Madeleine
Madeleine asked Michael J. Sullivan:

So my friend (who started me on your books on the first place) told me you were writing a follow-up to the Riyria books, but that it wasn't going to involve Hadrian and Royce. What motivated this decision and who will it follow instead? Also: How did you come up with some of the various languages and cultures in Riyria?

Michael J. Sullivan Madeleine,

By a follow-up to the “Riyria Books” I am assuming you’re not referring to the Riyria Chronicles.

When I first conceived the Riyria Revelations I created a history to the world of Elan that went back some 10,000 years. This history covered the war between the elves and dwarves when Drumindor and Avempartha were built. Then the emergence of goblins and men, and the great war between men and elves often spoken about in Revelations that saw Nyphron becoming the first emperor. Then of course came the fall of Percepliquis and the story of Esrahaddon. All of these events I felt were book-worthy. The story of Nyphron in particular because much of what is told about it in Revelations is untrue.

I had always hoped to write these stories, but when I was just starting to write The Crown Conspiracy, those stories seemed very far in the future.

Most people want more Royce and Hadrian, and for that I’ve made the Chronicles. Most want to see what happens in the future, and I might do something to reveal that, but not starring Royce and Hadrian. For a book to be appreciated it has to be better, bigger, more exciting than the one that came before. I threw everything into Percepliquis, I can't top that. Nothing that would happen in their lifetimes from this point on would be anywhere near as eventful. Sure they would have interesting days, some good and some bad, but nothing book-worthy. Hadrian would never ride off to battle again. Yes, there are Ghazel in the south to deal with, but his younger proteges would handle that, the ones who he trained while he stayed home in the city. He would very likely have children with Arista, teach combat and advise Modina. Royce would visit from time to time so Mercy could keep in touch with Allie, but as they grew older the visits would be less frequent. None of this sounds terribly interesting to me and I suspect it wouldn’t to the reader either. And while I could invent something, it wouldn’t be credible, any more than all those murders were credible in that small New England town in Murder She Wrote.

So the next series I am working on is the story of Nyphron and the making of the First Empire.

I came up with the various cultures in Elan mostly off the top of my head. Much are obviously based on European history from which I borrowed liberally. And I didn’t invent any languages. I merely created words that to me looked appropriate. A goblin word would be short and littered with Zs and Xs and Gs like Zog. Elven was again a jumble of letters that were longer and favored the letter Y. When the audio book linguist asked me how I pronounced these words I was dumbfounded. When I wrote them I never expected anyone to actually have to speak them. Tim did a great job. So now I too know how my “languages” sound.

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