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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Early to rise ... and amaze

“I get up at an unholy hour in the morning my work day is completed by the time the sun rises. I have a slightly bad back which has made an enormous contribution to American literature.” David Eddings

Eddings made that statement shortly before his sudden death in 2009.  The writing about which he spoke is an amazing output of epic fantasy series’ created in partnership with his wife Leigh.  Born on this date in 1931, Eddings grew up in the Puget Sound area, and the idyllic and rugged region became the setting for some of his stories, including his first novel High Hunt, the story of four young men hunting deer. Like many of his later novels, it explores themes of manhood and coming of age.                             
While he had only moderate success with those works, it was when he moved to fantasy that he made his mark.  Eddings's call to the world of fantasy came from a doodled map he drew one morning before work. This doodle later became the geographical basis for his fictional world of Aloria.

A terrific chess player, too, Eddings took the suggestion of his wife that he incorporate some elements of chess into his books and combined with the new world he had imagined, he and Leigh wrote 5 best-selling series, starting in 1982.  Their last best-selling series ended in in 2006 shortly before Leigh’s death.  David died in 2009.  That series, called “The Dreamers,” had characters who could use the powers of their dreams to foresee visions of the future.  Often they seemed prophetic, but David pooh-poohed those who held him up as a great visionary.

“I'm a storyteller, not a prophet,” he once said with a laugh.  “I'm just interested in telling a good story.”

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