This is the second of a brand new blog series, as I dip my toes into the mysterious waters of author interviews.
Having watched so many fantastic interviewers (Tricia Drammeh and her Authors to Watch series, AFE Smith (see below), Katrina Jack and her New Authors section and Susan Finlay’s Meet the Author series to name a few of the best – please check out their wonderful blogs), I’ve always been a little reluctant to throw my hat into the ring…but here goes!
One of my all-time favourite worldbuilding PC games, is Sid Meier’s ‘Alpha Centauri’. So, in homage to that (and a shameless rip off of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ and AFE Smith’s brilliant blog series Barren Island Books), here is my own author interview series – Distant Worlds.
To continue the Distant Worlds strand, over the next few weeks I will be focusing on fellow fantasy and sci-fi authors from ultra-cool UK publishing house, Grimbold Books and their imprints, Kristell Ink and Tenebris Books – a bunch of uber talented and whacky characters who I am also proud to call friends. Grimbold Books are also doing a fabulous ‘Summer Promotion’ from 31st July – 4th August, where ALL of its wonderful titles will be priced at only 79p/99c across Amazon platforms. Check it out guys, awesome fiction at awesome prices!!!
Right, now to our second author interview…the fantastic…
Steven, YOU find yourself cast adrift in deep space, your colony pod’s life support is failing, your only chance of survival is a distant habitable world…
What 5 essentials would you choose to help you survive?
Swiss army knife, one of those tents that spring up straight from the bag, jar of Marmite, and notebook and pen. You won’t get anywhere without a to-do list…
What 5 personal items would you salvage from your crashed ship before it explodes?
To be honest, I’d probably end up burning to death before I managed to make any sort of decision. As long as I’ve got the ipod, Kobo, wind-up charger, and the cat, I think I’m sorted.
Would you seek life-forms for help or go it alone?
Friendly aliens? That never ends well…
What 5 fantasy/sci-fi books would you have to keep with you and why?
- The Martian (Andy Weir) would be an obvious choice, but I’d go more for The Barbed Coil (JV Jones).
- Lord of the Rings (yep, him).
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Susannah Clarke) because I’d actually have time to read it.
- Dune (Frank Herbert) for a laugh.
- …and either Wyrd Sisters or Guards! Guards! (Pratchett, of course).
What 5 songs or albums could you not live without?
- Brave by Marillion.
- Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.
- Disintegration by The Cure.
- The Inception soundtrack by Hans Zimmer.
- …and The Stone Roses.
You are all alone on a distant world with little chance of being rescued…do you choose water, vodka or coca-cola to drown your sorrows?
I have previous with vodka, so I’d prefer a self-replenishing supply of the Thornbridge Brewery’s wonderful Jaipur IPA (*dry cough*).
Random comet question: Marmite – love it or loathe it?
Oh, love it – the yeast must flow…!
You have 30 seconds (max 100 words) to tell the alien approaching you about your latest book. Remember this is more pressurised than an elevator pitch – screw up and he’ll eat your brains! Go!
Storyteller’s daughter Cassia joins a quest to resurrect the power of an ancient Northern kingdom, hoping to become a famous storyteller herself. But her new companions haven’t told her the truth, and the curse wards around the kingdom really should never be broken, and… my, those are really big teeth… and if she isn’t careful then Cassia is going to make a very big mistake. You look hungry. Marmite on toast?
How would you choose to spend your time on this distant world?
Trying to find the cat, with my luck…
What 5 things would you miss most about Earth?
Roast potatoes, bacon, conventions, narrowboats, and Marmite.
What 5 things would you NOT miss about Earth?
Conservatives, West Bromwich Albion, ITV Be, Sad/Rabid/Vichy Puppies, and that stupid fashion of wearing your jeans below your arse.
Time-traveller questions (for Dr. Who fans): If you had the chance again to go on this deep space adventure, would you take it? What is the one thing you wish you could turn back time and change?
Yes, so I could have another chance to turn back time and change the fact that I hadn’t gone on this deep space adventure, otherwise all my chances to turn back time and change things would never have happened! (Possibly)
What 5 indie authors and books you would recommend to any carbon based lifeform – and why? (ahem…Steven chose more than 5, but hey, they’re GREAT choices!)
Jo Thomas – 25 Ways To Kill a Werewolf (Fox Spirit Books). Inventive and very comprehensive. Ian Sales – Adrift on the Sea of Rains (Whippleshield Books). Claustrophobic alt-history. It won a BSFA Award for a reason. KT Davies – Breed (Fox Spirit Books). Sweary and brilliant. Andrew David Barker – The Electric (Boo Books). Like a Midlands Bradbury. Andrew Reid – Kingdom’s Fall (Wattpad). Episodic epic fantasy from a constantly epic chap. David R Lee – The Road To Thule (via Amazon). I’m cheating – intense post-apocalyptic techno-heathenry from a fellow Sheffield writer.
What advice can you give to fellow space travellers (writers and readers) out there?
Will Wheaton said it best: don’t be a dick.
Before we leave you and blast into another parallel universe, please tell us about yourself, your inspirations and your publishers!
I’m an Epic Fantasist and SFSF Socialist! Heir to the North is the first part of Malessar’s Curse, and will be followed by The High King’s Vengeance next year, both released by Kristell Ink. I’m also working on a fantasy set on a narrowboat. Some of my short stories will be featured in forthcoming Pocket anthologies from Fox Spirit Books. I live in Sheffield with my partner, an artist and crafter. We have a three-legged cat and an ever-increasing mass of books.
If you want to know more about me, you can find me on Twitter@stevenjpoore, and on the net at stevenpoore.wordpress.com. If you’d like to know more about the SFSF Social Club, that’s on Twitter too, @SFSFSocial, and online at sfsfsocial.wordpress.com.
The North Will Rise Again
The Warlock Malessar destroyed Caenthell centuries ago, murdering theHigh King Jedrell and his bride, and cursing the land itself. Since that time, the mountain kingdom has become little more than a dark legend, and the bloodline of the High Kings has been lost.
Old soldier Baum and heroic warrior Meredith seek to defeat Malessar and his foul curse. Conscripted into their quest, young Cassia quickly realises she could make her name as a storyteller by witnessing such an epic confrontation. But neither of her companions are quite as they appear, and the truth lies deep within stories Cassia has not yet heard.
By the time she discovers that both Baum and the Warlock have hidden devastating secrets from each other for centuries, it may be too late. Cassia must decide which side she will stand upon and for whom she will fight – for Malessar, or for The Heir To The North.
Thank you. Congratulations, Steven, you are survivor! A passing deep space explorer has honed in on your distress beacon, you’re going home!!!
Happy Horizons! 😀 xx