Eddings for years has read all his work aloud to his wife, Leigh, whom he acknowledges as a valued collaborator since he began writing his fantasy books. Leigh catches the inconsistencies, adds to the plot, and adds important color and detail to the story. "Part of our aim was to create an epic fantasy with a heavy overlay of realism. The immediacy--that sense of actually knowing these characters which many readers have noticed--derives from that realism in dialogue and details. We can blame my wife for a lot of that," Eddings wrote. Leigh is credited as co-author in the latest two books, Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress. Eddings says that he wanted the dual authorship acknowledged in the beginning, but his publisher wouldn't allow it, saying that co-authorships didn't float in the market. Eddings, with obvious affection for the woman he calls "the bride of my youth," is grateful that Leigh will now get the credit she deserves. The couple has settled in Nevada, where Eddings writes every day from 2 to 6 a.m., with a half-day holiday for Christmas.
Eddings has begun another map and has conjured up yet another immensely absorbing world. His current project, a work of fantasy, is set in primitive times. He's studied Indo-European root words, derived from historical linguistics, and is speculating about the Indo-European people and culture and what their world might have been like, complete with an Ice Age.
In this new project, as in the past books, Eddings says that he lives with his characters, that they're in his veins: "I knew them so intimately that I knew what they would do, and I knew frequently what they were going to say. This takes a lot of fun out of the business, because the great thing is when you hit a spell when the story grabs the bit in its teeth and runs off in a direction you had never intended and you keep writing and you read it real fast to see how it turns out, because you have no idea." He says that he internalized the story so deeply that "a sudden click would bring me up sharply out of bed, and I'd know what it's all about." After all, as Eddings says about himself, "I believe I'm a storyteller, not a prophet. I'm just interested in a good story."
Nadine Fiedler'89 is assistant director of news and publications at Reed. She read 18 of David Eddings's books in five months and had a good time doing it.
books by David Eddings
Pawn of Prophecy, April 1982
Queen of Sorcery, November 1982
MagicianŐs Gambit, June 1983
Castle of Wizardry, May 1984
EnchanterŐs End Game, December 1984
Guardians of the West, March 1988
King of the Murgos, March 1989
Demon Lord of Karanda, November 1989
Sorceress of Darshiva, December 1989
The Seeress of Kell, May 1992 (No. 1 on
the NY Times bestseller list for 3 weeks)
The Diamond Throne, July 1990
The Ruby Knight, December 1991
The Sapphire Rose, January 1993
Domes of Fire, July 1993
The Shining Ones, August 1994
The Hidden City, September 1994
High Hunt, April 1973
The Losers, September 1993
Belgarath the Sorcerer (by David and
Leigh Eddings), August 1995
Polgara the Sorceress (by David and
Leigh Eddings), November 1997