Tuesday, 28 February 2012
AUTHOR INTERVIEW - DAN WELLS
What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Dan Wells, I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I currently live about an hour south of there in Orem. If all goes well, though, I'll be living in Germany soon: my job doesn't tie me to a location, so I can live anywhere I want, so my wife and I said 'Why not?' We'll spend a year there, then move on to someplace new.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I told my parents in second grade that I was an author. I wrote a CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE book, and it was terrible, but I loved every minute of it. I knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
PARTIALS: Eleven years after the end of the world, a teenage girl struggles to give the survivors a future.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Right now I'm writing the second book in the PARTIALS sequence, and after that I need to finish another SF book I'm working on called EXTREME MAKEOVER (a thriller/satire about cloning). After that is the third PARTIALS book, and then another book about John Cleaver, the main character of my serial killer series. After that, who knows? I'm always looking for something new.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Every book I write has its own soundtrack--for PARTIALS I listened to Muse and The Rolling Stones almost every day while I wrote. That's a weird combination, I guess, but I like weird combinations. They help me think in new directions.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
My favorite review is one on Amazon, of my first book: I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER. The guy absolutely loved it, said it was brilliant, then when he got to the supernatural part he reversed completely--he didn't just dislike the story, he said the writing itself was childish. The same book that was brilliant just a few sentences earlier. That review taught me one of the most valuable lessons I've ever learned about writing: people like what they like, and hate what they hate, and it's not your job to change their mind. Write a book you love, and if other people love it too, that's just a bonus.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
I've heard about a few writers who've done that, and I've lost all respect for them. Cowboy up and accept the fact that different people like different things.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I have an entire room in my house filled with boardgames and card games and roleplaying games and everything else. I play every chance I get, and I love teaching people new games.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
My favorite book is Dune, by Frank Herbert, and I've read it five or six times. Just a brilliant piece of science fantasy, packed with more amazing ideas than any other ten books combined.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I'm enough of an environmentalist that I have to say 'I hope so,' but I know that's not a popular attitude in bookish circles these days. I don't think it will happen soon, but I do believe it's inevitable. Consider Star Trek: everything's digital, and the only paper books are antiques. I think that's more or less the way we will, and should, go, but I don't see it happening in my lifetime.
Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
Goodness gracious no. I've met college graduates who've never read a novel in their lives, and I think the world is poorer for it. I think that helping kids read, and (key to making that happen) finding the specific genre or category that each kid will love, is the single most important thing we can do for education. Give a child a love of reading, and everything else will fall into place.
Where can readers follow you?
Your blog details: www.fearfulsymmetry.net
Your facebook page: I'm on there, as is PARTIALS.
Your Goodreads author page: it's linked to my blog, though I plan to do more with it soon.
Your Twitter details: @johncleaver--I'm an avid tweeter.