Monday, February 13, 2012

Andy Gavin Author Interview

Please welcome Andy Gavin to Fantasy Book Chick

Tell us a little about yourself...
I’m a lifelong creator and explorer of worlds. As far back as first grade I remember spending most of the school day in one day dream or another. I had a huge notebook stuffed with drawings, story bits, and concepts for an elaborate Sci-Fi/Fantasy world I cobbled together from bits of Star Wars, Narnia, and Battlestar Galactica. By fourth or fifth grade not only was I loosing myself in every fantasy or Sci-Fi novel I could, but I was building Dungeons & Dragons castles and caverns on paper. Then from 1980 on the computer.

Over the following decades I wrote dozens of stories and created and published over a dozen video games all set in alternative universes. And as an avid reader (over 10,000 novels and who knows how many non-fiction volumes) it was no surprise that I eventually decided to write some books of my own.

What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
Spending time with my family. Reading (mostly speculative fiction and history). Food and wine. I’m an incurable gourmand. Photography, video games, technology, history, travel, and archeology are a few of my other passions. I’m particularly fascinated by the ancient western world.

When did you begin to write?
Fairly seriously in ninth grade. In high school, I won several national literary awards for my short stories and I was an editor and contributor to our high school literary magazine. In college, despite being a diehard science guy, I took creative writing classes (sometimes I was the only guy) and submitted stories to Science Fiction and Fantasy magazines (not that they ever bought any!). I co-wrote the stories for many of my best selling video games. But video games aren’t as story driven as novels, so don’t judge these in the same light J.

Do you listen to music, drink coffee, etc. while writing?
I’m a café espresso fiend (cappuccino in the morning) and I always listen to some music when writing. Lyrics interfere with serious writing or editing so trance techno is one of my favorite genres for that. Or something spacy like Miles Davis or Tangerine Dream if I don’t want to pound.

What book are you currently reading, just finished reading or going to read next?
I’m currently in the middle of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder. So far, this is a really engrossing alternative history steampunk novel with Sir Richard Francis Burton (the explorer, not the actor) as the protagonist.

What are some of your favorite authors?
I have so many, but to start: George R. R. Martin, DanSimons, Tim Powers, Orson Scott Card, Guy Gavriel Kay, Sherri S. Tepper, Octavia Butler, Ian M. Banks, Jack L. Chalker, Robin Hobb, Stephen King, Gene Wolfe, Katherine Kurtz, and Vernor Vinge.

What other projects are you working on or having coming out next?
I have a second finished novel (it’s been through four major drafts and a full line edit). It’s called Untimed and is a YA time travel novel that chronicles the crazy adventures of a boy no one remembers, who falls through a hole in time and finds himself lost in the past. It’s very different with an extremely immediate first person present voice (in this book the only thing anyone can hold on to is the present). It rocks. Seriously rocks.

Why did you choose to write this genre?
I’ve been obsessed with vampires for decades. Not because they are romantic, but because they are undead – and I really mean undead – and because older ones are creatures that have stretched across the centuries. But it always bugs me in stories full of supernatural where they touch on the historical roots of superstitions but don’t bother to do the research. I always felt that, as they say, “truth is stranger than fiction” – if, like me, you count myth as truth – and so I wanted to write a fast paced supernatural action story where the spooky stuff is all based on real spooky stuff. And truly, the real deal is much more creepy.

If  you could be any paranormal or have a supernatural talent what would it be and why?
I’ve thought about this a lot.  Probably I’d be a telepath/pusher like Professor X. The combo of reading minds and controlling them would be totally badass, if horrifically unethical. And I’ve always been keen on having all the information. A vampire wouldn’t be too bad either if I didn’t have to kill my victims, only snack a bit.

Tell us why readers will enjoy reading your book…
I like to think it’s a really crafted story. Not only is there a ton of weird magic and terrible creatures all based on researched occult and superstition, but I tried to ground it with credible characters,rapid pacing, and fantastic scenes. I’m a pretty visual writer, I see each scene in my head shot by shot like a movie and I try and sketch just enough of that detail to rapidly convey my vision. Still, it’s really all about the characters. I tried as best I could – and only the reader can decide if I succeeded – to put myself in each of their heads. This is one of the reasons why two of the villains have points of view. I wanted to show that even cabals of ancient creepy beings out to destroy the world have their reasons.

Find the author:  Website  Goodreads  Facebook  Twitter

Buy the book:  Amazon

1 comment:

  1. Andy sounds like a really cool guy. Thanks for sharing this interview.