THE ASSASSIN A cold and emotionless killer for whom every soul has a price, even his own, embarks on a path to find out just how high that price can be.
THE MERCENARY A dark elf of limitless guile dares to challenge a king, and carve for himself a place in the inhospitable World Above.
ILNEZHARATA and TAZMIKELLA are ancient dragons of great power, accustomed to easily manipulating the humans around them. But not all humans are so easily led. When they pushed Entreri and Jarlaxle into the heart of the Bloodstone Lands, not even they could have imagined the strength of the human assassin’s resolve, or the limitless expanse of the drow mercenary’s ambition.
About The Author:
What was the book that most influenced your life or your career as a writer -- and why? By the time I started college, I hated reading and hated writing -- and this from a kind who once loved the adventures he found in novels. For Christmas that year, my sister gave me a copy of Tolkien's series. In February 1978, New England got crushed by a tremendous blizzard -- I was 19 and trapped in my mom's house. But I wasn't. I started reading The Hobbit and it all came back to me, all those joys of reading I knew in my youth -- joys that had beaten out of me by the irrelevant readings I was given in high school and even in junior high. What are your ten favorite books, and what makes them special to you? 1. The Hobbit, see above 2. A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter Miller. The book found me in a bad place and took me away to a place of philosophy. Instead of working in a freezing room in a plastics factory, I was considering...
Current Home:Leominster, MA
Date of Birth:January 20, 1959
Place of Birth:Leominster, MA
* R.A. Salvatore's official web site
Well, I just turned 50, but I'm still a clean-up hitter on the softball field. A couple of years ago, I found myself in horrible shape and feeling lousy all the time, and so, with the help of my wonderful and beautiful wife of 25 years, I started taking my health seriously again. Now I feel better than I did when I was 40. Fit Camp three times a week and yoga and softball and all the rest.
The other thing that I've come to learn about myself is that R. A. Salvatore and Bobby Salvatore are two different people (and I much prefer Bobby, thank you very much). It's not that I lie to readers at book signings, or anything like that, it's just that the things that are important to me are the little things in life: my family, my home. Writing is what I do, but it's not who I am. I remember one time about 20 years ago, I went back to where I had worked to see my brother, who still worked there. Gary was a few years older, and was, of course, my hero. An associate found us in the parking lot and nudged my brother, asking him what it felt like to have a younger brother who was so much more successful than he.
Gary, of course, took it all in stride, turning what might have been an awkward moment into a joke. Gary died a few years later and I'll never forget the lines of mourners -- grown men crying like babies. He was such a big part of the community, as a friend and a coach to so many kids over the years.
That brought me back to the parking lot and the awkward moment, and the truth of it all: I was not and have never been more successful than my brother, and nothing I can do as a writer will get me there. Only the things I do as a human being, a father, a neighbor, a friend, can bring me into his league.
What was the book that most influenced your life or your career as a writer -- and why?
By the time I started college, I hated reading and hated writing -- and this from a kind who once loved the adventures he found in novels. For Christmas that year, my sister gave me a copy of Tolkien's series. In February 1978, New England got crushed by a tremendous blizzard -- I was 19 and trapped in my mom's house. But I wasn't. I started reading The Hobbit and it all came back to me, all those joys of reading I knew in my youth -- joys that had beaten out of me by the irrelevant readings I was given in high school and even in junior high.
What are your ten favorite books, and what makes them special to you?
1. The Hobbit, see above
2. A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter Miller. The book found me in a bad place and took me away to a place of philosophy. Instead of working in a freezing room in a plastics factory, I was considering the cycles of mankind. Good stuff.
3. "The Dead" by James Joyce. Perfect writing. So good it's humbling.
4. The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain. Talk about a darker side! That book put all of Twain's satire in perspective because it revealed to me a true anger within the man.
5. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. History comes to life; I still think this is the best historical novel ever written. I read it, then visited Gettysburg, and the place had so much meaning to me, it was an incredible experience.
6. "Peanuts" by Charles Schulz. I have so many of these books -- first editions. They were my primary escape vehicle in my childhood and occupy a prominent place in my library.
7. The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski. A brilliant look at the history of mankind through the advent f inventions (instead of, typically, through the various wars). Bronowski gave me a lot to think about.
8. Cosmos by Carl Sagan. Same as above. Sagan describes Cosmos as a spiritual journey, and that it surely is.
9. Salem's Lot by Stephen King. I was going to say Dracula, but this vampire novel by King absolutely terrified me -- it remains the scariest book I've ever read. Coincidentally, I had just read a very negative review of King's work, the rather snobby critic dismissing him. Well, sorry to disagree, bud, but this guy knows how to spin a yarn, and knows how to put a reader on the edge of his seat.
10. I've got to put my own book, Mortalis, in here. I wrote Mortalis while watching my best friend, my brother Gary, wither away from pancreatic cancer, and writing this book saved my sanity, if not my life. Writing is cathartic, certainly, but I never realized how much so.
What are some of your favorite films, and what makes them unforgettable to you?
1. American Graffiti. George Lucas's best work and a fabulous coming-of-age story. Perfect for me as a teenager trying to figure out what life was all about.
2. The Deerhunter. My brother-in-law came home from Vietnam with serious PTSD. He killed himself in a horrible car wreck. This movie brought all of that home to me, and explained to me what had happened to Rob -- not literally, of course, but as a teenager, I simply couldn't comprehend the personality change I saw in him before he died.
3. Jaws, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. Three examples of great fun moviemaking. I could watch them over and over again, and indeed, I do!
4. Life as a House. I lost my brother to cancer. If this movie (and the brilliant performances) doesn't make you cry, you haven't any tears.
5. The War of the Worlds. The original one, although he remake wasn't bad. This is just one example, the best example, of my Saturday morning movie escapism.
What types of music do you like? Is there any particular kind you like to listen to when you're writing?
I'm a huge Fleetwood Mac fan -- in the dedication of my newest book, The Ghost King, I explain this in detail. I feel like Fleetwood Mac, and mostly Stevie Nicks, has written the soundtrack to my life. I honestly cannot remember a single important event, from late high school to getting married to the births of my children to the advent of my writing career, that wasn't accompanied by a Fleetwood Mac soundtrack. It's very strange.
I don't listen to them when I write, though. For that, there's John Serrie's And the Stars Go with You and the great George Winston...and other instrumental pieces.
What are your favorite kinds of books to give -- and get -- as gifts?
Political books. We live in confusing times, and there's nothing like an informed debate.
Do you have any special writing rituals? For example, what do you have on your desk when you're writing?
I used to, but now I find myself writing as the mood strikes me, and since I have a laptop, pretty much wherever the mood strikes. My mom was recently injured and spent two months in rehab; I did a fair portion of next year's book by the side of her bed. When I went on a long book tour for a Star Wars novel, I wrote my next Legend of Drizzt book in airports across the country. My most intense and productive work time is on airplanes, actually, because I'm terrified of flying and so running away to a place of my imagination lets me forget that I'm six miles above the ground.
Many writers are hardly overnight success stories. How long did it take for you to get where you are today? Any rejection-slip horror stories or inspirational anecdotes?
I wrote my first book, Echoes of the Fourth Magic, between September 1982 and March 1983. I hadn't intended to publish it and didn't write it for that purpose. Simply put, I was out of fantasy novels to read and so I wrote my own. When I shared it with friends, they said, "This is pretty good. You should send it to a publisher." So I hired my sister to type it (I had written it longhand in a spiral notebook, by candlelight, to Fleetwood Mac's Tusk album). So I got it typed up, copied it a bunch of times and sent it around -- and got the worst rejection letters you can imagine. One said, "Dear Leonard"...yeah, my name is Bob.
What tips or advice do you have for writers still looking to be discovered?
Well, first of all, if you can quit writing, then quit. I mean that. You don't write because you want to be famous and get published and all that nonsense. You write because you have to write, because there are a million stories clawing at your skin, demanding to be told. So write. Find your voice. Tell your stories the way you want them to be told. And then, if you're lucky enough to find someone to publish them, go to. But always remember: an unpublished writer is still a writer.
Give us three Good to Know facts about you. Be creative! Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for your writing, or any fun details that would enliven your profile.
For more than 20 years now, I've been known for writing battle scenes. Well, I was a hockey player, so that explains some of it, I guess, but more than that, I was also a bouncer. I paid my way through college working in the local nightclubs, and indeed, wrote my first novel bit by bit, usually at two in the morning after returning from my job in a club.
Second, although no one who knows me now would believe this, I was the shyest high school kid ever. I never had a date in high school because I was simply too terrified to ask anyone! Because of a knee problem in junior high, I wasn't the big athlete (and, as it turned out, all of my friends from elementary school were), and so I became the consummate outsider, watching the world go by me from the safe haven of the sidelines. It wasn't until I got to college that I realized that I was going to miss my own damned life, and so I forced myself out of that defensive posture.
Third, I didn't really plan on being a writer -- the career kind of found me more than the other way around. When I wrote that first book, I just wanted to have something, anything, to distinguish me from the faceless crowds. I wanted something my kids could show to my grandkids and say, "Hey, your grandfather wrote this!" and maybe that would buy me a little bit of immortality. But then after I finished that first novel and got those horrible rejection letters, it became a challenge. I don't like being told I can't do something. So I proved them wrong.
Nyah, nyah, nyah.
|Book:||Forgotten Realms: Road of the Patriarch (Sellswords #3)|
|Author:||David Colacci(Read by) R. A. Salvatore|
|Binding:||Audio, CD, DVD, MP3, MP4|
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