Earthdawn Novel

The following interview was held between me and Hank Woon (thanks to Dammi), author of the upcoming Earthdawn Novel "Dark Shadows of Yesterday".

Would you short introduce yourself?

You bet! My name is Hank Woon, and who I am and what my relationship is with Redbrick Limited can be found on their website.

When and how did you come to write "Dark Shadows of Yesterday?"

Throughout the Cathay sourcebook, there are many legendary stories, though many are brief and simple allusions to heroes and villains past (especially in the new magical items chapter). Most such entries demand a succinct description, but I found that even when I was finished with them the stories continued on in my mind. Likewise, throughout the sourcebook there are hints of the many adventures that Daylen Jagaro went through while exploring Cathay, and though only small slices of his experiences make it into the sourcebook, I tried to envision his epic journey in detail. At first, this more in-depth, behind-the-scenes back story was merely to add weight, flavor, and consistency to the sourcebook, but as time went on, Daylen’s many trials became more and more interesting to me. Then last December, my hometown was blasted by a powerful storm with winds equivalent to a Level Three hurricane, and I found myself without electricity for eight days. During that time I read five novels that I had been putting off, which really put me in that frame of mind, and one of them was Shroud of Madness, an Earthdawn novel by Carl Sargent & Marc Gascoigne. Since it was an Earthdawn novel, I found that while reading it my mind kept wandering back to Daylen, and without any effort of my own, many of these back story ideas I had for the sourcebook began coalescing. A short time after I regained power, I jotted down a framework, and a couple days after Christmas I started writing.

What's the actual state of the novel?

I finished the novel 58 days after starting. The draft was already finished before I began, in my mind at least, so all I had to do was get it out of me and into print (it also helped that while writing it I was taking 2 literature classes at Washington State University, so I had all of these inspiring novels to draw from). After I turned it in, the talented team of editors at Redbrick read it—sometimes more than once—and offered their criticisms, then revisions ensued, and then it went into layout. I’m actually working on the sequel right now. I had no intention of writing a sequel, but just like the first, ideas kept coming, and the story fell into place too perfectly not to tell. So last week I started writing, and I’m about 20,000 words in so far.

I know that it’s hard to tell us a release date, but approximately when could it come out?

Hm…well, it could come out very soon. Redbrick doesn’t like to set dates, because that could lead to disappointment if something changes, but the novel is all done, there is an awesome cover done by the mega-talented Kathy Schad (see preview), and it’s just basically awaiting approval from the fine folks at FASA.

You already offered a small piece of information about the content in the interview about the Cathay sourcebook. It will be about the merchant Daylen Jagaro. What else can you tell us about the book?

When writing it, I realized that it would be the first glimpse of Cathay for many readers, so the story is Daylen’s first adventure in this new land. Readers will learn about Cathay as Daylen does, seeing it for the first time through the eyes of a fellow Barsaivian, as it were. (Much like the original Earthdawn setting was seen for the first time through the eyes of J’role the Honorable Thief in Christopher Kubasik’s The Longing Ring.)

Thank you very much and good luck with the novel, I can't wait to read it.

You’re welcome, and thanks for the interest. I hope you enjoy it!

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