The Guardian just posted an excellent interview with Guy Gavriel Kay. It covers a lot of ground and is quite interesting! Here's a teaser:
Putting The Silmarillion together was “quietly exhilarating” – and almost entirely secret. Kay would spend his days in a barn behind a house eight miles from Oxford, either alone or with Christopher, very occasionally with JRR Tolkien’s biographer Humphrey Carpenter. “It was an exhilarating solitary focus for the year,” says Kay. “And I learned a lot about false starts in writing. I mean that in a really serious way. His [Tolkien’s] false starts. You learn that the great works have disastrous botched chapters, that the great writers recognise that they didn’t work. So I was looking at drafts of The Lord of the Rings and rough starts for The Silmarillion and came to realise they don’t spring full-blown, utterly, completely formed in brilliance. They get there with writing and rewriting and drudgery and mistakes, and eventually if you put in the hours and the patience, something good might happen. That was a very, very early lesson for me, looking at the Tolkien materials. That it’s not instantly magnificent. That it’s laboriously so, but it gets there. That was a huge, huge, still important lesson.”
Kay, a recent recipient of the Order of Canada for his “outstanding contributions to the field of speculative fiction” – and an author with sales approaching 3m copies worldwide, according to his publisher – is sanguine. “I’m still proud of the Fionavar Tapestry. The fact I don’t write the same way is as much as anything else the fact a man in his 50s doesn’t write the way a man in his 20s does – or he shouldn’t. We shouldn’t be interested in the same things, we shouldn’t be artistically frozen in amber at the point that we were when we first appeared on the scene. We should evolve. And that’s what it is for me,” he says.