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Raymond E. Feist

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, Raymond E. Feist, courtesy of the author; 220x286

Raymond E. Feist

Raymond E. Feist is an American writer whose work includes fantasy fiction.

He lists his hobbies as including collecting movies on DVD, fine wine, books on the history of Professional Football, and the works of American Illustrators.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Not directly. I may have used a mannerism or odd style of dress or something unknowingly in a character, but for the most part my encounters with fans from my point of view is always a business encounter. These are my readers and they pay my rent, so my job is to be accessible to them and answer questions and the like.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

A couple, which revolve around something I find difficult to wrap my mind around. I've had a half-dozen or so fans over the last 30+ years mention that something that I wrote changed their life. A young man in Birmingham, England told me after a car accident which put him in a wheelchair, a conversation in King's Buccaneer changed how he looked at his mishap and made him get serious about rehab. Another gent in Melbourne, Australia told me his brother stopped being a criminal and druggie because of something I had talked about in the original Riftwar. It's stuff like that that is way beyond my intent, which was strictly to entertain. What I tell them is they were ready for that change and my writing was simply a catalyst, and if they hadn't found it in my work, they would have found it somewhere else; they were the responsible party and they should take the credit. It's the unintended consequences of what I put on paper that surprises me.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Not one. Start with Shakespeare -- you know he's good because we're still paying good money to see his stuff preformed four hundred years later. For me it's the adventure novelists and historical novelists I read as a kid, the biographers and historians I've read since then. The movie serials I saw in the theaters on Saturday when I was a kid, the very same ones that inspired Lucas to do Star Wars. Pretty much any good writing, in books, on the screen or stage, has stayed with me.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

My son. He's the person in the world I get along with the easiest. He's a great young man. If you mean someone else who's famous, spaceships, I don't know. An hour in an elevator? Maybe Thomas Jefferson, or James Maddison. I've got some questions about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution I'd like to ask.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

I'll take the 5th Amendment on that one. Besides, considering current American politics, the list is far too long just in that one field. Throw in entertainment and sports . . .

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

I have a fondness for these ProMax meal substitution bars (Lemon) I like with coffee in the morning. Lots of coffee, any of several acceptable blends, my laptop computer, and a good supply of Glenfiddich 15 year old single malt for a dram in the evenings when the mood strikes. A decent variety of food, comfy clothing, and I'm good.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I've already got it. I get to play "let's pretend" and they pay me money, so I can feed my kids, drive a nice car, and all the rest of that success thing.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

About ten years ago I was asked what is the best thing about being a writer. I had never considered the question before, so the answer when it popped into my head sort of surprised me, but this is what I said: at the end of your life the only thing that's important is how many lives have you touched. I've been allowed to touch millions. I'm the luckiest guy I know.

submitted by Raymond E. Feist

28 April 2015

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Just the facts:
Born: Dec 1945 Los Angeles, California
Resides: San Diego
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