By Andrew Nalewski
Fantasy authoring is a tricky business; trying to live up to the likes of Tolkien is not easy, but a certain alumnus of Fitchburg State rose to the occasion and created a series of books that rival Tolkien’s in quality, and if all goes well, he may be coming back to the college in a more permanent role.
R.A. Salvatore, author of the profound “Legend of Drizzt” series as well as the “DemonWars” novels, is interested in teaching a course at Fitchburg State.
Salvatore has quite the legacy at Fitchburg State. He graduated from the school in 1981 with a B.S. in communications, and went back to receive his B.A. in English in 1991. The school library houses his manuscripts and many original works, and he was given the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001. In 2011, he gave the commencement address.
“I seem to be back there every 10 years, for some reason,” Salvatore says on his accomplishments, but he also stated he’s “not planning to wait until 2021 for the next chapter.”
Salvatore’s interests don’t stop at literary talents. The accomplished author also has a history of being involved with computer game design, and has seen all parts of the publication process, which gives him a wealth of experience to bring to any class he chooses to teach. The creative juices of this man seem to be limitless.
Salvatore has a talent, like Tolkien, for creating vast worlds rich in lore and creativity. He aims to bring a “world-building curriculum” to the college, something that many young writers could benefit from.
Unfortunately, the timetable for the return of Salvatore is undefined, as he is extremely busy with self-publishing, touring, and many other of his literary and personal duties. He stated, “As for teaching the course, […] there is nothing set in stone.”
When asked if he would use his own works as course material, he asserted that he may, but has other things lined up. “Perhaps my DemonWars novels,” he remarked. “But there are certain source materials that I’ve grown to love that I would love to introduce to students.”
Salvatore used these materials with former video game company 38 Studios, founded by MLB pitcher Curt Schilling, which was the studio behind “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning,” when they put together a team on world-building, Salvatore’s main interest in a potential course.
It will be interesting to see a “world-building” curriculum at Fitchburg State if things fall into place, but only time will tell if this is the case.
Check out R.A. Salvatore’s website to learn more about his works: http://www.rasalvatore.com/