Friday, October 18, 2013

**GIVEAWAY** Author Interview Stephen Donaldson- The Last Dark

I'm excited to interview fantasy/science fiction author extraordinaire Stephen Donaldson who talked to me about his new novel the 4th and final installment of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series which began with Lord Foul's Bane which was published in 1987. I asked Stephen which of these characters he would miss, here's what he had to say about it. ––" ...Only the characters who have cause to complain about me linger in my heart. And I’m happy--or perhaps simply relieved--to say that none of the protagonists of The Last Chronicles has cause to complain..."
See the rest of this answer and all the rest then stick around to enter for a chance to win a copy of the novel US only sponsored by Stephen's US publisher Penguin Group USA.

I have One Copy of The Last Dark $35.00 Value to Giveaway
Sponsored by Stephen's US Publisher Penguin Group US
To enter use the Rafflecopter form below
Thank You Penguin Group US!!
And Stephen!

Compelled step by step to actions whose consequences they could neither see nor prevent, Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery have fought for what they love in the magical reality known only as "the Land." Now they face their final crisis.  Reunited after their separate struggles, they discover in each other their true power—and yet they cannot imagine how to stop the Worm of the World’s End from unmaking Time.

Praise for Donaldson’s work:
"Fans can celebrate." —The Kansas City Star

"A feast for epic fantasy addicts." —Publishers Weekly
"The most original fantasy since THE LORD OF THE RINGS." —Time Out
"I don't think books like this come along more than a few times in a lifetime." —Marion Zimmer Bradley
“An epic with page-turning intrigue.” —Detroit Free Press
“Impressive…filled with splendid inventions.” —Booklist
“A reawakening of a classic fantasy saga.” —Library Journal
“A trilogy of remarkable scope and sophistication.” —Los Angeles Times

Stephen welcome to The Reading Frenzy

Debbie - Could you tell us a bit about this latest in your series the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant- The Last Dark.
Stephen - THE LAST DARK is the climax of The Last Chronicles:  all four books come to their final crisis and resolution here.  But it is also the climax of the whole Thomas Covenant saga.  If you’ll forgive a clich├ęd metaphor:  all the chickens of the previous nine books come home to roost in THE LAST DARK.

D- This is the final chapter in this series.
Why end it now?
S - Well, this is Armageddon.  Or “apotheosis,” if you prefer.  There’s nowhere to go after this.  In fact, I’ve been aiming toward this end point ever since I realized that my story wasn’t completed by The Power that Preserves (Book Three of the original trilogy, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever).  Thirty-five years ago, I decided that I wanted to arrive here.  Now I’m satisfied.

D- Now that your epic series is over which of your characters will you miss most?
S - For me, missing a character after I’m done with a story depends on whether or not I believe that I did that character justice.  When I believe that I did do him or her justice, I’m content to say goodbye.  Only the characters who have cause to complain about me linger in my heart.  And I’m happy--or perhaps simply relieved--to say that none of the protagonists of The Last Chronicles has cause to complain.  Which, unfortunately, is not a statement that I can make about some of my non-Covenant characters.

D- When creating a new character do you ever borrow personalities from other of your characters?
S- Not consciously.  Unconsciously, of course, I’m sure that I continue to wrestle with characters whose complaints echo in my ears.  But I’m not aware of doing that when I write.  When I write, I’m only aware of the specific story and the specific characters that are right in front of me.

D- Stephen with such a long and honored career as a writer how does a release day today differ from the first one?
S- Many things both internal and external have changed over the course of my career.  Internally…well, let me put it this way.  Lord Foul’s Bane, my first published book, was rejected by 47 (!) publishers before it found a home.  After so much bad news, that first release date felt like a transcendent gift.  I was almost literally beside myself.  But 22 previous books and many years later, I’m calmer about the whole process.

D- Stephen you have an eclectic background.
When did you discover your writing muse?
S- In retrospect, I can see that I spent my whole early life (starting at about age 4) preparing to be a storyteller (and specifically a teller of written stories).  But at the time, the discovery that I wanted to write stories came as a complete surprise.  This happened during my first week of college; and once that bulldog had sunk its teeth into me, it never let go.  Until that moment, I thought I was going to study Chemistry.  After that moment, I dedicated all of my energies to the study of literature in an effort to learn what I needed to know about writing.

D- Why Fantasy?
S- I don’t have a better answer than, What makes you think I have a choice?  After discovering that I wanted to write stories, my next task was to discover the best possible use for my specific talents.  Years of experimentation finally led me to fantasy (and to science fiction, which I consider a close sibling of fantasy); and when I did discover fantasy, I had an intense sensation of “coming home”--of finding the work I was born to do.  How could I have chosen anything else?

D- Which of your Awards mean the most and why?
S- I prize most highly my honorary doctorate (Litt.D.) from the University of St. Andrews School of Divinity.  In my view, that award acknowledges that my work has both literary and philosophical merit.
Of course, I’ve also received a Litt.D. from the College of Wooster.  But I graduated from Wooster:  I’m known there.  The University of St. Andrews (Fife, Scotland) knows only my work.

D- What’s next for you?
S- I can’t answer that.  I’ve never planned ahead in my writing life:  as far as I’m concerned, the only story that exists is the one I’m working on right now.  Until very recently--and for the past 12 years--that story was The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.  As a result, I haven’t yet had time to make any plans, or to start on something new.

Stephen thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to answer my questions. Good luck with this novel and for your future works too.

Connect with Stephen on his Website 

a Rafflecopter giveaway USA, LLC


  1. I have not read this series. I'm not sure how I missed it! I can't wait to get started. Thanks!

    1. Hi Elizabeth I'm also new to this series and can't wait to start
      good luck!

  2. I absolutely LOVE this series - Stephen R. Donaldson is my all time favorite sci-fi/fantasy author, and I don't make that claim lightly. I don't read a lot from that genre, but I'm ready to re-read that series...again!

    1. Hi Elaine, I should have known you'd be a fan.
      Good Luck!

    2. Thanks, Deb! I first read the original 6 volumes of the Thomas Covenant books maybe 20+ years ago, and I still think about them. So much to learn from them, especially about our personal role in the unfolding of world we live in. Love these books, and looking forward to reading the latest volume!

  3. This series is new to me, but I must admit your interview has piqued my curiosity.

    1. Hi Kim, yes he was writing fantasy looooong before I was a fan and I'm eager to dip my toes in his storytelling.Thanks for the comment

  4. I have just started Fatal Revenant and boy what a struggle. I read the first Covenant series many years ago but have reached
    an age where my patience has run out. I've never come across so many gobbledigook words used by an author before, it borders
    on the ridiculous. I certainly never required a dictionary to hand when reading Tolkien as a 10 year old!

    I have however decided to continue but substitute the nonsense words with made up words of my own, the effect is truly hurgleguam and much more kerambablifying to read that I now laugh my gurnalls off! When Covenant and Jeremiah (Tom and Jerry!) turned up at the end of 'Runes of the Earth' I realised that this last chronicles is really a comic and the author is just ‘taking the piss’.

    Shermagreabulurble Scrotewash.