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Transcript of wavnuts chat (2004)

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago


Creatrix :Welcome, Steven! We're chatting with author

Steven Erikson about his book GARDENS OF THE MOON.


steven_erikson :I get the feeling you all know each other.


Creatrix :Smile We do, Steven Smile


OceanSwimmer :Smile


Creatrix :Virtually, anyway...


skats :LOL! we chat with each other all the time.


Creatrix :And talk on the phone, Steven, you're in Winnipeg?


steven_erikson :Yeah, we normally have hot summers here, but not this time, probably never again. Sigh.


Creatrix :I'm in the Okanagan - it was 40s this summer *) WAY too hot.


steven_erikson :Used to live on Saltspring. Starving in paradise.


Creatrix ohmy.gifh what a beautiful island.


Bek :Here in Texas we had a very cool summer, very unusual.


steven_erikson :Okay, we've got B.C. and Texas.


OceanSwimmer :In NJ it was muggy and rainy most of the time.


Creatrix :and New York (Skats).


skats :Yep, Brooklyn.


steven_erikson :So, we here to talk writing, fantasy, or anything else that's caught your interest? Fire away.


Creatrix :I'll jump in. How do you define the difference between SF and fantasy?


steven_erikson :Well, Atwood says SF is monsters in space and fantasy is animals that talk. Naturally, I think that's a little simplistic. Generally, fantasy dispenses with

uberscience to explain its world (although some underpinnings have to exist), as with the notion of. . . whoops, all right, I need shorter answers


Creatrix :LOL!. You can do multiple answers.


steven _erikson :The notion of magic, I was saying. SF extrapolates from known science/theory/technology.


Bek ohmy.gifk, I'm sorry but I always ask this question, what advice would you give to a young want to be writer? (age 17).


steven_erikson :Bek, two basic rules -- finish what you start and write all the time, preferably daily.


skats :Can you tell us a little about Gardens Of The Moon?


steven_erikson :Sort of Clancy meets Glen Cook -- lots of intrigue and subplots, and no good buys or bad guys.


Paula Very Happyo you use an outline or do you just allow your characters to flow?


Creatrix :Can one pick up one of your books, like Midnight Tides, without having to read the preceding books?


steven_erikson :You can, but it'll be a challenge. Of the five books out, Midnight Tides might be the easiest one in which to do that.


Paula :How much time do you devote to marketing your books and what kind of marketing do you recommend?


steven_erikson :Yikes! I suppose I devote more time as things go on: conventions and the like, no tours as of yet.


TBRNW :Hi Mr. Erikson. Can you share when Tor plans to release books 2 and 3?


steven_erikson :I think we're looking at eight months between releases, although I'm not definite on that.


TBRNW :Thanks!


skats :Be sure to visit http://www.malazanempire.com/


Paula :How many rewrites do you usually write before you've had enough and submit the book to a publisher?


steven_erikson :Well, I edit as I go -- whatever I wrote the previous day gets reworked before I plunge into fresh stuff. Then I send the whole MS and my editor starts to



Bek ohmy.gifk since I've never done this before, how do I go about getting published? (I know I have to finish a manuscript first......that's gonna be the hard part LOL!)


steven_erikson :Find some outside readers whose opinions you respect and gear for each of them a specific list of questions, then talk them out. more to come...depending on their responses (and remember you can discount whatever you don't agree with), you can try submitting it to agents if it's a book or magazines if it's a story.


skats :I read that there are going to be ten books in this series. Since Gardens Of The Moon is the first, how do you think about what the tenth book will be about?


steven_erikson :I already know. The plotting for the series started with the first novel -- major arcs, that is. I wing the details since that's what keeps me entertained as

a writer.


Paula :Why did you decide to write sci-fi? Are you a Treki or a huge fan of sci-fi? Do you envision your books as a series for TV/movie?


steven_erikson :The only SF thing I've done is a short novel coming out from PS Publishing, called 'The Devil Delivered". The big series right now is pure fantasy.


skats :Can you tell us a little about yourself? How you became interested in fantasy and where you were born?


steven_erikson :Born in Toronto, raised in Winnipeg. Read fantasy from early on (along with other stuff) -- cut my teeth on Burroughs, Howard, etc. Then became an archaeologist. Good work for someone with too much imagination.


Bek :How do you come up with your ideas and plots?


steven_erikson :I watch the news, read the papers, read history books, and generally experience as much living as possible.


Bek :Thank You.


Creatrix :You mentioned in an interview that you've done some archaeology-related traveling. Do you still? (sounds fascinating)


steven_erikson :I worked on a recent project in Wyoming, to keep from getting too rusty, and will be off for three days next week on another survey, in western Manitoba.


Creatrix :Cool!


Paula :Who has the final say on what will be used or edited out of your book, you or the editors?


steven_erikson :depends on the issue at hand, and the author's relationship with the editor -- I'm very lucky and we rarely dispute anything (whew, knock on wood).


skats Very Happyo you think fantasy is a respected genre? Does anyone look down on it as if it isn't "real writing?"


steven_erikson :A leading question, no, it's not much respected and that's too bad.


Bek Very Happyo you plan on writing any more series after this? If so can we please have a peek as to what they will be about....if you have it that planned that far ahead?


skats :Be sure to visit http://www.malazanempire.com/


steven_erikson :Well, I have a few stand-along novels in mind, and maybe an SF series of some kind, would be fun stand-alone.


Nina :If you had to choose between writing books and something else, what would that something else be and why? (I always wonder LOL! )


steven_erikson :I used to do illustration, so maybe a painter. Musician would be best, but I'd need talent for that.


Paula :How did you research your book? Do you relate to any of your characters? Like Paran?


steven_erikson :I try to relate to them all. Even the nasty ones. As for research, see my answer a few back, regards histories, news, etc.


Bek :Earlier you mentioned sending my writings into an agent, do you have any preferences for me to send into, if so how do I contact them?


steven_erikson :Best way to meet agents is in person at conventions (SF and Fantasy or Mystery or any other genre) -- talk to them and see what they're looking for. Saves

agro and postage.


skats :I think it's interesting that fantasy isn't respected as a genre with such great writers like you and Terry Brooks. Who are your favorite fantasy writers?


steven_erikson :Well, I like Paul Kearney, Glen Cook, Robin Hobb, of course Steve Donaldson -- I tend not to read much fantasy these days since it can affect my writing it.

Check out Scott Bakker, though.


Creatrix :What kind of music do you listen to as you write? I read that you listen as

you write. Smile


steven_erikson :Just guessing on ages here, mind you, but old stuff. U2, Bruce Cockburn.. Joshue Tree is great start to finish for tone, pace and atmosphere


Creatrix ohmy.gifh great!


Bek :I like U2...so it's not that old LOL!.


Creatrix :LOL!


Paula :How do you relax?


Nina :The cure!! How old are they??


OceanSwimmer :I was in high school when they were really big, so 15-20 years at least.


Paula :What has been the high point of your careers so far? How do you juggle archeology, writing and (I think I read you're married) a family?


steven_erikson :High Point -- landing a contract so that I could write full time and leave the office life forever. I don't do much archaeology anymore, not professionally, it's

just a hobby now. part two: I write four hours a day, from noonish til four or thereabouts.


skats :Is this the first time you were published in the United States and why did it take so long for the US to discover you?


Paula :Good question, Skats.


steven_erikson :Yes, it's the first time. No idea as to why it took so long. US publishers called my stuff too complicated for their readers -- how do you all feel about that?

Thank God for Tor.


skats :I think that's silly, LOL!


Paula :<--agrees with Skats, it's silly!


Bek :Agreed with Paula and Skats LOL!!. It's been said that everything an author writes is a bio, is that true for you?


steven_erikson :I haven't met many demons or dragons lately ... but in a way that's true. The challenge is to transform one's own life experience into something that applies to

the story and the characters. So while I may not have faced down a demon, I once faced down a black bear! So I extrapolate and use a little imagination.


skats :How do you keep your plot lines straight? Do you use an outline or something like that?


steven_erikson :Yes, outlines, filling notebooks. keeping track of details is much harder than plot-outlines, esp. after five books.


Bek :I file notebooks, but I don't keep an outline, they confuse me, LOL!


skats :How old were you when the writing bug hit? Did you go to school to learn how to write? Special classes, I mean.


steven_erikson :It doesn't have to be linear -- there's a cluster method that takes the pressure off.


OceanSwimmer :Good question.


steven_erikson :Early twenties, a short story contest here in Winnipeg -- before then I'd dabbled at the university newspaper and a faculty rag. as for creative writing

classes, two of my degrees are in that. Great for learning craft.


Paula :What was the most important thing you did early on to help launch your career? What would you do differently now?


steven_erikson :I moved to England to find a publisher (had the chance to get my foot in the door over there). Differently? Not really. It's been good.


skats :How should writers handle rejection letters? Were any of your books ever rejected?


steven_erikson :Gardens of the Moon (first version) spent eighteen months with TOR about eleven years ago, now. Close, but no cigar. Gardens took eight years to get published! One acquires a tough skin.


Paula :Is it easier to find a publisher in England than in the U.S./Canada?


Creatrix :(or easier in the U.S. than Canada?)


steven_erikson :I'm not sure. Maybe, but you have to pretty much live there, I think (unless you've handed an agent a very hot product). One publisher over there, before I moved, liked my book but wouldn't publish it because I wasn't living there.


Bek :About how many times would a person be turned down for a book?


steven_erikson :No real way to answer that, use your instinct -- if you've had six thousand rejections (including one from your mother), set out on writing a new project and shelve the old one for a awhile.


Paula :LOL!! One of the greatest challenges in writing a series is keeping it fresh and alive. -- Are there any tips or tricks you can share about keeping it new?


OceanSwimmer :Very Happy


steven_erikson :I start with each novel needing its own unique theme -- all the stuff underpinning the story. So far, that's kept me from repeating myself. So, Gardens of

the Moon was about good and bad. Deadhouse Gates is about sisters, Memories of Ice is about motherhood -- now you're all wondering -- what's he talking about? Honestly, it's all there. I ain't kidding.


Nina :Since you used to illustrate, would you ever do your own covers?


steven_erikson :One of my contemporary fiction books written as Steve Lundin has one of my paintings on the cover (hey, it's out of print now, sniff) and that was cool. But no, it would take too long and no publisher would let me.


Nina :Way too cool!!


Paula Very Happyo you have any questions for us?


Creatrix :Stevem OK, have to ask... which hockey team do you root for?


OceanSwimmer :LOL!!


Bek :Canada!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!


Paula :Boston Bruins, Creatrix!


Nina :I don't watch hockey.


steven_erikson :Used to be the Jets (if you're not talking Canada Cup or Olympics) and now it's Edmonton (sob). For hockey fans out there -- I have a hockey novel coming out

in October written as Steve Lundin. It might amuse.


OceanSwimmer :Cool!


Creatrix :Cool! thanks. (Canucks fan here)


OceanSwimmer :<-- hapless wife of a football fan (Philly Eagles)


steven_erikson :Five fantasy novels, three fantasy novellas (2 about to come out), one SF short novel, in contemporary fiction, uhm, four books published in Canada .. as a genre writer, yes, it is. For contemporary/literary stuff, much easier.


Paula :Is your new book a Sci Fi../fantasy, is there a difference? Do you have any plans to write a mystery novel?


steven_erikson :By 'new' do you mean the hockey novel? If so, well, it's a rant, actually. No plans for a mystery novel.


skats :Steven, thank you so much for joining us tonight. The hour went by so fast.


Bek :Thank you Mr.Erikson.


OceanSwimmer :Yes, thanks for coming.


skats :Great chat Smile


Creatrix :Smile


Nina :Can I ask a dumb question and not get yelled at?


Creatrix :Yes Nina.


Bek :LOL!


Nina :What's your favorite kind of pie?


Bek :Pie!!!!


Creatrix :Very Happy


skats :Nina and the pie question LOL!.


Creatrix :LOL!


Nina :LOL!, I waited this time.


steven_erikson :Pie? Apple or blueberry or rhubarb but not lemon. I'm sour on lemons.


Paula :Thanks so much for coming tonight. Please come back again. Thanks Creatrix for the great job of keeping order Smile


Bek :Good night and thank you.


steven_erikson :You're quite welcome. Cheers all. Cheers!

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