Tethtoril's Bookshelf


Interview with Paul S Kemp

Given below is an interview conducted between the Scribes of Candlekeep and Paul S Kemp. Paul is the author of the Forgotten Realms novel from the Erevis Cale Trilogy: Twilight Falling. This interview was carried out on 14th September 2003 following the success of this novel. This material cannot be reproduced without permission.

Interview with Paul S Kemp – Author of 'Twilight Falling' (The Erevis Cale Trilogy, Book 1)


1. The relationship between Cale and Riven had grown and developed to a kind of loyalty and respect thoroughout the novel, did you always intend that they would be brought together this way?

Characters like Cale and Riven tend to get written as they demand. When I initially created the two, I thought to myself that they were very much alike, with perhaps a bladewidth of distance between Riven’s penchant for violence and Cale’s more measured approach. Over time, I expected them to get increasingly hostile, in a Drizzt-Artemis kind of way. But they would have none of it, and their similarities and understanding (if not approval) of the other’s methods necessarily led to their current relationship.

Now, even with all that said, I would add that Cale and Riven always have had some measure of respect for one another, but it was masked by the hostility and tension ever-present in their face-to-face encounters. That tension remains, despite their sometime-camaraderie, and makes their relationship that much more interesting, I think.


2. Cales relationship with Tazi is quite tragic at the beginning of the story, do you have interation with Voronica Whitney-Robinson (“creator” of Tazi and author of “Sands of the Soul” and “The Crimson Gold”) on where your characters are going and how the relationship develops?

I did provide Voronica with a draft of the Tazi-Cale scenes in TF, and we’ve talked a bit about their future relationship. At this last GenCon, we talked in a bit more detail about how to explore the Tazi-Cale dynamic in a future book. We’ll see where that goes.


3. Like “Shadows Witness”, “Twilight Falling” has some disturbing scenes, the characters and settings carry a feeling of the Ravenloft campaign setting into the Realms, do you intend to write this style of atmosphere into all your Realms novels or does this merely come out into the story because of the nature of the characters within?

I do like dark stories about hardcore characters doing what they have to, so in that sense, I do intend to write in that style. Still, telling tales with these particular characters makes it easy. :-)


4. Do you have any plans for writing in the Forgotten Realms after the “Erevis Cale Trilogy” or have any other work scheduled with Wizards of the Coast?

Absolutely. I love writing in the Realms. Ed has created a magnificent world here, and it’s plenty big for me to find a small slice of my own space. I’ll be contributing a short story to Realms of Dragons and, after that, who knows. For now, my plate is pretty full with the Cale Trilogy and the Midnight Trilogy (see below).


5. The events in “Twilight Falling” were mainly in Selgaunt. Did you feel attacted to the city from writing in the Sembia Series and do you prefer writing in civilised areas such as cities and towns to that of wilderness etc.?

You know, I don’t really have a preference. For me it’s all about the characters. For what it’s worth, a good part of Dawn of Night is set in about as bleak a wilderness as you can imagine.


6. Riven and Cale did a great double act in the barn after the Twisted Elm, did you have instruction to be wary of using such techniques as previously areas such as torture, poison, assassins etc have been learning towards subjects of taboo in the eyes of WotC and certain from the days of TSR.

Excellent question! In an early draft of that scene, Riven and Cale actually did torture Serrin, albeit “off stage.” My editor kindly suggested that I take Cale off the watch list of Amnesty International and let them get a bit more creative with their questioning. That was exactly the right decision – Phil Athans is an amazingly skilful editor. I guess Riven got a bit too much into my head during that first draft.

In terms of other subject matter, WotC has been pretty flexible with me, which I appreciate. Neither WotC nor me want to be gratuitous, but I think we’re all looking to make the books a bit more appealing to mature readers than some of the older TSR works.


7. I failed to spot a piece of information in the novel, could you please clarify: After the second visit to Sephris, he tells Cale of the time when the Fane of Shadows will appear, then Cale tells Jak that they have a boat to catch (across the Dragon Reach), where does Cale learn of the location of the Fane of Shadows?

Serrin tells them during the questioning.


8. Your novels have been an obvious success and Wizards of the Coast have seen the popularity of the Erevis Cale character in order to warrant this lately trilogy, do you think that any future novels will be published in hardcover due to this?

I don’t know, but I’m hopeful. As with all things in publishing, it will depend upon sales. I have floated the idea of a complete “Cale Chronicles,” which would gather all of the Cale novels, novellas and short stories together, arrange them in timeline order, and perhaps include an all new novel/novella. We’ll see what happens. :-)


9. What can you tell us about books 2 and 3 of the “Erevis Cale Trilogy”? ::drool::

Book Two introduces the Sojourner, a villain that I think many will enjoy. It also reveals the Sojourner’s ultimate plan, which is...quite ambitious. Book Two also gets into more detail of Magadon’s past, and continues Cale’s and Riven’s evolution. Lots of fireworks.

Book Three I need to keep to myself for now, but I’m VERY excited to write it. Talk about magical fireworks!


10. What else are you working on?

I’ve contracted with Fantasy Flight Games to write the first trilogy in their very cool, very dark, very low magic “Midnight,” setting. I’m excited about it. In my mind, only Midnight can compare with the Realms in terms of wonder. Look for it in mid-2004. Titles are still up in the air, but they’ll find their way onto the internet once decided.

If anyone wants to drop me a line, I’m at pskemp@sbcglobal.net. I always love to hear from fans.

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