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E-mail Interview with Mercedes Lackey, August 2003, for

Q: How did you get started writing? Any specific influences?

A: I wrote from the time I first discovered sf, roughly about eleven or twelve. Partly because I quickly exhausted the sf in the county library and in the dark ages before bookstores proliferated across the land (the early 60s) the only time I ever saw a significant sf collection was our twice-a-year visit to the big Krochs and Brentanos bookstore in Chicago. So since I didn't have new books to read, I tried writing.

My early influences were all the classics, of course, but particularly Heinlein, Schmitz and Norton. If I were to rattle off the list of the ones I remember it would cover virtually everyone published between 1950 and 1975.

Q: Do you have any favorites among your characters?

A: Do I have to restrict myself to Baen books? (g)

Erik Banyon, Rune, Visyr, Francesca, Benito and Marco; Kerowyn, Tarma, Kethry, Solaris, Vanyel, Alberich, Vetch/Kiron; Diana Tregarde and Jennifer Talldeer; Elena Klovis.

Q: What was the first sf story you ever read?

A: If you don't count SPACE CAT and SPACE CAT MEETS MARS (I am not making those up), it would have to be James Schmitz AGENT OF VEGA. My father was reading it and when he finished it, I had run out of library books so I read it, and got hooked on adult and YA sf. From there I went straight into Norton, BEAST MASTER.

Q: Who are some of your favorite non-sf authors?

A: Elizabeth Peters, Dorothy L. Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Henry James, H.H. Munro, Stella Gibbons, Barbra Tuchman, Rudyard Kipling, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain. I read a lot of turn-of-the-century popular authors and a LOT of history.

Q:Who would you like to see play your series hero in a movie?

A: Oh, gosh, I just don't think about this stuff in terms of movies, I find it gets in the way of working on the books themselves. I suppose if I were to choose anything for anyone, I'd like to see Allan Rickman playing Eneko Lopez. Like that'll ever happen.

Q: What invention or scientific leap in understanding would you most like to see made in your lifetime?

A: Excellent medical care for everyone regardless of income.

Q: If you could go back to one incident in all of history to watch as a spectator what would it be?

A: As opposed to being able to do change history?

Well, there are a number of intriguing mysteries I'd like to solve. What happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste, what was really found at Roswell New Mexico, what the Great Pyramid looked like when it was finished, what happened to Nertiti and Ankesenamun.

I'd rather not be an observer at seminal moments in history because they are too often tragic.

For more information about Mercedes Lackey go to: