Wednesday, 6 June 2012

E-Interview: Alexander Gordon Smith Author of Furnace!

Wow....I cant believe I get to E-interview this guy!
Anyway, Recently I had the great Honor of  having a bit of Q and A time, With Award Winning Author, 
Alexander Gordon Smith! Here is how it all went down!

What was your inspiration for creating egg box pub?
I set up Egg Box whilst I was at university. I’ve always loved books, and publishing. When I was a kid I used to make my own magazines – music and sport and writing – and give them away to people. They were pretty awful. I remember I did a fan magazine for my local football club, Norwich City, when I was twelve or so. I couldn’t think of anything to put on the back page so I photocopied the Subbuteo international mail order contact form, just in case any of my readers lived in Malaysia and needed a replacement goalie. When I was at uni I really wanted to set up a creative writing magazine, so I formed Egg Box Publishing and used my student loan to fund it. I started with the magazine, which was called The Egg Box. I picked the name because our ethos was all about publishing new writers, giving them a safe platform to show their work and letting them grow. From there we started to publish collections of poetry. I don’t run the company any more – I had a bit of a poetry burnout when I left uni – but it’s still going strong!

Your books seem to be Impressively creative, where do you get all those ideas from?
Thanks! To be honest, ideas are everywhere, it’s just about learning to see them. The two most useful words you can ever learn as a writer are ‘what if’. Everywhere you go, everything you do, ask yourself ‘what if this happened?’ What’s the craziest thing that could happen, the funniest, the scariest, the most exciting, the weirdest. Every story starts out as a what if, even if the author doesn’t use those exact words. Furnace was ‘what if a boy gets framed for murder and sent to a prison full of monsters.’ The Fury was ‘what if one day, without warning, every single person in the world tries to kill you.’ If you ask ‘what ifs’ every day, you’ll soon have more ideas than you know what to do with. The problem then becomes finding the time to write them all!

What advice do you give to aspiring writers?
I think the two most important pieces of advice I can give are these. First, write because you love to write, and write the stories that you love. Even if I wasn’t published, or being paid, I would write, because I don’t want to do anything else. Writing is an addiction, I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. Getting published was kind of a bonus, because the real reward for me is living the world of the book, living the story, as you write. If you write because you want to get published, or write a book purely because you think it will sell, you’re not being honest with yourself, and the story you come up with will feel artificial, false. If you write because you have to tell the story, because you love those characters and you need to share their adventure, then your book will be amazing.

The most important thing, though, is to never, ever give up. This doesn’t just apply to writing, it applies to everything in life. People are incredible, we can do pretty much anything we want if we set our minds to it. The only thing that can really stop us is that little voice in our head that tells us we’re no good, that we can’t do it, that we should stop trying. Ignore it! If you want something, go out and get it. Writing is like anything, though, it takes work. You can’t just wake up one morning and write a book, the same way you can’t just wake up one morning and run a marathon. You need to write every day, and read every day, you need to train. But don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t do it, and never let yourself tell you that you can’t do it either. Everyone can be a published author if they want it enough. So keep writing, keep telling the stories that you love, and never, ever give up.

Can you give us any hints to the second instalment in the Fury Series? (The Storm)
I have literally just finished writing it! I can’t really say too much without giving away the ending of the first book, but I’ll just say that you learn the horrific truth about the Fury – a truth that hopefully nobody will see coming! It’s pretty much relentless action, set all around the world, as Cal and Daisy and Brick and the others realize that the whole world trying to kill them is the least of their worries. A storm is threatening to engulf humanity, and it’s up to them to fight it. The second book is actually called The Storm, and it is coming out in the UK in Easter 2013. In the US, both books are being released together as a single volume, called The Fury, in Easter 2013. I’m so excited to see it!

Are you planning a third installment to the Inventors?
I would LOVE to write a third Inventors book! I had so much fun writing them, because I wrote them with my little brother Jamie when he was nine. We ended up trying to build quite a few of the inventions in the books for real, including rocket boots (although luckily we tried them out on an action figure first because they blew its legs off). I’m not sure if there will ever be a third book. One problem is that Jamie is now 16, in the middle of his exams, and doesn’t really want to be a writer. I’m hoping he’ll change his mind one of these days, though! The other problem is that my publisher wants me to stick to the horror stuff for now, which is cool as I do love horror and they’re my favourite books to write. With any luck there will be an Inventors movie one of these days. If that happens then there will definitely be a third book, and maybe a fourth, fifth, sixth… Keep your fingers crossed!

Outside of writing, is there anything you enjoy, or any hobbies you have?
There’s a life outside of writing?! Actually, joking aside, if I’m not writing I’m usually either thinking about writing, or talking about writing. It’s like water, it takes up every available iota of space in my life. I think my friends and family get annoyed because I often have one foot in the real world, and one in whatever world I’m writing about, so quite a few conversations don’t really sink in and people end up having to repeat themselves several times (and even then I’ll forget what they’ve said). I love touring as well, I’m so lucky to be able to travel around the world and talk about the books. When I’m not doing that, I love to read, watch movies, and play video games, but even that really counts as research for books. My girlfriend is a writer too, so there’s no getting away from it. But that’s cool, I love that writing is my life. I wouldn’t want it any other way! J

When you first began writing, who where Your favourite authors?
I started writing as a kid, and back then everything I read was my new favourite book. I just loved the excitement of starting a new book, any book, it was like setting out on a brand new adventure where anything could happen. I still feel that way when I read. I loved the adventure stuff, The Hobbit and The Black Cauldron and Swallows and Amazons and Tintin. I started writing seriously in my teens, when I discovered writers like Stephen King and Clive Barker and James Herbert and Ray Bradbury (who has just passed away in the last few hours, which is so sad). They were the ones who inspired me to write horror, because in horror literally anything can happen, you have unlimited creative freedom. I still read horror more than anything else, but my favourite book of all time has to be Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. It’s just a flawless piece of writing, and an amazing story that seems to get more relevant with every passing year.

Thank you for this Interview! Anything else you would like to say? (e.g book promotions)
I just want to say a huge thanks for interviewing me, it’s awesome to be here! If anyone wants to keep up with new book releases and competitions, check out my official fan page on Facebook!

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