Margaret Weis (seated) with Tracy Hickman at Gen Con Indy 2008
|Born||March 16, 1948|
Independence, Missouri, USA
|Genre||Fantasy, science fiction|
Margaret Edith Weis (//; born March 16, 1948) is an American fantasy and science fiction writer and author of dozens of novels and short stories. Along with Tracy Hickman, Weis is one of the original creators of the Dragonlance game world.
Margaret Weis was born on March 16, 1948, in Independence, Missouri. She discovered heroic fantasy fiction while studying at the University of Missouri (MU): "I read Tolkien when it made its first big sweep in the colleges back in 1966," she said. "A girlfriend of mine gave me a copy of the books while I was in summer school at MU. I literally couldn't put them down! I never found any other fantasy I liked, and just never read any fantasy after Tolkien."
Weis first worked for a small publishing company in Independence, where she became an editor. From 1972 to 1983 she worked for Herald Publishing House as advertising director and subsequently as director of Independence Press, Herald Publishing's trade division from 1981 to 1983.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Weis wrote children's books about computer graphics, robots, the history of Thanksgiving, the outlaws Frank and Jesse James, and an adventure book at a second-grade reading level for prisoners with low literacy levels.
In 1983 Weis applied for a job as a games editor at TSR, Inc. that she saw advertised in Publishers Weekly. TSR turned her down for that position, but hired her as a book editor. She worked in TSR's book division until 1986.
One of her first assignments was to help coordinate, along with TSR colleague Tracy Hickman, "Project Overlord," which was to include a novel and three AD&D modules. Weis and Hickman plotted the novel and hired an author, who didn't work out. "By that time," said Weis, "[Hickman] and I were so into the project that we felt we had to write it."
"Project Overlord" soon became known as Dragonlance and grew into a trilogy of novels, called the Dragonlance Chronicles, and 15 linked modules. Jean Black, managing editor of TSR's book department, picked Weis and Hickman to write the series.:16 "To my mind," said Weis, "what made the project so successful was that everyone was involved in it, excited about it, and believed in it."
Weis and Hickman also wrote the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, which was published in 1986.:16 As a writing team they produced several projects based on the Dragonlance saga, which included novels, short stories, art books, and calendars in the product line.
Weis and Hickman later left TSR, and wrote the Darksword trilogy (1986–87) and the seven-book Deathgate Cycle (1988–94) for Bantam Books. Weis also wrote the space opera Star of the Guardians novels, which she calls her favorite series that she has written. Weis was diagnosed with breast cancer, and recovered in 1993. She published a game based on Mag Force 7 from 1994–96, and married writer/game designer Don Perrin in 1996. Weis returned to Dragonlance in 1995 with Dragons of Summer Flame, written with Hickman, and her next project was a solo novel called The Soulforge, based on her favorite character from the trilogy, the dark wizard Raistlin. In 1998, she began working with Hickman on Sovereign Stone, a fantasy trilogy in a setting created by artist Larry Elmore, and published by Del Rey. Wizards of the Coast published a new trilogy of Dragonlance novels by Weis and Hickman called War of Souls, beginning with Dragons of a Fallen Sun (2000).:283
Weis completed the third novel in the Dragonvarld trilogy for Tor, Master of Dragons. Her third novel in the Dark Disciple series, Amber and Blood, was released to stores on May 6, 2008. She finished work on the first novel in the Lost Chronicles series with co-author Tracy Hickman, entitled Dragons of the Dwarven Depths. This was released in July 2006.
In 1999 Pyramid magazine named Weis one of The Millennium's Most Influential Persons "at least in the realm of adventure gaming," and said she and Hickman are "basically responsible for the entire gaming fiction genre." Weis was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame in 2002, recognized in part for "one game line turned literary sensation: Dragonlance."
In the late 1990s, Larry Elmore approached Weis and Hickman to pitch his fantasy world of Loerem, which they agreed to write about in the Sovereign Stone trilogy of books.:351 Weis formed the company Sovereign Press, with herself as CEO, to publish the Sovereign Stone roleplaying game written by Don Perrin and Lester Smith.:351 To support the setting, Weis and Perrin wrote a short story called "Shadamehr and the Old Wives Tale" which appeared in Dragon #264 (October, 1999).:352 In 2002 Wizards of the Coast agreed to licence the Dragonlance setting to Sovereign Press for RPG publication; Weis and Perrin, along with Jamie Chambers and Christopher Coyle, wrote the Dragonlance Campaign Setting (2003) for publication by Wizards of the Coast, after which Sovereign Press was allowed to expand and supplement that book using the d20 license.:353 In 2004, Perrin left Sovereign Press and Weis founded the new company Margaret Weis Productions.:353
In addition to her writing career, Margaret serves as the owner and chief officer of two publishing companies, including Sovereign Press, Inc., a game publisher based in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The company formerly owned the license to Larry Elmore's Sovereign Stone RPG world, hence the name of the company. It now produces the Dragonlance line of game products, licensed from Wizards of the Coast. Her newest company, Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd, publishes an RPG line based on several licenses including Serenity and Battlestar Galactica as well as Ed Greenwood's new solo venture into roleplaying, Castlemourn.
Despite her career and fame as a fantasy author, Weis says she does not read fantasy books.
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