Monday, March 28, 2011

Perennial Author Bruce R. Cordell!

If you are at all involved in role-playing games or fantasy fiction you have probably run across the name Bruce R. Cordell. As well as being a fabulous game designer and writer Bruce is a really great guy. He's also a very busy guy, but we managed to catch him for a few moments to help us kick off our new Perennial Authors series.

What have you learned that seemed completely unrelated to writing at the time but has influenced your writing career?
The thing I learned that most influenced my writing career was a lesson my dad taught me: if you practice something long enough, no matter HOW AWFUL you are at it, eventually, in time, you’ll not only improve, but master it. You see, I joined the wrestling team in grade school. Even though I wanted to quit every year on account of how bad I was, my dad convinced me to keep it up. After 8 years of this, in junior high, I was the best wrestler on the team, and the 2nd best wrestler in South Dakota (in my weight class /qualifier).

The great thing about that lesson is that it applies to everything in life. Reading. Juggling. Computer programming. Martial Arts .... and WRITING.

Whether physical or mental; he made me realize that Talent Is Practice. Sometimes long grueling practice, but so it goes.

A toy manufacturer has decided to make you their new superhero action figure. What is your superpower and what are you wearing?
I've indicated on my website that my superpower is: animals like me. However, I doubt that a toy manufacturer would make much money on the Animal Whisperer. So, since you're giving me a blank check, I'd love to have the power of teleportation--just think what a boost I could be to the space industry! With that last in mind, I'd probably wear one of those new-fangled bodyweave spacesuits, bright red of course.

Do you ever regret deciding to become a professional writer?
I don't. I regret I don't have enough time to do other things I'd like to spend a lot of time on, like programming, or volunteering at an animal shelter or with a wilderness society, or even reading as many books as I'd like. But no, writing is great. It can be hard and lonely, but its also rewarding and ultimately satisfying to me.

What is the best part of being a professional writer?
The act of creation. Pulling threads together slowly and surely, first with the outline, then with the first draft where things may go off-outline in a surprising way, then with the 2nd draft when you've got some good input from editors and readers. The completed work stands on its own. It might be better or worse than your last creation, but it is something, and you've made it from the labor of your own mind.

Give us a quick overview of what you write and where we can find it.
I write "swords & sorcery" Forgotten Realms books and short stories. During my day job, I design games. My novel and Short Story Credits include:

Sword of the Gods: A Forgotten Realms NovelSword of the Gods, Wizards of the Coast, 2011
Key of Stars, Wizards of the Coast, 2010
"Wandering Stones", Realms of War, Wizards of the Coast, 2010
City of Torment, Wizards of the Coast, 2009
"Black Arrow", Realms of War, Wizards of the Coast, 2008
Plague of Spells, Wizards of the Coast, 2008
Stardeep, Wizards of the Coast, 2007
Darkvision, Wizards of the Coast, 2006

A full list of my publications, including my game publications, can be found here.

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