Thank you for visiting Jagged Edge Reviews. We have a lot of exciting reviews, guest posts, cover reveals and book blitz coming up! I apologize we are going through a bit of a change as we have been away for a short time but we are getting back into the swing of things! Just getting a bit organized again, please be patient.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Interview

Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?

I’m an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There I created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. I sleep little, read novels and histories, watch media obsessively, travel, blog (a million hits last year!), and of course, write.

Untimed is my second novel.


What inspired you to write?

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.
Since third grade I’ve read rather obsessively, so I was naturally interested in writing. I began 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.


What authors influenced you as a writer?

A have a lot. But Tim Powers is a favorite for his ability to bring to life the fey in a grounded yet truly otherworldly way. Stephen King is another (not all his books but many) for his uncannily ability to characterize people in just a sentence or two and his unerring ear for dialogue. Dan Simmons for the massive scope of his world building and command of pathos. George R. R. Martin for his mastery at making his gigantic cast of characters feel developed and above all, human.


What is your favorite quote?

“Think of it as evolution in action” is pretty good, but in light of this being about Untimed, we could use a favorite Ben Franklin saying, “Three men can keep a secret, if two of them are dead!”

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Some “Culture” novel like Consider Phlebas, that way I could use the advanced technology to download myself into an AI and become immortal.


What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?

Read, read, watch, watch. I believe in reading as many books as possible and watching as many films and TV shows. You can always learn from stories.


Are your books different than your personal favorite books by other authors?

Very. I have a lot of favorite books, and certainly many of them have influenced me, but the particular mix of elements is all my own.


What led you to writing in this genre?

I’m a fantasist. Stories that appeal to me would always have an element of fantasy, science fiction, or supernatural horror to them. I like to bring history into it too. I don’t believe in highly specific targeting, and am annoyed when publishers get their panties in a bunch about it. I read adult novels from about 4th or 5th grade on (not exclusively) and I read YA and kids novels now at forty-something. Who cares? Are they good books? That’s what matters.


What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Bringing scenes that I have in my head to life is my favorite part of writing. This can apply to first draft stuff or to substantial revision once I've done the planning. It’s really quite a rush to pound out a scene, like making solid something that just exists as a dream or vision.

During the publishing process, getting art back from my artists is my favorite part. Nothing like seeing a new cover!


Least favorite part of the writing process?

The endless re-reading and careful editing is quite tedious (although I do a lot of it!). Sitting down to read the entire book again for the 50th time takes some serious will power. But overall, I’d say the hardest part was trying to balance my desire for prose minimalism with the need to “tell” the reader what they are supposed to know/feel. Ideally, one doesn’t tell them much of anything, but instead shows and implies. I love when a beat subtly betrays the emotions of a character, but at the same time, not all readers pick up on these niceties. My style is much closer to hard boiled early or mid twentieth century writers than it is to the type of melodramatic prose sometimes found in today’s YA hits (Twilight, here’s looking at you!).


What are you currently working on?

Right now, I’m writing two more novels and adapting Untimed into a screenplay. The new books are the Untimed sequel and a totally separate short novel that involves old school fairies and iambic pentameter.


Where readers can find you?


http://andy-gavin-author.com about my writing
http://the-darkening-dream.com my first novel
http://untimed-novel.com my second novel
http://www.facebook.com/andygavin facebook
http://twitter.com/asgavin twitter


LAST QUESTION:

Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?

Tell us a little about the villains in Untimed?

The Tick-Tocks are supposed to be mysterious, and I really wanted to reveal their secrets layer by layer. It was even important that by the end of the book, while you understand a lot more about them, you don’t really know exactly where they come from or what they’re up to. A great nemesis needs this. Think Darth Vader or Professor Moriarty. Their secrets aren’t all on the table to begin with. Additionally, one of my favorite emotions to play with is “creep.” My first novel, The Darkening Dream, is all about creepiness, and I think it’s much more effective and scary than plain horror. So the Tocks are supposed to be creepy. Not exactly horrific, but just mysterious and creepy. That’s one of the reasons they don’t talk. Creepy.

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