Many years ago, well in in the fall of 2005 anyway, when I had just started reviewing books and was still only reviewing ones that I had bought on my own, I stumbled across a book called The Hickory Staff by Robert Scott and Jay Gordon. It was the first book in a trilogy called The Eldarn Sequence and I thought it was great.
I e-mailed the authors and sent them a link to my review not really expecting anything in return, so I was pleasantly surprised to receive a thank you note from Robert Scott. (Quotes from that review have now ended up on the back covers of both the second, Lessek's Key, and third books, The Larion Senators of the series). The result was that we arranged that I would send Scott some interview questions and we'd publish the result on line.
A month later his co-author and father-in-law Jay Gordon had died. Robert and Jay had started working on the series when Jay had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS is one of the nastier illnesses out there, with the victim's system gradually shutting down without them ever losing awareness. If you're really unlucky you can linger for a long time, suffering horrible pain and completely immobilized.
Jay had always loved Epic Fantasy, so although neither had ever attempted this type of writing before -- Robert had been a classical guitar player and a history major in University and Jay a technical engineer -- they began to create their new universe. When Jay died in November of 2005 Lessek's Key had been handed in to the publishers, but The Larion Senators had only been roughed out leaving Robert to finish the series on his own.
When The Larion Senators was published last fall, I asked Robert if he'd like to do a summation sort of interview and he agreed. Unfortunately he had also just started a new job as a high school principal, and was swamped with work, life, and trying to actually write non-Eldarn related material. Somehow though he found time to answer these questions, and as usual is very candid about the whole process.
If you've read the trilogy I'm sure you'll find the conclusion of Jay and Robert's epic as interesting as you did the final chapter of The Eldarn Sequence itself. For those who haven't read the books I hope it encourages you to do so, as they are a great read. There are some spoilers included in this interview - but only in a general sort of way and won't really spoil the story for anyone - but Robert is nice enough to point them out anyway for those who care about such things.