Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Authors Interview: Michael Scott + Colette Freedman

I'm just so excited for this interview! Michael Scott has write one of the most enjoyable series i know and have read, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel, so i was really happy to had the chance for an interview! This is also our first big authors interview from a Tor Publishing and it just feels good to see that they notice us. We here in Greece, don't get books for reviews from big publishers or the attention the US/UK blogs do, so i feel really proud for the blog today.
Anyway...enough talking! The authors Micheal Scott and Colette Freedman (did i mention she is an award winning playwright?) of Thirteen Hallows, are here for us today and it's unfair to steal their spotlight!! ENJOY!! :D

COLETTE FREEDMAN is an internationally produced playwright, screenwriter, and novelist who was recently named one of the Dramatist Guild’s “50 to Watch”. Her play Sister Cities (NYTE, 2009) was the hit of the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe and earned five star reviews: It has been produced around the country and internationally, including Paris (Une Ville, Une Soeur) and Rome (Le Quattro Sorelle). She has authored fifteen produced plays including Serial Killer Barbie (Brooklyn Publishers, 2004), First to the Egg (Grand prize shorts urban shorts festival), Bridesmaid # 3 (Louisville finalist 2008), and Ellipses… (Dezart Festival winner 2010), as well as a modern adaptation of Iphigenia in Aulis written in iambic pentameter. She was commissioned to write a modern adaptation of Uncle Vanya which is in preproduction and has co-written, with International bestselling novelist Jackie Collins, the play Jackie Collins Hollywood Lies, which is gearing up for National Tour. In collaboration with The New York Times best selling author Michael Scott, she has just sold the thriller The Thirteen Hallows, to Tor/Macmillan, which comes out Dec 6, 2011. She has just sold the novel The Affair to Kensington and is getting ready to shop her YA series The A+ Girls. 
Official Site || Goodreads || Twitter

 Irish-born Michael Scott began writing over twenty-five years ago, and is one of Ireland's most successful and prolific authors, with over one hundred titles to his credit, spanning a
variety of genres, including Fantasy, Science Fiction and Folklore.

He writes for both adults and young adults and is published in thirty-seven countries, in over twenty languages.

Praised for his “unparalleled contribution to children’s literature,” by the Guide to Children’s
Books, Michael Scott was the Writer in Residence during Dublin’s tenure as European City of Culture in 1991, and was featured in the 2006 edition of Who’s Who in Ireland as one of the 1000
most “significant Irish.” 
Official Site || Goodreads || Twitter


-Try to describe your book in one sentence.
When a young woman is given an ancient relic, she becomes entangled in a 2,000 year old deadly plot to end the world.

-Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books?
Michael – I am a great believer that all the primary research has to be done before principle writing begins.  I’m a huge advocate of plotting, and indeed, The Thirteen Hallows was plotted chapter by chapter before we started to write.  As part of the research process, Colette even flew to London and we traced our heroes’ journey across the city and into Wales.  

-Which scenes were the hardest to write?
Colette - The brutal murders.

Michael – Making sure that the geography and timelines work is always the hardest part of writing.  But you owe it to the readers to get it right!

-How long has it taken you to write a book ?
Colette - six months to three years. Tennis Dates took me six months. I’m currently working on a YA novel and am on my third year of rewrites.

Michael – The shortest time was over a three day weekend (but it was a picture book with not much text.)  The longest was a huge adult historical novel called Seasons.  There were three years of research and three years of writing in the first book.  The Flamel series took ten years of research before I wrote a single world, and then each book has taken a year.

The Thirteen Hallows took about 10 months in total.

-What’s the best part of writing for you?
Colette- Tapping into my imagination and seeing what emerges.

Michael – When it is going well, it is the best job in the world.  For those few hours, you are god, in control of everything.  However, for me, the great joy of writing is that it has allowed me to travel the world in search of stories. 

-Are you reading or writing something else at the moment?
Colette- I’m always reading. I have four books on my nightstand right now. The same is true with writing, I tend to work on several varying projects at once.

Michael – I’m always reading.  Here’s where an ebook reader really comes into its own.  When I travel, it allows me to carry a huge chunk of my library with me.  Usually, when I am writing one project, I am researching the next or beginning to pull together the material for the book after that. 

-Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?

Colette- I’ve been writing plays since the third grade. The biggest difference now is that professionals act in them rather than eight year olds…and the language is a bit more “colorful”.

Michael – I wanted to be a librarian from a very young age.  Some of my earliest memories are being taken to the local library.  I ended up working as a bookseller.  Becoming a writer was the logical offshoot of being a reader.

-How important you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?  

Ultimately, every writer writes for the readers.  A book is simply dead words on a page, until the reader brings it alive. 

Individually and collectively, we try and respond to every mail and tweet. (Tweets are easier!), but the sheer volume nowadays makes that impossible.  There can be thousands of emails every week.  And every few months the publishers will send on a box filled with envelopes of letters.  We can guarantee that every letter, email and tweet is read, but not all will get an individual answer.  Sometimes however, a reader will say something which catches our attention, or brings up a really interesting point.  Those we will reply to.

Often, a lot of the questions are very similar and we’ve already started to get a lot of questions about The Thirteen Hallows.  We’re putting together a list of the top ten questions, which we’ll post on our respective websites.

Reviews are different: It is important while writing to focus and concentrate on the writing and not allow any distractions to interfere, so reading the reviews usually comes at the very end. 

-Are you working on any other projects except writing, right now?
Colette- I’m training for a triathalon and taking a cooking class.

Michael – I’m about to begin a round the world trip, which will take me to practically every continent in search of the world’s oldest folklore.  No doubt some of it will seep into the later books.

*for Michael Scott* - How different was to write The Thirteen Hallows instead of The Immortal Nicolas Flamel? Was is easier? 

Oh, infinitely easier for lots of reasons, but then, writing for adults is always easier than writing for younger readers.

I had written about the Hallows before, so I knew the legend intimately.  The Thirteen Hallows is a straightforward story told in one 100,000 word book.  The Flamel series is an incredibly complex story (which has to be told simply), spread across six 100,000 novels, in which all the action takes place in less than a week! 

 -Your favorite books and author?
Colette- chick lit, social commentary, fantasy and YA. I’m obsessed with Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.

Michael – There are too many books to list, but I read a lot of fantasy (I’ve just finished Patrick Rothfuss The Wise Man’s Fear, the sequel to the stunning The Name of the Wind.)  I read horror and science fiction of course.  But I would say that the YA genre is extraordinary at the moment.  Do read Joe Lansdale’s All the Earth Thrown to the Sky – it is quite remarkable.

-Your favorite band/singer?
Colette- Billy Joel
Michael – Peter Gabriel (and Genesis of course!)

-Twitter or Facebook?
Colette – Twitter for business, Facebook for personal
Michael – Twitter without a doubt.

-Favorite place in the world?
Colette- Santorini
Michael – The Grand Canyon.

-Last movie you watched at the cinemas?
Colette- Alexander Payne’s The Descendants 

Michael – The Immortals.  Gorgeous, stunning and incomprehensible. But see it for the visuals.  Looking forward to Hugo and the new Sherlock Holmes.

-The last book you’ve read?
Colette- Stephen Fry’s The Fry Chronicles, he is truly one of the brightest people on this planet. I envy and admire his genius. 

Michael – Professor Moriarty – The Hound of the D’Urbervilles by Kim Newman, a wonderful Holmesian pastiche.

-Have you ever googled yourself?
Colette – occasionally. 

Michael – Not any more.  It’s a bit like eavesdropping: you never read good things about yourself.  I stopped when I discovered that I was a) dead and b) had written my first book … in 1834!

-Writing, reading or hanging out with friends?
Colette- a combination of all three.   

Michael – Writing and reading do not leave a lot of time for hanging out with friends.

-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?
Colette- a photographer or a chef.
Michael – I was a bookseller for a long time; I’d like to go back to that.

-And last one....printed or ebooks?
Colette – printed
Michael – each have their place (and ebooks are great for travelling), but I’ll opt for printed too.

Thanks for the great interview! Hope we see you again :D


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There is lot of spam lately at the posts, so for a while i will put up the comment moderation. Sorry for that, i really don't like it but i thought it might stop the spamming. It will be down soon enough! Thanks a lot :)

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