Fantasy writer David Eddings dies

<p>Bestselling fantasy author David Eddings, who wrote <em>The Belgariad</em> and the Malloreon series, has died aged 77.</p><p>Jane Johnson, publishing director at Eddings&#39; UK publisher HarperCollins, paid tribute to the author. HarperCollins was his publisher from 1990 until 2006, when his last title, <em>The Elder Gods</em>, was released.</p><p>She said: &quot;The Voyager team and I were immensely sad to hear the news. The arrival of a new Eddings novel used to be a grand event for the whole division. In the 90s, each one was guaranteed a Number One position on the <em>Sunday Times</em> hardback bestseller list, selling 100,000 copies apiece.&quot;</p><p>But his huge worldwide success and fame did not change Dave at all. In his dealings with me, and with Joy Chamberlain, his long-time editor, he was unfailingly self-effacing on the subject of his success, once saying: &#39;I&#39;m never going to be in danger of getting a Nobel Prize for literature, I&#39;m a storyteller, not a prophet. I&#39;m just interested in a good story.&#39;</p><p>&quot;He was a towering force of modern commercial fiction, a master of the epic, and a delight to work with. We&#39;ll miss him tremendously.&quot;</p><p>Born in Spokane in Washington state, Eddings studied Middle English at university after a stint in the US Army. After a period working on missile development, Eddings wrote his debut novel, a contemporary adventure called <em>High Hunt</em>, in 1973. He switched to fantasy after noticing a copy of <em>The Lord of the Rings</em> was in its 73rd printing.</p>