I was always a storyteller, even before I could read. My kindergarten teacher would set me in front of the class, and I would tell stories to the children while they lay on their little blankets, and she would do paperwork. That and the fact that I loved to read were the reasons I became a writer.

Margaret Weis is a prolific speculative fiction author and editor, best known for her work on licensed novels for roleplaying games. Born on March 16, 1948 in Independence, Missouri, Weis became interested in the fantasy genre while attending university and reading The Lord of the Rings. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing, but didn't immediately start into the career that she would later be most known for -- she first worked as an editor at a publishing house in her hometown throughout the 1970s, and wrote several children's books and nonfiction in the early 1980s.

It wasn't until 1983 that she started working with the fantasy genre. After moving to Wisconsin to work for TSR, Inc. (the company that owned Dungeons & Dragons at the time), she became fiction editor for their new campaign setting, Dragonlance. This new setting was set to revolutionize the roleplaying industry with pre-generated characters and tie-in books, but the author contracted to write the novelizations wasn't pulling his weight according to Weis. Eventually she decided to write the book herself in collaboration with Tracy Hickman, the original creator of the setting. The book soon ballooned into a series: the fantasy bestseller, Dragonlance Chronicles.

After her success with the first Dragonlance books, Weis suddenly found publishers interested in her. She began to write novels in settings not owned by TSR, including a Star Wars-inspired setting she'd created in her earlier years, which became the Star of the Guardians universe. In the 1990s she wrote the Death Gate Cycle heptalogy, and in the early 2000s she created the Sovereign Stone trilogy. With dozens upon dozens of books to her name, over fifty of which have been collaborations with Hickman, it would be hard to find someone more influential to roleplaying game culture than Margaret Weis.

In 2002, Weis and Hickman were inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame.

As we begin to honor a generation of game designers who also made their mark as novelists, it’s important to note that it all started with two people -- Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman -- and one game line turned literary sensation: Dragonlance. Several of the other nominees on this ballot, as well as some already in the Hall of Fame, would not have had the opportunity to make their mark without the trailblazing work of Weis and Hickman.
    —Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design

Weis nearly always collaborates with someone for her novels, whether it be Hickman, her second husband Don Perrin (now divorced), or even her daughter Lizz. She has said that while she enjoys writing the occasional book alone, collaborative writing is the most fun for her because it gives her someone to bounce ideas off, and someone to whom she can defer when she loses track of the details. Weis and her collaborator on any given book will start by creating the plot, then Weis will do all the writing and call her co-author when she needs to know more about the setting. She is studiously scheduled and writes from 7:30AM to 11:30AM every day, unless she is at a convention or otherwise occupied.

Most recently, Weis has founded Margaret Weis Productions, a publisher of board games based on licensed properties (nearly the opposite of her original job at TSR, funnily enough). MWP also publishes some of Weis's work in e-book form.

Selected Bibliography
(Just her most notable works.)

  1. "List of Winners: 2002." Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design. Retrieved 7 Mar. 2012 from archive. Link.
  2. "Margaret Weis - Summary Bibliography." Internet Speculative Fiction DataBase. N.p., n.d. Retrieved 7 Mar. 2012. Link.
  3. Ward, Jean Marie. "Margaret Weis: Dragon Team Player." Crescent Blues. Link.
  4. Weinlein, Sue. "Interview: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman." Dragon Magazine. 1 Nov. 1995: 114. Ed. Pierce Watters, publ. TSR, Inc.

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