Well, I'm back. Two and half weeks out West, the first few days with my Wife's family in Idaho, the rest camping in Colorado with my brother and his family. Gorgeous scenery, fascinating places, great weather. Fun times.
Again, my apologies for being such a slacker the past couple of months. I'll try to be better about posting replies.
To your questions:
Cadel was a really fun character to write and was particular fun because of the contrast between him and Tavis -- the villain you like versus the hero you hate. Now Tavis improves with time, but still Cadel served a very definite purpose in the story arc. Yes, Curt, his fate was mapped out from the start, including
That said, I really don't think that his life would be interesting enough to turn into a series in and of itself. It would be entertaining, but there wouldn't be enough meat there to keep me interested as a writer. I like to write about stuff that touches on larger issues -- race, ethnic identity, prejudice, or, as in earlier work, ecology and technology. I'm not sure I see how Cadel's life would allow me to do something like that. On the other hand, I could certainly see writing a few shorter pieces about him -- stories for an anthology or 'zine. That could be fun.
Qirsi power, to answer Rufae's question, would basically be closest to psionics, although it's not exactly that either. Their power is based in their minds, but their physical strength is taxed, too, so that a stronger person might well prevail in a battle of magic, particularly if their magics are the same type. But that's where it get's tricky. Different Qirsi have different powers, so that someone with Language of Beasts fighting against a shaper is definitely at a disadvantage, unless there happens to be a bear handy.... Fighting a Weaver is a whole other matter, because in that case it's not just the number of magics the Weaver wields, it's also the fact that a Weaver can take control of the power an ordinary Qirsi wields and squelch it, or turn it against the poor sap. Generally speaking, unless you can surprise him or her, or unless you're a Weaver yourself, you don't want to be getting into a battle of magic against a Weaver.
Curt, the back cover blurbs are written, usually, by my editor. Sometimes he gives stuff away, as he did with Shapers of Darkness, other times he does a very good job of setting the stage without spoiling anything. He generally lets me read them and comment before they go to press. The one that bothered you (rightfully) got away from both of us. Really, I've no one to blame for that but myself.
JJd77447, thanks very much for the very kind comments about my books. I loved Donaldson's books and read them through several times. It's flattering to think that someone has done that with my work. Thank you.
Ferdy, yes Qirsi Fatings are just one possible future for a given person at a given time (I believe that Grinsa says something to this effect to Tavis in explaining his Fating). They are, in effect, "snapshots" of one's fate. But things in the Fating cosmos (if you will) are constantly fluid. One random decision or action by another can change things in subtle ways, or dramatically.
As to your other question, no I'm afraid I don't take naming requests. Sorry!