Category Archives: FAQ

FAQ

What are you working on now?

What are you working on now? I am  writing THOUGH HELL SHOULD BAR THE WAY, a different RCN space opera.

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Finding Dave’s Books

Some links to places you can find Dave’s books: Baen Books Authorized electronic versions through BaenEBooks.com Tor-Forge at Macmillan Night Shade Books Audible.com AudiobookStand.com Amazon Kindle Store AddALL.com In Print Book Search AddALL.com Used and Out of Print Search

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Where can I find Dave’s e-Books?

Authorized (they pay me royalties) electronic copies of my books (including Tor titles) are available at Baen Ebooks (http://www.BaenEbooks.com).  Baen’s Bar has two discussion areas where you can get more information about e-book formats for various readers:  Webscriptions EBooks and … Continue reading

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Dave’s Sample Plot Outline

There are frequent requests for a copy of one of Dave’s plot outlines. Here’s a pdf copy of his plot outline for What Distant Deeps: Plot Outline.

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Who is your webmaster?

Here’s my webmaster, Karen Zimmerman. She’s a former academic librarian/archivist who is currently dabbling at several different projects.

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Do you use a computer for your work?

I’ve been composing on a computer since 1986, when IBM came out with its first laptop. From 1981 I was using a dedicated word-processor for second and third drafts, but I was composing with a pencil on legal pad. (Many … Continue reading

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Has there been any gaming interests in your books?

Yes, in several fashions. Mayfair Games brought out a Hammer’s Slammers board game back in the ’80s. Intracorps licensed electronic game rights to Hammer’s Slammers in the mid ’90s. They got seriously into development, but they were overextended and went … Continue reading

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Have any movies been made from your books?

Years ago I had a few TV options on short stories, none of which were ever picked up. While I would be delighted to have somebody buy the right to make a movie from my fiction, I’ve never made it … Continue reading

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Why are so many of your despicable characters named “Platt?”

There’s a person named Charles Platt who’s lived in the US for many years but who has all the attributes that go into the term ‘Chinless Wonder’ for the British upper classes. (His uncle was in the House of Lords.) … Continue reading

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Is there a place where fans can get together to chat about your work?

I stick my head in on Baen’s Bar regularly (http://bar.baen.com), but I don’t have (and don’t want) a conference of my own. I’ll generally find a question or comment with the words David Drake in it on the bar and … Continue reading

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Will you ever write more books in the Northworld Series?

Probably not. I’m proud of the existing trilogy; in some ways they’re my best and most subtly complex books (observe, for example, the way in Vengeance and Justice that words are echoed either from the end of a section to … Continue reading

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What’s the connection between the novella A Grand Tour and the RCN series?

Dave Weber asked me for a novella for his first shared universe anthology set in the Honor Harrington universe (Worlds of Honor). I’d been thinking of doing a series of space operas based on Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series, so I … Continue reading

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What advice do you have for a beginning writer?

I sold my first story when I was an undergraduate. I’d always liked to tell stories; in high school I started writing them down, and at age 19 I started submitting them. I think it’s necessary for a successful writer … Continue reading

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What’s the relationship between Joachim Steuben of the Hammer series and Johann Vierziger?

Vierziger is named in a manner of speaking after the Mifune character in Sanjuro where he takes an obvious alias from the chrysanthemum trees growing in the garden. My intent was to do something that had no obvious natural explanation … Continue reading

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Are you going to write more Hammer stories?

I’ll probably do more, but I don’t have current plans.

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Is the painting the way you envisage your character/tank/ship?

This time the short answer is, it doesn’t matter. The cover does not illustrate my book, it advertises my book. A good cover sells the book to people who will like the book. A bad cover either doesn’t sell the … Continue reading

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What say do you have in your cover art?

I’m frequently asked what control I have over cover art. The short answer is, all I want. There’s nothing about cover control written into my contracts, but I’m on terms of friendship with both my publishers. If I said, ‘I … Continue reading

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Who do I contact about sub-rights to Dave’s work?

My literary agent, Kay McCauley, at kaymcc25@aol.com should get the initial query. She will redirect it if and as required.

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How complete are your plots?

How complete do you make the plot of a story before you write it? I do very heavy plots. I usually have at least 10% of the story/novel wordage in the plot. Here’s an example: the plot for The Far … Continue reading

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Do you plot sequentially?

Do you write sequentially, from beginning of the plot to the end? I do plots beginning to end, and I do very long plots, but there’s not a right way.

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How do you write your drafts?

How do you go about writing your drafts? I work on a notebook computer outside, then edit the hardcopy and go through at least three drafts.

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How many stories are you working on at any one time?

At any one time, how many stories are you working on? I work on one thing at a time. Other people like multiple jobs, but for me I concentrate very heavily and I get crazy when I’m taken off it.

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What novel have you enjoyed writing the most?

What novel have you personally enjoyed the most writing? Once I apparently answered this question, ‘Northworld.’ I can’t imagine why I did that, because I was so stressed while writing Northworld that I was having back spasms that made it … Continue reading

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What genre do you feel is your best to write in?

Which genre do you feel is your best to write in? Best is tricky. I don’t know really. I can do some things in the military that others who’ve had different lives can’t, but I personally think some of the … Continue reading

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Who were your influences?

Who were your influences? One strand is pulp fiction–literally, stories from the ’30s and ’40s collected into anthologies in the ’50s when I started reading SF and fantasy. Robert E. Howard in particular, then when I got to college the … Continue reading

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What’s your best book?

What’s your best book? Again, that’s a matter of definition. Personally I’d say Redliners, but that’s not a book for everybody. It’s a very tough story about war and redemption. With the Lightnings–a space opera–and the Isles Series, my Tolkienesque … Continue reading

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What do you read for pleasure?

Who do you read for pleasure? In the field–I read a lot of stuff out of the f/sf field–I read Vance and Pratchett among living authors, and have a particular affection for Kuttner, Kornbluth, and Jack Williamson’s work from the … Continue reading

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The Sharp End

Did you take the plot of THE SHARP END from Kurosawa’s Yojimbo or from Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars? No, I took the plot from Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett, his first novel (a fixup from novellas he’d written for … Continue reading

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Proofreading the hardcover Servant of the Dragon?

Why is the hardcover edition of Servant of the Dragon so poorly proofread? This is a sore subject with me. I did three drafts of the novel (as usual). My friend Dan Breen read each section after I’d gone over … Continue reading

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How did you come up with the magic in the Isles Series?

It surprises me to be asked this so frequently since I thought I’d covered it in the introductory notes to each volume. Classical peoples were heavily involved in magic (as opposed to religion). This seems to have been mostly Egyptian … Continue reading

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