The Night Angel series established Brent Weeks as part of the new school of Epic Fantasy authors going for the darker path while also embracing his own twisty style of story telling. In the past Weeks mentioned his intention to return to the world of Night Angel, but not until after he finished the Lightbringer series, which started strongly with The Black Prism. But he has a special treat in store for all the Night Angel fans out there. As mentioned earlier Brent Weeks has just finished a Durzo Blint short story. I couldn't help but try to find out more and Brent was kind enough to answer my questions.
WARNING: If you haven't read the Night Angel series there is something mentioned below that can be considered a spoiler.
MH: This Durzo novella sort of came out of nowhere. What made you want to delve back into Durzo's history? Fan response or have you always had this story in mind?
WEEKS: First, I should throw a caveat in here. Technically, it's a novelette--it's 16,000 words (60-ish pages), and a novella is 17,000 to 40,000. But I called it a novella in my tweet because, heck, who's ever heard of a novelette? So readers should expect like a really long short story, rather than a short novel. I'm an epic fantasy writer, so I'm incapable of writing a short novel. However, blowing way past the limits of a short story--that, I can do.
My sneaky idea, which I have no idea if it will really work out, because the creative mind loves what it loves, is to do one Durzo short story between each of the Lightbringer novels. That way, I'm keeping something alive for the fans of Night Angel, I'm getting to experiment and do something different while engaged in a multi-year project, and I'm showing more of the world I'll eventually come back to after Lightbringer is finished. Durzo has been around for a long time, and I've always thought it would be fun to tell more stories about him.
The story came out of nowhere because it's got a really different flavor. I demand more of my readers in this one. Quite honestly, I didn't know if I could pull it off. So I didn't want to sell it before I wrote it and then be obligated to turn in something--because that something might not have been that great. And I worked on it for a couple weeks at the end of the summer, didn't think it was going anywhere, and then got caught up in touring, and then after touring sat down to work on the next Lightbringer book--but this stupid thing just started scratching to get out. Now that it has, I'm really quite proud of it.
MH: Does the novella have a working title? And what sort of release is planned? Your publisher Orbit announced a few months back a short fiction eBook program so that was brought to mind.
WEEKS: Well, since Orbit has only just received the story, I probably shouldn't tell you my brilliant title ideas (or crappy ones), in case those get rejected in favor of something else. Because then I'll get fans writing me, saying, "But I thought you had another short story, called X! This one was terrible. I want to read that one!"
What sort of release is planned? Ha ha ha. You think there's a plan? The Orbit short fiction program will probably be its first home, and I definitely have some other hopes--but nothing's been signed yet, so I better sit on that one.
MH: What can we expect from the novella? Does it take place right when Durzo gets his powers or earlier when he was becoming someone important in the land of Midcyru?
WEEKS: The bulk of the story is literally how Gaelan Starfire becomes Durzo Blint. So you'll see a younger Momma K, assassinations, ka'kari and more. I think it stands on its own, but it will be much more rewarding if you've read the Night Angel trilogy. I don't do a lot of hand-holding in this story. You can catch things, or just miss them. It moves really fast. I did have moments where I thought, "I could easily turn this into a full length novel." And if I didn't feel an obligation to fans to finish Lightbringer in some relatively reasonable time frame, I might have entertained those thoughts more, because this was really fun to write.
MH: What's next for you? Vacation to some fabled island where authors can relax or are you jumping into the next Lightbringer novel?
WEEKS: When I sent my agent this Durzo story for his comments, he gave me some great suggestions, and then at the end, he said, "Great story, brilliant, wonderful. Now get back to work."
So I'm back to working on Lightbringer 2: tentatively titled The Blinding Knife.
MH: Thanks for your time!
Brent Weeks is the New York Times best-selling author of The Way of Shadows, Shadow's Edge, and Beyond the Shadows. To learn more about Brent Weeks visit his blog or follow him on twitter.
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