Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Brief Interview with Author Warren Fahy

Warren Fahy (pronounced Fay) is the author of the international best seller Fragment. It was nominated for a BSFA and the International Thriller Writers' Best First Novel Award.

Your first book that was published, Fragment, was the type of book that I enjoy so much that I have a difficult time putting it down. I'm interested in knowing how much enjoyment you got out of writing it. 

I had a blast writing it! But it was a different kind of fun from reading it. I actually had a sign over my computer screen to remind me of what the book was: FUN. But as a writer, I was creating the most fun ride I possibly could for the reader. I envy those who got to take the ride. A writer can never really do that. Of course, the key skill in a writer is to be able to stay viscerally aware of what thrills all the way through writing a novel, no matter how many times you have to read it, especially when the novel is as complex as Fragment or Pandemonium. So the greatest fun for me was knowing how the audience would react to certain revelations, situations, destinations and procrastinations. You have to always have a sense of where the oohs and aahs and laughs and terror are going to grip the audience and why, and be aware of the flow of those highs, lows and swerves, like a musician. It's certainly great fun staging a thrill-ride! But it's not the same fun as experiencing the ride yourself; that I will never have unless I live a long time and forget the book completely. The other part of writing Fragment that was fun (and remember it had to be fun or else it was disqualified from the job) was the research. I have loved and researched science since I was a kid. Working with scientists, especially on verifying some of the facts behind  the original theories of biology in the book, was fun nearly every day. And finally, nature itself was a constant revelation. The more I thought I was inventing the more I found precedents in nature that had beaten me to it. I learned a lot about the natural world around us, ironically, by trying to create something as alien as possible for the sake of the story.

When it came out, I remember reading some comparisons people were making between you and the late Michael Crichton. Do you pay any attention to things like that? Does it make you feel any added pressure when you write? 

It didn't add any pressure until I found out, after the novel had been bought in a feeding frenzy reminiscent of Henders Island, that Michael Crichton had died. It was a shock, and it happened while I was at HarperCollins in London, his publisher. I was informed only minutes after meeting his editor and had noticed that she was subdued and seemed distraught. That was so unexpected and so very sad. Dreadful, really. Then the comparisons people were making seemed ghoulish. I hated that.

From what I understand, your sequel to Fragment, Pandemonium, was released exclusively as an ebook awhile back due to some creative differences with your publisher. Then because of its popularity, it created a lot of interest from publishers and is no longer available as an ebook. Can you tell me if we can expect to see it in print anytime soon? And when it comes out, how close will it be to your original? 

Yes, Tor Books will be publishing the novel in about 9 months time, in hardback. It will be very close to the version I very briefly published. But better. ;)

I've heard some authors say that they write for themselves and that they would write the same thing regardless of how many people would want to read it. I've also heard other authors say that when they write, they're constantly considering whether what they're writing will appeal to their readers. Which group would you say you fall in?


Are you willing to say anything about the epic fantasy series I've read you're working on?

The epic fantasy is a rollicking sea voyage through a maze of monsters, a story of a 17-year-old sorcerer-king who inherits a kingdom too young, a romance, and every cool thing I could cram into it over 30 years of working on it since I was 12 years old. I love it! Hope to find a home in print for it soon.

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