Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Interview: J. Scott Savage
Wow, J. Scott Savage stopped by for an interview. He's on a whirlwind tour talking about his new book Farworld Water Keep. You can read my review here.
Thank you for joining me here on this snowflake. I hope the shrinking process wasn’t too painful, and I’m glad you brought along your parka, it can sometimes be a bit cold.
You know, I'd never really wanted to ride on a snowflake until you mentioned
it, but I have to admit. It is really quite a kick. I definitely think Disney needs to make a snowflake ride.
In your newest book, Farworld Water Keep, your main characters both suffer from disabilities that set them apart from their worlds. Why did you choose to create characters that seem most unlikely to save anyone, let alone a world, especially when people generally look on disabilities with such disdain?
I like to have characters with real challenges to reaching their goals. I love a lot of fantasy, but I think a story loses something when the character who has to save the day discovers they are really the most powerful hero or magician or sports star or whatever. I believe the most amazing things are not done by the most powerful people, but by ordinary people extending their reach.
Do you really believe there’s magic in everyone?
What kind of magic?
It depends on the person. I think the happiest people are those who have discovered the magic inside them, and the unhappiest people are those who have given up hope or forgotten what their magic is. One of the greatest adventures in life is finding and using your magic. Look at the recent Olympics. Can't you just see a glow around those people who have found something they can really excel at?
Yes, you can.
Some of your character’s names are a mouthful. How did you come up with those names? When you said Thrathkin S’Bae out loud to your wife did she ever comment, “Say it, don’t spray it?”
Only when I was eating graham crackers. I like to play with sounds. Thathkin S'Bae just sounds evil.
You're right, it does.
I regularly jump between snowflakes (they melt, you know), but the idea of jumping between worlds is fascinating, especially when trouble is brewing. Did you ever wish you could jump between worlds?
Hmm I guess I should be jumping too. That explains my sopping wet socks. I would love to jump between worlds. I think everyone who likes to read fantasy is really just jumping from one world to another. Our favorite authors are the ones whose worlds we like to visit the most.
Usually, only one character is the main character, but you have two. Why did you decide to include two, and why a boy and a girl?
One of the standards of writing YA is that boys will only read about boys, but girls will read about boys and girls. I'm not sure I completely buy that. It may be harder to get a boy to try a book with a girl as the hero, but if the story is written well enough, he will stick with it.
That being said, I didn't want my story to be about a girl with a boy sidekick or visa versa. I wanted to unique stand alone heroes who can only succeed by working together. A real case of 1+1=5.
You’ve created some scary creatures, especially the unmakers. How did you come up with the idea for these “bad guys?”
I like to bring out real emotion in a reader, whether it's laughter, fear, tension. And I think one way to make the reader feel real concern for the heroes is to create "bad guys" that are truly scary. So I try to come up with creatures that would scare me.
You certainly accomplished that with the unmakers--they're defintely scary!
Well, this snowflake is about to melt and I’ll need to find another one. Thank you for stopping by, Scott. Farworld Water Keep will be available in bookstores in September, right?
Correct. They should actually start showing up in stores by the end of the first week of September. Thanks so much for having me. I have to remember this whole snowflake gig. It would make a great story angle.
Thank you so much for stopping by Scott. It's been a pleasure. Yes, close your eyes and jump. Time for me to jump off this snowflake, too. Until next time . . .
Learn more about J. Scott Savage and his other books