I’ve been talking to Del Rey books about bonus materials for the mass market paperback (mmpb) version of The Desert Spear, coming out on my birthday next year (Feb. 8, 2011). It is standard practice to include some extra goodies in the mmpb to encourage readers, and it’s something I have always enjoyed as a fan.

Usually these bonus materials come in the form of an excerpt from the next book. The Warded Man mmpb, for example, contains the prologue to The Desert Spear.ย  We are already including a short Krasian Dictionary in the mmpb, but Del Rey was very keen to include an excerpt from The Daylight War, as well.

But I’m not ready to give one up.

This isn’t because I haven’t written anything. I have a good 200 pages of pretty kickass material (if I do say so myself), but as I mentioned on the blog recently, I did a bit of a hatchet job on the book a month or so ago, and the new POV introduction (Mudboy) that I was going to include as the TDS mmpb excerpt was cut from The Daylight War. Not because it isn’t good (oh man, is it good), but because including the full character arc (which would span a dozen or so years) would have made the book somewhat unwieldy. The main story is meaty enough.

I could also include a taste of the Arlen & Renna chapters I have finished, but they contain a LOT of big reveals I am not yet ready to make public with the new book still some ways off. It was impossible to pick something that wasn’t too spoilery.

So what to do?

After a conversation with my editor, we decided to leave it up to you, the readers. We will be including an Q&A interview with me in the mmpb in addition to the Krasian Dictionary, and would like to include YOUR questions.

All you need to do is comment on this post with a question you would like me to answer. My editor and I will select the best ones, and they will appear in the mmpb, along with my answers.


1) Please include your first name and where you’re from (not a specific address, just town and country).

2) Ask as many questions as you like, but I will only pick one per person to answer in the book.

3) Questions may be on any topic (writing craft, magic system details, specifics about events in the stories, etc), but please don’t ask questions the answers to which would be story spoilers, like “Who will Arlen end up with, Renna or Leesha?” Obviously, I am not going to answer those.

4) I may answer some questions immediately in the comments thread, if they are ones I am not planning to include in the mmpb insert.

5) The final interview is due to Del Rey on Oct. 1 (less than two weeks!), which means I need time to pick questions and answer them, so the sooner you ask, the better your chances of getting your questions into the book.

Thanks for your help!

Posted on September 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm by PeatB
Filed under Contests, Craft, Desert Spear, Events, Excisions, Fans, Interviews, The Daylight War, Warded Man, Writing

37 responses to “TDS Q & A”

  1. Hi Peat. For about half of TPM I thought that the whole ‘demons rising from the ground each night’ thing, was going to be a kick-ass backdrop ( I love the idea of characters being caught outside with dusk approaching), rather than an enemy that could be fought against in any meaningful sense. Did you ever consider going down this route?

    Posted by Sam Slater, on September 18th, 2010 at 6:23 pm
  2. When writing about a culture radically different from the one you were raised, the krasians in this case, was it hard to research and write from their perspective?

    Posted by Patrick McCabe, on September 18th, 2010 at 8:08 pm
  3. Hello Peat,
    Could you explain more of the actual math behind the ward circles?
    I realize that with your style of writing you stick with more of a “bare bones and essentials” but the math behind the wards has always intrigued me. On the cover of the Portuguese version of your book there is a wonderful teaser of it in the way the title is fonted (?) and I would love more of that.

    Posted by Lois Rotchford, on September 18th, 2010 at 9:54 pm
  4. P.S. My town is Ithaca, New York, USA.

    Posted by Lois Rotchford, on September 18th, 2010 at 9:55 pm
  5. Can you give us a step by step of how the story went from your brain to a full blown novel? Do you write out notes and detailed outlines or just type away?

    Posted by Dave B, on September 18th, 2010 at 10:17 pm
  6. Do you have any book recommendations for us until “The Daylight War” comes out?

    Christoph from Tรผbingen, Germany

    Posted by Christoph, on September 19th, 2010 at 2:55 am
  7. In the next book, would you give us more insight on why the demons do what they do and do they have any other purpose other than just to kill ?

    Ilynne from Sydney, Australia

    Posted by Ilynne, on September 19th, 2010 at 4:00 am
  8. What inspired you too use Wards as your primary mechanic of magic, rather than using one of the more traditional systems?

    Josh, Tonawanda NY

    Posted by Josh, on September 19th, 2010 at 8:42 am
  9. Hey Peat!

    Who is the ruler of this world? Is there one? Do you think the Warded man could behold such a task? If not, who might be suited?

    Jeremy Alexander, Millburn USA

    Posted by Jeremy Alexander, on September 19th, 2010 at 2:52 pm
  10. I just re-read The Warded Man and The Desert Spear trying to read them both at the same time in chronological order (so I can see what Arlen and Jardir are thinking at the same time). Anyways when I was reading about events in the maze leading up to Jardir declaring himself the Deliverer I noticed that you see most of the events through both characters perspectives in the books until the time where Arlen in thrown into the pit with the Sand demon. What I am asking is did you ever write this scene from Jardir’s perspective and decide not to include it in the book or was his reaction to the events in the pit just never written?

    David, Sandusky OH

    Posted by David M, on September 19th, 2010 at 5:02 pm
  11. Is the Krasian culture based off a real life society (past or present)?

    ~ Richard Green, Parker, CO, USA

    Posted by Richard Green, on September 19th, 2010 at 5:39 pm
  12. 1.) What real-life cultures influenced your development of the Krasians? What about those particular cultures engaged you and why?

    Myke, the couch in your office roughly 4 months out of the typical year.

    Posted by Myke, on September 19th, 2010 at 8:40 pm
  13. P.S. I am located in the twin cities

    Posted by josh clark, on September 20th, 2010 at 7:26 pm
  14. Hi. I would like to start by saying “Nice wrtiing dude”. I especially enjoyed the first couple hundred pages of “Deasert Spear”. I have to admit that I was a little sceptical of the entertainment value of the new POV character. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by how the character developed and how much I really LIKED him. Now on to my Question. Is it hard to write 2 Characters who are so genuinely likeable and riteous but pitted against each other. It seems kike it would be hard to choose a final victor.

    Josh in Twin Cities MN

    Posted by Josh Clark, on September 20th, 2010 at 7:58 pm
  15. I am sick of this thing not posting my response. whats up? I aint writing it again

    Posted by Josh Clark, on September 20th, 2010 at 8:06 pm
  16. Josh, sometimes you’ve gotta just chill and wait for me to check the spam filter, which I usually do daily.

    Sometimes it catches innocent stuff, but you would be amazed at how many viagkra and zanaxxx ads I get.

    Posted by Peat, on September 20th, 2010 at 9:23 pm
  17. Do you find it easier or more enjoyable to write one character’s story thread than the others?

    Melanie, UK.

    Posted by Melanie, on September 21st, 2010 at 7:22 am
  18. Lol. Sorry man. Sometimes I get a little impatient.

    Posted by josh clark, on September 21st, 2010 at 7:35 am
  19. Hey peat,
    I have recently been looking into the origins of inspirations of writers. Ie. much of Tolkeins inspiration apparently came from somerset and cheddar gorge.
    1) How and where you you gain the inspiration for your series?
    2) Unlike many fantasy writers you have developed a story free from the traditional orcs/goblin, elves/men/dwarves plot structure; i was wondering how you manage to develope the stories in a way that is totally original without the influence of other writers.
    3) Do you ever read other writers work and think, “i could write this better” or “this story would develop better in this direction”.
    I find myself extremely critical of others writers and find ways to further their stories but struggle to formulate my own, how do you react to others stories.
    4) have you ever had the idea or vision for a story that you really like only to find that it is already a published work?

    Posted by James Robinson, on September 21st, 2010 at 9:47 am
  20. Peat,
    As of right now how many books are you planning in this series? I know things can always change as your inspiration does ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cheyenne, WY

    Posted by Yelie Opp, on September 21st, 2010 at 10:33 am
  21. Peat,
    I would also love to know your top 3 favorite authors!

    Cheyenne, WY

    Posted by Yelie Opp, on September 21st, 2010 at 10:37 am
  22. Hi, i read both books this summer, portuguese version, and i think they are realllyy good. It’s been a while since i read something so nice. One part of the book that maked me wonder was when the prince of the demons gets a bit worried after he sees that Arlen vanishes into the nucleous and that he can see the nest. I guess this fact will be referred again in the development of the story. My question is, why isn’t Jardir suffering from the same thing? Why doesn’t he feels unconfortable bettwen the guards like Arlen? He has been absorving the same demon energy as Arlen, every night, one night after other so why doesn’t he also feels the calling of the nucleous like Arlen does?

    Thanks, Ana, Oporto.

    Posted by Ana Mesquita, on September 21st, 2010 at 3:08 pm
  23. Hey Peat.

    My first question is: How advanced was the technology of TPM world before the demons returned?

    And: Will you consider releasing books that are based on books in your trilogy? Folks tales told by villagers, for example. Or a possible book of Ward’s and their power? It would be an amazing thing for all us fans. Not often Authors release other material that fans are dying for.

    S. Smith, Outside Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Posted by Steven Smith, on September 21st, 2010 at 3:36 pm
  24. Hey Peat,

    Wonderful stuff, enthralling plotlines strong on characters and thought provoking at the same time, a heady mix!

    1) What was your inspiration for the setting for the world you have created – did you draw from any other influences? (the only fantasy series i have read were the first few DragonLance ones where there was a similarly cataclysmic event)

    2) What significance is there to this cataclysmic past in the world you have created and do you intend to explore this line in history in future books?

    3) Do you intend to further on the magic of the old world rediscovered after the fall of science?

    Thanks! =)
    Edinbugh, Scotland

    Posted by Jonathan Liu, on September 21st, 2010 at 4:02 pm
  25. Hi Peat,
    I was thinking whether it is difficult for you to leave Arlen and his world, to concentrate on something else or is there a bigger picture of the different plot always in the back of your head keeping a part of mind focused on developing a character or a special scene or anything such.
    Thank you for taking always so much time to keep us fans posted and up to date on everything concerning Arlen ๐Ÿ™‚

    Vesselina, Bulgaria (Sofia)

    Posted by Vesselina A., on September 21st, 2010 at 7:15 pm
  26. Heya Peat,
    Where do you get the inspiration for your characters and their world from?
    Have you had characters that you’ve written in and then later decided you didn’t like and taken them out? If so, what differences would they have made to the books?
    (I’m sorry I have a few questions)
    Do you personally have a favourite character? If so, why?

    Sarah, Victoria, Australia

    Posted by Sarah Spaulding, on September 21st, 2010 at 8:51 pm
  27. Hey peat.

    If you could be a pokemon, which one would you be?

    Which part of the painted man is your favourite.

    Rasmus, Grenaa, Denmark.

    Posted by Sinnq, on September 22nd, 2010 at 2:16 am
  28. hey
    1. why does magic only manifest itself in wards? rather than say a person’s mind.
    2.What caused the link to begin with?
    3. Would you say your novels are influenced to a certain extent by the ideological/ geopolitical conflict that is happening in todays context?
    4. is it possible for the demons to be controlled and fight for the humans?

    Daniul, Sydney, Australia

    Posted by Daniul, on September 22nd, 2010 at 8:52 am
  29. Dear Peat,
    If you don’t answer Rasmus’s Pokemon question in the Q&A I will cry.

    Posted by Lo, on September 22nd, 2010 at 9:27 pm
  30. Peat,
    Is Leesha the first person to come up with warded clothes/armor? Would it work to have other pieces of clothing besides the cloak warded? Even armor which wouldn’t distort as easily?

    Cheyenne, WY

    Posted by Yelie, on September 22nd, 2010 at 11:13 pm
  31. Hi Peat

    1. If you had the chance, would you write a story which takes place in the age of science?

    2. Have you ever included an idea which, came from a fan, or from a discussion among fans?

    3. When the movie of “the painted man” is going to be shot, would you like to have a cameo shot, or even a role in the movie?

    4. What do you think about fanfictions in general?

    5. Have you ever been recognized on the street as the author of “the painted man” and/or “the desert spear”?

    Thank you!

    Karlsruhe, Germany

    Posted by Iris, on September 23rd, 2010 at 10:03 am
  32. Hello,
    my second question is if this earth you created in the book is our earth or is another place like the Tolkiens Middle earth, i think i read somewhere that this was our earth in the future but i think this is a bit rare because they find only some small ruins in the roads. Would you give more details about the pre-demon world?
    The other question is who made the wards? Is this really a gift from Everam to combat nie or is just like a natural equilibrium like the stations of the year?

    Ana, Oporto.

    Posted by Ana, on September 24th, 2010 at 11:11 am
  33. Hi Peat,
    My question is about the naming of the characters.
    In the Painted man UK MMPB, the characters last names are almost never mentioned, until I read TDS 1st edition I had no idea of their last names, which was brought up more and more frequent that it felt odd and slightly out of place. Was it a concious decision to implement their jobs as their last name in the second novel or was it just a natural progression that happened without much thought behind it?

    Dwayne, London UK

    Posted by Dwayne, on September 25th, 2010 at 8:17 pm
  34. Peat,

    Which is your favorite character to write? Is there one you feel like you know so well that their story just flows every time?

    Cheyenne, WY

    Posted by Yelie, on September 26th, 2010 at 6:54 pm
  35. Peat, why did you make the circle and semi-circle arrays so critical to the proper use of ward magic? I have a few ideas as to why, but I’d like to hear it from you.

    Vinny K ~ Eastlake, OH

    Posted by Vinny, on September 26th, 2010 at 10:45 pm
  36. Peat,

    Firstly, thank you for writing tremendously awesome books. They have been the source of hours of escapism when the real world just was not exciting enough.

    On to my question: Your status as technophile extraordinaire is well known amongst your fans. Would you say that there is a single piece of technology that irrevocably changed your writing habits?

    Lood – Pretoria, South Africa

    Posted by Lood, on September 28th, 2010 at 7:48 am
  37. Hey Peat,

    Epic story so far, and I’m lovin’ every moment of it, but I’m wondering –

    When creating characters, do you plan them out fully, listing things like height, eye colour, favourite foods, etc. or do you just write and make up the character as you write?


    Eder – Auckland, New Zealand

    Posted by Eder Lee, on October 5th, 2010 at 5:32 pm