Name: LACKEY, Mercedes R. (1950- )

Nationality: American

PERSONAL: Born June 24, 1950, in Chicago, Ill.; daughter of Edward George and Joyce (a housewife; maiden name, Anderson) Ritche; married Anthony Lackey, June 10, 1972.

EDUCATION: Purdue University, B.S., 1972.

POLITICS: "Esoteric."

RELIGION: "Nontraditional."


Artist's model in and near South Bend, Ind., 1975-81;
Associates Data Processing, South Bend, computer programmer, 1979-82;
CAIRS (survey and data processing firm), South Bend, surveyor, layout designer, and analyst, 1981-82;
American Airlines, Tulsa, Okla., computer programmer, 1982--.
MEMBER: Science Fiction Writers of America.


Valgath Series (Herald Series) FANTASY NOVELS

Arrows of the Queen, DAW Books, 1987.
Arrow's Flight, DAW Books, 1987.
Arrow's Fall, DAW Books, 1988.
Oathbound, DAW Books, 1988.
Oathbreakers, DAW Books, 1989.
Magic's Pawn, DAW Books, 1989.
Magic's Promise, DAW Books, in press.
Reap the Whirlwind, Baen, 1989.
Burning Water (horror novel), Tor Books, 1989.

Has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Off-Centaur, a small recording company specializing in science fiction folk music.

SIDELIGHTS: Mercedes R. Lackey told CA: "I'm a storyteller; that's what I see as `my job.' My stories come out of my characters; how those characters would react to the given situation. Maybe that's why I get letters from readers as young as thirteen and as old as sixty-odd. One of the reasons I write song lyrics is because I see songs as a kind of `story pill'--they reduce a story to the barest essentials or encapsulate a particular crucial moment in time. I frequently will write a lyric when I am attempting to get to the heart of a crucial scene; I find that when I have done so, the scene has become absolutely clear in my mind, and I can write exactly what I wanted to say. Another reason is because of the kind of novels I am writing: that is, fantasy, set in an other-world semi- medieval atmosphere. Music is very important to medieval peoples; bards are the chief newsbringers. When I write the `folk music' of these peoples, I am enriching my whole world, whether I actually use the song in the text or not.

"I began writing out of boredom; I continue out of addiction. I can't `not' write, and as a result I have no social life! I began writing fantasy because I love it, but I try to construct my fantasy worlds with all the care of a `high-tech' science fiction writer. I apply the principle of TANSTAFL (`There ain't no such thing as free lunch') to magic, for instance; in my worlds, magic is paid for, and the cost to the magician is frequently a high one. I try to keep my world as solid and real as possible; people deal with stubborn pumps, bugs in the porridge, and love-lives that refuse to become untangled, right along with invading armies and evil magicians. And I try to make all of my characters, even the `evil magicians,' something more than flat stereotypes. Even evil magicians get up in the night and look for cookies, sometimes.

"I suppose that in everything I write I try to expound the creed I gave my character Di Tregarde in Burning Water--there's no such thing as `one, true way'; the only answers worth having are the ones you find for yourself; leave the world better than you found it. Love, freedom, and the chance to do some good--they're the things worth living and dying for, and if you aren't willing to die for the things worth living for, you might as well turn in your membership in the human race."


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