George R. R. Martin needs little introduction after the recent success of the HBO show Game of Thrones, as well as his internationally bestselling epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. At a recent signing Kaye Cloutman and I had the chance to interview the great man himself and find out what he has to say on matters like his strength and weakness as a writer, what he likes to do in San Francisco, what he thinks about eBooks and the end of Borders, and whether he’s know how the series ends. [Read the interview . . .]
To enter the BookBanter giveaway for a SIGNED COPY of Deadline, go here.
Mira Grant is the pseudonym of New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire. She is the author of the Newsflesh Trilogy, the first two books of which have been released, with Feed and Deadline. Seanan McGuire was first interviewed on BookBanter on September 1st, 2009; you can listen to it here. Mira Grant was first interviewed on BookBanter in April of 2010; you can read the interview here .
In the interview, Grant talks about how she goes about doing research, how she and Seanan McGuire get along, what else McGuire is working on, and some very important final words. You can read the interview here.
John Joseph Adams has been called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble.com, and has published such great and bestselling anthologies as Brave New Worlds, Living Dead, Living Dead 2, By Blood We Live, and many more. He has been nominated for the 2011 Best Editor (Short Form) Hugo Award. He is the editor for Fantasy Magazine and Lightspeed Magazine. He is also the co-host for the podcast, The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy.
In the interview he talks about how he got started as an editor, how the whole process works, some forthcoming projects he’s working on, as well as what his “dream anthology” would be. Click here to read the interview.
Kat Falls received her MFA from Northwestern University and now teaches there. She is the author of Dark Life, the first in a great new series set in the near future where climate change has caused the seas to rise, and her characters live in underwater towns, except some of those who were born underwater and know only of this ocean world seem to have developed some unusual abilities.
In the interview, Kat Falls talks about how she got started writing, where she got the idea for Dark Life, what sort of research it required, how many books there will be in the series, what she likes to do in her spare time and more. To read the interview on the photo or title above or CLICK HERE.
Robert M. Durling is Professor Emeritus at University of California at Santa Cruz. He received his Ph D. from Harvard and taught at Haverford College, Cornell University, and University of California at Santa Cruz. He is most known for his incredibly detailed, accurate and literal translation and editing of Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy with Ronald L. Martinez.
In the interview, Durling talks about what he likes most about teaching, how he learned Italian, why he decided to translate The Divine Comedy, and more importantly how. He also reveals what he likes to do in his spare time, who he likes to read, and whether he’s done with Dante’s opus.
To read the interview, click here, or the photo or title above. To read reviews, click on the book covers below.
Robert J. Sawyer has won just about every award there is in the genre of science fiction. He is the author of the novel Flashforward, which the TV series was based on, and has just completed his WWW trilogy with Wonder .Robert was first interviewed on BookBanter on July 11, 2009 shortly after the release of Wake. You can listen to that interview here.
In this recent interview, he talks about how he has changed as a writer in writing the trilogy, what he hopes readers get from the WWW books, what he thinks about screenwriting, what his next book will be about, where he thinks technology is headed, and what his favorite food is!
To read the interview, click here. To read reviews, click on the covers below:
Discovered something from the past the other day. In 2006 I was invited by a friend to submit a story for a horror ezine (no longer active) known as the Late Late Show, and I submitted “The Shadow in Black” about a man who sees the Grim Reaper and then finds himself being followed by the harbinger of doom for a very specific reason. Along with the story going on the site, my friend also wanted to do an interview with me, and as the Internet does its best to preserve all things, especially when you think them long gone and forgotten, lo and behold I rediscover something I thought was lost.
Andrew Gross is the bestselling author of Reckless, Don’t Look Twice, The Dark Tide, and The Blue Zone. He has also co-authored a number of bestsellers with thriller-writing machine, James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. In the interview, Gross talks about how he got started writing, how he published his first book, what it’s like working with bestselling author James Patterson, and what advice he has for future writers, as well as his new book, coming July 12th, Eyes Wide Open.
Sina Grace is an artist and illustrator who has published Cedric Hollows in Dial M For Magic, about a sorcerer sleuth in Orange County, and is working with S. Steven Struble on The Li’l Depressed Boy. Most recently he has illustrated the book Among the Ghosts, written by Amber Benson.
Alex: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Sina: I think the real question is: when did I know I want to be a storyteller? I kind of always knew I never had the chops to call myself an artist, because my sister studied it so formally and was in rigorous art programs from high school through graduate school… but to get to the short of it: I was re-drawing and re-telling fairy tales and fables at the age of four on old Xerox paper. I was always drawn to stories. Further proof: in fifth grade, my intended career was “comic book illustrator.”
Alex: Who are some of your heroes who influenced you?
Sina: Right now, I die over Craig Thompson. I look at the work he and Chris Ware do- and by hand at that- and it reminds me that I can always push harder. I fawn over the artists of the Die Brücke movement (the only time I’ll be super snobby!). Then there’s Arthur Rackham, and nowadays I absorb all of the Skybound artists: Cory Walker, Ryan Ottley, Charlie Adlard, Jason Howard, Ransom Getty, etc. Seeing their artwork day in and day out shapes how I draw.
Alex: What was the first book you published and how did it happen?
Sina: In high school I did a zine called The Roller-Derby Robo-Dykes vs. The Cannibals. It was partially as a project for my econ class, and then it was also to prove that I could finish a comic from start to finish. I think PRISM has a few copies of it. I actually did two printings of that book!
Alex: Do you like to write as well, or do you prefer doing artwork?
Sina: If I have a story to tell, I will go out there and tell it. The past year I’ve really dedicated myself to working with other writers and telling their stories, and it’s been sincerely great, and helpful in learning how to write for myself. At the end of the day, I would rather be my own boss, but being someone else’s employee helps my work ethic.
Alex: How would you define your style?
Sina: Amateurish! Hah… I would say cartoony with attention to little details.
Alex: Do you have a preference to what tools you like to use?
Sina: I use micron pens, smooth Bristol boards, and my life would be over if I ever lost access to these Pentel brush pens a classmate showed me during a life drawing lesson. Seriously, it’s like having a decent brush that you can take with you anywhere!
Alex: How did you get involved with Amber Benson and Among the Ghosts?
Sina: We had been friends for a few years, and she had gotten me Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials for Christmas one year. As a thank you, I did a drawing of the protagonist Lyra with her polar bear buddy Iorek. She liked it so much, that when she decided to push forward with pitching Among the Ghosts, she called me and asked if I would do a few pictures with the proposal. That afternoon I started doing a ton of drawings of this little girl I hadn’t met, and all the ghosts she would be attending school with.
Alex: What was your process for illustrating the book?
Sina: Amber sent me the first draft of the novel, and I found moments that spoke to me, or that seemed interesting to have visualized, and would doodle those out for her approval. To her credit, she has never once rejected anything (if you can, do a book with Amber, it’s the best!). Once we had editors, they had me send a list of illustrations I wanted to do with short descriptions. Once those were approved, I sent in detailed sketches. There would be some back and forth on notes, and at that point I would work on the final art board. We got lucky because our editors loved the book and only wanted to make everything as awesome as it could be, so their notes were sincere and only made the book better. They saw what Amber and I were trying to do, and they were not working against that.
Alex: Do you confer a lot with the publisher and/or with Amber Benson
Sina: In general, or with the book? Heh! In both regards: yes. I love the people I worked with at Simon and Schuster, and it was super rewarding to have them guide the illustrations. Same goes for Amber.
Alex: How would you compare illustrating a novel to doing a comic?
Sina: A novel was a lot more work because there were more people to answer to. In comics, I’ve either self-published, or been a part of anthologies, or worked with Image… and every single one of those avenues is very hands-off. A novel allows you to do awesome illustrations and work around your weaknesses because you’re selling single iconic moments, whereas comics demand a certain fluidity and ability to draw EVERYTHING.
Alex: Do you know if there will be a sequel to Among the Ghosts?
Sina: I can’t say yet. People seem to like the book, and the drawings, so my hope is that I will be involved if there is a sequel.
Alex: Can you talk about your future projects?
Sina: I have a new comic book series I am drawing coming out February 9 from Image Comics called The Li’l Depressed Boy that I’m super excited about! Then I am working on a new graphic novel called Not My Bag, which chronicles retail hell in a very Black Swan fashion (pun intended).
Alex: If you had the choice, what would you like to do most in your work?
Sina: I want to continue doing the kind of stuff I did in Among the Ghosts, where the lines were dense, and the art was still whimsical. Honestly, I don’t know how I pulled off some of the stuff I did in that book. Blame it on the author.
Alex: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Sina: I go to coffee shops and draw. Hobbies and stuff include reading books, and going to concerts and stuff. Also, I’m that Los Angeles guy who loves seeing movies in the theatre and making a night of it. Pretty lame stuff.
Alex: Do you have any advice for up and coming artists?
Sina: You’re always a student. There’s no questioning that. The minute you admit you have more to learn and are willing to work on improving—that is when you will actually make leaps and bounds.
Alex: What is your favorite TV show and/or movie?
Sina: I loved Pushing Daisies. That show is the perfect example of how you can push every single aspect of your production – the music, the sets, the costumes, the acting- to the limits in order to create the best looking product. R.I.P.
Salman Rushdie is an author that most people know in one way or another. He is the winner of the Booker Prize (what has been called the British equivalent of the Pulitzer), he has been appointed a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II, and has had a fatwā issued against him for his book The Satanic Verses. His latest book is Luka and the Fire of Life, a fantasy tale about a boy whose father is sick and it is necessary for the boy – Luka – to travel into a fantasy world and capture some of this “fire of life” to cure his father; but he is up against unbeatable odds: no one has ever made through this fantasy world and survived; no one has ever managed to capture the fire of life; and no one has ever made it back to the real world with the fire of life. The book was written for his second son, after he originally wrote Haroun and the Sea of Stories, for his first son; they’d each asked for a story they could read and enjoy.
During our interview, he admitted to originally wanting to be an actor, then decided on becoming a writer, which was certainly not something that was easy for him, and took him many years to hone and perfect until he became a bestselling author with Midnight’s Children. As for his use of magical realism in his work, Rushdie talked about his being raised on eastern culture, religion and mythology, and that in wanting to make his stories new and different from everything else, magical realism was an ideal fit. Luka and the Fire of Life employs elements of video games, and while this book was written for his son – an avid gamer – Rushdie admitted to he and games not really getting along, other than fun apps on his Iphone. The last time he and a video game had any sort of relationship was with the original Super Mario Brothers.
Salman Rushdie hopes readers first and foremost are entertained with an original story when reading his books, but while he doesn’t seek to use overbearing themes or messages in his work, he does hope readers will see something in his characters that will make them stop and think about themselves and their own lives. As for what Rushdie is working on next, he doesn’t have any novels in the works, but is about a third of the way through what will likely be a fascinating memoir.
The audio interview with Salman Rushdie will be available on January 1st in Episode 40 of BookBanter.
You can read the full article here.