Friday, July 25, 2008

J. Scott Savage Interview

Hey Scott! Welcome to Gamila's Review. Today we are floating down the Avon river in an English canal boat.

Avon huh? We’re not going to meet with a bunch of women who will do our colors and sell us hand lotion in poodle-shaped bottles?

Were going to moor at Stratford-Upon-Avon. After visiting Shakespeare's house and enjoying the swans in front of the Royal Shakespearian Theater we're ready to cast off from Stratford and head through that creepy tunnel up at the top of the page.

Ahh, Shakespeare. Very cool. You have to like swans. They are the ultimate in cool animals. They should all be wearing sunglasses. They are just that cool.

All seems pristine and lovely heading towards the tunnel, but soon we will enter an ancient arch, damp and dark, made out of millions of rust red bricks. On the right we will see a wooden rail drilled into the brick with chain linked underneath where old barges on the river would take pull themselves through by hand. It's lovely that we have the luxury of a modern motor and can therefore discuss Farworld: Water Keep at our leisure. While we float through our creepy, English tunnel full of fog, I'll ask you a few questions.

Okay, so you’re not going to like kill me and dump my body overboard are you? Because you don’t want to deal with those Scotland Yard guys. They may look like Charly Chaplin, but they’re tough.

How do you like the setting of our lovely interview today?

Excellent. Very dark and moody. It gives the whole interview a certain gravitas. (Which should not be confused with the annual gravy toss, which is not nearly as serious but much more messy.)

Do long dark tunnels full of fog make you think of fantasy, mystery or horror stories since you seem to write them all?

Actually horror is just a sub-genre of fantasy. When I think horror, I don’t think of Texas Chainsaw, I think of supernatural beings with special powers. And when I think of fantasy, there is always a dark element lurking in the background just waiting to spring out.

Which writers that have influenced your writing the most?

I am a sponge when it comes to influence. Reading just fills me up with great ideas. You see something in one context and it opens a pathway to another idea.

How long does it take you to write a book? Specifically how long did you work on Farworld?

Less than three months to write the first draft. The story had been in my head for several years, but once I started writing it came incredibly fast.

How many drafts did Farworld go through?

Ten easy.

Where did you come up with all the names for Farworld places, creatures and people? I found the names to be interesting and clever.

I like to play with names and sounds until I find one I like. Some names, like the Unmakers, Mist Steed, and Mimicker, are names that sound like what they are. Some names are nods to other books or movies. Some are plays on words. Look up the name of the frog that leads Kyja and Marcus to Olden. One thing I try to avoid is having a lot of unpronounceable names like Lady Grkzhn, because you know readers will just skip over it and call her G.

What is the language that master Therapass and the Dark Circle use when they cast spells?

Two different languages. MT is calling upon the elements to do his bidding willingly. The DC corrupts the elements. It is taking them by force. It is the language of desecration. Like bring back the dead, it is an abhorrence on the land.

What scene was your favorite to write?

I really liked the Unmaker’s cavern. Creepy, fun, and tense.

That was my favorite scene! Cool! What is your favorite part of writing and the least favorite?

Royalties and the months in between royalties. No. That is NOT true. I don’t want anyone to think that writing comes down to the money, because there are a lot easier and surer ways to earn a buck. I love when I write a really powerful scene. It’s a great feeling to “know” that readers are going to love it. My least favorite is when the story just won’t come. Or when you have a great but you can’t seem to get it onto paper.

Tell us about your upcoming releases. I'm especially curious about this LDS Horror novel you've talked about on your blog. When is that coming out?

I’ve actually had to put things on hold a little because of Farworld. Shandra should be Spring. After that, we’ll see.

What was the last LDS or Young Adult novel that you read? Would you recommend it to our readers?

The last YA book I read was The Bartimaeus Trilogy. I would definitely recommend it. Last LDS was Season of Sacrifice, about the Apple Dumpling Gang. Okay, it was really about the Hole in the Rock gang. And they didn’t really even call themselves that. But I would recommend it too.

Ah, looks like we've made it through the tunnel. I'm glad to feel sunshine on the face again. Thanks for joining us on our canal trip today!

Thanks for having me. It was fun and I didn’t even die. I’m so . . . hey wait. Where’s my wallet? Come back here!

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