David Eddings, the master of sagas such as the Belgariad, Malloreon and Elenium has died at the age of 77. Not being a fantasy fan I asked a couple of colleagues about him, but they proved somewhat lukewarm. I then trawled library resources which lead me to Books and Authors from our Premium databases and this quote from the author
“My advice to the young writer is likely to be unpalatable in an age of instant successes and meteoric falls. I tell the neophyte: Write a million words–the absolute best you can write, then throw it all away and bravely turn your back on what you have written. At that point, you’re ready to begin.
When you are with people, listen; don’t talk. Writers are boring people. What are you going to talk about so brilliantly? Typewriters? The construction of paragraphs? Shut your mouth and listen. Listen to the cadences of speech. Engrave the sound of language on your mind. Language is our medium, and the spoken language is the sharp cutting edge of our art. Make your people sound human. The most tedious story will leap into life if the reader can hear the human voices in it. The most brilliant and profound of stories will sink unnoticed if the characters talk like sticks.
Most of all, enjoy what you’re doing. If you don’t enjoy it, it’s not worth doing at all. If hard and unrewarding work bothers you, do something else. If rejection withers your soul, do something else. If the work itself is not reward enough, stop wasting paper. But if you absolutely have to write–if you’re compelled to do it even without hope of reward or recognition–then I welcome you to our sorry, exalted fraternity.”
Then I went to Wikipedia as you do and gleaned the following – his wife Leigh Eddings, was uncredited as co-author on many of his early books, but he later acknowledged that she contributed to them all. She was a credited co-author starting in the mid-1990s. He also accidentally burned down his office and his treasured Excalibur sports car by tossing a piece of paper into a puddle of water and petrol to see if was still flammable – an act he described as “Dumb”
Other sites I found indicated that Eddings, who based his novels on an imaginary world he mapped out, has a keen following of fans. Perhaps some of those fans are out there and can talk about his work.
Update: Another colleague,good librarian that she is, has compiled a list of authors you might like to read if you’ve read all the David Eddings books.
to go next. If you’ve read all of David Eddings, and are looking for more, here’s a list of similar authors and series:
Terry Brooks – Shannara
Kate Elliott – Crown of Stars
Raymond E Feist – Riftwar Saga
Barbara Hambly – Winterlands
Robin Hobb – Tawny Man Trilogy
Robert Jordan – Wheel of Time
Fiona McIntosh – Trinity
Tad Williams – Memory, Sorrow and Thorn
Janny Wurts – Wars of Light and Shadows
Plus how could I miss the mega source of lists – the library’s Fantasy and Science Fiction lists