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Interview - (2004-11-04) Richard A. Knaak
Title Interview - (2004-11-04) Richard A. Knaak
Description Onyx interviews for the Phrozen Keep Richard A. Knaak - author of two diablo world novels and many others, on his writings; past, present and future.
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ONYX:

For those who fell from Mars, could you say several words about yourself?


RICHARD:

I'm the author of some 27 novels and roughly fifteen short pieces. I've been on the NY Times Bestseller List. My most well-known work is THE LEGEND OF HUMA for the Dragonlance series, for which I've written several other novels, including my present hardcover trilogy, THE MINOTAUR WARS.

In addition to that, I've produced my own series, THE DRAGONREALM, consisting of some ten volumes and six on-line stories, and have written for two of Blizzard's worlds --- Diablo and Warcraft. The novels are published by Simon & Schuster.


Outside of novels and short stories, I'v adapted the RAGNAROK manga series for Tokyopop and am currently combining with Blizzard and them to create the first WARCRAFT manga, due out around February.

I graduated from the University of Illinois and split my time between Chicago and northern Arkansas.


ONYX:

Why have you decided to write books about computer games?


RICHARD:

I enjoy working in both my own worlds and those of others, providing that they give me a chance to use my originality. Both Krynn (Dragonlance) and the worlds of Blizzard are especially fun to write in because they have such rich backgrounds. There is so much upon which to draw, it's almost like working from real history.


ONYX:

Is it easier to write in an already created world instead of creating your own?


RICHARD:

Both have their pluses. With my own, I can adjust some matters as I write and I know its depth better than anyone. However, as mentioned previous, the depth of the particular game worlds I work in has made them terrific to work in.


ONYX:

In the terms of Warcraft versus Diablo, which universe you like better?

Which has a better potential for writing stories?


RICHARD:

I like both equally, because while similar, they are distinct in that one is grandscale Tolkien fantasy while the other is traditional dark quest fantasy. Both have great potential and I don't foresee any trouble coming up with plotlines for either.


ONYX:

How do you feel the world of Diablo compares to the Forgotten Realms?


RICHARD:

Forgotten Realm is an excellent world that is very game-oriented. You can put any fantasy land in it. Diablo is more one cohesive setting, which adds to its depth. Diablo has more in common with Dragonlance in that respect. Some of the creators of Diablo and Warcraft are Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms fans from way back, by the way.


ONYX:

As some of our users may have not read your Diablo books, could you please make a brief overview of both?


RICHARD:

In LEGACY OF BLOOD, treasure hunters find the tomb of Bartuc, the Warlord of Blood (a character in the game material). Right from the start, things go horribly wrong and Norrec, the main character, finds himself used as a body by the warlord's armor, which has a sinister quest of its own to fulfill. Norrec must struggle against the armor, demons, warlords --- all while being pursued by a female necromancer and his companions (the companions the armor made him slay).

In THE KINGDOM OF SHADOW, an ambitious Vizjerei leads a band to the fabled city of Ureh, where supposedly it comes to life now and then. He wants its magical tomes; they want its treasure. What they don't realize is that the disappearance of Ureh's inhabitants involves a terrible incident, which has come back to haunt them. This novel introduces the necromancer, Zayl, my hero for the upcoming MOON OF THE SPIDER.


ONYX:

In the recent Blizzplanet interview you mentioned several words about your future Diablo book. Would you share some more details?


RICHARD:

MOON OF THE SPIDER highlights more about the followers of Rathma and, as mentioned returns with Zayl. We discover that not all necromancers have the same notion about the balance, which can lead to some diasterous situations. The title refers not only to an artifact --- a sphere with a spider pattern across it --- but the time when it can be used to summon the demonic being for whom it was created.


ONYX:

Out of all the characters you've created, both past and present, who is your favorite?


RICHARD:

There are just too many. Huma and Kaz from Dragonlance. Darkhorse and Shade from the Dragonrealm. Krasus --- the dragon mage --- from Warcraft and Zayl for Diablo.


ONYX:

If asked by Blizzard, would you be interested in doing any writing for a third installment in the Diablo series?


RICHARD:

Since this is my third novel, I guess I am. If you're talking about a Diablo III, that would depend on what they want to do. I hope to continue the novels and Blizzard seems to want that, too.


ONYX:

Do you have any plans for any Blizzard crossover projects? Are we likely to see Tauren running around Sanctuary? Or perhaps Fallen staging a raid on Darnassus?


RICHARD:

Blizzard wants to keep their worlds distinct, but, who knows what the future might hold?


ONYX:

Are there any other computer game 'worlds' you'd like to write novels in?


RICHARD:

Couldn't really say right now. I'm having enough fun with the ones I do.


ONYX:

Do you know what a mod is and have you ever played one for Diablo, either 1 or 2?


RICHARD:

I know what one is but have never played one. Not enough time, with the writing.


ONYX:

Have you had much time to relax between novels? Do you ever get to do any reading yourself?


RICHARD:

I only get to read between projects. Otherwise, I'm strictly reading for my work. I like old movies and traveling.


ONYX:

Do you have other hobbies aside of writing? How do you spend a regular day?


RICHARD:

Writing pretty much consumes my time. I write in the morning, afternoon, and evening, although not always the same hours. In between, I take care of personal matters and always get out of the house so I can make sure I'm in the real world, not the one I'm working on.


ONYX:

Thanks for your time.


RICHARD:

Thank you! I enjoyed it! Hope readers like MOON OF THE SPIDER when it comes out...

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