Welcome to the five hundred and eighty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with science-fiction author John Trevillian. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, John. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
John: My mother was given a Smith-Corona typewriter and she let me play on it from the time I was four. By six I’d typed my first (four-page) novel based on the adventures of a crazy professor (more than a little stolen from the Professor Branestawm books by Norman Hunter). I’d even left spaces for illustrations that I coloured in afterwards. No wonder I ended up with a career in magazine publishing.
Morgen: And since then a ‘real’ novelist. What genre do you generally write?
John: The A-Men trilogy is dystopian science fiction, but written in a very character-focused way. I have mainly written contemporary fiction before this, but the story of Jack and his fellows just couldn’t be told anywhere other than the future.
Morgen: What have you had published to-date?
John: The three novels of The A-Men (The A-Men, The A-Men Return and Forever A-Men) are my first published novels. Now that the final one is out (as at March 2012), I have the task of writing a few short stories set in that universe, then looking forward to moving onto something new.
Morgen: I can understand that. However much you enjoy something it’s great to have a change (Ian Rankin moved on from Rebus after 15 books). I’m going the other way; I’ve written stand-alones and have just completed the first 51,000 words of the first in a series of crime books. You’ve self-published, what lead to you going your own way?
John: The original novel was taken up by a literary agent, though while rewrites were taking place, the original champion of the work left and their replacement didn’t take to the novel as much. As one of the rewrites was the creation of an entire prequel book, I decided to create a fan-base and try to market myself. Being nominated for a few awards helped convince me that though these were not mainstream sci-fi novels, they did have an audience, hence the move to self-publish.
Morgen: A good plan, by the sound of it. You can have someone in your corner who doesn’t believe in what you’re writing. Are your books available as eBooks? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
John: Yes, all the books are available in the full range of formats – print, ebook (Kindle), audiobook and dramatised podcast.
Morgen: I’ve just been approached by a novelist for a quote to record his audiobook. I’d thought of recording mine (and another contributor, whose short story I recorded, said I should do audiobooks). Apart from tricky accents, it would be fun. Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?