5 Questions for Brian Herbert

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Robspierre
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5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby Robspierre » 11 Sep 2009 18:19

At audible I found the following.
Interesting slip I bolded in the first answer.


Brian Herbert, son of the original Dune author, Frank Herbert, talks about what it takes to collaborate on such an expansive universe, the underlying Dune philosophy, and the strangest job he ever held.

Q: How do you and Kevin divvy up the work when you're collaborating? And how do you manage to write together without being in the same place?
Herbert: To come up with the story concepts, Kevin and I have two very intense brainstorming sessions in which we get together, usually in Seattle where Brian lives. In the first session we develop many of the details for a series of novels (usually three books) - including plot, characters, and settings. We form this into a proposal that goes to our agent, for submission to a publisher or publishers. After we decide on a publisher, the next brainstorming session involves the first novel in the series, setting up an outline of around 100 chapters for that book. Kevin and I then divide up the chapters based upon our specific strengths, with an equal number of chapters for each of us to write. When that first draft is completed, we go to our respective studies and write the first drafts. One of us will then send his 50 chapters to the other person, who in turn goes through Draft #2 involving all of the chapters. He then passes it all back to the other writer, and so on, until we have completed around 10 drafts before sending it to the publisher. Kevin and I live in different states, but we correspond by various means of technology as we go through the writing process.

Q: You and Kevin have written a Dune climax series, you wrote a prequel series, and you even wrote a prequel to the prequel. Now, you're in the midst of 3 books that essentially fill in the blanks of the original series. Why go there?
Herbert: My father, Frank Herbert, created a universe that spans more than 20,000 years of Dune history. Each of our novels fills in details of stories that he referenced in various ways in his writings. The Butlerian Jihad time frame, for example (which we covered in 3 novels), was described by Frank Herbert in one of the appendices to Dune. While Winds of Dune is the 11th novel that I have written with Kevin, it is the second direct sequel to Dad's early Dune novels. Paul of Dune (now available in paperback) was our direct sequel to Dune, filling in the time of another jihad in which billions of people were killed in the name of the Emperor Paul Muad'Dib, leading up to Frank Herbert's second novel in the series, Dune Messiah. In that second novel, Paul is caught in his own mythos, and by the end of the novel he abandons his leadership position and walks off into the desert, where he presumably dies. Our newest novel, The Winds of Dune (available in hardcover now) is a direct sequel to Frank Herbert's Dune Messiah, covering part of the time period leading up to his third novel in the series, Children of Dune. In The Winds of Dune, the story is largely told from the viewpoints of three important women in Paul's life: Lady Jessica, Princess Irulan, and Alia Atreides. As I wrote in Dreamer of Dune, the biography of Frank Herbert, the Lady Jessica (the primary point of view character in the novel) was modeled by Frank Herbert after my mother, Beverly Herbert. As his six Dune series novels progressed, women became more and more dominant in the series, until Books 5 and 6 that he wrote, in which women controlled everything in the Known Universe.

Q: What's your favorite "era" of the Dune stories?
Herbert: The era in which the classic novel Dune is set, beginning in 10,191. From a chronological standpoint, this is really the middle of the saga, with huge events leading up to Dune and equally momentous events occurring in the thousands of years afterward. I remember hearing my father read sections of that novel to my mother, and I see many elements of our family, and of my father's political, moral, and religious philosophies in the book.

Q: In the Dune Series, where political hierarchies are constantly fluctuating, could there be said to be one sociopolitical philosophy that dominates your approach to your writing?
Herbert: The sociopolitical philosophy of independent thinking, of never believing everything that governmental or religious leaders tell you, because their statements so often come from a desire to maintain and enhance their own power structures.

Q: Finally: one detail of your resume cries out for an explanation - you once worked as a maid?
Herbert: Like my father before me, I believe in the dignity of honest labor. One summer between university semesters, I was young and broke and needed a job. I talked a honeymoon motel in Carmel, California into hiring me as a maid. They were hesitant because they'd never had a man do that work before, but I talked them into it. A few weeks afterward, I took another job at a large hotel, as a room service waiter. The job I held as a maid was one of many that I took when I worked my way through school.

Rob

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DuneFishUK
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Re: 5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby DuneFishUK » 11 Sep 2009 18:39

There's a quote I tried to remember but have forgotten - it went something like "ask a hack what his book is about and he'll give you a plot summary"

See: Brian's two-line answer to the philosophy question ...

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Re: 5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby SandChigger » 12 Sep 2009 00:03

That slip reads to me like one of their book intros, where they are both supposed to be writing it and so they use a really weird third-person style. (And usually not consistently at that. :roll: )

My father, Frank Herbert, created a universe that spans more than 20,000 years of Dune history.

That doesn't even fucking make sense to me. BoBo blow brain gasket? :roll:
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Re: 5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby TheDukester » 12 Sep 2009 10:30

SandChigger wrote:That slip reads to me like one of their book intros, where they are both supposed to be writing it and so they use a really weird third-person style.

And not only that, but throw in some cut-and-paste errors, too. As in: "We stopped caring about even trying years ago, and we've got all of the most common answers saved as quick-keys."

We've all seen that exact wording — "where Brian lives" — many times. It's got to be part of a template.
"Anything I write will be remembered and listed in bibliographies on Dune for several hundred years ..." — some delusional halfwit troll.

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Re: 5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby Zak » 27 Sep 2009 16:36

DuneFishUK wrote:There's a quote I tried to remember but have forgotten - it went something like "ask a hack what his book is about and he'll give you a plot summary"




Yeah when the interviewer asked "why go there" he just said that the original books had 20,000 years of "history." He never said why that meant he needed to write so much. Pretty sad, and fairly telling.

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A Thing of Eternity
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Re: 5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 28 Sep 2009 12:20

Zak wrote:
DuneFishUK wrote:There's a quote I tried to remember but have forgotten - it went something like "ask a hack what his book is about and he'll give you a plot summary"




Yeah when the interviewer asked "why go there" he just said that the original books had 20,000 years of "history." He never said why that meant he needed to write so much. Pretty sad, and fairly telling.


Welcome, you should introduce yourself in the indroductions area! Good start though. :D
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Re: 5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby Frybread » 28 Sep 2009 17:31

Here are my questions for Bobo:

Brian, how much do you write? Be honest.

How much of the material (trash) in the McDune books are your ideas? How much are TheKJA's?

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trang
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Re: 5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby trang » 29 Sep 2009 00:53

Brian is just a limp noodle isnt he? sheesh, his favorite era? its probably the only one of the originals he skimmed.

I would ask... Brian ... the epigraphs for your books seem familiar, are they pulled from random roadside stops bathroom walls?


I would ask... Brian... Are you proud of the corpse rape your doing to your father and his legacy?

I would ask... Brian.. did you even read your own writing for POD? its the worst book ever written? editing, plot, characters, darkness, sadisitic BS!! enough with Pauls Child hood for christ sake!!
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TheDukester
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Re: 5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby TheDukester » 29 Sep 2009 01:02

"Were those 30 pieces of silver really worth it, Brian?"
"Anything I write will be remembered and listed in bibliographies on Dune for several hundred years ..." — some delusional halfwit troll.

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lotek
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Re: 5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby lotek » 29 Sep 2009 02:40

Brian, with kja brainstorming you so often, can you still sit down?
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Freakzilla
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Re: 5 Questions for Brian Herbert

Postby Freakzilla » 29 Sep 2009 06:47

TheDukester wrote:"Were those 30 pieces of silver really worth it, Brian?"


How many bottles of wine can you get for that? :D
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