I'm honored to be invited to this live chat. As always, I'm pleased to get a chance to answer many of the questions readers have.
Before we begin, I would like to clarify an important point that is often the source of confusion: I am a novelist; I am not, in the essential sense, a fantasy author.
It is the defining characteristic, upon which other characteristics depend, that properly distinguishes a thing's identity. This is called the rule of fundamentality.
To define me as a fantasy writer is to misunderstand the context of my books by misidentifying their fundamentals.
There are many kinds of books: thrillers, manuals, sagas, textbooks, poetry, geometry books, fantasies, memoirs, history, etiquette books, novels, etc. Books properly belong in specific categories because of their essential characteristics. An essential characteristic of a cookbook would be that it primarily contains recipes.
The essential attributes of a novel are: Theme, Plot, Characterization. These are not the essential attributes of a fantasy book. The essential attribute that dominates a fantasy is its mystical or magical aspects. A novel, dominated, driven and defined by mystical elements, can certainly be a fantasy. But a saga (a long detailed report), dominated by mystical elements, can be a fantasy as well. World building books are fantasies when driven by magic. Sagas (generally a subcategory of Naturalism) and world building books (which also usually fall under the broad category of Naturalism) can be fantasies, but they are not novels; they lack the requisite elements of Theme, Plot, and Characterization. (Naturalism is a school of art that denies the existence of volition, thereby dismissing the need for plot. Romanticism, the category of art to which my novels belong, is based on the principle of volition and all that entails.)
A novel can certainly contain elements of fantasy, just as it can contain romance, adventure, political intrigue, and mystery, but containing elements of romance or fantasy does not make a book a romance or a fantasy if those elements are not the essential elements of the book -if they are not its defining characteristic.
Fantasy usually takes conventional values as a given. For example, the evil being battled is commonly a dark force that wishes to do evil- without any reason beyond that it is evil.
My books are novels that deal in important human themes involving the faculty of reason. I tell these stories through heroic characters.
The men who flew airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had heroes. They did not believe that what they were doing was evil; they believed they were doing good. Why were they willing to die in order to kill indiscriminately? Why did they believe that what they were doing was good? What constituted evil in their minds? Who were their heroes?
Why are my heroes different than the heroes of people like that? To answer those sorts of questions requires that I convey intellectual information.
Those are the kinds of abstract concepts I write about which are absent from fantasy, as such. I have no desire to tell simplistic stories of good and evil driven by mysticism and magic. My novels instead, involve the nature of and projection of values.
My books were defined in the marketplace as fantasy purely because of business considerations, not essential characteristics. In the business of selling books, the fact that there are elements of magic in my novels and, far more importantly, that I am published by a fantasy publisher, nullifies every other consideration. If I were now to write a book about a travel agent going on a whale-watching cruise and the boat was captured by Islamic terrorists who intended to use it to deliver a dirty bomb into Boston harbor, and this book were published by my present publisher, and I used my real name, the book would be racked in fantasy -despite its content.
Because fantasy publishers make their living publishing fantasy, they seek out fantasy that will sell to the fantasy reader, so there is rarely any confusion. Most fantasy authors are very deliberate in their intent to write fantasy books. In my case, I have ended up with a good publisher who happens to be a fantasy publisher, among other things but they failed to see beyond the fantasy elements in the first book. Look at WIZARD'S FIRST RULE. What did my publisher insist be on the cover? A red dragon. Was a red dragon, per se, central to the story? No. But in the minds of unthinking individuals the existence of a red dragon in the story superseded all other aspects and defined the book, therefore it went on the cover .
So, my books were categorized according to one of the least important elements of their content - red dragons -at the expense of the most important element - human themes shared by every one of you.
I've finally succeeded in getting Tor to put a new cover on WIZARD'S FIRST RULE. What is the subject of the new cover? Two people. Are they central to the story? Yes. Is magic central to their story? No. What is? Volition. How is volition carried out? Through the thinking human mind of the characters as demonstrated by the plot Theme, Characterization, Plot. A novel.
Along with cover content, I've endeavored to mitigate confusion and misconception by having the imprint used on my books changed from the one that says "fantasy" to the generic "TOR" logo and by removing some of the more overt fantasy trappings, such as the sword on the title page. You will also observe that the series name -The Sword of Truth -is no longer used on the books' covers. But, because of marketplace realities, there are limits to what I can do to get this message across.
Yet there are those who rail at me because I don't behave like a fantasy author is "supposed" to. I don't follow the rules, as they see it.
There are those who focus exclusively on this least important element -magic - simply because people I don't know, despite my strenuous objections at the time, insisted on placing a red dragon on the cover of my work, and because of that, and who published the book, I was racked in bookstores as fantasy. As a result, in the minds of some readers I am for all time to be labeled as a “fantasy" author. So I must now follow some unstated laws of writing - I must know my place - because I've been mindlessly labeled a "fantasy" author? That, my friends, is bigotry.
I am not an obedient subservient cog of a group, slavishly following the group's conventions. I am a thinking individual acting of my own free will.
Shania Twain had a similar problem with country music fans who resented her because her music doesn't follow the constrained conventions of country music. She has risen above category names. For most of my fans, so have I.
Most of Shania Twain's fans are not regular country music fans. Most of my fans are not regular fantasy fans nor are they so bigoted that they think I must know my place and stay in it.
While my books do contain elements of fantasy, and I'm proud of those elements - just as I'm proud of the romance, the political intrigue, the mystery -those fantasy elements are not the essential characteristics that define my work.
A proper novel, with a true plot, must have ideas that drive the story. Action without psychological articulation is not a worthwhile plot. Those essential elements that make my books novels (and not the fantasy elements) are the fundamentals that are most important to me, So please keep in mind that, while I will be happy to entertain questions that pertain to the fantasy elements, those things just aren't central. Magic is but a tool I use to help tell important human stories. The magic isn't what matters -the characters do.
You might say that the magic is like a light used to illuminate someone skulking around in the dark. When people focus intently on the magic elements, it's as if, when I shine that light on the man lurking in the darkness, they are asking me, "Say, what kind of batteries do you have in that flashlight -are they disposable or are they the rechargeable kind? One time you said it took a fraction of second for the flashlight to turn on. Now you seem to be implying that it turned on instantly. I’m confused, which is it -a fraction of a second, or do you really mean instantly? Hey, let me ask you a question about voltage. .." They only want to know about my flashlight. I want to know what the man is doing mucking about in the darkness.
Now, on to the questions.
Answer: This is news to me
Question: TG, I read your article on sci-fi Dimensions, and was upset
when you called drug users (a group which used to include me (pot)) a
party to murder. Do you consider people who went to speak-easies responsible
for the murderous gangsters? I would blame the prohibition laws. What
do you think of people who purchase gasoline (from countries that support
terrorism)? Also, your books have inspired me to give up drinking and
smoking (I quit pot on my own, because I hated the way it made me feel).
Thanks!Answer: I have a friend who had a daughter in college. One night,
as she was walking back to her dorm room, some men drove up behind her
and executed her. Five young women matching her description were murdered
that same week. Drug dealers had killed any woman they saw who looked
like a woman they wanted dead.This young woman's life is over. She will
never be able to enjoy her life, to experience love, a family, a beautiful
sunset. Her life is over as part of the price paid so that a drug user
can continue to "experiment" with drugs.Pablo Escabar wanted
to take out a competitor in the drug business, so he did. There happened
to be 127 other people on the plane at the time. They are all dead, part
of the price in human lives forfeit so that some user can continue to
have his drugs.The people who use drugs did not murder these people, but
they most certainly are accessories to murder. Every day people are injured
and killed as a direct result ofthe work of insuring that the users of
drugs have a steady supply.Knowledge of the violence involved in the distribution
and use ofillega1 drugs is too prevalent for anyone to claim that they
didn't know that their use of drugs contributes to and supports that violence.
To deny the connection is to deny reality in order to ignore the guilt
of helping bring death and suffering to innocent people. It should hardly
come as a surprise to hear that those who use drugs would like very much
to deny this reality -as if to deny rea1ity will make it go away.Man's
mind is his means of survival. A rational being does not intentionally
destroy its means of survival. Yet these people do, so little is their
respect for even their own lives. And we should wonder that, in their
lust to blot out their own consciousness,They have no regard for their
contribution to the destruction of innocent lives?Blaming the law they
break will not sanctify slaughter. Snatching at scraps of irrelevant arguments
to try to wipe the blood from their hands or clear their conscience is
but a futile attempt at self-delusion; it does not bring back the lives
of those now dead just so users could continue to indulge their destructive
whims.The silent, unspoken, unadmitted, cringing horror that grips the
user's existence is testimony to the monstrous harm they know they help
make possible. Drug users need to be corrected, their lives turned around,
not indulged.But a greater moral guilt rests with the cold-blooded creatures
who excuse the user - those monsters who hold such a cynical hatred of
life that they would help the plague to fester and fill yet more cemeteries
with the innocent and guilty alike as they strut around in the blood-soaked
robes of tolerance and understanding.We all pay (through taxes) a handout
so that many users can continue to finance their drug use. With our compassion
we condemn the drug user to wasted lives and countless innocent victims
to death, their loved ones to a living hell of agony -all because we lack
the moral courage to say it's wrong and will not be tolerated.If my books
have inspired anyone to give up excessive drinking or smoking then that
only serves to prove that individuals can use their minds to come to understand
andGrasp life's values when they see them illustrated in stories. It proves
everything I've been saying.If anyone is upset with me for saying that
those who use drugs are accessories to murder, I'd say that doesn't hold
a candle to the condemnation coming from the face looking at them in the
mirror. Excuses do not alter reality.
Question: When you're done writing the Sword of Truth, will your next book or series of books be in a different genre, and if so which one? Mystery? (I hope.)
Answer: I don't know yet. Right now I have two more books under contract with Tor and I'm having a good time working out their plots. I can't wait to get started on them.
Question: Michelle - Will you write anymore short stories?
Possibly. Right now I have two more books under contract, so I must devote my attention to them.
Question: <hargokhalsa> Question: Which book was the most, if at all challenging, to write?
Answer: Each has its own unique problems and challenges. Each was a lot of work. I always devote myself to doing my very best job with everything I do. So, I guess that they are all equally difficult and equally gratifying.
Question: Terry, do you have any other ideas for books in your head right now? If so, what genre/subject do you plan to write with in the future, or after you are finished with the SoT series?
Answer: yes I do have ideas for books I would like to write in the future. They will revolve around some very interesting characters and will keep you turning pages from the first.
Question: why did you alter the paperback version of fotf (I only heard you did this, I never read the PB)?
Answer: my editor insisted that I add a scene (the one with Ann at redcliff) that I did not want to add. He also wanted many other changes that I absolutely refused to make, but I did concede with this one. It was a mistake for me to have done so. After the hard cover came out I had a new editor and for the paperback I asked to the book restored to the way I wrote it and intended it. The paperback is the version that reflects my true intentions.
Question: Lately I've found myself in many arguments defending your books against 'fans' who say they used to like your books but no longer do to the extent that they used to. Would you mind settling some debates by answering the Question: What, if anything do you have to say to the people that voice the opinion that you're latest four books haven't been as good as the previous four and call them "too preachy"?
Answer: Don't be fooled. The assertion made by these detractors is a
note wrapped around a brick thrown through the window. These people are
not fans. There are hundreds if not thousands of fantasy books that fulfill
their professed taste in books. Why would they continue to read books
they claim are bad? Because they hate that my novels exists. Values arouse
hatred in these people. Their goal is not to enjoy life, but to destroy
that which is good -much like a school child who does not wish to study
for a test and instead beats up a classmate who does well. These people
hate what is good because it is good. Their lives are limited to loathing
and indifference. It isn't that they want to read a good book, what they
want is to make sure that you do not. Ignore them.
Answer: The first book of hers I read was Anthem. I picked it up because it was short. I was shocked to discover someone who so articulately expressed my beliefs and views of life. I recall being surprised that a writer held such views and was even more surprised that she would be published. I think that is when I first realized that people like me are hungry for ideas of substance in stories.
Question: Did Richard's talk about creating new magic (inventing spells, and such) in sotf have any philosophic meaning, or was it just some fantasy talk? It seemed important, but I couldn't get any real life meaning out of it.
Answer: Do you think that perhaps using your reasoning mind to come up with something entirely new and valuable to your life might be more important than repeating, through rote that what has come before? Look around you. Everything you have was made possible by the power of a reasoning mind envisioning something new, something original. I use magic as a metaphor; in this case for what wonders are achieved through thought and reason
Question: Richard has believed that the Midlands must work together in
order to defeat the Imperial Order. However, it seems as if many of the
times he has fought the Order himself or helped other societies to do
so, it has always been in his own self interest. For instance, he helped
the Bandakaran people because if he didn't, he would die. He made Jennsen
see the truth because otherwise, Kahlan would be killed. My question is
Answer: How come Richard isn't acting like a leader? Let me get this straight. To you, being a leader means that, one must sacrifice one's self? Self-interest, has no place in the decisions a man makes? You think, then, that a man who surrenders himself into the chains of slavery is a proper leader? This is who you would want to lead you? A volunteer slave? There's a comforting thought on the eve of battle.
Question: <stevo> Terry - your books being about free will i was wondering what your reasoning behind Kahlen’s power destroying free will was all about.
Answer: it was about her free will to use her power to fight those who would initiate force to destroy her or her people. If someone attacks you intending to take your life, you do not owe it to them to let them exercise their free will to kill you.
Draxus: In WFR, we see the effects of the boundary. It leaves a bunch of dead trees and what not, turning it into a desolate wasteland. We also see this in the Old world, surrounding the Bandakar (sp?) Where in the world is the desolate grounds between D'hara and Midlands. Was that boundary down long enough to allow the growth of trees and vegetation to grow back?? And what is exactly the time span of Debt of Bones to WFR?? 30-40 years?? Or is it less. Even so, There would not be enough time for the boundary to come down and allow the vegetation to come back. I'm confused!!
ANSWER: You have never seen the strip of desolate ground between D'Hara and the Midlands because there has never been a scene that has taken place on that spot. We know there was a boundary there and that now it’s gone. What purpose would it serve for me to write a scene to show this strip of formerly dead land? It would add nothing to the story. I only put scenes in the books because those scenes are necessary to tell the story
Debt of Bones took place roughly 40 years before WFR. The boundary went up in DOB, it did not come down then.
QUESTION: Trelane: You've talked about your admiration for Ayn Rand. I was wondering which is your favorite fiction and non-fiction book of hers?
ANSWER: My favorite book of Ayn Rand's is Romantic Manifesto. I really like her non-fiction work because it is so uplifting to see intellectual clarity. Romantic Manifesto is a profoundly penetrating look at the philosophy of art and man's need for both. Her work is so consistently powerful, though, that anything you read will be hugely worthwhile.
Q: Rico Len:The world has moved on since Darken Rahl was such a threat, and the days when Westland and the Midlands and D'Hara were separated by boundaries, and the new world was separated by it's own boundary from the old world. I know there are a lot of people that read the books that would like to go back to that time period where Ebinissia nor Renwold were in ruins, and Anderith still had it's Dominie Dirch to protect it, and when Aydindril wasn't a ghost town. You've gotten a lot of the readers depressed by the oppression of the Order. I for one would like to know when we'll at least be able to see some hope for the good of the world, because while Richard and Kahlan are having small victories here and there, Jagang is still winning the war. I think a lot of people would like to see the tides change and see things start to get restored back to right. I know of many who would like to see the Boxes of Orden be put back into play but this time by Richard and finally be done with Jagang and people like him. I know that as of the last time I heard, you were only contracted for two more books. I love this series, not only for the story, but also for what it has taught me, but like all good things, it must end. I know that doesn't necessarily signal the end of the series in two books time, but are you able to say whether or not the worst has past and that Richard and Kahlan will actually start making some real progress towards doing away with the Order? Lately there's been only a little to smile about in the series; the world has the feel that it has already fallen to the Order. There has been only a silver lining to smile at; that a few small amounts of people have seen the truth of the corruption of the Order and have embraced life. While this is wonderful, it's going to be a sad state of affairs if everyone in the world is going to have to experience such an epiphany before the Order can be overthrown, because can such a thing actually happen? Your world is a very good mirror of our own and as the term mirror indicates here in our world we still have people ruling others through tyranny or through the illusion of morality. The problem is evident, what is the solution? I know you can't/won't answer these questions directly, but I'd like to hear your comments on what I have stated and asked in the most direct manner you can without spoiling what is to come in the SoT series, or doing anything else that could get you in trouble with your publishers, etc. One last time I'd like to say that I love your story and I love what you have taught me, and I look forward to learning more about the sword that is truth.Answer: Rico Len,The world has moved on since Darken Rahl was such a threat...The World in this series very much mirrors the great struggle in our own world. The two sides of the issue can be summed up by the belief of the Order: You must sacrifice yourself to the greater good of mankind, and by Richard's belief: Your Life is yours alone, rise up and live it. The idea of sacrifice to a greater good (Such as socialism and statism) is gaining the upper hand in our world. This is a very dark and dangerous threat. With each passing day, the individual’s right to live his own life is viewed with greater disdain by those who lust for the unearned. Richards’s world is in no less peril. There is no certainty that Richard will triumph, that he and those who believe in his ideals will succeed, or that he will even survive. It is too soon to tell, and the darkest hours are yet to come. Our own world stands in no less jeopardy. If we continue to let slip our grasp of reality, we are lost, as will be Richard and Kahlan. But within this struggle is the uplifting story of the nobility of mankind. Through these characters we are presented with a view of life that stirs and inspires us.
QUESTION: BenIII: Does Mystar really know you? And did he really help
you with your office. Not to sound disrespectful, but a few of us were
Murry The Madman: As a considerable fan of this series, I must say this
I like the books, even POC, which many did not. I like the philosophy,
I have no problem with it. Nor did I think that you were trying to shove
it down our throats. More so, down the other throats of the other characters
in the book.
Answer: The keep was "cleaned out?" The keep is a vast place, with thousands of rooms. There is no reason to even believe that, without the Sisters of the Dark able to go into the Keep to guide the search, that the pristinely ungifted men doing their bidding would even begin to know what was important to grab, “or” where the important rooms were, such as the First Wizard’s enclave. By the relatively small number of wagons taking away crated objects, it seemed fairly obvious that their haul was most likely pretty meager.
Question: <The_Gilder> QUESTION: How, if in any way, has your fan base been able to affect the way you write, or how you try to state your beliefs?
My answer is not in any way. Since I have millions of readers that suggests their happy. I wouldn't know how to tell a story to please anyone else, An author who tries to do that is lost and has no integrity.
Question: (Lupus) What are your views on the patriot act? Do you believe the government is getting to much power to monitor its citizens, or is it needed for the "protection" of the people?
Answer: Protect it's citizens from what? Terrorism? We can't even name the enemy, much less describe him. Terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy. It's like saying we are against poison gas chambers without having the courage to say we against Nazis. Unless you can name the philosophies and people dedicated to killing you. How can you possibly hope to fight it? No war has ever been won defensively. Killers must be hunted down and eliminated. Evil ideas must be countered with rational ideas. Most of the means employed to protect us, such as the sham of airline check ins are merely public relation stunts. We will never win this war until we get the guts to name our enemy, Islamic fundamentalist and stop negotiating with them.
Question: Mr. Goodkind, in a recent interview you professed your dislike
for most of the world siding with Sadaam Hussein, and saying that it was
wrong to stop him.
Answer: This is not a valid application of the Eighth Rule. Think of the Eighth rule in this way: would you rather get an" A" on a test because you studied hard, or because you cheated?It doesn't apply to the people of Iraq. In the early 90s we told the Iraqi people that if they rose up to win their freedom, we would back them. We lied. As a result, hundreds of thousands of them were slaughtered. I doubt that any of us can really imagine what it's like to live in a place where if you are even suspected of speaking ill of the leaders then your children will be tortured before your eyes before they and the rest of your family are butchered.The rest of the world did not merely side with Sadaam Hussein. The people in countries such as France and Germany overwhelmingly stated in opinion polls that they hoped American's would be defeated (killed) and that Sadaam Hussein would be victorious over the US-led effort to free the Iraqi people- that Sadaam would continue to rule. This means, to continue to torture and slaughter his own people by the thousands. The people of the countries who were against us are free to go to their cemeteries and look at the rows upon rows of graves of Americans who died helping to defeat murderous dictators in those lands, and yet they do not grasp what they are seeing. We took no land from them except enough to bury our dead. They stand there, free of fear of torture and death, without comprehending or appreciating the price paid by others to defeat such evil. Please refer to page 425 of NAKED EMPIRE.
Question: Emma-When is your birthday?
I do not give out my birthday because I do not want to get gifts from people. I appreciate their sentiment, but want to leave it at that.
Answer: Thank you - about the creepy part. All of my characters are there to help tell the story. It isn't like I have visions of creepy characters. I very deliberately invent them.
Question: Reading through this series I've noticed that you take the time to name many characters, even ones who only appear very briefly. I've also noticed certain characters who are mentioned several times, such as Richard's mother and Kahlan's mother seem to be deliberately not named (repeatedly called simply Richard's mom, Zedd's daughter, etc, instead of being named). I've noticed you put a lot of thought into naming your characters
Answer: Thank you for noticing that I put a lot of thought into my characters' names. Yes, you are correct in assuming that there is a purpose for my not naming certain characters.
Question: I was at one of your book signings in Dayton, Ohio. You said
that these books are not meant to be read by children, but by adults.
I don't understand why your books are not meant for children. I'm only
14 and I love your books. Your books are the only books I read, mainly
because of the relationship between Richard and Kahlan. And partly because
the way you use magic in your books. Your writing I can understand. So
my question is why are your books meant for adults and not children?
Question: TG, Even though you present many strong female figures in your series, some of the women in the book are described as relying on their sexuality for a means of power. For example, the Sisters of the Dark often use acts of sexuality in their rituals and acts of magic. Is there any reason why you chose to present female strength (in the case of SOME characters) within these sorts of sexually based definitions?
Answer: People do things for many different reasons and they go about getting what they want by different means. There are women in the story, just like in real life, who use sex to get what they want. My stories reflect many different characteristics of both genders, including how they sometimes use sex as a means to an end.
QUESTION: Annerinas: Will you, Mr. TG, actually ever go write a non-fiction book exploring fully your ideals and philosophy, getting it out of your system. So that it's not being presented in the next book at the expense of the actual story?
Translation: Will you please change that way you think and write, stop
using your mind, stop being an individual and instead start writing books
like every other hackneyed Tolkien clone on the fantasy shelves. Answer:
Q: Twilight (the question Shota and Kahlan's child)Remember how Shota predicted Richard and Kahlan's first child would be a male confessor born with the power? Remember how she became pregnant to Richard because the chimes made her magical gift from Shota obsolete? Remember how she miss-carried that pregnancy and lost her child? Does this mean that the child miss-carried would have been the male confessor with the power and the next child has a chance of being a female confessor with or without the power? If not, and the next child born is to be a male confessor born with the power, will she order Richard to kill him just as previous confessor's ordered their mates because of previous behavioral history for male confessors? OR will he give the child a chance, because of Richard's feeling that magic is a tool, and it is in how the user uses it?
Answer Good question
Okay, here’s the story and exactly what’s going to happen in my future books... Do you really expect that I would give all that away? Then what fun would it be to read future books? Things will be revealed when and if I deem them relevant.
QUESTION: Mystar: Is it such that you are not only writing a story for yourself, but you are including the attributes and precepts that you steadfastly believe in and live by in your own life? And if so, what would be the best response to someone who simply reads your book and carelessly dismisses it as nonsensical and “unrealistic?
Answer: Absolutely, Read something else. Your life is yours a lone; rise up and live it. Or does that concept enrage you so much that you must try to smash my work, just as the Order lusted to smash Richards’s statue?
QUESTION: Mystar: I think what Ann and Nathan are fighting for isn't what Richard is fighting for, am I correct? And could you elaborate?
Kahlan made this very clear when she threw Ann's journey book in the
fire. People who have an incomplete or partially flawed philosophy can
still quite often make morally correct judgments, even if they are sometimes
for all the wrong reasons. Richard believes in volition; Ann and Nathan
do not. From this flawed foundation, Ann has built a philosophy aimed
at the impossible, insuring that destiny is fulfilled.
Question: Would you be against someone making and selling, with your consent of course, of reproductions of items in your books? Mostly the statues of Life and Sprit, and the Sword of Truth.
Answer: Let me be very clear about this. The rights to such things are
copyrighted. Those rights are very important in relation to other rights,
which are potentially extremely valuable. For example, selling the rights
to a movie may hinge on the producer also being able to get clean rights
to related things, such as the sword. If I were to give permission to
someone to produce the sword, say, then it would cause grave problems
with the rights because I'd released portions of those rights and could
therefore lose all claim to my own creations. Such damage to the rights
could mean losing a deal to make one of my books into a movie. Therefore,
I do not, under any cirumstances, give anyone any permission to produce
anything from my work. It is not permitted. Never, Not at all, Ever.This
same restriction extends to such things as using my characters and world
in role playing games or fan fiction. When someone uses my characters
for role playing games or to write fan fiction, they are stealing that
which they do not own or have the right to use. It is against the law.
It is theft, plain and simple, and I absolutely do not want anyone doing
it. Period.You may ask, “What’s the harm in a fan using my
characters and writing a fan story, or creating a role playing game that
other fans enjoy using?” Here's the harm: courts have ruled that
if an author does not go after these instances of theft and stop them,
then it could later be ruled that by not doing anything to stop it the
author was giving tacit approval.In order to protect my own nghts, my
own property, my own creation, I must in the strongest possible terms
deny anyone permission to use my creations for any reason whatsoever.
If they do, I will have to take action to put a stop to it. Courts have
ruled that companies such as Yahoo are liable for copyright infringements
on their sites and they too would be put in jeopardy. A lot of people
could get in a lot of trouble.Besides the legal issues, it’s just
plain morally outrageous. A fan may think that they're flattering me by
taking one of my characters and inventing a story for them, or a game.
They are not. It's a horrifying feeling to see a character that I've created
abused in this way. Besides it being illegal, imagine my horror to discover
someone writing a story about Kahlan falling in love with someone new
and leaving Richard. I doubt you can imagine how enraged I would be by
such a thing.Please, respect the characters and world we all love so much
and let me tell the stories. If you don’t, lightning awaits you
down that path. There is plenty more story to tell. Please let me tell
the story so we can all enjoy it
Answer: I completely disagree that there was dramatic change between
the 4th and 5th book. This is simply not so. My philosophy has always
been consistent, although Richard has evolved to understand more of the
world. As he grows, intellectually, I had him handling ever more difficult
QUESTION: KZ the Seeker:
Richard can't reliably his own gift; much less use it with the profound
skill and knowledge necessary to accomplish such a thing. Darken Rahl
was a master of his gift and even with the tools and knowledge at hand
he still studied years just to be able to put the boxes in play.
Question: Your books have strong political, social, and philosophical issues. You have expressed your distaste for the state of politics from both parties. So who do you believe to be doing the most harm and the most good for the country?
Answer: The most harm? Pick one, anyone. The most good? Pretty slim pickings.
Question: If Owen in NE thought he was poisoning Kahlan and Richard why did he only have the one vial of antidote? Was Kahlan just supposed to die? Or is there a logical explanation?
Answer: One vial of poison for two people would mean that they each drank half. One vial of antidote would mean that they would each have half. It was clearly stated how time sensitive the poison was. In the beginning half the antidote would have been enough for someone drinking half the poison. Since Richard drank all the poison, he needed all the antidote.
Question: It seems to me that you have hinted at meditation and Taoism in a few parts of your series, like when Richard "connects" with Kahlan to bring her mind back from the Underworld in WFR, or when he learns to heal. I was wondering about these "inner self" moments and if you were metaphorically speaking of certain "spiritual" beliefs that you hold.
Question: Did Richard Fix the "magic" in totw?
Answer: What would you think so? Simply put, No. He stopped the plague and sealed the Temple.
Geminiman Question 2:
Answer: Reason applies to everything in life. Reason integrates everything that exists. Reason is the foundation of everything I write about. I'm a bit confused by this question because I apply the exact same principles to the small things Richard does-right down to how he walks through the woods-as I do to the extreme examples of conflict. Perhaps, because the dramatic issues involving the central themes are intended to dominate the story, these stand out more in your mind. I assure you, reason is at the core of everything Richard does-and everything he will do.
Question: I have wondered what you think of Unions (labor). In SotF the Guilds were sort of taken advantage of, forced to take on unskilled labor. In FotF the Guilds were bad guys, taking a large chunk of the workers pay (union dues?) just so they could have a job etc.
Answer: I believe in individual accomplishment. How many successful books have you ever read that were written by a committee?
Question: I enjoy free speech, and think it should be protected, but
where is the line between free speech and spiritual support of villains?
Answer: The Bill of Rights says: "Congress shall make no law abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press…This does not give people
the right to infringe on the rights of another. For example, you can’t
break into a house and haul someone out of bed to tell them your political
views. Freedom of speech does not mean that someone can hire an assassin
and tell them to kill you and have that order protected under freedom
of speech.But it also means that someone who has views that are abhorrent
to us can't be silenced simply because we don't agree. You have no obligation,
however, to provide them a venue to say what they want. They have no right
to demand the means to express their views. Freedom of speech also means
that you have the right not to listen to them or to support them.People
have the right to say that they are happy about a murder, or express a
belief that the U. S. is immoral and unjust.The counter to evil ideas
is reason. This is the very nature of the struggle in my series. The Imperial
Order has evil ideas. Richard's means of fighting back is with better
Answer: ANSWER: #1) Level of knowledge, training, and inherent ability.
Question: <Gertie> Mr.Goodkind, it appears to me that women are inherently weaker in every aspect in your book. For example, sorceresses are much weaker than wizards. Men are responsible for creating the women with incredible powers ie. confessors. Do you put men in a superior intentionally?
Answer: Allow me to unravel the flaws in your question. Strength is a
subjective ability. Ask a man facing an angry mord-sith to put your theory
to the test. Ask a poweful man touched by a confessor. Ask any big powerful
man whose life has been ruled by a small woman with no weapons but a sharp
Question<RichardVeysey> Mr. Goodkind, have you ever thought of going into politics? I think if we had a president who thought like you, the world would be a much better place
Answer: Thank you, but I couldn't take the pay cut. Besides I wouldn't then be able to have the fun of writing books. Seriously though, I think that giving people stories, which they can come to grasp important aspects of life is very valuable. Through such stories people understand issues in life more clearly. That is the true goal and most noble aspect of a good novel - it presents worthwhile values. Rational ideas are what we
<elid_jones> QUESTION: i know a main theme of the story is individual choice. Volition. I try to live as though free will exists, but I am wondering: if causality is real, if all particles’ paths are pre-determined, how can choice exist? I am not trying to equate humans to computers; I am trying to figure out the difference.
Answer: since you are being sincere in this question and it is important, I won't try to give you an incomplete answer in such a brief forum, it would not be fair to you. Instead, if you sincerely want to understand the issue, I strongly suggest you read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology by Ayn Rand.
QUESTION: Rico Len: How is it that a Wizard with both sides of the gift wasn't or isn't necessarily a war Wizard?
Answer: What does one have to do with the other? The term "war wizard" refers to a wizard’s innate abilities. The gift in each person is different. For example, Nathan was born a prophet. A war wizard has the fit in many areas, rather than limited ability- that is the root of the concept.
QUESTION: Mendo: Will he be kind enough to clear up the major time discrepancy with Friedrich traveling from Aydindril to Hartland and then all the way back to the mountains separating D'Hara and the Midlands in less time than it took Zedd and Adie to be carried in the back of a wagon from Aydindril to those same mountains separating D'Hara and the Midlands in less time than it took Zedd and Adie to be carried in the back of a wagon from Aydindril to those same mountains, go for a few days listening to the children being tortured, and then identify items for a few days (because there isn't any way they could have survived in the conditions for more than a week or so)? Or, at the very least, mention why Zedd never thought about the fact that the Sisters would have had to be using magic to keep him alive long enough for this all to have happened? It's seriously bugging me how time is screwed up in NE
Answer: Friedrich was on an urgent mission with instructions to go as fast as he could. He had a powerful team with great stamina pulling an empty wagon. The wagon train full of crates containing delicate and dangerous items being hauled by the sisters of the dark could not make a swift journey by any means.
QUESTION: Kcer Morgan: You know how Zedd and Zdie get captured and put
the rada'han around their necks? well, i always thought Adie used her
gift to see, since she is blind and all, and that the rada'han prevented
the gifted from using their gift unless they were granted permission by
the one controlling the rada'han.
Answer: Adie is blind.
QUESTION: Nathan: How could Jennsen see the Lightning... as she was ungifted?
In both PILLARS and NAKED EMPIRE, because the concept is complex, I went
to great lengths explaining all this, so I'll just refer you back to those
two books for the complete explanation. Briefly, to the gifted, in their
world, magic is a metaphysical reality.
Question: QUESTION: hi again. I was wondering if you think a small amount of taxes is a good thing. I think I remember Richard deciding that everyone should pay a small tax to pay for the defense of the empire, which seems to contrast with the objectivist view.
Answer: citizens should all pay for the defense of their life from foreign and domestic threats. Funds for government services, for example the courts, should be collected from those who use them. All welfare should come from those who volunteer their own money, not the money of others, not the victims of theft (the tax payer).
Men should not be required, at gunpoint, to "sacrifice" for other men. If you are told, at gunpoint, to give a group some of you property so then can have it for their own use and you are required to work for them for no compensation that is called slavery. The present system of taxation, forced work for no payment, is not thing but dressed up slavery. Yet another example of sacrifice for the greater good - the greater good meaning some gang who wants and claims title to the product of you sweat.
fyrechiken> Terry, I have also wondered if the books were meant as
a sort of "primer prophecy" like "the adventures of bonnie
day" to inspire people in our own society.
Question: Drakin: What inspires you and gives the ideas and characters for your books?Answer: Inspiration is the sum total of your intellect applied to a consciously directed goal.Closing comments from Terry
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