Into the Mind of David Farland

Hello, Realmies! We are pleased today to sit down with David Farland. We know you’re going to love this interview, so let’s delve right in, shall we?


If you could spend the day with one spec fic character, who would it be?

I’d love to take a long walk through Kew Gardens in England with Gandalf Grayhame


You have a free weekend. What do you do with it?  

Work out, go hiking, and maybe spend a day fishing.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Rocky Road—love the mix of flavors and textures.


Would you rather live in Middle-Earth, Tatooine, or aboard the Starship Enterprise?

I live in Utah in a place much like Tatooine, but I’d prefer Middle Earth.


How did you get into writing?

I loved reading when I was young, and when it became hard to find good fantasy books, I began creating my own stories.  A few years later, I began entering them in writing competitions, and my career just sort of exploded.


What is your goal in and for your writing?

Partly to make money. Partly to bring enjoyment to others.  But there is a certain part of me that really just wants to write the best novel ever—the kind of book where you look back at it later and realize that reading it was life-changing.


What subgenre of speculative is your favorite to write? Read?

That’s almost impossible to answer.  I love fantasy, and I love science fiction pretty equally.  They’re like the different flavors in my Rocky Road ice cream.


Why do you write?

It’s an addiction, I think.  I believe that we need to create things in order to be happy.  Writing is my path to happiness.  But I think that I could be happy making Christmas ornaments or growing peas in my garden, too.


Is there a step in the writing process that you dread/loathe/wish you could throw over the side of a cliff with a mill stone tied around its neck?

When you outline a novel and then get about halfway through the first draft, you usually find that you’ve deviated from your outline a bit.  You characters have grown and changed, as have the situations.  So you have to re-think the novel.  That’s the part that I dislike—coming up with a new outline when you’re right in the middle of your book.


What is one piece of writing advice someone has given you that actually helped you?

Hah, that one is hard. I’ve heard lots of great advice. But since we have been talking about plotting, Scott Westerfield said something a couple of years ago that I think is brilliant. He said “Everyone finds that they have to re-plot their novel about halfway through. All of us find it hard. But I think that the difference between a professional and an amateur is that the professional knows that it will happen, plans for it, and jumps into the novel and tackles the problem as soon as it crops up. He doesn’t sit around for three months or three years doing nothing.”


What will you be doing/teaching at Realm Makers?

At this convention, I’ll be doing a lot of things.  I’ll be teaching one-hour seminars on the following topics:

Hour 1–Four Keys to Attracting a Global Audience
Hour 2–Understanding What Readers Want–by Genre
Hour 3–Writing Books that Can be Adapted to Film–Hollywood Gotchas
Hour 4–Picking Your Publisher, Agent, and Editor
Hour 5–Going Big: Creating a Winning Career
Hour 6–Hot to Plot a Bestselling Book Series
Hour 7–Creating Great Magic Systems

In addition, for those who sign up for some of my workshops, I will also be giving away free online one-hour seminars on topics of your choice, with topics like “Writing For Young Adults,” “Jumpstarting Your Career,” and more.


 David Farland is an award-winning, international bestselling author with over 50 novels in print. He has won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Special Award for “Best Novel in the English Language” for his science fiction novel On My Way to Paradise, the Whitney Award for “Best Novel of the Year” for his historical novel In the Company of Angels, and he has won over seven awards—including the International Book Award and the Hollywood Book Festival, Grand Prize—for his fantasy thriller Nightingale. He is best known, however, for his New York Times bestselling fantasy series The Runelords.

Farland has written for major franchises such as Star Wars and The Mummy. He has worked in Hollywood greenlighting movies and doctoring scripts. He has been a movie producer, and he has even lived in China working as a screenwriter for a major fantasy film franchise.

As a writing instructor, Farland has mentored dozens who have gone on to staggering literary success, including such #1 New York Times Bestsellers as Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), James Dashner (The Maze Runner) and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).

Farland judges L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future, the one of the largest worldwide writing competitions for new fantasy and science fiction authors. In the video game industry, he has been both a designer and a scripter and was the co-leader on the design team for StarCraft: Brood War. He set the Guinness World Record for the largest single-author, single-book signing.

David Farland has been hailed as “The wizard of storytelling” and his work has been called “compelling,” “engrossing,” “powerful,” “profound,” and “ultimately life-changing.”


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