Hello again, folks. It’s that time once again. My latest guest for 13 Questions is international bestselling author Steven Savile, whose upcoming novel SILVER will be released in January from Variance Publishing.
NOTE: I just want to say this cover totally kicks ass!
Hi Steven, thanks for agreeing to do this. It’s nice to get the views of authors who have been around the block and pick their brains. I notice you’ve had quite a few books published in recent years, much congratulations on your recent success.
OK, since I know you’re a busy guy, what with the upcoming release of SILVER from Variance Publishing, why don’t we get down to business, here?
1) So tell us a little about yourself, Steven. Where are you from, what sort of books do you like to read, etc?
First of all, thanks very much, it is nice to ‘be’ here. So, Steve in a nutshell? Rolling up to 40 far too quickly for my liking, Tottenham Hotspur football fan, based in Stockholm. I started out about 20 years ago writing horror stories, then probably around 1997-8 drifted more into what I guess you’d call dark fantasy/magical realism. Spent most of the 00s doing fantasy novels, four for warhammer, two celtic ones with Slaine, then I’ve done some Stargate SG-1, Doctor Who and other tie-in stuff as well as carrying on trying to plough a very different furrow with my own work. In terms of reading, Hugh Cook, David Eddings and David Gemmell are pretty much responsible for turning me into a reader, and I’ve still got a huge soft spot for fantasy, but I don’t read so much of it anymore. Most recently I’ve read Jeremy Duns’ debut thriller, Free Agent, Matt Hilton’s debut thriller, Dead Man’s Shoes, and am half way through James Clavell’s Shogun. I’ve been reading a lot more thrillers and crime novels of late – what I used to consider my beach reads. I have had a string of curious jobs, wound up being a social science and English teacher out here in Stockholm for the best part of a decade, and finally went full time as a writer back in 2004/5 and am coming up to my fifth anniversary earning a crust making up hopefully exciting lies.
2) I read the description of SILVER, and I have to say it sounds very interesting. Would you mind telling us a little about the book for the benefit of those who have not read anything about it?
Well, hmm, that’s harder to do than you’d think. I mean, Silver is a political thriller, for sure. It’s a religious thriller, absolutely. But not in any way you’d expect. The roots are in messianic prophecies, Judaism, Nostradamus’ predictions of the antichrist, and the nature of fear and how it works in the every day world we now live in. It’s a big book. Almost twice the length of anything I’ve done before, but it’s a page turner. The core concept is that the 30 pieces of silver that Judas was paid have been melted down into a dagger and fundamentalists plan to use it to usher in the the next messiah…
3) What was the inspiration for SILVER?
The truth is quite mundane, in that I was talking to the editor and he said can you hit us with something in the morning? So I said ‘I can do that’ (that’s the writer’s mantra by the way). I had about 6 hours to hit on a core concept that fit the kind of direction Variance were heading, and that excited me as a writer.
I think we’re talking a good deal of providence, in that I knew they wanted religious thrillers, looking at what they had on their roster, so my first thought was something quite unlike the Da Vinci Code (which, like it or not I am sure Silver will be compared with again and again) but liable to appeal to fans of that kind of story. Where the Da Vinci Code was about Jesus I thought it would be interesting to look at the other side of that famous betrayal in Gethsemane. So knowing it was going to be Judas’ story, at least in part, gave me a place to start the research. From there it all sort of fell into into place.
4) When is the release date for SILVER?
January 19th 2010.
5) How is it different than your previous works such as the Von Carstein Trilogy? (Which, by the way, I intend to read ASAP; they sound great!)
Whole new avenue of storytelling. Silver is a thriller. It’s intelligent. It’s exciting. It’s hitting the zeitgeist, I guess you could say. It’s about some very real issues in our modern political world, an Israeli state, global terrorism, espionage, and the like, and while it pulls no punches it hopefully makes you think as well as simply read, and maybe it will make you look at the world a little differently. Stuff like the Vampire Wars books are just escapist fun. Sure there is a lot of scheming and shenanigans going on in them. There are similarities though, how could there not be? A lot of the vampire stuff when seen from the human perspective is about the futility of violence and war, and of course the nature of fear. That’s something that interests me as a writer, the psychology of fear and how people use it.
6) Do you have any favorite authors?
Several must buys, for sure. Lee Child is my current guilty pleasure. I enjoy a fairly broad spectrum of writers and genres, Paul Auster, Jonathan Carroll, Stephen Donaldson, Joseph Wambaugh, Jay Mcinerney, Stephen Gallagher, Raymond Fiest, that’s just off the top of my head.
7) What is it like working with Variance? Having read several of their books, I can honestly say they put out a real quality product.
Never a dull moment. The guys are passionate about what they’re doing and have got a vision for where they want the company to go. They’re putting out some great stuff and getting stronger book by book. The plans for Silver marketing wise, for instance are very ambitious. As an author you’d be hard pressed for more support.
8 ) Have you always wanted to be a writer? Was there anything else you wanted to do before you started writing?
I decided age 16 I was going to be a journalist. Age 17 I was plonking away at my first aborted novel, age 19 I had finished a novel and sold some short stories. That was always going to be the ‘career’, work was just a way to finance it.
9) Do you have any hobbies or pastimes? How does Steven Savile relax after a rough day?
Football season, it’s all about the Lilywhites, but on a general work day, sit on the couch, watch some tv, read. I work a lot in coffeeshops and generally have a pretty stress free life. It was conscious decision to go full time and live the life I wanted quality-wise over the chase for cash.
10) Describe a typical day in the life of Steven Savile.
Wake up slowly.
Catch up on tv while still waking up.
Type up work from the day before (currently working long hand on a victoriana fantasy so it is an experiment).
Wander down to local coffeeshop, order a latte, crack open notebook and scribble for 3-4 hours while sipping and getting frequent caffeine injections.
Answer mail that rolls in during the day.
Home to cook/eat watch tv
Write from 10pm through til 2am.
11) If you had to pick a favorite part of the writing process, what would it be? How about least favorite?
Least favourite, I hate editing. I know it has to be done, but my brain wants to be moving on, and I see nothing but faults in my work. Favourite part, the end of a good day when the right words came. Like today. Today I added an unplanned scene which completely changes one of the characters in the victorana novel (London Macabre) and it’s great. I love it. So today, inspiration struck. Them’s the days I like.
12) So what’s next for Steven Savile? What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
Well 2010 is a really busy year release-wise, I’ve got Silver, The Power Behind the Throne, my Stargate SG-1 novel, and there’s the next project, I am writing a novel for Guild Wars the MMO being released by Simon & Schuster. London Macabre should also be out… as to what I will be writing, possibly a new thriller series, The Company Man alongside Gold, the imaginatively titled follow-up to Silver.
13) OK, how about giving us one line from SILVER? Don’t put it in context, just give us the line.
And there you have it, folks. Steven Savile. Make sure you stop by his website and poke around a bit. There’s sure to be something you like there. And don’t forget to pick up SILVER, available in January from Variance Publishing.
Speaking of not forgetting, don’t forget to enter your idea for my website name into my contest. You can win some cool signed swag.
Coming up next, an interview with Seth Harwood, debut author of JACK WAKES UP, a must-read action novel I couldn’t put down.