Ask... ROB SANDERS

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Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Pyroriffic » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:37 pm

Address all your questions to ROB SANDERS here.

PLEASE AVOID ANSWERING A QUESTION UNLESS THE AUTHOR HAS HAD A CHANCE TO DO IT FIRST!

Also, please note these are not general discussion threads. The clue's in the name.

Thanks.

Rob Sanders' official Black Library page can be found here.

The original 'Ask Rob' thread may be found at the old archive site, here.
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Pyroriffic » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:15 am

Question bumped from the Old Bolthole.

From Lord of the Night

Hello Mr Sanders,

I have just finished reading the 2011 Chapbook and your short story Necessary Evil and I wanted to give my verdict. Its a really great mini-story, but I feel that the concept was good enough to be a full short story if fleshed out enough. But I'm sure you've got other ideas for short stories involving Czevak, whom I quite like already. When he took the child from its mother he seemed as far from the archetypal Inquisitor as you could get, even considering what followed afterwards.

I also got to read the extract for Atlas Infernal in the free catalog that came with the chapbook. The situation in it seems quite perilous, and a Doctor Who reference to boot. Very nice :).

Just a few questions though.

1. The Atlas Infernal is said to protect from mutation. Would it be able to protect more than one person or just the one carrying it?

2. In the extract the Deathwatch marine calls the Atlas an infernal, ironic yeah, artifact and says it will be destroyed. Is this because its an alien artifact or is it actually tainted by the warp?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Corrigan Phoenix » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:45 am

I'll reiterate from my Facebook post on your wall - I loved The Long Games at Carcharias, and want to know (without giving any spoilers away to other members who may not have read it yet) do you have any plans to write more of the same type of Marine that was on the Master's throne at the end? Because the twists you wrote into that short was superbly gripping and shocking in equal measure.

Anyone who is yet to read it, its a must-see!! (And I'm not just saying that because I serenaded you, Mr. Sanders!)
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby J D Dunsany » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:05 am

Hi, Rob!

I haven't read 'Redemption Corps' yet, but I'd like to echo Corrigan Phoenix's post about 'The Long Games at Carcharias' which was one of the most jaw-droppingly original SM stories I've ever read. You'd kind of expect its subject matter to merit a novel's worth of material, but you cram it all into a short story without losing any sense of the intrigue, horror and gut-twisting sense of inevitability that subject matter deserves. Put simply, it was pretty near perfect.

My first question is rhetorical and should be read more as a sign of admiration than anything else (I'm an English teacher myself): According to your bio on the BL website, you're a Head of English at a secondary school. How do you manage to get stuff published at the same time as running a department and coping with the various educational edicts that our lords and masters throw our way? :shock:

My second question is more serious. Is 'Atlas Infernal' the start of a longer series?

And a third question, just for the hell of it: Is there a Space Marine chapter you'd particularly like to tackle? (Without doing to it what you did in 'The Long Games...' :) )

All the best!

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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Alpharius » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:04 am

I *might* be the World's Biggest Alpha Legion fan, and as such, I have definite ideas of what I'd like the Legion to be, but...

Seeing as you're writing the next glimpse of Alpharius/Omegon, any chance of a hint or two, a preview, some bread crumbs, anything?

Thanks!
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Squiggle » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:51 pm

I'm having abit of a short story splurge between novels.

Iron Within absolutely adored this. I've always had a soft spot for the Iron Warriors, and monumental loyalty of Barabas Dantioch, set against his physical failings makes for an utterly brilliant character. I only hope he makes a reappearance somewhere in the heresy writings.

Spoiler: I've got to ask where you got the inspiration for the upside-down fortress?



Long Games on Caracharias is also very good as others have already alluded to. I dont have any specific questions about it and I dont want to give away any of the myriad twists.

Spoiler: I gotta ask though, did the Crimson Consuls upset you in a former life?



Do you have any more shorts in the pipeline?

Cheers!
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Corrigan Phoenix » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:08 am

Literally just finished Redemption Corps. Once again you have thrown in twists that boggle my mind! I really enjoyed the intermittent flash-forwards, it really paced the 'present' and built up the suspension well throughout the book.

Just gotta ask will we be seeing more of Kreig and Mortensen? Will we see more of the xeno's menace?

Thanks for another awesome read,

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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Razhbad » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:39 am

Hi Rob,

Just read 'Iron Within, Iron Without', it was really good so well done sir. Hopefully we will get a lot more HH stories from you in the future.

If you had a choice on writing anything during the HH series what would it be?
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Xisor » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:36 pm

Hello Mr Sanders!

Absolutely enjoyed both Long Games and Iron Within, fantastic premises and excellent realisation of the ideas. Also rather gripping stories too, which is always helpful!

My main question, I suppose, is why isn't Atlas Infernal out yet, damn it!? Making us wait so long, humbug!
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Rob Sanders » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:00 pm

I'm trying to be better at this. This excellent resource and my blog seem to suffer from the same malady: tunnel vision. I get into a project and it takes all of my attention to the detriment of everything else. Apologies and thanks for all the great questions. Rather than a blitz response, I'll start answering and keep to a promise that I'll regularly update this page, along with my poor blog. Cheers,
Rob. : )
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Pyroriffic » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:01 pm

Would it help if I stared at you occasionally until you blogged just to get rid of me?
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Rob Sanders » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:24 pm

Hi, Lord of the Night. Thanks for your continued support. Here are your earlier questions. Once again, apologies for the delay. Service resuming.

1. The Atlas Infernal is said to protect from mutation. Would it be able to protect more than one person or just the one carrying it?

2. In the extract the Deathwatch marine calls the Atlas an infernal, ironic yeah, artifact and says it will be destroyed. Is this because its an alien artifact or is it actually tainted by the warp?

If you'll forgive me, I'll not go into exactly what the 'Atlas Infernal' is. I don't in 'Necessary Evil' but do in the first Czevak novel. Let's just leave it at, it's a cool idea and I think you'll like it. Due to the nature of its construction, the Atlas Infernal regularly bathes its reader in a nullifying sphere of influence that purges / protects against the corruptive powers ever present in the Eye of Terror. This benefits Czevak's companions whenever it is opened but they all have their reasons for being in such a damned place and are all equipped in their different ways to embrace / resist the Eye's ruinous power.

In terms of the Deathwatch in the extract and their dealings with Czevak, it isn't in fact the Atlas Infernal to which they refer. czevak doesn't have the Atlas Infernal in his possession at that point. That's the problem with extracts - they only give you a brief match-strike in the darkness. I pitch Czevak as very much a radical and is involved at that point in the story with a xeno-heresy that his order and the Deathwatch will not tolerate. The novel tells two tales really. In order to ensure that readers are not lost, Czevak's backstory had to be dramatised as part of the narrative. But then there will always be readers that are acqainted with Czevak and might even pick up the novel because of what they have already read about him. They were always going to be disappointed with a straightforward re-telling of what they already knew. The second narrative answers the questions on those readers' lips: what has happened to Czevak? Again, I've tried to be inventive in the way that Czevak's story or stories are delivered, to ensure that both breeds of reader are kept engaged and entertained throughout.

As ever, thanks Lord of the Night!

Cheers

Rob
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Rob Sanders » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:29 pm

Pyro, I can't stop staring at your avatar. It has a horrific beauty that simply demands the attention. Is it from that gorgeous front cover with which you've been blessed? *There now follows a shameless plug* The one with 'The Gildar Rift by Sarah Cawkwell' at the top?
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Pyroriffic » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:36 pm

Rob Sanders wrote:Pyro, I can't stop staring at your avatar. It has a horrific beauty that simply demands the attention. Is it from that gorgeous front cover with which you've been blessed? *There now follows a shameless plug* The one with 'The Gildar Rift by Sarah Cawkwell' at the top?


WHY YES, MR. SANDERS, THAT IS EXACTLY WHERE IT COMES FROM.

;0)

The delicious Mr. Sullivan was kind enough to put up some absolutely delectable hi-res close ups on his website, which can be found here.
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Rob Sanders » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:11 pm

Hi Corrigan Phoenix,

Responding to your question on the 7th March. Sorry about the delay. To make up for this, imagine that I'm singing the answer to you in much the same fashion you serenaded me. : Q (that's a picture of me singing)

The answer to your question, without giving too much away, is definitely yes. I feel that I could bring something special to that particular contingent. Perhaps I give off that vibe or something because they were the contingent Christian Dunn asked me to write for in the forthcoming Horus Heresy novella collection. (Cheers Christian!) Their unique positioning in the Heresy and beyond make them a fascinating prospect.

Thanks again for your kind comments regarding 'The Long Games at Carcharias'. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Keep reading and I'll keep trying to impress you. How's that sound?

* Finishes on a c # *
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Rob Sanders » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:38 pm

Re: JD Dunsany March 8th

Hi JDD,
Thank you for your comments regarding The Long Games at Carcharias. They were very kind. Glad it hit the spot.
In relation to your first question, how do I give my attention to running a department, the government’s various shenanigans and writing for BL? With great difficulty! : D For me it is a question of balance. I run a small, successful department that achieves decent results in a tricky school: this is a large part due to being fortunate enough to lead a good team. As a team, we trust our instincts and do what is best for the students and their futures rather than blindly jumping through every hoop the past or present government present us with. As a brother-teacher you’ll know all too well how screwed up Education is at the moment in this country – from the Education Secretary’s involvement right down to what happens in the homes of some of our students and the disconnect in between.

Having a career beyond writing comes at a price. I am jealous of BL writers who have taken the full plunge and for whom writing constitutes their only employment. Of course, I cannot keep up with their rate of output with such a demanding job. On the other hand, with or without my writing, I have a regular salary: the security of which many writers probably miss. I guess when the time is right - for my family and I - I’ll transfer from education to full-time writing. Right now though I’m just glad for the opportunities I’m offered.

Atlas Infernal is certainly set up to be and is intended as a series. To echo the previous point, however, I take all my projects one book at a time and have ensured that the novel is a self-contained narrative. There are no teasing Lost style cliff-hangers just to force readers to read the next book. Readers shouldn’t have to be manipulated so obviously by a text. If the prospective story arc is good and the characters are people the reader would like to spend more time with, then they are going to want to pick up a sequel.
I’m writing a Space Marine book at the moment and so I’m actually doing what you’ve hinted at. I don’t know how much BL has said about it but I’m fairly certain it was announced at BL Live! (although I was in a different room, at a different function at the time).

Cheers for the questions. It’s nice to hear from someone who knows what it’s like out there, both on the front lines of education and the Imperium!

Rob
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Eroldren » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:00 am

Hello Mr. Sanders, I'm defiantly eager to purchase Redemption Corps in my next planned book buying frenzy! :mrgreen: :twisted:

I like to ask did you originally plan to turn your debut novel into a series or that little idea pop up after receiving the reviews? Plus how much military research did you put into creating your RC storm-troopers and other fluff or did you stuck with GW's Imperial Guard codexes and basic human intuition?
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Rob Sanders » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:22 pm

Re: Alpharius March 10

Hi Alpharius (the World’s Biggest Alpha Legion fan)

In terms of the Alpharius /Omegon novella, there’s not that much I can tell you. Sworn Black Library secrecy (the Alpha Legion kind, of course) prevents me from divulging such details this early on. The information you have was hot off the press – off Christian’s lips in fact – and I had the glorious facts only an hour or two before you.
In the interest of putting your mind at rest - that the Alpha Legion is in good hands – I can tell you several of my intentions.

Whatever I do with the Alpha Legion, I will ensure that the Black Library maestro Dan Abnett is consulted. I’m playing in his sandbox here to a certain extent and I am eager that a textual unity exists in the handling of the Legion/Primarch(s) between authors. This is all the more important because I intend to get into some new fluff territory with the Alphas. They are a Legion associated with secrecy and it only seems appropriate that the reader get some seriously juicy new stuff. Of course, this all depends on Black Library sanctioning such material.
In summary:

I intend to build on the excellent character / narrative foundation introduced in ‘Legion’.
I intend to give the reader something special and new to justify a HH Alpha Legion outing.
I intend to do justice to a Legion that I love also.

Hope that helps, Alpharius. Sorry I can’t give you more. In the meantime, you could check out The Long Games at Carcharias in 'Victories of the Space Marines'. I've got a feeling you might like it.

Cheers
Rob
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Alpharius » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:12 am

Given the nature of the Legion, I figured this would be the answer I'd get! ;)

However, it seems like it will be worth the wait!

Rob Sanders wrote:Hope that helps, Alpharius. Sorry I can’t give you more. In the meantime, you could check out The Long Games at Carcharias in 'Victories of the Space Marines'. I've got a feeling you might like it.


OK, I will - thanks for the recommendation as I might have missed this one otherwise!
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Re: Ask... ROB SANDERS

Postby Rob Sanders » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: Squiggle March 11th

Hi Squiggle!

Thanks for your comments on The Iron Within. I agree with you about Barabas Dantioch. I like how the Warsmith turned out. We are so used to seeing the Adeptus Astartes as 'supermen' that I just loved doing something a little different with him.

Spoiler 1: To be honest, I must have been an Iron Warrior in a former life. I just started thinking about their reputation for impregnable fortresses. I thought that this element had to be part of an Iron Warriors' story. I simply considered, what type of fortress would be the most difficult to lay seige to and take by an enemy force? Just came to me like that. The Iron Warriors are technologically adept but not in an ephemeral way - e.g. a fortress that was 'invisible' would be difficult to take but doesn't suit the Iron Warrior's nuts, bolts and stone way of crafting their defenses.

Spoiler 2: : D The Crimson Consuls were created for one reason and one reason only...

Shorts?: This writing thing seems to have seasons. I moved from a couple of novels to three shorts in a row. Now I'm back to novels, however I am writing the Alpha Legion novella in the Horus Heresy novella compilation. Does a novella count as a short? It probably won't feel that way as I write it!

A pleasure as always Squiggle - who is not a girl.
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