We talked about the upcoming adaptation of Runelords. We spoke to it’s creator and writer David Farland.
What are you up to today?
I just finished teaching a workshop on writing for young readers, and I’m exhausted! So I’m catching up on correspondence, with plans to launch into the final book of the Runelords series again on Monday.
What is the appeal of science fiction and fantasy?
There are a lot of appeals. The biggest emotional appeal deals with wonder, but whenever you encounter the strange, there is also a strong possibility of finding the horrific, and even something humorous. Beyond that, stories set in science fiction and fantasy worlds almost always need to touch upon vital moral issues, such as “What is the right use of power?”
Didn’t you have an idea about a boy at a school for wizards years and years ago?!
Oh, yes. My first novel, which I began to write at the age of 17, was called A Wizard in Halflight, and it told the exploits of a young teen who goes to an academy for wizards. I began that novel in about 1973, and of course others have done similar things.
You write as Dave Wolverton and David Farland. Why?
I started out writing science fiction, and did quite well, but I’d always loved fantasy and I wanted to keep my two audiences separate. There is a little crossover among readers, but not enough. In fact, there are a lot more fantasy readers, and so if you as a science fiction author write your own novels But there are a lot more fantasy readers, and if you as a science fiction author write outside your genre, the bookstore chains aren’t likely to order enough of your books if you use your science fiction moniker. So it makes good business sense to use a pseudonym, if you write in two genres. Besides, my fantasy name gets my books put up at eye-level on the bookshelves, which can be a problem if your name comes low in the alphabet.
Would your novels make great films/TV series? Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia?
They would. In fact, we’re getting ready to take the Runelords to Hollywood and make a movie. I’ve written the screenplay, and you can
learn more about it at www.runelordsmovie.com.
Tell us about the Runelords?
The Runelords is a fantasy novel set in a strange world where the lords can draw attributes–such as brawn, wit, glamour, and speed–from their vassals, through the use of magical branding irons called “forcibles.” Thus, a lord can have the strength of ten men, the speed of three. But the spell only lasts as long as the lord and the vassal both remain alive, and so the lords must be careful to
protect those who serve them.
The story tells of Gaborn Val Orden, a prince who is reluctant to use his powers. He hates the idea of taking the wit from a man, leaving
him a fool, or taking the sight from a man, leaving him blind.
While on the way to visit a princess who is of like mind, he discovers that her kingdom has been invaded by a king who has taken so many attributes, he is godlike in his power. So Gaborn finds himself thrust into a battle for the fate of a girl, a kingdom, and an entire
Why make this into a film?
I love storytelling in all mediums. Film is much easier for an audience to grasp than a book, though it isn’t as satisfying.
How is the process from book to film going?
It’s going great. I’ve done eight drafts on the film, and we’ll begin taking meetings with studios soon.
Why is Hollywood focused on comic books right now?
Uh, because they somehow believe that we’ll never tire of them. The truth is that one of the studios bought the rights to all of the
comic-book line of one major publisher, and so we’ll be seeing them role these out for years.
In Hollywood, we have a lot of visual filmmakers. Comics of course are a visual medium, so it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out how to take advantage of the existing intellectual property.
What would you want us to take from the Runelords?
Ah, now we’re getting into themes. The Runelords is about a world where ruthless men abuse those without wealth. Ultimately, it’s about compassion, sacrifice, and honor.
Anything else you want to get off your chest?!
Sure, I also have a new series that I’m starting. The novel Nightingale is available as an e-book, audiobook, and in hardcover. It tells the story of a young man who is abandoned at birth, and kicked from home to home for being “too strange.” At the age of 16 he meets a wondrous new teacher who recognizes instantly that he isn’t even human. He’s what her people call a “Nightingale,” a creature sent to live among human.
You can learn all about it at www.nightingalenovel.com.