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Margaret Weis
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Margaret Weis   Margaret Weice is the New York Times best-selling co-author of the Dragonlance, Darksword, Death Gate, Sovereign Stone, and Dragonships series. She's been inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame. Pyramid magazine stated that Margaret Weice and Tracy Hickman are "basically responsible for the entire gaming fiction genre." The Dragonlance series alone has sold over 20 million copies. She's also the author of the Dragonvarld trilogy, which includes Mistress of Dragons, The Dragon's Son, and Master of Dragons.

Buy Margaret Weis's Books at the following locations: (downloadable audio books) (independent bookstores)
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This episode originally aired on 11/5/2009 with the following authors:
Note: The following interview has been transcribed from The Author Hour radio show. Please excuse any typos, spelling and gramatical errors.

Interview with Margaret Weis

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Bonus Question(s) that Didn't Air on the Live Radio Show

Note that you can also listen to this while you read it.

Matthew Peterson: Let me ask you guys a bonus question real quick. And this will just be a fun one. Letís start out with Tracy. Whatís your favorite monster from the Dragonlance series, or creature?

Tracy Hickman: Well, interestingly enough, my favorite creatures from Dragonlance are, Draconians, but thatís only because of the great depth and direction that was given to them, thanks largely to Margaretís work.

Magaret Weis: [laughs] I like Draconians!

Tracy Hickman: I wish I could take credit.

Magaret Weis: I like Draconians too. Yeah, they were a lot of fun.

Matthew Peterson: So, when you play the games, what character do you usually play?

Magaret Weis: Tracy is the Dungeon Master when we play Dragonlance, and he makes a fantastic Dungeon Master. But the best character he ever played was Bupu, the gully dwarf.

Matthew Peterson: The gully dwarf. [laughs]

Magaret Weis: [laughs] Who was an NPC. But Tracy just was amazing with her.

Matthew Peterson: Thatís fun.

Tracy Hickman: I never get to play the games. I always have to run them.

Magaret Weis: Yes, thatís true.

Matthew Peterson: When I was younger weíd play some of these role playing type games and I was always thankful that I never had to run them, because I wanted to play them. But I had other friends that always wanted to be the person to run them. So itís fun both ways.

Tracy Hickman: Oh, it is. We just last year published . . . I did a book with my son called XDM Extreme Dungeon Mastery, where we took kind of a tongue in cheek look at role playing games, but at the same time weíre able to put in a lot of the things that Iíve learned down the years about creating role playing games, and making them fun to play. But that was an exercise for us in taking a look at role playing games in kind of a fun new kind of a way. And itís gone on and itís done really well. Weíve been very happy with the reception on that. We decided we wanted to put our own role playing game in this as well. And so we include the XB20 system, which is about a bare bones a thing as you can get. I think the only thing that Iíve seen that was anywhere more bare bones than that was someone produced an entire role playing game on two sides of a single sheet of paper . . . without a lot of funds yet.

Magaret Weis: [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Oh!

Tracy Hickman: I think thatís my kind of game. I think I may have to go run and play that one.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] Right after this.

Tracy Hickman: No, you know what I think my favorite game is, and that is Arabian Knights.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, okay.

Tracy Hickman: Which is a board game thatís just been reproduced beautifully by Gman Games. And itís a game that we used to play back in the Ď80s. Do you remember playing this, Margaret?

Magaret Weis: Yes, I do. I didnít know the game came out again.

Tracy Hickman: It has just come out again and itís a really beautiful version. And theyíve actually fixed it. The play is a lot better.

Magaret Weis: I just played a neat game . . .

Tracy Hickman: Did you?

Magaret Weis: . . . called Pandemic. Have you played Pandemic?

Tracy Hickman: I havenít played Pandemic yet.

Magaret Weis: Oh, it is awesome. Itís a game where the players cooperate against the board to stop a worldwide pandemic.

Matthew Peterson: Oh!

Magaret Weis: And itís difficult. Itís very nerve racking. I mean, you wouldnít believe that you could get this worked up over a game. [laughs] But you really do. So itís a very cool game.

Tracy Hickman: That ought to give you some idea who Margaret and I are at heart. We still play games.

Magaret Weis: Yes. [laughs]

Tracy Hickman: We still have an awfully good time.

Magaret Weis: Uh huh.

Matthew Peterson: You guys knew that my house was destroyed in a fire a little while ago. We were able to salvage a few little minor items and stuff. And I had some old video games systems from like the Ď90s, old Sega Genesis, and my wifeís like, ďWe need to throw these away.Ē And Iím like, ďNo! Theyíre mine! Theyíre precious!Ē

Magaret Weis: [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: Sheís always trying to throw those things away and Iím like, ďNo! Theyíre like my legacy of when I was a kid.Ē [laughs]

Tracy Hickman: [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: So Iím still a kid at heart. I wish I had more time to play games though. Of course I donít get paid to make games. [laughs]

Magaret Weis: [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: That would be a fun job.

Well, itís been nice talking with you guys. I really appreciate you being on the show.

Magaret Weis: Oh yes! Nice talking to you! And good luck, Tracy, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I just think that is so awesome!

Tracy Hickman: Thank you, Margaret. You know, I just did the phase two tests last Saturday. And it was absolutely grueling.

Matthew Peterson: What is it that youíre doing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

Tracy Hickman: Iím up through the phase two tests for becoming a member of the choir.

Matthew Peterson: Oh! Well, thatís awesome!

Tracy Hickman: Yeah. Well, thank you, yeah. I hadnít exactly anticipated getting this far.

Magaret Weis: [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: My wife is a huge . . . I mean, she always has like the leads in musicals and stuff. Sheís very good. Iím not very good at singing at all. But I did take a music class in high school and my instructor was on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He was one of the singers there. So thatís great! Thatís awesome! Well, good luck on that!

Tracy Hickman: Yeah, well, thank you. If I get through this one, the final thing I have to do is stand in front of the choir director in a room and sing for him.

Magaret Weis: Oh, wow!

Tracy Hickman: Yeah. My knees are already knocking on that one.

Extra Material That was Cut from the Show Because of Time Constraints

Note that you can also listen to this while you read it (you'll need to fast forward past the bonus questions).

Magaret Weis: Yeah. My daughter and I wrote a couple of romance novels together and we did a Wonder Woman graphic novel once.

Matthew Peterson: Ah. A Wonder Woman graphic novel, huh?

Magaret Weis: Yes. Itís currently being illustrated right now. It was really neat. We really had a great time.

Matthew Peterson: Whatís your daughterís name?

Magaret Weis: Elizabeth Baldwin Weis.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, okay. Thatís great. I know there was a Wonder Woman cartoon movie last year or this year, I think that came out. I hear there might actually be a feature film.

Magaret Weis: Well, you know, Joss Whedon was going to write one, but then he, I donít know, there were rumors of problems and something else, so he backed out.

Matthew Peterson: Uh huh.

Magaret Weis: Which is too bad, Ďcause that would have been cool.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

* * * * * * * * * *

Magaret Weis: I went to the Star Trek movie and that was my big deal for almost two years. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] Yep. Thatís how my wife and I are, we watch about 1 or 2 movies a year. Yeah, well, this last Star Trek did really well, I mean.

Magaret Weis: Oh yeah. Iíve heard that they have them all set for 2 more movies, so I really hope so.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, good, yeah. Iíve seen some of the commercials for it, like online trailer type things, where theyíre interviewing people. And everybodyís just upset because all it is, is just action and a great story line. Theyíre kind of making a little bit of fun, meaning, you know, theyíre not in a room discussing the seriousness of life and going into all these things that sometimes Star Trek does. Sometimes Star Trek can be a little dry, I guess.

Magaret Weis: [laughs] Oh.

Matthew Peterson: My wife fell asleep . . . I donít think sheís watched a single [Star Trek] movie with me . . . when we first got married thatís the first thing I did . . . weíve gotta watch the Star Trek movies together, you know. I donít think she made it through a single one. [laughs]

Magaret Weis: Well like . . . the first one . . . I mean Iím the only person in the world that ever liked the first Star Trek movie, but I had real problems with the Wrath of Khan, which everybody else liked.

Matthew Peterson: Really? Yeah, Ďcause I loved that one.

Magaret Weis: I know, everybody does. But I have issues with a villain that does things just because heís crazy.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah.

Magaret Weis: You know, to me thatís not a good villain. I like villains like Darth Vader with lots of motivation.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. Yep. Well, Khan was upset . . . he blamed Kirk and them for the [death of his wife because had Kirk stranded him on this desolate planet] . . . maybe you didnít watch the original episode with him, with that character.

Magaret Weis: Yes. I have seen it, yeah. I tell you, I grew up with Star Trek. I mean, it was so thrilling, you know, to see a science fiction show on television. It was really cool.

Matthew Peterson: Yeah. After Iíd seen the movie, a million times, I saw the episode with Khan in it, you know. So I was like, ďOh, so thatís where the connection came in.Ē

Magaret Weis: Yeah.

* * * * * * * * * *

Matthew Peterson: [Tracy had just come onto the show] We talked about Star Wars for a moment. [laughs]

Magaret Weis: [laughs]

Tracy Hickman: Oh!

Magaret Weis: So he knows how I feel about Darth Vader. [laughs]

Tracy Hickman: Oh yes. Absolutely. I once had to re-write the end of the third movie, just for Margaret.

Matthew Peterson: Oh, really?

Magaret Weis: Yes, he did a heck of a job too. Lucas should have taken notes.

Matthew Peterson: Oh. Well, you know The Return of the Jedi would have to be probably my favorite movie of all time. Itís still probably my favorite.

Magaret Weis: Oh, Empire was mine. In fact I donít even recognize Return of the Jedi as existing.

Matthew Peterson: Oh no!

Tracy Hickman: Return of the Jedi is aboutt 90% of the best movie you ever saw, Margaret.

Magaret Weis: Yeah. [laughs]

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] Just the last part. Iíve done that too. Iíve re-written some movies before in my mind.

* * * * * * * * * *

Matthew Peterson: So, do you think there will be another movie? Or a feature film of Dragonlance?

Magaret Weis: We understand that the film actually exceeded Paramountís expectations. They didnít anticipate that it would sell as well as it did. That being said, we havenít heard that there are any plans for a sequel. So . . . weíre still waiting.

Matthew Peterson: [laughs] Still waiting.

* * * * * * * * * *

Matthew Peterson: So you guys are doing the Dragonships books, and of course the Drangonlance books. Are there any other projects that you guys have planned in the future?

Magaret Weis: Well, Dragonships is going to be a six book series, so thatís ongoing.

Tracy Hickman: Itís a lot to work on.

Magaret Weis: Yes. Yeah. It really is.

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