Masques of Darkover will be released May 2, 2017 and is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. The print edition will be on sale on the release date.
After a number of years away from writing, Meg set pen to page again in 2011. Delightful chaos ensued. She shares her home in Michigan with her husband, children, a Norwegian Elkhound and a clowder of cats (yes, it actually is bigger on the inside). She would like to own horses again, sell a novel (how about a series? Any takers?) and has, sadly, never been to the Moon. Meg's sold stories to two previous Darkover anthologies (when she was very young but no less silly, she says).
Deborah J. Ross: Tell us about your introduction to Darkover.
Meg Mac Donald: I landed on Darkover as a nerdy teenager who had very little in common with other people aside from being (mostly) human. I was introduced to the series by a new friend who, in turn, had swiped some books from her older brother. The John Norman Gor series didn't excite us, but the Darkover books were intriguing. I'm thinking The Bloody Sun, Planet Wreckers and Sword of Aldones (which was probably the book that grabbed us both). My friend (still a friend these decades later) was totally geeked about them and the idea that the Darkovans did not use long range weapons. SF with swords and "magic" that wasn't magic. Psychic powers. Laran. Cool. I don't think my friend's brother ever got his books back and suspect some of them are still in my possession. Sorry about that. :-[
DJR: What about the world drew you in?
MMD: Two things come immediately to mind. First, likeable, memorable characters that fascinated me (even if they were a bit tortured). Lew Alton being at the top of the list. And Regis Hastur. Loved Regis. I remember having such sympathy for him. I also liked how the world-building unfolded across so many books (sprawling, anyone?), the backgrounds of characters and events, the connections between stories--albeit some of those require more than a bit of mental juggling as the stories were not written in order and clearly Marion's concept of who some of these folks really were and what the world/culture/events were all about changed over time. I always forgave the contradictions. Maybe I instinctively recognized that Darkover grew and changed just as the author's world did. Looking back, it seems very organic. I certainly relate to that as a writer. Some of those early books are tough reads now, but what a complicated tapestry the author wove over time. How rich and intricate. Family sagas and culture clashes are fertile grounds for story-telling and I was the right age at the right time.
DJR: What do you see as the future of Darkover? How has its readership changed over the decades? What book would you recommend for someone new to Darkover?
MMD: I sincerely hope that books are kept in print and made available for new generations of readers. I also hope the anthologies continue. I believe that would have pleased the author a great deal because sharing Darkover obviously gave her a lot of joy. Might new novels about new (and old) characters continue to be published? Why not? So much to still explore... and perhaps to reexamine.
I really don't know that there is what you would call a "typical" Darkoever fan.