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#1 John Maddox Roberts

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 12:56 AM

Believe it or not, I only discovered this site yesterday because it was mentioned by a correspondent at Sword Forum International. Naturally, the first thing I did was search to see what people thought of my Conan books, and was gratified to see that comment was overwhelmingly favorable. Many people had questions about some details of my books, naturally. Rather than revive those old threads individually, I thought I'd establish this thread and ask anyone who has questions to pose them here and I'll answer as best I can. One rule: Don't ask me to badmouth any of my colleagues in the field. I think it unprofessional to use fora like this to take digs at your competitors (and some of my colleagues do exactly this).

I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks once again for the many kind comments.
John

#2 Kortoso

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 01:06 AM

Welcome, John! We're honored to have you here.

#3 Crom

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 01:11 AM

Thanks for joining us, John.

#4 Strom

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 01:39 AM

Welcome John! :) I'm trying to collect and read all the Conan pastiche. I read your book Conan and the Manhunters quite a few years ago and remember really enjoying it. Great to have you join the site. B)

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#5 Winterghost

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 02:44 AM

Howdy, John. I believe you're one of the well liked Tor Conan authors around here. Reading what you said about just discovering this site, does that mean you don't really keep up with Conan anymore, or just too busy?

Okay, the only Conan Tor I have of yours is Conan the Bold, but I've never read it. It seems inconsistent with the timeline. You have Conan going on this adventure across Hyboria before he was supposed to leave Cimmeria. I'll have to dig that oneout. I might even have some others by you.

You did write King of the Wood. I started reading that one when I was a teen, and really liked it, but it was lost one day in school when I left it in a classroom. I would like to start that one again, seeing that it was getting really interesting and I'd have liked to known what happened.

Well, good to see another Conan author. John Hocking pops in here, and so have all the Age of Conan authors (except Loren Coleman).

And of course we are always blessed with the presence of the talented Mr. Durham. B)

#6 Winterghost

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 02:49 AM

Hey, John, what are you working on now? I know you did some Roman stuff after Conan (right?).

#7 PaulMc

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 04:04 AM

Believe it or not, I only discovered this site yesterday because it was mentioned by a correspondent at Sword Forum International. Naturally, the first thing I did was search to see what people thought of my Conan books, and was gratified to see that comment was overwhelmingly favorable. Many people had questions about some details of my books, naturally. Rather than revive those old threads individually, I thought I'd establish this thread and ask anyone who has questions to pose them here and I'll answer as best I can.
John

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I dunno. Authors freely interacting with fans? How terribly civilized in the eyes of a barbarian! :lol:

Welcome John. Pleasure to see you here.

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#8 TheLordCrom

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 04:55 AM

Hello John, Glad you made it here from the Sword Forum. I post as Mike Kane over there. Glad to see you with the fans.

Any more books in the works from you on Conan or any Howard creation?
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#9 daknight

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 05:17 AM

Hi. Welcome. It's really good of you to show up here and open yourself to us for questions. Not long ago I was telling people about a Hitchcock story you wrote called "Pirates" which I thought was clever and twisted. As for questions, I too, would like to know what's in the works. I don't imagne a Conan pastiche would be do-able at this time, but would you ever consider a graphic novel or something?
Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and origin of marvels. -- Goya

#10 Almuric

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 06:13 AM

Nice of you to drop in! You're definately up there among the post-Howard writers. :D
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#11 PainBrush

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 09:18 AM

I have a question.........how do you feel about Angelina Jolie naming her kid after you ??
- Haven't got to your Conan books yet , but you're pretty well recommended on here by people whose opinions I think carry weight so I'll def. seek them out .

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So THIS is civilization ??!??!......

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#12 Buxom Sorceress

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 01:02 PM

..I thought I'd establish this thread and ask anyone who has questions to pose them here and I'll answer as best I can...
I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks once again for the many kind comments.  John

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

WELCOME JOHN !
i am so delighted + honoured that u have joined this fine forum. :)

it is such a thrill to be able to discuss with 1 of my favourite writers. i am tingling as i type this [ honestly! + i got the same tingling feeling of excitement when i was 1st able to reply to John Hocking].

i give u 1000 thanks for your fine Conan books. your clever hyborian stories have given me so much good entertainment + thrills. B)
u are my fave Conan pastiche writer. [ + closely followed by Hocking]
--
can u please tell us how u got started as a Conan writer? + what other writers [besides Howard ] are your faves + biggest influences?
what are your proudest moments as a writer? + which are your fave Conan books [including your own]?
how did success with Conan influence your career?
+ how did your Conan writing come to an end?

what are your latest book projects?
+ would u write more new adventures in Hyboria [with new characters? or more conan?] if u were asked by cpi?
--
[ well thats all for now. i'll discuss your characters + monsters, etc., later...]
kisses from an excited buxom fan *** :)

AVATARS GALORE
HYBORIAN Limericks + Rhymes
Lots of FUN and serious new RHYMING Hyborian/Fantasy poetry.

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leaving most warriors drooling and staring.
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I would vanish into the new Sunrise glaring."

#13 alex

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 01:59 PM

It's a privilege anytime we are visited by a Conan writer. Thanks for stopping by. B)

I would like to take this opportunity to mention how much I enjoyed your take on Cimmeria in Conan The Valorous - The burning spear. etc. In Marauder, it was a well writted duel that I recall, and the Genghis Khan/Attila contrast.

The alternate world that Conan accidentally stumbles across in Conan The Champion, and the blood covered snow. It's been a while. Those I remember with a certain amount of affection. Thanks for writing!
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#14 Amra

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 02:23 PM

Welcome John!

The internet is a wonderful thing, isn't it? I must say that my questions are pretty the same as the posted above this reply. Allow me to say that out of your Conan works, Conan the Marauder is my favorite.

Well, on second thought, I suppose that I do have one specific question. In Conan the Valorous our favorite Cimmerian returns to Cimmeria. Did you have or use any specific references in describing the land of Cimmeria?
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#15 Taranaich

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 02:23 PM

- Haven't got to your Conan books yet , but you're pretty well recommended on here by people whose opinions I think carry weight so I'll def. seek them out .

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I can think of a certain John Maddox Roberts fan sorceress whose "opinions" could be said to be "carrying weight"...

Eh? Yeah, subtlety is for socialites.

Anyway, Mr Roberts (or is it Maddox Roberts?), you must know that a number of REH fans are rather purists, ie. they think pastiches are exploitative and taint the name of Howard. How do you respond or justify yourself, if at all?

Sorry if it's a bit heavy, it's just I'd like to hear your thoughts on Howard purism.

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#16 kansasbarbarian

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 03:20 PM

Welcome to the forums John. You are my favorite pastiche author of Conan. You portray him as a barbarian instead of some knight errant do gooder. I really dig all of your books but Conan the Rogue is my favorite. I wish you had done Conan of Venarium as you would have gotten it right.

#17 Darius The Priest

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 03:31 PM

Hail and well met.
It is indeed an honour.
The first round is on me.
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#18 John Maddox Roberts

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 03:42 PM

Okay, I'll try to answer some of these questions, the rest later. Time presses. Buxom:
How I fell into this: In the early 80s I was at a World Fantasy Convention in Chicago and happened to sit with Sprague and Catherine deCamp at a party. They had just brought out their Howard biography "Dark Valley Destiny" and we discussed Howard and his works for a while. Apparently they thought I knew what I was talking about because a few weeks later my agent (who also represented the deCamps) called and said that Tor had acquired the rights to the Howard works and were planning to revive the character with a series of pastiches. The deCamps and Robert Jordan would edit and Sprague wanted me to lead off the line and I agreed to write four books. Later I signed on for four more. It was great fun but over the years the deCamps retired and Jordan went on to other things. Worse yet, Conan Productions was bought by someone I couldn't work with and I called a halt after the eighth book.

A bit about me: I'm 58 (sigh), a lifelong student of swords and swordsmanship. I've lived all over the country as well as in Scotland, England and Mexico. I spent 1967-70 in the army and did a tour in Vietnam. I was even a Green Beret for a while (though not in Vietnam). It was nothing like Rambo. After the army I began writing seriously and sold my first book, a sf novel, in '75. The book I'm working on now is my 54th. Thus far, my most successful work by far is the SPQR series set in the dying days of the Roman Republic. The first novel, SPQR, was nominated for the Edgar award as best mystery novel of the year. It didn't win, but SPQR is still in print and none of the other nominees, including the winner, are. The series is up to 13 languages and the books are huge bestsellers in Germany.

I've written contemporary mysteries and straight historical novels as well. In the early 80s I wrote a series for NAL called THE FALCON under the pseudonym Mark Ramsay. They involve a returned Crusader forming a band of mercenaries and are worth seeking out if you like sword-oriented fiction (and I assume everyone here does).

More later, and thanks, all, for the warm welcome.
John

#19 Eli

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:19 PM

Well met Mr. Roberts.
My favorite was Conan the Champion. I think I have read that book 15 times.
I really dug the old school Nordic feel to that story. The fight scenes were very chaotic and unorganized. You could tell these were fierce yet relatively untrained warriors. I dug the way some of thoes guys went berserk in battle. Also the main monster of the book was very cool. was also really impressed by Totila the rival king. In some ways he reminded me of Haralad Hadradda. I also dug the way Conan mind worked in that book. Very street wise, savage and savvy.
It showed Conan the way I have always seen him. Starting out with nothing, clawing his way to the top, and then walking away from it all without a second thought.
Welcome to the forum.

#20 Strom

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 02:24 AM

John - if you have some time perhaps you could give us your opinion on expanding the Conan legend. We have a good debate and discussion going on about it in this thread:

Expanding the Conan Legend?

:)

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