Tag Archive | bronze dragon codex

Inspiration in Work-for-Hire

Since 2006, about 75% or more of my writing time and energy has been spent on work-for-hire projects in a shared world.  While I do regret that I don’t have as much of my “own” stuff built up to give my agent (I really don’t have anything other than what she has polished enough to send out, so I’m scrambling these days, working on both a sequel and tossing around a new story idea I’ve been considering for a while), I don’t regret taking on work for hire at all.  Writing these projects is interesting, because, rather than just sitting myself down at a computer and starting to write a story and researching things as they come up (in my current WIP, I’ve had to make notes about researching the layout of lands surrounding abbeys, what root vegetables grew in medieval England, and whether or not church services were conducted in languages other than Latin for the common folk), I instead start with something that someone else has written.  Sometimes it’s a detailed book summary from which I need to write sample chapters.  Other times it’s looking through maps, timelines, and, best of all, books. 

I often describe my first book, Bronze Dragon Codex, as being able to write fanfic and be paid for it.  I’ve never quite seen the point of fanfic, why write something that you didn’t own rights to and get published?  But when the opportunity to write a book for childhood favorite series came up, it was SO much fun to look through my old books and atlases and read the new books and invent a story in that world.

I have that chance again, perhaps.  I’m still deciding if I want to do something I found out about recently.  I don’t know if I should take time out from my “own” work to chase after something that, in the end, won’t be mine.  But as I print out information and dig old books out of my library, I feel that thrill again, the same thrill I had when I first began researching for Bronze Dragon Codex.  Time will tell if the thrill stays enough for me to write something for this possible new project.

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A Much-Delayed Letter

My first book, Bronze Dragon Codex, came out in the summer of 2008.  In December of 2009, a 5th-grader decided to do a book project on it, including writing to the author.  In November 2012, I finally received this letter.  My first and, as of yet, only, but hopefully not last, fan mail! 

I debated responding.  After all, a 5th grader in 2009 would now be a freshman in high school.  Would they really care about hearing from an author they liked in elementary school.  I posed this quandary to the Facebook masses.  The answer was a resounding, “Yes, respond!”  And so, after a few more months delay (one nice thing about getting it so late was a couple more months wouldn’t make a difference!), I finally wrote the following letter to the student.  I’ll be mailing it soon with two postcards for Bronze Dragon Codex, a bookmark advertising Young Wizards Handbook, and a BLAD (Book Layout and Design) of Young Wizards Handbook which includes the spread of instructions for making a monster hunting pack, tips on how to trap a zombie, and some really wonderful illustrations.  Hey, it’s my first fan letter, I might as well go all-out, right?  I’m sending it care of the teacher, and told her that if she is unable to find the student, to please use the goodies in her classroom (I thought they might make fun prizes) or give to a fantasy-loving student.

Dear 2009 Fifth-Grader,

Due to the current siege of Palanthas*, the city where the Dragon Codices were written in the land of Krynn, your letter only recently came to my desk.  I apologize sincerely for the delay, but often dragons have a way of delaying things beyond anyone’s control! 

I really liked the flier you made for Bronze Dragon Codex.  I will be hanging it in a special place in my office.  I’m very glad you enjoyed the book, and encourage you to look for the other Dragon Codex books. 

Now to address your questions:

Have you ever traveled and if you have what’s your favorite place that you have traveled too?

I live in Maryland, and have traveled to many of the other states.  My favorite place in the United States is a small wilderness area called Dolly Sods in West Virginia.  It’s a very beautiful mountain area, a place that I think that Simle and Tatelyn would enjoy exploring.  I’ve also traveled to England, Wales, and Scotland and really enjoyed that.  I’m fond of castles, so I especially liked visiting Caerphilly Castle, Cardiff Castle, and Edinburgh.  And, of course, I love visiting Krynn, where Bronze Dragon Codex and other books, such as the Dragonlance series, are set. 

When is your next book coming out?

Since this letter came to me so late, I’m happy to say that my next book is out already!  It is called Young Wizards Handbook: How to Trap a Zombie, Track a Vampire, and Other Hands-On Activities for Monster Hunters.  It is a guide to different monsters and how you can either capture them or avoid them.  It has lots of games and activities that you can easily do at home, such as making a monster-catching net or a tanglefoot potion.  I’ve included a sample from the book for you to enjoy.

There are other Dragon Codex books, too, although they were not written by me.  R.D. Henham is a rather lazy person who hires work out to assistant scribes and then takes all the credit.  🙂

What character do you like best?

It’s interesting that you mention that your favorite character is Simle, because, out of the books I’ve published, she’s my favorite character too!  She was a lot of fun to write and I really liked developing her character from hating humans because they stole her siblings to learning that not all humans are evil and becoming friends with them.

What hobbies do you have?

Reading would be my biggest hobby, although that’s so much a part of my life it seems odd to call it a hobby.  I read a lot of middle-grade and young adult fantasy, but I also like I’m also very much into crafts, particularly crocheting.  I also really enjoy hiking and exploring.

I apologize again for this delayed response.  I hope this letter finds you, and finds you well!

Sincerely,

Amie Rose Rotruck

AKA R.D. Hehman for Bronze Dragon Codex

 

*Originally, there were supposed to be 10 Dragon Codex books, one for each color of dragon in the Dragonlance world.  Alas, they stopped after 7, not doing books for White, Blue, or Copper dragons (figures, I’d sent proposals in for White and Blue!).  The “official” line that my fellow scribes and I came up with was that there was a siege in Palantahs and no further Dragon Codices were able to be written because R.D. Henham and the scribes were too busy fighting dragons.  Visit R.D. Henham’s website for more detail!