Joining me around the campfire on this freezing cold winter’s day is science fiction author Simon Kewin.
- Hi Simon tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?
I’m one of those people who always wanted to be a writer. I make most of my living as a software developer, and I do enjoy that, but creating fiction and fictional worlds was always what I wanted to do. I’ve been writing short fiction and novels for around twenty years now.
- What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?
I think there’s something profoundly important about literature that allows a complete escape from the real world. It’s noticeable, and a little sad, how many people leave behind a love of fantasy literature as they grow up. I’m with Neil Gaiman on this: “growing up is highly overrated”.
- Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?
I recently completed a science fiction trilogy, and felt the need to write something completely different. I came up with the idea for an urban fantasy series set in the UK and based around The Office of the Witchfinder General – a shadowy branch of the UK government responsible for “protecting the people from the unnatural”. They’re sort of magical detective stories. The first of these – The Eye Collectors – was just published by Elsewhen Press
The Eye Collectors
- The ebook version published September 4th paperback version came out November 16th
- What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?
It’s always fun to write characters outside of your own experience: the imagination needed for that is very liberating. For instance, there’s a character in my recent sci/fi trilogy who is essentially a planet, with a very different perspective on space and time to creatures like us. Writing that was a lot of fun.
I’m sure, however much I try, that there’s always going to be something of me in every character I create. I guess that’s the case for all writers.
- For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?
Write the next thing. In the early days I used to write one thing, then stop while I tried to find a publisher or an agent. Not only can that be soul-destroying, it also means you’ve lost your momentum. Keep writing. Get excited about the next project.
- What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?
I set myself a daily word count target and stick to it. It can be hard to sit down and get into that flow, so what I often do is go back and revise what I wrote yesterday first as a way of getting into the zone. I also try to think about what I want to write next when I’m not at my desk, so that when I do sit down, the words are just there in my head.
I also like to have a few things on the go at any one time – if I tell myself I need to work on story A, something in my brain immediately starts working on story B. I try to let it do it.
- Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?
I’m a pantser who tries to plot but finds it a bit boring, to be honest. It’s good to have a structure, maybe an end point to reach, but I find that if I lay things out in great detail, the actual writing becomes a bit of a chore. I like to discover as I go. It can be dangerous if the text wanders off in an unexpected direction…
- What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?
I have three or four things to work on. I want to write several more (possibly four more) books in my Witchfinder series, but I’ve also written the opening ten thousand words or so of two or three other possible novels, all science fiction or fantasy. At some point I’d also like to write a more realist novel – but then I’d also like to create an epic fantasy trilogy…
- With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?
A bit of both, I’d say. Ultimately I’m an optimist and so believe in the triumph of good. It can be hard to stick to that belief some days…
- What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?
I love them all, obviously, but Lord of the Rings.
Twitter – @SimonKewin
The Eye Collectors print version is coming out November 16th
The box set of my sci fi series (The Triple Stars) is released December 11th