Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Lord of the Night » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:46 pm

Chris Wraight wrote:
Lord of the Night wrote:Your next Warhammer Heroes novel, according to Corrigan Phoenix, is about Luthor Huss, the wandering priest. Can you tell us anything about this? One thing i'm curious about is how he will get a place in the lore since the Storm of Chaos has been mostly redacted.


Yup, it'll be about Huss. It's in the same series as the 'Sword of...' books, but this one's a standalone story. Even more so than those books, I'm planning a real character study for LH: what makes him tick, what made him the way he is, what his role in the Empire is. I also want to delve into the nature of faith, which is something I've been wanting to do for a long time.

Apart from that, I'm going to have to keep quiet. And, as I haven't actually started writing it yet, not all the decisions have yet been made...
Interesting, so does that mean you'd like to explore the religion of Sigmar in depth, i'd personally like to know more about it. I also want to know what made Huss go rogue, he seems like the ideal servant of Sigmar.

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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:05 am

Just read Battle for the Fang (actually I just read the first chapter of Sword of Vengence (I was going to read SoV first but I'm in a really space wolf mood because I have plans for submissions for BL and they loom over me but I'll get to SoV eventually and then chew the fat more with regards Imperial Politicking in the old world have no fear). I really enjoyed it, it was great fun and whilst it wasn't an anti-climax the end did sort of just peter out I think which detracted from the overall feeling a bit. I'm not sure if it was just that the pages of aftermath whilst interesting had no drama to it and seemed just to be a list of what the survivors were going to do next because I actually think the whole battle with Magnus kinda was underplayed for the epic encounter it could've been but obviously I understand that Magnus wasn't there to kick ass and take names so much.

Actually I really liked Magnus as a "Front" for Tzeentch in the book, how he acted (offering choices) his main motivations not being revenge on the wolves but snubbing out a potentially troubling potential future and with such a scheming devious plot. Very much taking his queues from the architect of fate and with that in mind Magnus' eye wasn't on the same game the wolves were playing and that accounts for that. Again the end wasn't something that marred my enjoyment or ruined the book or even overshadowed it. I just don't understand quite what didn't work as I kinda understand what was working with it all (so in that respect me going on about it doesn't offer you any help only reason to worry, so that way I must say sorry and it was cool and I loved it).

Your space wolves though. Props to you. Dan is going to get all the women and the glory and the money for Prospero Burns and the "reimagining" of the Space Wolves but you actually set it up and played with it with Space Wolf PoV and made it work (and not feel totally alien and removed to earlier Space Wolf works) so if I was glorious wealthy woman I'd offer myself to you rather than Dan in recognition of that fo' shizzle dude.

Which kinda brings me to my line of questioning (yes I do remember the point of this thread is to quiz you until all your secrets are minethe worlds). Stemming back from Jim's comments during the space marine seminar at BLL! where he stated one of the factors behind his liking of writing Blood Angels was the conflict at the core of their being. The angelic, perfect beings with the murderous rage and thirst and what not. It seems clear to me now that the Space Wolves have a simular duology going on with their personalities and make up perhaps even more so.

Throughout Battle for the Fang the inner wolf, the killing urge and the pure state were all referenced. Looking back at Prospero Burns and the "We're the Emperor's executionors and final sanction" talk and what not I think the rout has allot of issues with the deadly aspect of their nature. They are monsters, but they're self aware enough to know they're monsters, thus they first look to justify their monstrous existence by creating a role for themselves to be monsters but also over compensate for the savage brutal killing natures. The deranged humanity of the Space Wolves with their drinking, singing, feasting, obsessions with tradition, the old structures, the old ways of the Fenrisian Tribes, the dismissive views on curiosity the love of the past and of Sagas is the coping method. They aren't human any more, they're perhaps the most removed from humanity biologically and instinctively of all the Space Marine Legions (at least originally, the dust buckets of the Thousand Sons probably trump em now) and thus the entire "Space Viking" aspect is just a front, it's just something they force themselves to do inorder to retain some semblance of humanity so that they can serve and protect it better. Really it all kinda makes sense, to all outsiders the Sky Warriors are just a bit odd, the Fenrisian tradition is observable but I kinda got the impression that some of it was a bit forced as if they observed/remembered humanity from an alien (wolfish) perspective and thus playacted all wrong. Simularly when they didn't play act enough it unsettled everyone as it reminded them all of the not so hidden secret that the humanity is all a sham (Greyloc suffered greatly from this I feel).

At least that's my take on it and I'd be curious to know what your thoughts were as you read Prospero Burns, talked with Dan and BL and had to stumble your way through the wolves. I do appreciate that until the book is on general release you may not be so open to talking about it so I can wait. I'll crack on with Sword of Vengence so that I can ask questions you may be able to answer.
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:06 am

Schafer that was perhaps the most exciting mini-character study of the wolves I have ever come across ;) cheers man and lots of pennies for your thoughts too :mrgreen:
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Chris Wraight » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:32 am

schaferwhat‽ wrote:Whilst it wasn't an anti-climax the end did sort of just peter out I think which detracted from the overall feeling a bit. I'm not sure if it was just that the pages of aftermath whilst interesting had no drama to it and seemed just to be a list of what the survivors were going to do next because I actually think the whole battle with Magnus kinda was underplayed for the epic encounter it could've been but obviously I understand that Magnus wasn't there to kick ass and take names so much.


Ah, sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the ending, Schafe. One of my big worries throughout was how to handle Magnus in the closing scenes, so it's a shame the choices didn't work for you. As for the 'epilogue' passages, I felt it was important to have a final chapter to reflect on the impact of the battle and to tie up a couple of loose ends, but YMMV. Glad you enjoyed other bits of it. :)

schaferwhat‽ wrote:I'd be curious to know what your thoughts were as you read Prospero Burns, talked with Dan and BL and had to stumble your way through the wolves. I do appreciate that until the book is on general release you may not be so open to talking about it so I can wait. I'll crack on with Sword of Vengence so that I can ask questions you may be able to answer.


Your summary of the Wolves' psychology is interesting, and (I think) pretty close to how I feel about it. Jim's comment about the BAs is right - the attraction in writing about these chapters partly stems from their, ahem, warped personalities. That's the joy of 40K - even the good guys have been irredeemably tainted, and there's a noble, albeit tragic, edge to how they deal with their inescapable flaws.

In BotF, I was conscious of the timetable. This is M32. No one really knows what a hellhole awaits everyone in M41 - they're still working out how to function in the Age of the Imperium. The SWs more than most: they're down to about 2,000 marines (a little more if you count surviving Wolf Brothers), everyone thinks they're savages, their mission as the Emperor's guard dogs has definitely failed, their primarch's wandered off and the Wulfen curse hangs over their shoulders like a bad smell. So, despite all their bluster and undoubted martial prowess, the more foresighted among them are going to be thinking hard about their place in the universe.

That's why Wyrmblade is allowed to do what he does, and also why Magnus gets under Ironhelm's skin so much. The Space Wolves had a very definite role before the Heresy kicked off. In M32, at least in my take on things, they're torn between a kind of nostalgia for that (all the rituals, the tradition, etc.) and a nagging doubt about how to function in the more complex, more compromised post-Heresy galaxy.
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:43 am

I didn't not enjoy the end, I dunno perhaps because the book started so strongly and there were suitably epic moments throughout including when Magnus first entered the fray that the ending couldn't top the rest of it. I dunno I was ready to be ripped off the edge of my seat and I was still on the edge when the aftermath got discussed (and I liked that, the lines involving Blackwing and his new role made me smile). It is no way meant to be a criticism really because I can't identify what went wrong so it is clearly just to do with me rather than you.

Wolf Brothers wise, do you know what happened and for why with them? Or is that another mystery in a universe of mysteries.
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:02 pm

Mr. Wraight,

I'd like to know what inspired Battle of the Fang to be written? Until the Horus Heresy novels came out, GW was only interested in the 40k timeline. Are the Space Marine Battle series somehow unusual in this regard and will be the only series which covers the different eras of the Age of the Imperium? Or is the book a precursor a shift in the philosophy and we may be getting novels set in the Age of Apostasy or some of the other great moments of the Imperium?
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Chris Wraight » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:43 am

schaferwhat‽ wrote:Wolf Brothers wise, do you know what happened and for why with them? Or is that another mystery in a universe of mysteries.


I don't think there's much more to say, lore-wise, about the Wolf Brothers than what's revealed in the book. The revelations in Fang were intended to flesh out the current background while leaving room for different interpretations on their eventual fate.

That said,

Spoiler: - The Chaos-infested WBs weren't intended to be indicative of the whole Chapter. They were bait used by Magnus, and there's no reason to suppose that the other Great Company equivalents were similarly monkeyed around with.
- Although any WBs surviving into the 41st millennium are likely to be renegades or Chaos-linked (the longevity issue alone should ensure that) I don't think it's impossible that there are loyalist cells of WBs hanging around. As long as they have a Wolf Priest or two with them and some bases to work from, there may be packs lurking in the shadows.
- The WBs, rather like the missing Legions, create a bit of space for a SW-inspired, fan-created faction. For that reason, among others, I doubt we'll ever see a definitive account of their status in M41 (though I could be wrong about that).

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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Chris Wraight » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:52 am

shadowhawk2008 wrote:I'd like to know what inspired Battle of the Fang to be written? Until the Horus Heresy novels came out, GW was only interested in the 40k timeline. Are the Space Marine Battle series somehow unusual in this regard and will be the only series which covers the different eras of the Age of the Imperium? Or is the book a precursor a shift in the philosophy and we may be getting novels set in the Age of Apostasy or some of the other great moments of the Imperium?


As far as I know, Battle of the Fang doesn't really indicate a shift in thinking about the setting for the books. It was more a case of the core story being so enticing, and the opportunity of linking it to what was going on in the Heresy series at the time. You may see more SMB books set a long way prior to 40K, since the whole idea of that series is to flesh out established events in the lore, but otherwise I'd expect to see most new novels set in M40/41.

As time goes on, of course, that might all change - there is a lot of history to explore, and at some point the editors may decide to branch out a bit more.
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Chris Wraight » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:53 am

Lord of the Night wrote:Interesting, so does that mean you'd like to explore the religion of Sigmar in depth, i'd personally like to know more about it. I also want to know what made Huss go rogue, he seems like the ideal servant of Sigmar.


Well, those two themes are pretty much the core of the story, so I hope you like what I do with them. :)
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:58 am

Chris Wraight wrote:As far as I know, Battle of the Fang doesn't really indicate a shift in thinking about the setting for the books. It was more a case of the core story being so enticing, and the opportunity of linking it to what was going on in the Heresy series at the time. You may see more SMB books set a long way prior to 40K, since the whole idea of that series is to flesh out established events in the lore, but otherwise I'd expect to see most new novels set in M40/41.

As time goes on, of course, that might all change - there is a lot of history to explore, and at some point the editors may decide to branch out a bit more.


That makes more sense about the links between the two events. And I didn't know that was the point of the SMB series. Now I am more excited to see what the editors/writers come up with!
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Lord of the Night » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:21 pm

Hey Ser Wraight,

I have just finished reading Rebirth and I must say well done. The ending was amazing and surprising, I do have a few questions.

Spoiler: 1. When Kalliston reflects on Kharn's mind and takes comfort in the knowledge that he will be crushed by the knowledge that he turned down his only chance to be saved, in your opinion do you think this is what finally drove Kharn insane and made him what he is?



Spoiler: 2. Arvida is very likely the first Blood Raven, do you believe that he is or have you just written this to further the mystery?




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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Xisor » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:29 pm

LotN: That second name mentioned in the question is a bit of a spoiler. ;)
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Lord of the Night » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:37 pm

Xisor wrote:LotN: That second name mentioned in the question is a bit of a spoiler. ;)
Apologies.


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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Chris Wraight » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:39 am

LotN: Thanks :) Replies below.

Spoiler: 1. The idea was that the encounter on Prospero was one element in a long process of Kharnification. I don't think it should be read as a definitive turning point or anything like that. I'm sure that, at some point, Kharn will feature prominently in a Heresy/40K novel, and we'll get the full picture of his demise into madness.



Spoiler: 2. Same answer here, I think. Take Rebirth as a contribution to the debate - it shouldn't be seen as settling it one way or the other.

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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Lord of the Night » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:56 am

Thanks for the answers Ser Wraight, quite illuminating.

Spoiler: Though I do think that you've shown us the first Blood Raven, just my opinion though :).



A few more questions for you.

1. I saw on your blog that you've taken an interest in the Iron Hands. One quick point i've noticed is that the more recent authors like you, ADB, Rob Sanders, Andy Hoare, and so on, seem to be interested in the lesser known chapters/legions like the Sons of the Gorgon, Sons of the Khan and Sons of the Hydra. This is a very good thing, but onto the question. The Iron Hands are a chapter that could really use a series, their neglected and what i've read of them shows a rich culture just begging to be explored, do you think you'll write a series on them in the future? And if so what aspects of them would you want to explore most? Would you use any famous battles for such a series?

2. Your Warhammer Hero novels primarily focus around the Empire and its heroes. Have any of the heroes from the opposite side interested you, like Chaos, Dark Elves, Orks and such? A Hero novel on them, Ser Werner has given us Wulfrik and soon Ser Hinks will give us Sigvald, would be very cool, especially from you since you are the author with the most Hero novels under his belt.

3. If you were offered a chance to write a new Space Wolves series, set in 40k like Ragnar Blackmane but your own series, would you do it? Seeing how the new Vlka Fenryka Astartes that the Heresy have changed into the 41st millennium would be interesting, while Ser King's novels are good some of his characters behaviour may not reflect the Sons of Russ accurately anymore.


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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Duke_Leto » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:29 am

Mr Wraight,

Currently reading Battle of the Fang (about 100 pages in) and loving it. This is IMHO shaping up to be the best SMB book so far (taking the crown from ADB's Helsreach). What adds to the epicness is the clear line of sight between your book at the duology by Graham Mcneil and Dan Abnett giving a continuation of a story literally millennia in the making!

I was wondering though about the intro blurb being the usual "It is is the 41st millennium..." because, well it isn't! It is the 32nd millennium in this book?

What was the thinking about sticking with the standard W40k blurb?
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Chris Wraight » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:19 pm

Sorry LotN - I seem to have missed these questions when you posted them. Some (belated) answers...

Lord of the Night wrote:The Iron Hands are a chapter that could really use a series, their neglected and what i've read of them shows a rich culture just begging to be explored, do you think you'll write a series on them in the future? And if so what aspects of them would you want to explore most? Would you use any famous battles for such a series?


I think the Iron Hands will be getting some love from BL over the next couple of years, but I don't really know who'll be writing the stories. I do have a novel planned for them in the Space Marine Battles series, and Nick Kyme is (I think) writing a novella on Ferrus Manus, but after that there are no firm plans as far as I know. They'd be tricky protagonists for a novel series, given their strange habits, but certainly interesting ones. If I wrote more about the Hands, I think it would be fascinating to delve into their Mechanicus links a bit.

Lord of the Night wrote:2. Your Warhammer Hero novels primarily focus around the Empire and its heroes. Have any of the heroes from the opposite side interested you, like Chaos, Dark Elves, Orks and such?


No, not really. I'm not sure why, since C.L. Werner and Darius Hinks have written really great stories about the bad guys, but for some reason I find the Empire the most interesting bit of the Fantasy setting.

Lord of the Night wrote:3. If you were offered a chance to write a new Space Wolves series, set in 40k like Ragnar Blackmane but your own series, would you do it?


Yes. :)
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Chris Wraight » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:23 pm

Duke_Leto wrote:I was wondering though about the intro blurb being the usual "It is is the 41st millennium..." because, well it isn't! It is the 32nd millennium in this book? What was the thinking about sticking with the standard W40k blurb?


Thanks for the comments, DL.

I guess that the standard blurb for 40K was used because the SMB novels are all set in the 40K era - the Age of the Imperium. BotF is a little early for that, admittedly, but the fundamental features of the setting are all there. I guess that it wasn't worth drafting a whole new blurb for a single novel.
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:32 am

War of the Beard Question:

In Caledor we get to see a little of the elf that would become Caledor II phoneix king-come-barber who is a driving force behind the War of the Beard (the entire War being driven by the egos of the dwarfs and Elves with no sense appearing in it what so ever) and I myself think it was really awesomely done because if you know the Elven history you can sort of see why the second King Caledor may grow up to do what he does (I think Gav's entire trilogy actually cements the idea that Elven princes shouldn't be left with their mothers. Elven mothers create monsters but I may bother Gav with that).

Will you be drawing from that material, refering to it or just keeping it in mind when working on the novels and fleshing out the character?
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Re: Ask... CHRIS WRAIGHT

Postby Chris Wraight » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:32 pm

Will you be drawing from that material, refering to it or just keeping it in mind when working on the novels and fleshing out the character?


Yup, definitely. But the War of Vengeance books are a long way from being planned-out, let alone written, so almost nothing has been set in stone yet. We do plan on featuring a war. And a beard.

In the meantime, Dragonmage has just got up on the BL site, which has nothing to do with Caledor II, but does have elves riding dragons in it.
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