Recently, we were filming some videos for social media, and I pulled out issue number one of Dragon magazine. At that time, it was called The Dragon, but it would go on to be a staple among players of Dungeons and Dragons.
It followed on from an earlier magazine, The Strategic Review, of which I also have a few copies, though they are far less impressive when it comes to content. Dragon magazine was issued monthly, beginning in 1976, and the last issue, topping off at a whopping #359, was published in September of 2007.
Dragon was relaunched as an online magazine by Wizards of the Coast (the new intellectual property owners) until 2013. A new digital version called Dragon+ launched in 2015 and continues to this day, though it is now bi-monthly.
I’m all for progress, but there’s just something magical about flipping through an old magazine!
I have read fantasy books for many years, and although I love the genre, I often find I’m more interested in how someone became the best warrior in all the land instead of reading about them slaying evil minions. With that in mind, the Heir to the Crown series reveals the backgrounds of these intrepid souls before their adventures at the peak of their careers, giving the reader insight into what motivates them.
It also served to fill in their characters for me, as a writer, with far more depth than a few simple biography notes would have done. In fact, I wrote the Mercerian Tales stories with the primary objective of letting me explore those characters in more depth. Stories of the Past gives a little more insight into each main character with details that would have either felt insignificant in the earlier books or dragged out the main storyline too much.
After introducing Albreda, I felt I had to explore her character; thus, The Call of Magic was born. Then The Making of a Man came about because Baron Richard Fitzwilliam is such an important influence in the lives of so many characters. Without his presence, Gerald would never have become the warrior he is, nor Beverly, the renowned knight. Fitz deserved his own story, one which explains how he became the man he is.
Will I ever give the heroes of the Continent the same treatment as those of Merceria? I have some ideas on that, but for the moment, I’m concentrating on my three current series, with the occasional Cyric story thrown in for good measure.
I may also have ideas for new series, but I won’t go into that in any detail. Suffice it to say, I’ve planned out my writing schedule for the next few years.
Until next time,
Paul Bennett, Writer of Epic Fantasy Adventures.