Of course you're still welcome to write me (Barbara and I both enjoy the mail!), but the following answer some of the more frequent questions I recieve
1. "I really love Barbara's series X and wonder when she will write more books in it."
- See the Status of the Series section. All news that I have on upcoming works is listed here. Alternatively, take a look at the Monthly Update for news in this area.
2. "I have written a book, story, poem, play, Star Wars novel, etc. and wonder if Barbara could comment on it, read it, suggest a publisher for it, help me to find an agent, or otherwise help me to get published."
- There are many good resources for beginning and aspiring writers on the Web. I'd encourage you to look them up, search to be based on your genre of choice. In addition, every publisher with a Web site will have guidelines for submissions. Barbara can not help you with Star Wars books, and may in fact be forbidden to do so. Because she has a busy life with her own writing, I will usually not forward letters to her about help with writing but will try to send the person some helpful links to look at and wish them the best of luck.
3. "I have found twelve misspelled words in a Hambly book."
- You could probably find a hundred in this page alone. :) Seriously, I will put good nitpicks on the page, including funny misspellings which make the sentence look like it means something entirely different. If you've found a good discrepancy in a book, please write and tell me.
4. "Has Barbara ever thought of making one of her books into a movie?"
- Those Who Hunt the Night has been optioned for a film, and some mention has been made of a possible Darwath trilogy, but, as many people sensibly do when dealing with Hollywood, she has not taken it too seriously, and nothing has come out of the options yet. Magic Time was originally conceived (by Marc Scott Zicree) as a TV pilot, but I have no information in whether this will actually come to pass.
5. "Wouldn't so-and-so be great as character X?"
- I welcome comments like these, except that I usually don't know who the person is, and usually don't agree anyhow! Recent write-ins have included Sarah Michelle Geller as Joanna and Keanu Reeves as Ysidro. Barbara usually has an idea of who could "play" a certain person, although this might be an amalgamation of many people. I believe that Nicholas Cage is her version of Ysidro, and Harrison Ford her version of James Asher (though, remember, this characterization would have been made back about the time of the first Indiana Jones film). Take a look at the April Monthly Update for a few more details on this subject.
6. "I need to find X Barbara Hambly book. Can you help me?"
- I realize that it's hard to find all the books (or even just that one that you have to have!). However, I did it several years ago, and it's easier now, with the Internet there to help. Check out abe.com, a conglomeration of many independent booksellers, bookfinder.com, or alibris.com for out-of-print searches. Yahoo also has a search tool under its Shopping/Books heading. For newer books, there are the old standards Amazon or Barnes and Noble - I think that both of these now have branches in many countries, so try your own country's extension. I find that part of the fun of having books is stumbling across them while browsing, but realize that this is not the most direct method to obtaining books!
For those of you in non-USA countries, life may be a little tougher. You can cough up the extra postage, look around in used bookstores, or make friends with people who travel a lot. I believe that abe.com does have many listings for non-US countries, so try your luck there.
7. "I've found a Nifty Word for your list/What on EARTH does X word mean?"
- Sometimes it takes me a trip to the BIG dictionary to figure it out, but I'll get back to you. I will put any interesting and rare word on the Nifty Word List, but warn all readers that the criteria for inclusion on the Nifty Word List are very biased, though brief: I have to have not know the word and like it aesthetically. This has ticked people off in the past (sorry!), but others have taken it as a challenge! Please do e-mail me if you find chiaroscuro in any Hambly books; you will make my day a happier one!
8. "I am working on a special project and want to talk to authors/do an interview; can you send this (whatever) to Barbara Hambly?"
- I send just about anything, but what happens next is entirely up to her! We're getting more of these requests these days, and while you're certainly welcome to keep writing, I can't guarentee a response.
8.5. "My (insert worthwhile organization here) is doing a fund-raiser and would appreciate an autographed book from Barbara Hambly to auction off."
-These requests have become progressively more numerous. With the utmost respect, I wish you the best of luck with the fundraiser, but unless you personally know Barbara and/or she has donated in the past, then I will not forward these requests to her. This is nothing personal - no one author can donate lots and lots of books, and how would she choose which few to give to?
9. "I run a bookstore, can I advertise or have a link from your site? Are you interested in selling books from your page?"
- I realize that Internet commerce is important to a lot of people, but I have a no-selling and no-ads policy on my site. I am happy to include links to pages (from wherever) with info on Hambly or things that would be of interest to her readers. You are of course welcome to put up a link to this page, and it's not necessary for anyone to ask about that!
10. "Can I use your biography/book list, etc. on my page?"
- This is a good question to write me about. I am usually more than happy to have you use something from this page, but it must be acknowledged as coming from this page and being written by me (or whomever). Anything that Barbara has written for the Weekly Update page can be linked to, but it's not a good idea to use chunks of that on your own page, strictly for copyright reasons.
11. "I'd like to have something autographed by Barbara."
-If you'd like something signed, write to me, and we'll make arrangements. This should take much less time now, as I have the PO Box address and the requirements to send directly to autograph collectors.
12. "How often do you answer the mail? Does Barbara get to see my letter?"
-I used to be able to say that I answer the mail as soon I recieve it, but alas, this is no longer the case. I do my best to respond to every e-mail, although that may not happen until I do the next update (my apologies). I compile all the mail about once a month and send it to Barbara, who then uses the letters as a basis for her Monthly Updates. Any special requests are generally forwarded on as soon as they arrive.
13. "Are you Barbara?"
-Uh, no, not last I checked. I'm Deb, the Sitemistress. I do get a LOT of letters to "Dear Barbara Hambly-" which make me feel rather like a secretary! See the Monthly Update from January, 2003 for further clarification.
14. "I'm planning to go to New Orleans and would like to know if there's a "Benjamin January" tour you could recommend."
-I don't have anything concrete on this (yet?), but Barbara gives a brief itinerary
for such a tour in the October, 2002 Monthly Update.