William King’s GiantSlayer Interview




  • From trollslayer.net (William King’s old official site).
  • An interview about the upcoming novel GiantSlayer and much more!
  • Uploaded in 6 March 2002.
  • Notes :
    • This post has only parts that have something to do with Gotrek & Felix, not necessarily all the interview (so when ”….” appear it means that this section does not contain any thing about the duo).
    • Giantslayer sees Gotrek and Felix head off to Albion and it appears that they are destined for an encounter with the Elf Arch-mage, Teclis who faces more than a few problems of his own. For those of you interested, Bill has written an essay detailing some of the back ground he used for this book – it’s called the Legacy of the Old Ones and makes very interesting reading. (See below …)
  • And was it a challenge to do it from the Teclis POV and not make him seem..well, too human?
    • It’s always difficult writing from the point of view of someone who is not an actual human being. Impossible with something truly non-human, if truth be told, since I am human.  The best you can hope for is a kind of approximation of it, which will hopefully convince readers. Still when all is said and done Elves are humanish.  With Teclis, I tried to keep in mind that Elves have very long lives, and are very, very political and manipulative. What is important to him are sometimes things that might seem insignificant to humans and vice versa.
  • Awhile back you wrote an essay for the site. Does this ‘Legacy of the Old Ones’ play a significant role in the book, then?
    • Yes. A very significant part. The Paths of the Old Ones have been hinted at in previous books. In this one we actually get a look inside them and learn some things about the Old Ones themselves.
  • What was the inspiration for this particular storyline?
    • There were a number of them. I wanted to get Gotrek & Felix out of the Old World and resolve the ongoing Chaos invasion plot. I wanted to do a “test drive” on Teclis for the Tyrion and Teclis book I had been planning. On a slightly less exalted level, I always wondered how the Slann ever got into battles with some of the other races in the tabletop game.
  • The main criticism leveled at the previous book, Vampireslayer, was that there was a definite lack of the fighting and bloodshed that people have come to expect in a Gotrek and Felix novel. Have you answered this criticism in Giantslayer?
    • There are certainly a large number of epic battles and the climax is perhaps the bloodiest battle of our heroes’ careers so far.
  • Was it fun to write these encounters? (Gotrek and Teclis)
    • Yes. For once there was someone to stand up to Gotrek who is powerful enough not to be intimidated.
  • Okay, I have to ask – will there be any instances of Gotrek’s trademark signature, the old  ‘thumb down the blade’ in this book?
    • I believe there is. There’s certainly a lot of his trademark mass slaughter of opponents.
  • Sorry. I actually meant the ‘thumb down the blade’ imagery!
    • No, it’s just something he does. It’s a habit which hopefully characterizes him.
  • Will we see any more hints of Gotrek’s misdeeds – the ones that led him to become a slayer?
    • Fairly soon I think I will have to deal with the events that led to Gotrek shaving his head. I doubt that it will come as any surprise to long term readers that the working title is Kinslayer.
  •  I’ve been asked to ask you how influenced were you (if at all) by Storm Warriors when writing about Albion?
    • Not really, I confess. It seemed to contradict a lot of the stuff in Dark Shadows, and when all is said and done, Storm Warriors is a story told by Orfeo. That means it is not necessarily part of the actual continuity. Dark Shadows is.
  • In the last couple of books, it almost seems as though Gotrek has been giving Felix an out with regard to his obligation as the Slayer’s Rememberer. Is this the case, and will the duo ever be parted by anything other than the Slayer’s inevitable death?
    • The thing about Gotrek is that he is cruel but fair. It may actually have occurred to him that Felix is not a dwarf and that it is not really fair to expect him to behave like one. It is also possible that he doesn’t think Felix is up to it and he is setting him some tests. Will they be separated before the death quest ends? Most likely – I have considered several storylines involving this. Needless to say any such separation would be temporary. Also these things are only vague ideas at the moment. Nothing is set in stone until the books come out.
  • So will everyone’s favorite Grey Seer, Thanquol be putting in an appearance in this book and if not, when are we likely to see his return?
    • He does not appear in Giantslayer and he may not appear in the next book either but, like a bad penny, he will show up. I am considering doing some short stories about him.
  • With the developing storyline for Gotrek & Felix, would you use some of the current background to go back and change some of the prior novels and if so, which ones?
    • There are always things you would change if you could go back and do them over again. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I have the nagging suspicion though that if I could do it and make the changes a few months later I would most likely want to change them too. Who knows I might even want to put them back the way they were to begin with-the grass is always greener…
  • What was your greatest challenge to overcome in the writing of this book?
    • Keeping Gotrek and Teclis from killing each other.
  • Okay, so a spoiler… Now that you have finished writing Giantslayer, is there any scene in particular you would have changed and why?
    • I would have stopped Gotrek killing Teclis. Oops – just kidding! Like I said before, in every book there are things you would do differently. I think it’s a bit unfair to ask me to dissect what I now think were my mistakes before the book is even out. In six months I might feel differently. ……

      Gotrek & Felix wander into epics by accident and then do their best to lower the tone of the place.

    • (About Inferno! #36)
  • Can you tell us a bit about the story you wrote for that issue?
  • It’s a tale of steamships, seasick dwarves, orc pirates, desert islands and ruined ancient cities filled with cursed treasure. And a fair amount of violence. It has G&F’s first sea battle and some hints of what they might get up to after the current story arc finishes.
  • And the comic strip?
    • It’s a short violent episode featuring some skaven and an experimental rocket propelled cable car.
  • Given that your experience runs more to books, was the comic strip quite difficult to write, or just different?
    • Just different and a lot of fun.
  • From the hints he’s dropped over the course of the books, it appears the Slayer is a very widely traveled dwarf. Have you ever considered doing a Gotrek : the Early Years book about some of these earlier adventures?
    • It’s certainly one of those things that have been discussed. I am also thinking that a large part of Kinslayer may well be told in flashback from Gotrek’s point of view. ……

      Admitting that you use living people as your models is a good way of ending up in court.