Every author wants to be immortal, to leave that imprint on the world, even after our time has passed. Today, New York Times bestselling fantasy author, David Farland, also known as the “Wizard of Storytelling,” shares his passion behind his writing, his latest release, Nightingale, and even offers a chance to win $1000 in a short-story contest!
Being a YA fantasy author myself, I can’t wait to curl up on my couch with a copy of Nightingale and slip away into a world of adventure. Before I do (because being engrossed in a book, you might not see me for days), I want to thank Dave for joining us here today! I can’t tell you how excited I am that such an icon was kind enough to stop by my little blog. I thought long and hard about what type of guest post I wanted this amazing author to write and even consulted my husband, Slade, about it.
If you only had once chance, what would you ask a New York Times bestselling author?
Here goes nothing!
In fifty years, what do you want people to think of your work?
I’ve gotten many touching fan mails over the years. When my first novel came out, a man in Canada had his mother dying of cancer in a hospital bed. To relieve the pain, she would ask him to read a chapter to her here and there, hoping to live long enough to reach the end. She passed away before the book ended, so he read the last chapters to her at her graveside.
Another reader last spring wrote to tell me that he suffered from a terrible illness and had been on a morphine pump for many years. He said, “The only time that I was able to forget the pain was when I read your Runelords books.”
At a book signing three years ago, a young man had me sign a Star Wars book that I’d written. He’d carried the same copy in his back pocket for six years, and stopped to read from it several times per day. The cover was worn off, and it was held together with duct tape. I asked him what moved him to do this, and he said, “My mother died when I was eight years old, and for a long time I was very sad. Then one day I read this book, and for the first time in two years, I realized that I felt happy. I’ve kept the book with me ever since.”
Entertaining people has merit—just easing their loneliness or pain, bringing them a little light and joy. That’s valuable for an author to do.
But I want more than that, of course. When a person reads a novel, sometimes over and over, the story becomes a part of them. One fan wrote that he’d read one of my books in 1992—three times. He said, “I was in love with a beautiful girl in college, and I realized the other day that I couldn’t even remember her name. I couldn’t recall what classes I took that semester in most cases. But your book became a part of me, burned into my memory.”
So when I write a book, I want readers to feel that they’ve been transported into it. And when they return to the real world, I want them to feel as if they’ve grown from the experience: that they understand the world, others, and life itself better.
You see, we write in part to transport, but we write in part to transform. Despite all the harrowing things that happen in my novels, I want readers to come away feeling that they’re better people for having read them, that the book has a significant positive impact upon them.
If I can bring one profound truth to them, one insight, then I will feel that I’m doing my job. Ideally, you want something even more. I want people who read my works to look back and say, “You know, one of my all time favorites was . . .” and name my book. I want them to give it as a treasured gift to their children or grandchildren.
I think that that my latest novel, Nightingale, has the potential to be that kind of book.
Nightingale tells the story of a young man named Bron Jones, who is abandoned at birth. Raised in foster care, he’s shuffled from home to home. At age 16, he’s kind of the ultimate loner. I think that most of us feel that way at some time. He’s ejected from one home and sent to a new foster mother, Olivia, a marvelous and gifted teacher. She recognizes that Bron is something special, something that her people call a “Nightingale,” a creature that is not quite human.
Suddenly epic forces combine to claim Bron, and he must fight to keep from getting ripped away from the only home, family, and girlfriend that he has ever known. He must risk his life to learn the answers to the mysteries of his birth: “What am I? Where did I come from? Who am I?”
I’m releasing the novel in several forms through my new publishing company—as an enhanced novel, as an e-book, an audiobook, and a hardcover. We even have a fantastic soundtrack for it. The novel is out now, and my business partner, Miles Romney, did one last cool thing. The enhanced book was made for the iPad, though you will also be able to read it on just about any other pad or smartphone. But Miles had his programmers create a web app so that you can enjoy the book on your computer—read a few chapters, take it for a test drive, or simply buy it to enjoy online. You’re free to go check out the results at www.nightingalenovel.com. If you like it, remember to “Like” us on Facebook. Better yet, re-post our site info and tell your friends on Facebook.
Oh, and while you’re there, check out our short-story contest, where you can win $1000.
I hope that in fifty years, when I’m gone, Nightingale will still be read and remembered. That was my goal when I wrote it. Only you and people like you can decide if I’ve achieved that goal.
Because that’s what his people do.
His foster families found him to be “too gifted” and “strange.”
Because that’s how his people are…
Steel your nerves. You’re about to encounter his people.
David Farland is the international bestselling authors of nearly fifty books, including such award-winning novels as the science fiction masterpiece On My Way to Paradise (Philip K. Dick Memorial Special Award Winner, Best Novel in English Language) and the historical novel In the Company of Angels (Whitney Award Winner: Best Novel of the Year). He is best known though for his fantasy work, which includes the New York Times bestselling series The Runelords, and his lovable and wacky middle-grade fantasy series Ravenspell.
With Nightingale, Dave makes his first foray into creating his own young adult series. (Dave has written young adult novels for both the Star Wars and Mummy franchises as Dave Wolverton, but this is the first young adult universe that he’s created for himself.)
In addition to writing novels, Dave has also worked in videogames on such international bestselling games as Starcraft: Brood Wars, and Xena: The Talisman of fate.
More recently, Dave has worked in the film industry as a movie producer and a screenwriter. His screenplay for the Runelords in now in development for a major motion picture.
Throughout his career, Dave has worked extensively helping new writers through his work as coordinating judge of the Writers of the Future, as a creative writing instructor at Brigham Young University, and by teaching writing seminars. Many of his students have gone on to become some of the most successful writers of our time, including such #1 international bestsellers as Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, and Stephenie Meyer.
In 1999, Dave set the Guinness Record for the World’s Largest Book Signing.