Robert Anthony Salvatore, famous with his writing name R. A. Salvatore, is a popular American author of the fantasy books. He is best known for ‘The Demon Wars’ saga; his ‘Forgotten Realms’ novels in which he created ‘Drizzt Do'Urden’—a righteous dark elf who fights the whole nation of wicked enemies only on the basis of his valor and brilliant swordsmanship, and ‘Vector Prime’--the first novel in the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order series. In total 22 of his novels have made it to the New York Times Bestseller list and has sold over 15 million copies of his novels in the United States alone. The passion for writing fantasy first started in him when he got his hands on J.R.R. Tolkien's ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and he continued to pursue his passion through high school and college and after much perseverance landed a writing deal with TSR, Inc.
Childhood & Early Life
Salvatore was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, in a big family of seven members. He attended the Fitchsburg State College and since he was increasingly becoming interested in writing and literature, he changed his major from computers to journalism.
He graduated from college in 1981 with Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications and later in English. He did not take up writing right away after graduation but worked as a bouncer for some time to support himself.
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It was in 1982 that Salvatore became more serious about writing full-time and wanted to devote all his time to it. He wrote a manuscript called ‘Echoes of the Fourth Magic’, which he famously wrote in longhand by candlelight.
After he finished the script for ‘Echoes of the Fourth Magic’, he decided to send the work for consideration to TSR, Inc., which is an American game publishing company, and to other publishers as well.
Since TSR was looking for a new writer to write along the lines of ‘Forgotten Realms’, Salvatore was asked to audition for it. He cleared the audition and was hired to write a second book to ‘Forgotten Realms’ in 1987.
In 1988, Salvatore’s first novel was published by TSR--‘The Crystal Shard’. It is a part of ‘The Icewind Dale Trilogy’—the tale of the celebrated drow, Drizzt, the barbarian warrior, Wulfgar, the halfling Regis and a dwarf king.
Other two books from ‘The Icewind Dale Trilogy’ are: ‘Streams of Silver (1988)’ and ‘The Halfling’s Gem (1989)’. ‘The Halfling’s Gem’ appeared in the New York Times Best Seller list in the same year that it released.
In 1992, Salvatore’s ‘The Legacy’ was released; it was TSR’s first hardcover novel. The fantasy series included: ‘The Legacy (1992)’, ‘Starless Night (1993)’, ‘Siege of Darkness (1994)’, and ‘Passage to Dawn (1996).
TSR's board decided to hire a new author to write stories about ‘Drizzt’ after ‘Passage to Dawn’ came out in 1996 but Wizards of the Coast acquired TSR and they decided to retain Salvatore to write more stories about ‘Drizzt’.
Salvatore began writing about ‘Drizzt’ and released the book ‘The Silent Blade’ in 1998. The book won the Origins Award in the same year and he went on to publish several series of books on ‘Drizzt’.
In 1999, he wrote the first installment of the New Jedi Order series set in the Star Wars universe, titled ‘Vector Prime’. The novel became a part of Star Wars Expanded Universe—includes officially licensed, fictional background of the Star Wars universe, like books, video games, etc.
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Besides books, he created the plot for the video game ‘Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone’ in 2004. He worked with the design team at Stormfront Studios and it was nominated for awards by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and BAFTA.
Salvatore got into collaboration with Larry Hama for Devil's Due Publishing’s comic book about a U.S. government anti-paranormal investigator called ‘Spooks’ in 2008. Hama created the military characters and storyline, and Salvatore came up with the monsters.
In 2010, Wizards of the Coast signed a new deal with Salvatore to write six more books focusing on Drizzt—a drow or a dark elf who kills off a country of malevolent enemies with his swordsmanship and valor.
Salvatore is best known for ‘The Demon Wars’ saga; his ‘Forgotten Realms’ novels in which he created Drizzt Do'Urden—a righteous dark elf and ‘Vector Prime’--the first novel in the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order series.
Personal Life & Legacy
Salvatore is married to Diane Salvatore and the couple has three children together: Bryan, Geno, and Caitlin. He resides in Massachusetts with his family.
The R.A. Salvatore Collection has been established at his alma mater, Fitchburg State College in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and it contains his letters, manuscripts, and other professional papers.
He gives talks on themes like: ‘Adventure Fantasy’ and ‘Why young adults read fantasy?’.
His literary influences include: James Joyce, Mark Twain, Geoffrey Chaucer, Dante, Arthur Conan Doyle, Fritz Leiber, etc.
His family pets include: three Japanese Chins, Oliver, Artemis and Ivan, and four cats including Guenhwyvar.
He worked as Creative Director for 38 Studios, wrote storyline and dialog for the game ‘Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning’ but in 2012 the studio laid off Salvatore as the company ran out of business.