so-and-so"? Why doesn't he/she play a bigger role?  [04.2006]

Q: Have we seen the last of "so-and-so", or will he/she reappear in later volumes?  [04.2006]

Q: How do you pronounce "Asahiel"?  [05.2007]

Q: Why did "so-and-so" behave in such a way? It seems strange.  [12.2008]

Q: Why do so many characters in your books get captured?  [12.2008]

Q: [CS] Jarom seems to lack any special skills or powers. What makes him the hero of this story?  [04.2006]

Q: [CS] Why does Jarom "think" so much?  [04.2006]

Q: [CS] How do you explain Killangrathor's unexpected frenzy at the end of The Crimson Sword?  [04.2006]

Q: [CS] Why does Kylac have such a strange and unique accent?  [04.2006]

Q: [CS] Can you tell me more about the origin and nature of Kylac's blades?  [04.2006]

Q: [CS] Why do your major villains in The Crimson Sword seem to get so little "screen time"?  [04.2006]

Q: [CS] After all the build-up, why was [spoiler] so easy to kill?  [04.2006]

Q: [OK] Is [spoiler] really dead?  [05.2007]

Q: [OK] Why isn't [spoiler] in the second book? Where did he go?  [05.2007]

Q: [OK] Was [spoiler] meant to be a surprise? Part of me suspected it all along.  [05.2007]

Q: [OK] I find Book 2 to be depressing. Many bad things happen, few good things do. Why?  [05.2007]

Q: [OK] Why sever the relationship between [spoiler] after what they had been through?  [05.2007]

Q: [OK] Did Cianellen orchestrate [spoiler]?  [05.2007]

Q: [OK] Cianellen speaks of erasing [spoiler]. Does this refer to [spoiler]?  [05.2007]

Q: [OK] Why do the principal characters, who are friends, seem so stiff and formal in their interactions?  [05.2007]

Q: [OK] Why is there so much emphasis on Torin's pining for [spoiler]?  [12.2008]

Q: [DT] Why isn't [spoiler] in the third book? What happened to him?  [12.2008]

Q: [DT] Why does [spoiler] shoulder all the blame that [spoiler] throws at him?  [12.2008]

Q: [DT] Will [spoiler] ever find a genuine love interest?  [12.2008]

Q: [DT] Is The Divine Talisman the last book in the "Asahiel" series?  [12.2008]

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Q: I am an unpublished writer. Will you read and critique my work?  [04.2006]

Q: What are your thoughts on fan fiction?  [04.2006]

Q: How did you go about getting published? Any advice you can share?  [04.2006]

Q: I have a great idea for a story you should write. Would you like to hear it?  [04.2006]

Q: My unpublished manuscript is over 150,000 words. Is that too long?  [04.2006]

Q: Should I use a prologue to help introduce my story?  [04.2006]

Q: I'd like to write a novel, but it seems like such a huge undertaking. Any suggestions?  [04.2006]

Q: I've been told the "pacing" of my story is too slow. What does that mean, exactly, and how do I fix it?  [05.2007]

Q: I've been told my novel has too much exposition and/or backstory. How do I fix it?  [05.2007]

Q: Can I write a war story without spending pages and pages on the actual battle?  [05.2007]

Q: Do you think writing is a God-given talent? Or can anyone do it if they have enough determination?  [05.2007]

Q: Do you outline your stories in advance? If so, do you write it down, or just keep it all in your head?  [05.2007]

Q: How detailed is your outline? Is it plot or character driven?  [05.2007]

Q: When is it okay to use a lot of description? When should I avoid it?  [05.2007]

Q: How do I write an engaging query letter?  [05.2007]

Q: How detailed should my synopsis be? Does it help to send this instead of just a query letter?  [05.2007]

Q: What questions do you ask yourself in order to turn your characters into living, breathing people?  [05.2007]

Q: What is your philosophy on when and why to change points of view during a story?  [05.2007]

Q: How important are names in a story, and how do you come up with yours?  [05.2007]

Q: I can never seem to finish a story because I always burn out before the end. Any advice?  [05.2007]

Q: How does one approach an agent who does not accept unsolicited material?  [12.2008]

Q: Would you be willing to refer me to your agent?  [12.2008]

Q: Will you read my manuscript and provide a quote to help it sell?  [12.2008]

Q: How long should the chapters in my novel be?  [12.2008]

Q: What courses should I study in college in preparation of becoming a writer?  [12.2008]

Q: How do you compile all of your story notes so as to stay organized?  [12.2008]

Q: How do I describe feelings and emotions that I have not personally experienced?  [12.2008]

Q: How do I begin to shape my many ideas into an actual story?  [12.2008]

Q: Do you find yourself going back to revise early scenes during a first draft?  [12.2008]

Q: How much of your world's history did you develop before you began to write?  [12.2008]

Q: Will you tell me if my writing is good enough to be published?  [12.2008]

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Q: What would you have been if you couldn't be a writer?  [04.2006]

Q: How are your books doing in terms of sales?  [04.2006]

Q: Of the characters you've created, which is your favorite?  [04.2006]

Q: You seem to enjoy killing off characterssometimes as soon as they are introduced. Why is that?  [04.2006]

Q: Do you ever envy the success of other fantasy authors?  [04.2006]

Q: Do you read a lot of other fantasy? Or do you worry about becoming derivative?  [04.2006]

Q: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?  [04.2006]

Q: What's your writing schedule like?  [04.2006]

Q: What made you want to become a writer?  [04.2006]

Q: Do you read reviews of your work? How do you deal with criticism?  [05.2007]

Q: How has your writing life changed since being published? Did it pick up once you "caught the wave"?  [05.2007]

Q: Your second book seems to be much stronger than the first. Would you agree?  [05.2007]

Q: Do you ever base any of your characters on people from real life?  [05.2007]

Q: Why do you write with so many distinct voices? Why not focus on a singular tone and point of view?  [05.2007]

Q: What is your definition of a good book?  [05.2007]

Q: How much weight can you bench press?  [12.2008]

Q: Which do you wear, boxers or briefs?  [12.2008]

Q: Do you ever get frustrated with editorial feedback or criticism?  [12.2008]

Q: How long does it take you to write a book?  [12.2008]

Q: Did your looks have anything to do with securing your first book deal?  [12.2008]

Q: Of you and your brothers, who is the smartest?  [12.2008]

Q: Was [x] written such a way in response to reader criticism?  [12.2008]

Q: What are three things you do to help generate story ideas for your books?  [12.2008]

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