At World Book Day I presented an interview with one of my favourite authors to you. Besides I told you that a second interview will follow. Well, here it is. Here is the interview with another of my favourite authors: Joe Abercrombie.
DarkFairy: You can spend a day with one of your characters. Whom do you choose and why? What do you want to do?
Joe Abercrombie: My characters are generally a pretty hideous bunch. Let’s say I’d spend a day with Bayaz visiting people who’ve upset me in one way or another down the years. There’s a guy who can really get things done…
DarkFairy: Why are you writing Fantasy? What is its appeal to you?
Joe Abercrombie: Well it’s something I read a lot of and loved as a kid and though I read all kinds of other things, when I thought of writing there was never any question in my mind but that it would be fantasy I’d write. I like the fact that you don’t need to do exhaustive research, but you’re free to mix and match all kinds of elements from different places and periods to create the effect you want. I like the fact you don’t have to be scrupulously realistic, but can exaggerate and have larger than life characters and situations. I like that it’s a genre with a lot of classic characters, settings, and plots, and that gives you a lot of leeway to do new things with tried and tested formulas, and therefore shock and surprise the reader, which is always something I enjoyed a lot myself as a reader.
DarkFairy: Do your read (a lot) for yourself? What’s your favorite genre as reader?
Joe Abercrombie: I used to read a lot, but these days very little, and most of what I read is non-fiction, generally history related to whatever I’m working on at the moment. I find it’s hard to turn off the critical part of my mind I use when reading over my own work and just enjoy things the way that I used to.
DarkFairy: Where do you take your inspiration from? I, for example, listen to music while I’m writing…
Joe Abercrombie: I take it absolutely anywhere I can get it. I like silence when I work, which I can’t always get because I have three young kids. I try to take a workmanlike approach, and not worry too much about inspiration – that comes when it comes, you can’t usually rush it, but if you’re going to be a writer you have to find ways to make progress when you’re not feeling inspired.
DarkFairy: Does the end of a story evolve while you’re writing or have you already planned the end before you start?
Joe Abercrombie: Both. I try to have a pretty good plan before I start, and certainly an end in mind, but you can never tell quite what the characters will be like until you start writing, and you have to leave room for good ideas, for plot, character and setting to flex and shift together as you go.
Thank you very much, Joe! It was a great pleasure to interview you!
Thanks for answering even though you’re very busy.