Jeremy Bulloch Interview – Boba Fett Speaks

boba-fett-banner

As part of Scifi Fantasy Network’s Star Wars Month, I got to interview Jeremy Bulloch, who played Boba Fett! He has also been in Doctor Who, James Bond, and has been acting since the age of 12! So, naturally, I had to ask him about that, and get his perspective on the ever changing world of media and film.

He appeared in two Doctor Who stories, The Space Museum (1965) where he played Tor alongside William Hartnell (the First Doctor) and then he was Hal the archer in The Time Warrior (1973) with Jon Pertwee (the Third Doctor). From 1979-81, he was a regular in ITV’s sitcom Agony, where he played Rob Illingworth, one half of a gay couple. He also has roles in three Bond films, twice playing Q’s assistant Smithers.

[Watch here]

Juliet E McKenna Interview – Writers of Fantasy

juliet-mckenna-banner-1068x296

This week’s interview on Writers of Fantasy is with Juliet E McKenna, author of The Tales of Einarinn, The Aldabreshin Compass, The Hadrumal Crisis and the upcoming Shadow Histories of the River Kingdom, which launched at BristolCon this October!

Juliet is an incredibly thoughtful and talented writer with countless books under her belt. We talked about the changing landscape of fantasy fiction, the rise of eBooks, politics, feminism, Doctor Who, and of course some good old fashioned writers’ advice. Take a listen below! You’ll also find some key quotes under the player for those who can’t listen right away.

[Listen Here]

southern-fire-small-200x300On the new editions of The Alderbreshin Compass and working with Wizards Tower Press.

“Ah, the cover art by Ben Baldwin [on The Aldabreshin Compass] is absolutely fantastic! Those are the covers I’ve wanted for those books since I first wrote them!”

“This is one of the things that happens when you’re a writer who’s been around for quite a long time. When The Tales of Einarinn and The Aldabreshin Compass were written there was no mention of eBooks in my contracts. eBooks weren’t a thing. … So, basically, I retained all those rights. And, unsurprisingly, publishers have come along in recent years and said ‘Do let us do eBooks for you and we’ll give you a whole, oh, 15%!’ to which my response was ‘Thank you, but no!’ Because the returns on something like an eBook edition if you do it independently, obviously if you’re a writer, are very much higher. The trick is, of course, that you need somebody to do all the tech stuff!”

On working with Independent publishers vs bigger publishers.

“When it is one person working with one person on one specific project, we can have an exchange of emails in a morning and get umpteen things sorted out. An editor in a big publishing house is dealing with who knows how many writers, who knows how many books at different stages of publication … Again, a lot of people have to be involved in discussions and decisions and that inevitably builds a time lag into the process.”

[Continue reading…]

The GrimCast Episode 002

There’s a podcast I co-present with Zoe Harris all about the publishing world. The second episode is up now and you can take a listen at the link below;

grim-bold-podcast-001

LISTEN HERE

This month, we’re talking to Joanne Hall – author of The Art of Forgetting, Spark and Carousel and The Summer Goddess – and Adele Wearing from Fox Spirit Books.

We compare the differences between self publishing, going with a small indie press and going the traditional route. Jo, who is a Grimbold author as well as an editor for us, offers her unique perspective on both sides of the publishing fence, and Adele talks about everything that goes into running a small press from acquisitions to cover art to editing and production.

Follow Fox Spirit Books on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow Joanne Hall on Facebook and Twitter.

The first episode can be found here.

How Blake’s 7 Inspired a Fantasy Epic

There’s a nice write up about my new book, The Sky Slayer, on Sci-Fi Fantasy Network. Check it out!

How Blake’s 7 Inspired a Fantasy Epic

blakes-7-sky-slayer

At first glance, Joel Cornah’s fantasy novel The Sky Slayer may not put you in mind of Terry Nation’s sci-fi classic Blake’s 7. But the author has revealed that the inspiration for the story came right out of the 70s bleak space opera and the high seas piratical adventure would never have been the same without it.

I first watched Blake’s 7 when I was quite young,” Cornah says. “And I remember loving the crew dynamics especially with the two leads. Blake, the heroic leader who desperately needs someone to hold his feet to the fire and hold him to account and Avon, the sarcastic cynic who does just that. A joke developed between myself and some friends that Blake and crew were basically space pirates and this inevitably led to me imagining them as regular pirates in the golden age of piracy.”

[Read More]

Come to BristolCon!

21859879426_c21ee9edfd

I’m going to this year’s BristolCon on October 29th 2016. I will be doing a reading and a panel as well as some interviews with authors of all stripes! BristolCon is a one-day convention open both to the public and the industry, making it a nice balanced event perfect for the sci-fi and fantasy fan.

Every year we feature panel discussions and lectures, an art show and small group sessions including kaffeklatsches and workshops. Books, comics and merchandise are available in the dealers’ room and authors will be available for book signings. There’s also a games room and a ‘brick-out’ space (a cafe-style area with lego to play with). A variety of entertainment is offered in the evening.

I’ll be on the ‘After the Heroes have gone‘ panel at 18:00 alongside Danie Ware (Moderator), Juliet E McKenna, Chris Baker and R.B. Watkinson. We will be discussing the aftermath of the heroes’ journey, what happens to the people affected by devastating battles and fate-of-the-world encounters.

We all enjoy a big battle, especially on the big screen, but what happens afterwards? Who’s picking up the pieces of New York after the Avengers have smashed it up, who’s living in the wreckage of a Godzilla-stomped Tokyo and what are the Alderaanians who were off planet at the time supposed to do next? Wars have knock-on effects that aren’t always explored – we ask our panel to think about the fate of the ordinary folk, after the heroes have gone.

Sky Slayer thumb

I’ll also be doing a reading from The Sky Slayer at 15:50. Come hear me do silly voices and explore some characters. There will also be a Grimbold Books table where you can buy not only my books but others from our vast array of talent.

This will be my first BristolCon, but I’m reliably informed it’s a brilliant convention, packed with amazing events and people. Juliet E McKenna (who I interviewed the other day) will be launching her new book and I encourage everyone who can to come along and support her and other brilliant writers in the biz!

http://www.bristolcon.org/

Location: Doubletree Hotel, Bristol
Tickets (Membership): £25 adv. /£30 door
Guests of Honour: Artist Fangorn, and authors Ken MacLeod and Sarah Pinborough

Kameron Hurley Interview

The latest interview in our Writers of Fantasy series is with Kameron Hurley, author of the Gods War series, The Mirror Empire, and her new book of essays, The Geek Feminist Revolution (which is pretty amazing).

We talked about how she develops her cultures in writing, explores gender and sexuality, as well as building characters around stories. She has a lot of experience and is well worth listening to!

gods-warYour books expand and explore numerous cultures in depth; what has been the most interesting aspect of developing them?

I wanted to come up with cultures that I really hadn’t seen explored in other fantasy and science fiction novels. I see so many novels that will take exactly one “big idea” and have that be the only thing that changes in the entire world of the novels, and it feels astonishingly lazy to me. So they’ll throw in faster than light travel, but military and social hierarchies remain the same, people talk the same, live the same, the social mores are the same. And that’s just boring to me.

I read science fiction and fantasy because I want to go places that are really different. If all you’re doing is picking up a piece of tech and throwing it into a status quo version of the world we see on TV every day, I’m just not interested.

What I love most about creating cultures is seeing how each aspect affects every other aspect. So if you have a polyamorous matriarchy, say, there are very different conversations that go on about property inheritance/distribution, and while there’s still plenty of social drama, it’s very different drama, as it’s no longer “I can only choose one man!” it’s “We can all choose each other but now we need to figure out how to get along.”

[Read More]

Becky Chambers Interview

becky-chambers-banner

Our Writers of Sci-Fi Interview series continues with the incredible Becky Chambers. Best known for her phenomenal ‘A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet’, Becky talks about her writing process, her history, and how she developed her characters. Moreover, she gives an insight into how and why she tackled social issues such as gender, sexuality, and humanity’s place in the universe.

“I REJECT THE IDEA THAT THE FUTURE IS FOR ONLY ONE GROUP OF PEOPLE.”

LISTEN HERE

Key quotes:

“Once I put my butt in a chair and started writing it, it took me about a year and a half, but I’d been working on it for a good seven years before that. Just writing little scraps of stuff; characters, cultures and what not. So, it really was just this sort of melange of things that interested me, documentaries I’d seen about a particular culture or whatnot… I compare it to making leftovers from whatever’s in the fridge!”

“A lot of my alien cultures do come from my general interest in biology and the animal world. So, a lot of the time I’m starting out with physicality – how are these people different from us physically? And then, how does that affect their culture. That, for me, is a really fun way to build a new culture.”

“I didn’t want to write a story in which humans are either the leading power in the galaxy, or are they’re the underdog that we see come up.  I really wanted them to be in a sort of lowest rung on the ladder position.”

“We have this image of ourselves as the end-all be-all of evolution here on earth… But I like the idea that we’re not special, and that that makes us special. That sort of Carl Sagan idea of we’re very small and finite; we are not the best, but we are unique.”

“The thing about science fiction in particular, is you’re always talking about the world you want to see. So, whether that be a hopeful future – here’s what we could aim for – or something fearful – here’s what we should avoid. So, I think in terms of representation, in terms of creating futures that include lots of different people – I’m not interested in working with anything else.”

“I don’t like the idea of surviving just for the sake of surviving. We have to have a reason why this struggle is worth it.”

READ MORE

Sylvester McCoy at LFCC – Doctor Who Interview

Sylvester banner

At London Film and Comic Con this past month I got to interview Sylvester McCoy, Doctor Who star, who now sports a beard. But why the new beard, you may wonder. Well, I asked him this and other hard hitting questions.

The beard is for a part that Sylvester is, as yet, not allowed to talk about beyond ‘it’s for Netflix’. But what clues can we glean from this? Well, not much, admittedly. We also talked a bit about how he got his start in showbiz and Sylvester told us how he was picked out for the Ken Campbell roadshow while in his late 20s and never looked back.

Also, it is now 20 years since he and Paul McGann starred in the Doctor Who TV movie, so we talked a bit about that, too. There are some audio issues on the video, so you’ll find a handy transcript here.

Transcript:

Sylvester McCoy at LFCC – Doctor Who Interview