Interview with author, J. Scott Savage for the Farworld Blog Tour
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Interview with author, J. Scott Savage for the Farworld Blog Tour
Interview with author, J. Scott Savage for the Farworld Blog Tour
I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, author, J. Scott Savage on his new fantasy book, Farworld: Waterkeep. Come read all of the great things I discovered about the new book, his writing and if he were magical, what chore would he do using his powers. Read more.....
Farworld: Waterkeep is a book that has two, unlikely heroes, that come together to save Farworld. Master Therapass, a master wizard, clues our two teens in on, The Dark Circle, who want to take over Farworld and beyond. It is up to Marcus and Kyja to face the evil Summoners, who can command the living and the dead, the Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul and the Thrathkin S'Bae, who are just downright creepy. You travel along with Marcus and Kyja as they search for the mythical elementals-water, land, air and fire- to convince them to help them open a drift between both of their worlds, Earth and Farworld. To quote the back of the book, "Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, the strength of their friendship, and the depths of their unique powers."
This is the first, out of a 5-book series, where Marcus and Kyja will journey across Farworld and Earth having many adventures along the way.I loved this book, not only for the great story written, but the wonderful messages one can gain from the lessons Marcus and Kyja learn along the way. This is the kind of book that you can read as an adult and really like, or read it along with your kids and discuss. I know that your kids between the ages of 8-15 will really like this a lot, but I also feel that anyone that loves fantasy, of any age, will also love this book.J. Scott has used all of the elements that make a fantasy book readable, enjoyable and last through the years. You have your good guys, your bad guys, ugly and scary creatures and an older Master/Wizard that guides his young tutors along the way. There is a new world filled with creatures, plant life and magical qualities you haven't read about before in other books. This is a book that I will read over and over again; especially before each new book comes out in the series.
**Here is the official interview that took place, for the Farworld Blog Tour.
Many bloggers took J. Scott Savage to virtual exotic locations for the interview, not me; I invited him to the virtual location of my kitchen and family room
S: Sorry that we are not going anywhere exotic, we are just meeting here at my house. Things have been busy here.
JS: That works.S: Excellent! Would you like a cheese sandwich like I fixed for my kids?
JS: With mustard please
S: I have loads of that...it's your lucky day!
S: I have to say, I have a younger brother that has been in a wheelchair all of his life. It is good to see a character with an outward, "disability" shown as someone so "able"
JS: I wanted to have real characters with real problems. Lots of people see Marcus's disability. But Kyja's is just as real in her world. The thing I want people to understand is that it's not a gimmick. It's a vital part of the story and will have a bigger role as we go on.
S: I know my brother will appreciate seeing a character like this in a novel. Good job!
JS: Thanks! It was funny, because I was told it would be harder to make this book into a movie. But I don't write movies, I write books. And I think Marcus is such a stud that you aren't constantly thinking, oh he is "disabled". No, he is a tough, gutsy kid, who has real issues like all of us. I hope kids get that.
S: You have a lot of "WOW" quotes in your book. Did you set out to write so many meaningful, teachable lessons when you wrote Waterkeep? I have a whole, letter size page of quotes I wrote down as I was reading the book.
JS: No. I didn't even think about that until the published asked me to do a discussion questions section. If you try to write messages into your story it turns preachy. But, if you just write a good story, the messages bubble up to the top.
S: One that I like says, "Sometimes the things we view as our biggest weaknesses turn out to be our biggest strengths." How is this true in your life?
JS: In my experience the things that have come easily I tend to take for granted. The things that come the hardest, end up being the most valuable and lasting the longest. I ran cross country after my mission. When I started out I came in last place every race and practice. But I never advanced so quickly as when everyone else was stronger and faster. I don't know that Marcus and Kyja believe that yet.
S: Hopefully they will learn this as they go along trying to save Farworld.
JS: If they don't, they will be in for a long slow journey. You can learn it the easy way or the hard way.
S: Oh, look what we are watching on TV? The Jetsons on Cartoon Network. My kids like the Jetsons.
JS: I love the Jetsons. What's the name of George's boss? Mr. Quiggly or something like that?
S: The bosses’ name is Mr.Spacely...my 6 year old just told me.
JS: Ahh.. Right, Spacely, I should have remembered that! Tell your 6 year old thanks!
S: I was intrigued with the "Aptura discerna"...the all Seeing Eye, how did you come up with that?
JS: It's funny that you ask about the Aptura discerna. When I first started writing that chapter, I wrote that the only light came from a stained glass window at the top of the room. When I got to the part where Kyja would see Marcus, I closed my eyes and just saw the window climb down off the wall. A lot of my stories come together like that. You start to think, am I writing this or just watching it?
S: That is a great visualization...am I writing this or just watching it? Wow! You have such an interesting mind!
JS: Strange is more like it.
S: My 6 year old wants to know if you want to play Monster trucks with him?
JS: Oh yeah, I am into trucks. Are these the indestructible Tonka's that are plastic?
S: Nope, they are Hot Wheels. Still pretty cool!Do you realize how hard it has been for me to come up with some new questions that haven't already been asked on the tour?
JS: Ha ha! Yeah. Imagine trying to find different ways of answering how I come up with ideas or character names.
S: Will we see Master Therapass again? Please say yes?
JS: Well, if he is dead it would be nice to have a proper funeral, right?
S: Please yes, a nice funeral..But I don't want him to be dead...I can't take anymore more of that, after Dumbledore died in HP 6 and the slaughter in HP 7. This is the reason I really want Master Therapass to be alive.
JS: Okay, this will probably get me in trouble, but I HATED how JK Rowling did deaths. The only one that I thought was done well was Dobby. She either skimmed over them or made them totally inconsequential. If you are going to kill one of my favorite characters, I want them to go out in a blaze of glory with guns blazing. I guess that gives you a small hint that Master Therapass might not be dead, huh? No going out with a whimper.
S: Yes! I like this! There is still hope. I totally agree with you about how JKR handled the deaths....I asked my 6 year old who was on the front cover of your book (which I think is beautiful!! High five to Brandon Dorman) and he said, "Blue people, like the smurfs"
JS: Little known fact, the artist actually based Cascade's picture on me without a shirt...and if you believe that...
S: Trying to type here … LOL!! Sorry... while wiping the tears off of my face!!!
JS: Okay, it wasn't THAT funny!
S: Going on....Will we ever find out about Marcus and Kyja's parents/families?
JS: We will learn more.
S: That was a short answer.
JS: Good cop out?
S: Yes, that was an excellent cop out.Will our two heroes be "jumping" (is that the word?) anywhere fun in the next book? Maybe you could have them show up somewhere exciting like Disneyland or Lagoon?
JS: Hmm... I hadn’t thought of that. More of book two will take place in Farworld, but earth will play a much bigger role in future books.
S: Think how exciting it would be for the bad guys to be chasing our two young friends all over an amusement park, follow them on the rides etc.?
JS: Not to mention the fact that I could write off my tickets. Good deal.
S: Speaking of bad guys/monsters, have you come up with some more strange and yucky creatures?
JS: Oh yeah! I am so pumped about book two. It reminds me a lot of HP, book 4, which was one of my favorites of the series. Lots of new creatures, cool twists and characters you don’t expect to return.
S: I also loved book 4…You did such an excellent job creating the creatures of Farworld, very impressive!
JS: Thanks. I wanted to combine basic earth creatures, farm animals, etc. with creatures that you’ve never seen or heard of before. I like the classical fantasy elements, but by creating brand new creatures (not unicorns, Cyclopes’, etc.) it puts you in a position where you feel like you are exploring a new world; not just visiting one you already know about. With Waterkeep, I hoped to have the reader feel a little disoriented. The elementals should always come as somewhat of a surprise.
S: I think that you accomplished just that, many surprises that made me want to keep reading and want to read more in the next book.
JS: In the first book I wanted to have engaging characters that you cared about. Enough action to pull even slow readers all the way through; and a sense that there is much more to learn and explore. Everything isn’t explained or wrapped up, but you have enough closure that you don’t feel left totally hanging. Just like the Harry Potter, the world get’s deeper and more interesting as you continue through the series.
S: When people mention your book, what do you hope they say about it? Can you think of some key words?
JS: I’d go for: exciting, scary, surprising and fun, with at least a little intrigue. What are we watching now?
S: I liked the words you chose. We are now watching the Flintstones.
JS: Yabba dabba doo!
S: We are reliving our childhood Jeff.
JS: Too true. Is underdog far behind?
S: I don’t think so! JS: Trivia...What was the name of the bad guy on Underdog? (JS gave me the answer, but if you leave your guess here on the site that will count as one entry into the contest to try and win your own copy of Farworld: Waterkeep)
S: If you could use magic to do any job/chore what would it be? Mine would be cleaning the bathrooms.
S: Who is the character Olden based on?
JS: Another thing I like to do in my stories is play with role expectations. You have here the wisest, oldest tree; Olden. You expect a big, majestic, male tree. Instead, you get this cranky old woman. I think Olden is the woman who always chased the kids out of her yard with a broom. But, if you were really nice, you could sweet talk her into giving you your ball back.
S: Very good, I imagined the same. So is that Dashner Dude going to be showing up in your next book? I think I remember seeing your name in his latest book?
JS: It’s possible. He is definitely a character in my next Shandra Covington book, along with another author, Rob Wells. Funny cops who get into trouble.
S: I love that! It should be hilarious! Are you and Dashner going to behave when you come to podcast with us in a few weeks? Or are we going to have to separate the two of you?
JS: Very unlikely!!! You haven’t seen us together before.
S: I have too…at the Whitney Awards.
JS: Ahh…good point. Then you have a clue.
S: That’s why I asked the question. J JS: J S: Best part of being a writer is….
JS: The tons of money that just comes down on you like rain.
S: Yes that is in your future
JS: But since that never happens…the best part is when someone comes up to you and says “I love the part in your book when…” and you can totally see in their eyes that you made a connection.
S: Worst part of being a writer…
JS: When you have a great idea in your head, but you just can’t seem to get it onto paper with the same power that you saw it in your mind.
S: I can see how frustrating that would be. Man, I should have had you helping me fold laundry as we sat here. You could still make the jello for dinner tonight before you leave? Or would you like some berry cobbler?
JS: I am a terrible laundry folder, but an excellent dessert chef. I actually was a cook in a French restaurant when I was 16.
S: That is a J. Scott Savage/Jeff Savage/ Mr. Savage fact I have never heard before. What am I supposed to call you these days anyhow?
JS: Hey, I am a font of mystery. You can call me anything, but late for dinner.
S: Thanks for coming and it was great to have you here in my home. I know that you new book will do very well. I stick by the five stars I gave it at Goodreads.com.
JS: Thank you!!! I’ll take the five stars. Tell your 6 year old that we need to play trucks again real soon.
S: I will do that! The drawing for the book give away will take place on the night of the podcast, August 15th. You will get to draw the winning name.
S: Live drawing, while we are recording!
JS: Pressure is on now.
S: Thanks so much! We will see you again on August 15th.
JS: You’re welcome. Thanks for having me and I look forward to seeing you at the podcast.
Contest details: Remember, if you would like to win your own, advanced copy of Farworld: Waterkeep,You need to do either or both of the following things#1 Comment on something discussed during the interview; say the answer to the Underdog trivia question. This will give you one entry in the contest. Another way to enter the contest is to........
#2 Leave some questions for J. Scott Savage or James Dashner (who is coming with Jeff for the August podcast). Jeff has written many LDS fiction books http://www.jeffreysavage.com/ and James has written many YA fiction books http://jamesdashner.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2008-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-07%3A00&updated-max=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=50
Go check out both of their websites, they are both wonderful authors. Back to #2...we will read your questions, for Jeff and James, during the podcast and each question asked will be another entry in the contest. I will have Jeff pick the winning name during the August podcast.So get busy and enter the contest! You only have until 5:00 p.m MST on August 15th, 2008.PS- If you don't see your Underdog answer in the comments below, it's because we want to see how many of you guess it correctly. Your entry still counts so keep submitting your questions and comments!