The Green Rider rides again!
Well, sort of. The Dream Gatherer is the new book by Kristen Britain, two short stories and a long novella gathered together in one binding to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Green Rider!
I still can’t believe it has been twenty years. When I picked up Green Rider, I did so because of the amazing cover by one of my favorite artists, Keith Parkinson. It published in the internet’s infancy, where online reviews were limited, no social media existed, and a book’s cover could very well be the reason why someone selects the book from a shelf to read its premise on the back. I found it as amazing as Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb and Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn, a writer capable of capturing great character amidst an epic story. And each sequel has grown the world with wonderful wordsmithery.
Now, many years later, I still celebrate a new entry from Britain, who is currently writing the seventh book in the Green Rider series. If you haven’t read Green Rider, do so. You’ll love it. And if you are all caught up, The Dream Gatherer is now in fine bookstores!
Below is an interview with Britain where she answers questions about short story writing and who she’d love to read a book to her.
Unbound Worlds: The Dream Gatherer is in fine bookstores now. Tell readers why you decided to write two short stories and a novella to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Green Rider?
Kristin Britain: It’s actually a delightful way of providing more story and insight to my existing Green Rider series that maybe would not fit within the constraints of one of the novels. And what better time to publish it than on the 20th anniversary of my first book, and the first book of the series that has defined my writing career? I am proud to say Green Rider has never been out of print. I am not sure how many printings it has had, but I cracked open a mass market paperback copy at a bookstore recently that was from the 35th printing. That’s not too bad!
As for the short stories? Again, it was an opportunity to provide insight to the world, and they were otherwise just sitting around and collecting dust. It seemed a good opportunity to share them.
UW: You write long, complex novels. They are always a joy to read. How do you feel about the short story/novella format? Some authors have a hard time switching gears. Did you?
KB: Short stories have always been tough for me because of my natural tendency to go long. It is a different discipline to write short. That said, I found the novella quite satisfying, a tidy longish story that took only months, not years, to write. I hope to do more.
UW: One of the short stories in The Dream Gatherer, titled “Linked, on the Lake of Souls,” features a character named Estral telling a story to a wounded Karigan. If you were in pain and wanted one author to tell you a story at your bedside, who would it be and why?
KB: I have often gone to books when I haven’t been well. I remember my mom reading Beverly Cleary books to me when I was stuck in bed sick. In more recent years, I’ve listened to audiobooks to help me through illness. But if I could hear an author read their work to me? Tolkien reading The Hobbit would be very fun.
UW: I love the cover art on The Dream Gatherer. It’s atmospheric. You’ve had fantastic cover art on your books. How important is cover art to you? Do you have a hand in that process at all?
KB: Yes, I have had fantastic luck with my cover art and Donato really captured this one well. My editor Betsy Wollheim at DAW Books (who is also the art director for her books) will show me drawings Donato has done on a given book and we discuss. The final decision is Betsy’s, of course, but she will often listen to my input. It probably helps that I don’t go overboard or get unreasonable about anything. Plus, Donato makes it easy to love everything he does.
I tend to love fantasy art in general, so in addition to a cover being the most important marketing tool for a book, it’s just a lot of fun to go through the process and see my world through the eyes of someone else.
UW: What are you currently working on? Title?
KB: Besides The Never-ending Cross-Country Move? The never-ending (only kidding) 7th book of the Green Rider series, as yet untitled.
The Dream Gatherer by Kristin Britain is in fine bookstores now! To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website at www.kristenbritain.com!
Looking forward to the next Green Rider novel!