WARNING: Contains a spoiler if you haven’t read Ghost Story yet.
For years now my friends have been bugging me to get into The Dresden Files. I didn’t know what they were, other than a long series of books. They told me it was a fantasy series and I assumed from the title that it was some kind of weird Nazi/Tolkein crossover. Not exactly my cup of tea.
Then, at the start of this year I wound up having to make a long drive and decided to grab a couple of the audiobooks, read by James Marsters. I was hooked from the minute he said “detective wizard.”
So we meet our main character, Harry Dresden. Tall, sarcastic and able to take a beating with the best of them.
If it seems tacky to you, well just go read them. They are without a doubt the most entertaining series I have ever read. Escalating from some incredibly dark and harrowing scenes to moments that made me laugh out loud and run to tell my wife what just happened.
Jim Butcher, the role playing, martial artsing, geek poster boy, creator of the series has just released the latest book in his series, Cold Days. Following a particularly dark and gritty storyline in Ghost Story, we can’t wait to see what truly awful fate is in store for Harry.
Jim was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, so here we go.
Ghost Story felt a lot grittier than the rest of the series, was this simply because Harry’s state of being brought on a new perspective or is it a foreshadowing of the darker times ahead?
Generally, when something is grittier, it means that it has a certain level of verisimilitude, that it seems very lifelike. Given that this book was, well, all about being as /un/alive as a fictional character can be, and still be interesting enough to write about, I’m not sure what you mean here. I’m pretty sure there’s no hard evidence on life after death, so how could I possibly make it real?
We did hit a little bit of unpleasant real-world stuff, with Fitz and the Lost Boys and their psychotic version of Fagan, but that was largely because it was a story that the standard, living Harry Dresden couldn’t really have done. Or rather, he would have done it, it would have been a slam dunk, and not really all that interesting to read.
Certainly, Ghost Story was darker in tone, in many ways, with much more in the way of emptiness and sadness–but hey, guy was dead. It’s not like there could be swing dancing and pie eating contests.
There have been some great moments in the Dresden Files. We’ve seen incredible action from the back of a Tyrannosaurus, inspirational camaraderie from the Knights of the Cross and a truly brilliant method for dealing with young crushes. Are there any moments from the series that make you want to stand up, stick your chest out and bellow from the rooftops, “I wrote that!”?
Well sure, but I pound my chest and bellow all the time anyway, even when it’s not about writing. But I’m pretty proud of the scene with Sue.
I already own all of the books, graphic novels and the role playing game but my hunger grows and I demand all of the following: a true-to-the-books tv series, board game, video game and fast food restaurant chain. What are your feelings about your work being adapted into different media and can we expect anything like that in the future?
I’ve got no objections to seeing the Dresden Files grow into other media, but it’s not something that I have a lot of control over. I would love seeing an animated version, or maybe an MMORPG.
Speaking of the role playing game, how does it feel to know that other people are living in your world, speaking for your characters and building on your stories?
As long as they’re having a good time, I think it’s great. I’ve been a gamer since the second day of first grade, and having people wanting to play in the world I made up is kind of the same feeling you get when there’s a lot of people who want to play in the campaign you GM, only turned to 11.
If Harry were asked to give an inspirational graduation speech to some high schoolers, what would he say?
“You all have a serious leg up on me already: I got a GED.”
Why are you still reading? Go order a copy of Cold Days now.