Thursday, December 04, 2008

"Sweetly The Dragon Dreams" by Dave Farland (and a few tidbits)

A few notes: First -- Tomorrow I'm doing a joint book signing with Orson Scott Card, James Maxey, and Scott Roberts at the Barnes & Noble in Greensboro, NC. All four of us have the InterGalactic Medicine Show anthology in common, with OSC being the publisher, me being the editor, and James and Scott having stories in it. Plus James had a novel published a few months ago (DragonForge), OSC has his new Ender novel out (Ender In Exile), and of course I'm still flogging Dreaming Creek. So we're all going to be at Barnes & Noble, autographing our respective tomes. The event starts at 7 pm and runs until we run out of books or customers. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by and say hello.

Second -- I did an interview with the fine folks at Novelists Inc., which is now posted on their website. Read and take notes; there will be a quiz next Tuesday.

And now for our regularly scheduled Story Behind The Stories:

"Sweetly The Dragon Dreams" by Dave Farland

When I was asked to write a story for this issue of IGMS, I immediately thought back to an early anthology of short stories that I read which was edited by Orson Scott Card called Dragons of Light. The anthology was published in 1980 and had a number of great writers in it—from Card himself to George R.R Martin and a dear friend, Val Lakey.

At the time that I read it, I was 23, had recently returned from being a missionary, and I was struggling to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I was in college studying medicine, but I’d always wanted to be a writer. Man, I wished that I had been able to write a story for that anthology!

So I wrote a long poem about dragons, and showed it to some family members. My brother-in-law liked it so much that he asked if he could frame a copy to put on his wall. I think that that gave me a good kick-start into writing. A line from the poem gave rise to the title of the story. The line goes, “But truth is the theme of the dragon’s dreams. . . .”

Somehow in the past 28 years, having written dozens of novels and short stories, I’ve never actually written anything with a dragon in it. After all, they’re pretty cliché. So I decided to write a dragon story for this magazine, though my dragons aren’t quite like the dragons you might find in other tales.

Yet this isn’t much of a dragon story. We never even really get to see one of them alive.

Beyond that, I’ve been hankering to write a science fiction story lately, and I realized recently that it has been twenty years since I’ve written a novella length tale. Originally, I thought about keeping this much shorter, but that subconscious desire to write something longer kept pulling at me.

So I wrote a long story, the beginning of a larger tale, similar in tone and style to my Golden Queen series. I don’t know if this will be the start of a novel yet, but probably not. Right now I have too many other stories that I want to write.

Best Wishes

David Farland


Dave's story, "Sweetly The Dragon Dreams," is in issue 10 of Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show, available now.

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