Aims Creative Writing Club interviewed YA author Margaret Weis on April 26, 2016. Below is the full interview. An abbreviated version will be available in the printed Aims Review.

Aspen: May I speak with Margaret please?

Margaret: This is she.

Aspen: This is Aspen Bolson with Aims Community College. How are you doing?

Margaret: I’m good, how are you?

Aspen: Doing well. I have the Creative Writing Club here… and I was thinking we would go

around the room and introduce ourselves so that you know who you are talking to.

Margaret: Okay.

Aspen: So, you’ve met me, I’m Aspen Bolson. I am one of the advisors and to my left is Kendra.

Kendra: Hi, I’m Kendra Griffin. I’m the advisor of the club. I teach here at Aims. I teach creative

writing, luckily.

Margaret: [laughs]

Kendra: and I am writing novels now, mostly young adult and I’m really hopeful, but realistic, so

I’m just writing all the time, hoping to make some headway and find an agent, so this is exciting

for me. So, thank you.

Celina: Hi, I’m Celina. I’m one of the students who is in the creative writing club. I really like

writing character designs and personalities, and things like that. That tends to be my hobby.

Gil: I am Gil. I am also in the creative writing club. I have been writing for a little while now.

Mostly poetry and short stories, but I do want to branch out to novels and I definitely thank you

for taking the time to speak to us.

Margaret: Well thank you for asking me.

Jaeden: Hello, my name is Jaeden Brown, I’m Kendra’s work study, as well as a member of the

creative writing club. I have written a few novels myself. I am definitely looking into getting

published. I am actually really glad that we are talking to you today. I’m an avid Dungeons &

Dragons player and I am very looking forward to picking your brain as a creative of campaigns

yourself.

Margaret: [laughs]  Thank you.

Aspen: Okay, would you be so kind as to introduce yourself?

Margaret: My name is Margaret Weis. Let’s see, writing was my major in college. I graduated in

1970. I was in college in the 60s. I went to University of Missouri, which was actually at that time

one of six Universities in the country that offered a degree in creative writing, then it was paired

with English. So I have a degree in creative writing and English literature. So after that, my

parents, being convinced that I was going to starve to death… my mother got me a job as a

proofreader in a very small publishing company in Independence, Missouri. So I did professional

proofreading for a while. Moved into editing, moved into advertising, started working on a very

small book line that was dedicated to Missouri Emma, which was books about Missouri history

for junior high sixth grade students back at that level.

Eventually, I got a job at TSR incorporated, the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons. I packed up

three cats and two kids and moved to Wisconsin to go to work for TSR. That’s where I met Tracy

Hickman and we started writing the Dragonlance books that…

[The call disconnected]

Creative writing club discussion during the redial:

I’m betting aliens [are responsible for this malfunction].

I’m betting gnomes.

No, it’s goblins. Goblin gnomes.

I think it is gnomes because I think they are sort of disgruntled. I think they are angry that elves

get so much positive attention…

I disagree, I know a gnome cleric that is pretty awesome… so I think it is goblins.

Okay, fair enough.

[phone ringing]

Re-connected.

Gil: Okay. So according to something we read, you don’t actually read fantasy books… it said.

We are just kind of curious I guess, as to how you find enjoyment, or how do you continue to

write fantasy when you don’t actually– I’m not sure if it’s a legitimate source– but if you don’t

read fantasy, how do you enjoy writing it, or how do you continue to write it?

Margaret: Well, I read Tolkien in the 1960s when it was popular on college campuses. After that

there wasn’t much around. I tried some fantasy and didn’t like it… and when I connected with

my agent, this was in the late 70s, my agent told me just to write what I like to write. So I started

writing fantasy because there was so much room for imagination in fantasy. Romance novels, if

you write those, you have pretty strict rules that you have to follow as far as character

development. The editors, they know what romance structure is like, and that’s what you have

to do. Mystery novels, there are rules that you need to follow just because of the structure of a

mystery novel… and I love mystery novels. I really don’t think that I could write them. Fantasy,

just gave me so much opportunity to explore the world and reference the world. You can talk

about all sorts of topics in fantasy in a nonthreatening manner. I mean we’ve dealt with

alcoholism, spousal abuse, racial prejudice, [and] religious intolerance, all in a fantasy setting. I

start fresh. I usually hear my own voice in my head. I don’t need to hear George R. R. Martin. So

that’s why I don’t read it. I read all sorts of other things. I always advise aspiring writers to read

outside your genre. I’ve met writers who say, “I don’t read anything else, but fantasy because

that’s all I want to write.” But you don’t grow as a writer if you’re not familiar with writing. If

you haven't read Pride and Prejudice, if you haven’t read mystery novels, or the Dumas novels,

or historical fiction. All of that teaches you something as a writer. So that’s what I would

recommend.

Gil: That’s really good advice, thank you.

Jaeden: How do you actually get over writer’s block? I’ve been in a bit of a rut for the past few

weeks and I was curious as to how you get out of writer’s block yourself.

Margaret: Well to me, writer’s block is not where I can’t write, because I can always write. For

me, writing is a job. I will start at 7:30 in the morning and I write until 11:30 and that’s writing

time. I don’t do anything else. At 11:30 I have lunch, walk the dog, and that afternoon I take the

amount that I’ve written and decide what I am going to write tomorrow, or if I want to change

it. Then the evening is just mindless entertainment. [Laughter] But, writer’s block for me is if I

am writing and I know it is not going well. It’s not going where I want, the characters aren’t

doing what I want them to do, and they’re not telling me anything. So that for me is very

frustrating. Generally, the way I have found to cure that is to go back to where the book was

going right. If that was five chapters ago, or ten chapters ago, then I take everything I’ve written

after that and throw it out and start from the point where it was going right, rethink it,

sometimes if I am doing the viewpoint of my heroine, I need to back up and think well, what is

my villain doing all this time? I put myself into their shoes and I think about things from their

point of view. Oftentimes that shows me where I was going wrong and I can change it and fix it.

Jaeden: That makes a lot of sense actually.

Group: Thank you.

Kendra: I really appreciate that because I get stuck too. It sounds like you are somebody who

must have really evolved as a writer through this, because I know it’s hard egotistically to let five

chapters go. I see that in my own writing, so the fact that you can let go and say ‘that wasn’t

working and I’m going to start again,’ I think is something that I need to work on more.

Margaret: Yeah, you’ve got to be ruthless.

Kendra: Ruthless… yeah and I think perspective takes time for me, too. So a couple people asked

if you make a chart and plan things out. How do you sketch your plots or how do plots evolve for

you? Or stories evolve?

Margaret: I do a plot synopsis. Generally, if I am working with a coauthor we work on the plot

synopsis together. This takes a lot of time. Generally they run around 40 to 50 pages and rarely

does the plot synopsis survive contact with the book. [Laughter] But at least it gives me an idea

of where I am going. I know authors who don’t do a plot synopsis at all. They just sit down and

start writing and kind of let the journey take them where it will. I think that’s great. I think that’s

fantastic. But the problem with that is you can get bogged down in the middle and you don’t

know where you are going. As one author friend of mine told me, his characters went out for

pizza and didn’t ask him to go with them. [Laughter] So, that can happen to you. So that’s why,

to me, the plot synopsis is very important, that I know what the ending is going to be and that I

know pretty much how to get there, even if things change along the way.

Celina: I create a lot of characters… I would like to put these characters in a setting and that

seems to be my weak point. So, how do you begin building a fantasy world?

Margaret: Yeah, I was really lucky with Dragonlance because I went to work for TSR and met

Tracy Hickman and he had already designed the setting. So, what all I had to do was to come in

and work with the characters and work with them in the setting. Then, like I said, with the

coauthor, he designed the setting, he designed the plot. It differs from series to series. Like with

the Deathgate series, Tracy and I, this was seven novels, what we wanted to do was to write the

first four novels and then three that kind of sum up what happened in the first four, but we

couldn’t figure out how to do it. So, I was with my kids, we went to Disney World. We were in

the Living Seas ride there at Epcot. We go on this ride and at one point, I don’t even know if they

do it anymore, but they used to have a film that they showed you about the creation of the

earth and at one point there were four elements on the screen: Earth, air, fire and water. That

gave me an idea for what to do with the novel. So I left my kids on the ride and I went out the

emergency exit, set off the alarms. [Laughter] This was in the days before there were cell

phones, so I called Tracy from a payphone and I said, “I know what we can do with the

Deathgate series. We can do one novel set on earth, one novel set in a world of fire, one novel

set in a world of water, and one novel set in a world of air.” Tracy said, “Yes! I’ve got it!” and he

set to work right then in defining each one of those four worlds. So in Mistress of Dragons, that

series, my editor out of New York called me and said, “We want to publish a series of novels

called Mistress of Dragons and we want you to write it.” I said, “Okay.” He said, “But there

needs to be a Mistress of Dragons.” So, I’m going, “Okay, fine. I can do it.” So, I had the

character, the Mistress of Dragons, and then I designed the world to go around her. So it all

depends.

Group: Thank you.

Gil: We are just kind of wondering also, I guess from a more technical standpoint, about the

profession itself.  What is your experience with literary agents?

Margaret: They are invaluable. They are very hard to get, even in this day and age. I would not

be published today probably if it were not, no, I know for certain I would not be published today

if it were not for literary agents. Actually, I knew about sending out query letters and all that

sort of stuff and what I was doing after I graduated from college, R., who eventually became my

literary agent told me that it takes ten years from when you first start seriously writing to when

you finally make it as a published author. So during those ten years, I was writing on nights and

weekends because I had a full-time job. I have two kids and I used to bribe the kids and tell

them, “If you let me write, then eventually we’ll go to Disney World.” I think my son was 17

when we finally went. [Laughter] So I knew I needed the literary agent, because in those days,

and it’s true in these days too, though not as much, because editors are looking for stuff online.

Whereas in those days we just had to mail stuff in. But editors have a pile of manuscripts they

call the flush pile. It is a huge pile. I read an article back in the 60s that at one point, I believe

Random House was getting unsolicited manuscripts, these are manuscripts that you just send in,

by the truckload. These were in a huge flush pile and 96% of them are garbage. I mean really.

I’ve been an editor, I know. So, editors will sometimes search the flush pile through, sometimes

they’ll give manuscripts to readers. Sometimes it will go to test readers; if they like it, they will

give it to the editor. Now, if you have a literary agent, the agent knows the editor, has

established a relationship with the editor, and knows what the editor likes. So the editor knows

that when he or she gets something from that agent, it’s going to be something that they’re

looking at because somebody else has already screened it. So that’s why you need a literary

agent. Plus if you’re lucky enough to get a contract, your agent is the one who will handle

negotiations with the publisher. So you don’t have to get involved. They will also take care of

legal aspects so you don’t have to pay money to an attorney to look at the contract. The agent

handles all of this. They do this for a 15 to 20% commission that they are paid. R, I found R kind

of accidentally. I was an editor at a very small publishing company and occasionally agents

would send us material, but we were so small that mostly they didn’t bother. So one day I got a

book from R’s literary agency, and I thought, “Wow, this is cool.” And I opened it up and R had

written this letter that said, “This book is the greatest fantasy novel since Lord of the Rings.” And

I thought, well this is neat, and I started reading it. It was (The Saga of Pug Wud Genie Land). It

was ghastly. I mean it was the most horrible thing I have ever read in my life and I was

infuriated. So I called in my secretary and I said, “You’re going to fix this very quickly.” I sent a

letter to Mr. Peekner, saying "I hope an orc eats for breakfast. This is terrible." He wrote back

saying I was the one publisher who had actually told him the truth.  We became friends and I

asked him to look at some of my work. Eventually he was instrumental in TSR hiring me. He was

a great guy and I miss him.

Group: Very helpful. Thank you.

Jaeden: When did you decide to pursue having a gaming company? ‘Cause you had been a

literary editor for so long. What made you decide to get into the gaming side of publishing?

Margaret: Well I worked for TSR and knew tons, you know, all my friends worked for TSR. We

were all into gaming and we really loved it. I owned a gaming store for a while and so my, now

ex-husband and I, decided it would be fun to start a gaming company and publish some of our

own games, and that’s what we did. Then when we got divorced, I got the company in the

divorce and I just kept going.

Kendra:  I wanted to ask if you can recommend any conferences that you’ve enjoyed going to?

Margaret: Oh boy, general writing conferences I’m not sure about. But in my area I would

generally go to Gen Con, which is a big gaming convention. Mostly, you get the conferences in

the various genres. Like, I know there’s a mystery novel conference, there’s a romance writer’s,

world fantasy con, which is for fantasy. I believe there’s a science fiction convention. So there

are all kinds out there. Local cons too. I actually went to a science fiction convention in Colorado

that had some, you know, generally local cons will invite editors and authors to come speak. But

again, that’s mostly in the field of science fiction and fantasy. If you’ve got a club where people

are all over the place, you would pretty much need to look for a general conference. Unless

everybody just gets together and goes to a science fiction conference and fantasy, because

they’re the coolest conferences ever. [Laughter]

Kendra: what is the biggest piece of advice that you would give an aspiring writer?

[Margaret Laughs]

Kendra: Or what are the three biggest?

Margaret: This sounds really kind of funny, but it’s the advice that a writer gave me back in the

day. Gary Paulsen, I don’t know whether you’ve read any of his books.

Kendra: Yes, Hatchet.

Margaret: A young adult author… really, really, really well known. Great guy, great author. He

and I have the same agent, R. Gary told me three things: Keep reading, keep writing, and keep

your day job.

[Laughter]

Margaret: and that’s the advice. It sounds kind of funny, but you’ve gotta keep reading

everything, you have to keep writing because it’s too easy not to, because it’s very hard to sit

down, even for me, to sit down every morning at the computer and start to work. Then keep

your day job. What that tells you is this is not going to happen overnight. So many aspiring

writers write their novels and they send it out and it gets rejected and they are devastated.

That’s it, they quit. Or they keep working on the same novel over and over again. It’s just like, if

you’re playing football in high school, you’re not going to join the Green Bay Packers. Or if

you’re a ballerina, you’re not going to join the American Dance Theater. You have to grow as a

person, you have to grow in your heart. Part of that growing is working and writing when you

can. So that’s what I’d say.

Kendra: Thank you.

Celina: When you were an editor, what did you look for in a piece that you were editing?

Margaret: Again, this was in the days before people had personal computers. I always looked for

spelling errors. [Laughter] If I found spelling errors or really bad grammatical errors in the first

pages of the manuscript, I would toss it out. What that told me was that the writer didn’t care

enough about the work to really take time and put effort into it. I actually got into a huge

discussion with one author at one point because I sent the manuscript back to him. I said, “You

know, I’m rejecting this because you misspelled 5 words on the first page.” He wrote me back

and said, “But I am above such things as spelling.” [Laughter]

You’re a writer. Words are your tools and you don’t leave your tools, if you’re a carpenter, out in

the rain for them to rust. You know? So like I said, today they have spell checking, which makes

it easier, although you do need to know if the spell checker changes the word to something that

sounds similar but isn’t what you meant. You do need to be certain of that. So, I need to know

as a writer that you’re taking care to present me the best possible product you can.

Kendra: Do you mind if I quote you next time I talk about how to approach agents in my creative

writing class? [Laughter]

Margaret: Go ahead.

Kendra: Okay, thank you.

Gil: So, we want to ask what kind of classes in school have helped you the most, that you’ve

gained the most insight into writing from?

Margaret: Probably the most valuable one was the typing course I took in college. [Laughter]

Then, when I got my major in creative writing at the University of Missouri, we were required to

take 13 hours in creative writing. Which, at that time, consisted of, the only classes were poetry

and short story writing. So I took both of those. My poetry course taught me the discipline of

words. To really sit down and think about the words you’re really putting on the page. My short

story class taught me, which I think short stories for me are the most difficult thing to write, plot

structure and plot structure elements that you have to do in a very short time, or short length.

Then I did, when I worked with TSR, I did choose your own adventure novels. The endless quest

novels. If I were teaching writing I would actually, as part of an exercise, I would have students

write those, because I don’t know whether you are familiar with those or not, because they

were kind of way before your time.

Gil: Yeah, you would always hold your finger in the original page so you wouldn’t lose your

place. [Laughter]

Margaret: Yes! Yes, but if you’ve gotta think about it. They give you excellent lessons on

character motivation. That’s one of my things that I am really big about. Motivations for

characters, because that’s where I see a lot of aspiring writers just completely mess up. Because

your character has to have a motivation for opening door A or opening door B, and you’ve gotta

provide a solid motivation for both, even though they are totally different. So that is another

area that really taught me a lot.

Group: Nice, thank you.

Jaeden: How does the writing experience differ from writing with a family member, as opposed

to writing with a colleague? How did those experiences differ for you?

Margaret: Oh, like when I wrote novels with my daughter?

Jaeden: Yes.

Margaret: Okay, my daughter and I wrote two paranormal romance novels. We had a lot of fun

with those. We would develop the plot. We would go out to a Japanese restaurant and get a

bottle of sake and we’d sit there and develop the plot and write it down on napkins. Then I did

the writing, the majority of the writing and she did all the sex scenes. [Laughter] You know, like

an R rated sex scene novel. I found out later, she told me that the hardest thing she ever had to

do in her life was writing a really sexy scene that she knew her mother would read.

Group: Yeah, ugh, yeah. [Nervous laughter]

Aspen: Was that awkward for you?

Margaret: No! I mean, to me it’s just writing. I’m more interested in how it fits into the book,

and the characters, and how they’re reacting. It never occurred to me. So now, when I am

writing with Tracy or my current coauthor, R… Tracy was the world builder. He would plot. He’d

come up with amazing plots for the world. With R, he’s more technical. He and I come up with

the world together then he does all the technical stuff. He’s also a member of the SGA so he’s

very much into fighting equipment and battles and things like that. That’s how I worked with

him. Like I said, it’s different with each.

Jaeden: Okay, I feel like I want to seize the opportunity to write very weird sex scenes and have

my mom read that. That’s something I would have done. [Laughter] just to see her reaction to it.

Kendra: Approximately, how many drafts do you revise before you show it to somebody else? I

would add to that, are you ever at a point where you feel like it’s still private and showing it to

someone else will kill the natural momentum of it?  At what point do you decide it’s time to get

feedback?

Margaret: Back in the day, we used to have to only do 3 chapters of a synopsis to send to a

publisher to see if they would be interested in the book. So that was pretty easy to do because I

could do 3 chapters of a synopsis and send it out without really stressing over the book.

Nowadays, I believe you practically have to write the book. When you’re starting out you have

to submit the entire novel because people want to see the beginning, the middle and the end.

But when I work on a novel, I write it through from beginning to end. I may go back and rewrite

a chapter if something has drastically changed and I need to add to it before I forget about it.

But generally I just go back and leave myself notes in chapters. Because a pitfall for a lot of

writers is going back and rewriting the same chapters over and over again. That’s very easy to

do because that’s a chapter that is already completed, and it’s easy to think, “Oh, I’ll just go back

and rewrite that and I don’t have to move forward.” Well, yeah, you do, or you’re only going to

come up with 5 chapters that you’ve rewritten 26 times. So I write from beginning to end, then I

go back and rewrite from beginning to end again. At that point, after I’ve been through it at

least twice, and some chapters a whole lot more than that, then at that point I say now it is

ready to go to the editor and I send it off, and that’s it, forget about it until the editor sends it

back.  The editorial corrections will show me to go back and rewrite parts of it again.

Jaeden: I’ve never thought of rewriting it start to finish more than once. I’ve never thought of

doing that.

Margaret: Yeah, because what happens is, once you get to the end you find that a lot has

changed. Probably including your characters. So when you go back to the beginning and rewrite

you’re seeing the beginning chapters in light of the total. It’s really a lot of fun, that’s my favorite

part; going back to the beginning and rewriting it because I no longer have to worry about

where I’m going. I have already gotten there, so now I can just settle down and concentrate on

each scene as it unfolds.

Celina: I have a favorite character that I like to write about. Her name is Fidget, she’s a gnome.

She’s one that if I don’t know what I want to do, I continue writing her story and things like that.

I was wondering, who was your favorite character to write about?

Margaret: It varies from book to book. In DragonLance it was Raistlan. I got to know him better

than many friends and family. He came to life for me. Then in the Star of the Guardian series it

was Lady Maigrey, because she was who I wanted to be. In Death Gate it was probably Haplo

and his dog. Darksword it was Simkin. In my current series, there is a villain at the beginning of

the series named Sir Henry Wallace and I came to like him so much that now because he is a

gentle character in the sequel.

Aspen:  I’ve gotta say that I like Raistlin too. [Laughter]

Gil: Since you work with your family and colleagues, we were wondering, how do two people

effectively work on the same writing project?

Margaret: Well when Tracy and I started out writing DragonLance, he was involved in the same

side of the project, the role playing game side. So he did that. I was involved with the novel part.

So that’s just how we split everything up. I would write chapters at night, because we both had

our day jobs. I would write the chapters at night and I would bring them in in the morning and

give them to Tracy. He would read them, and make comments and suggestions, and add

anything that he wanted to them… then it would come back to me because it was important to

us that the novel should read in a single voice. There are novels out there that two authors have

written and you can tell immediately when one author quits and the other begins. We didn’t

want that. We wanted it to read without taking the reader out of the experience. That’s how

I’ve worked from then on. When I work with a coauthor, when a coauthor writes some stuff, I go

back and write it in one voice. Writing teams differ wildly in the way they write. I knew a

husband and wife romance writing team where one would type and the other would dictate.

They would discuss it then as they were in the progress of working on it. I don’t know whether

any of you saw the new series, “The Expanse”, on the science fiction channel, but it’s really great

and there’s two writers on that. One wrote the track that features the detective and the other

wrote the track that features the crew of the ship. How the two storylines merge is really, really

neat. It just depends on what would work best for you and your partner.

Jaeden: We are kind of curious as to what race and class you think fits your personality the

most? (Laughter)

Margaret: Umm… It depends on the game. When I wrote part of Firefly, I don’t know if any of

you have ever seen Firefly.

Gil: Yeah, it’s a good show.

Group: Yes.

Margaret: It starred Nathan Fillian who is amazing. I always play Jayne. Because, basically when

I’m role playing I’m very action oriented and I like to shoot stuff. (Laughter)

Gil: Nice!

Margaret: (Laughs) and I also have lots of fun playing Tasslehoff when I’m playing in a fantasy

setting. The Kender, a light fingered Kender. Again because I can cause mischief, I can do things

that are unexpected, that’s what’s fun for me.

Group: Cool.

Kendra: I was wondering if you’ve ever had a character surprise you. Once you’ve developed a

back story, has the character ever sort of just taken off and said, “Well I am doing this instead!”?

Margaret: Oh yeah, I mean that always happens and that’s good. I would say that characters are

like teenagers. Okay, your teenage children. You should listen to them. You should respect their

wishes and their thoughts, and their dreams. But you also need to guide them. You can’t let a

character just completely run away with the story. Although that almost happened to Tracy and

I with Lord Soth in DragonLance. Lord Soth is a death knight and he is a fascinating character.

Tracy came up with his entire story and it’s just really incredible. He turned out to be such a cool

character that we found ourselves writing more about Lord Soth than we preferred, because he

was only a minor character and so we had to kind of back off of him and get rid of him. This is

what can happen. If you become very enamored with a character, you can find that that

character starts taking over. This may or may not be a difficult choice?, but you’ve got to set

boundaries. You’ve got to set rules for your characters. Like them, listen to them, but don’t get

carried away.

Kendra: I like the teenage metaphor.

Celina: When I’m writing a character and I’m putting him, or her, in a blog. I create a scenario

where I write twenty things that the reader will never know about. Do you have anything similar

to that, that you do for your characters?

Margaret: Yeah, well characters will always have secrets, because humans have secrets. But you

have to be careful because, if the character does something that appears to be out of character

to the reader, and it’s based on a secret that the reader doesn’t know about, then the reader

can feel very cheated. So, you also have to be careful if you’re writing from the point of view of

the character that the character can’t have too many secrets. Otherwise, again, the reader will

feel cheated, because now we’re in the mind of the character. So those are some areas you

need to be careful of. If the character has secrets, you need a thumb point to give the reader a

little bit of a clue or a hint that this is something that is going on with the character. Even if the

character may not have admitted it to himself, or herself, then you can have a friend or

somebody talk to your character about it. If the plot or the character’s motivation depends on

the secret, then somehow you will have to find a way to clue the reader in.

Celina: Thank you, looks like I have more work.

Kendra: Is there anything that you want to ask or tell us?

Margaret: I think this has been really great. You have come up with some interesting questions

and I really enjoyed talking to you. You guys have my email. If you think of anything else, feel

free to email me. I’ll be happy to answer you.

Jaeden: Will you be doing any book signings soon here in Colorado?

Margaret: No, unfortunately I’m not. I do flyball racing with my dogs on the weekends and so

that pretty much takes up my time. I go to one or two conventions a year, mainly Gen Con,

which is for me, is my favorite convention.

Jaeden: Looks like we need to make a trip to Gen Con.

(Laughter)

Margaret: They actually have a writer’s track at GenCon. So you could go to the Writer’s track.

Kendra: Okay. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed hearing your honest reactions, and your

insights as a writer, and what to avoid. I enjoyed your sense of humor. Thank you for speaking

with us today.

Group: Thank you very much.

Margaret: Again, thank you for asking. I really enjoyed it.

Margaret Weis’ latest book, Spymaster, is due out in March, 2017 from Tor.