Posts Tagged ‘author interviews’

ABC talks to: Patrick Rothfuss

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

We are HUGE fans of Patrick Rothfuss here at ABC. We still talk about the day he came for a visit, a couple of years ago, and we recommend his first book Name of The Wind to everyone who asks us for a good fantasy novel.

His next book The Wise Man’s Fear is in stores now, and we’re so excited! It contintues the story of Kvothe, the hero of Name of The Wind, a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen.

ABC Amsterdam’s Tiemen wrote to Mr. Rothfuss and asked if he could interview him for Do You Read Me? He very kindly obliged and Tiemen was thrilled. :-)

Part two of the Kingkiller Chronicle, The Wise Man’s Fear is finally finished. How does that feel? Does it feel very different from when you finished the first part The Name of the Wind?

It feels good. But it does feel different than when I finished The Name of the Wind. The first book I worked on for years as my hobby. It was fun, and getting it published was, in some ways, the fulfilment of a dream.

But writing The Wise Man’s Fear was work. I needed to write this book to prove that I could be a professional writer, not just a hobbyist. Now that it’s finished, I feel a greater sense of pride. I’ve proven that I can do it twice.

You have been busy working on The Wise Man’s Fear longer than expected. You wrote on your blog that the main reason for the delay was that you wanted to turn the book from good into awesome. How do you make something that is good into something that is awesome?

Revision. Lots and lots of revision. Then more revision. They you get feedback from people on the book, and use it to do more revision.

Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what music do you listen to?

Nope. It takes up too much headspace. I need all of my brain to write.

A lot of people are very happy that book two is coming out, how long do you think it will take before people start sending you e-mails asking when book three will be finished?

People have already started asking. Everyone thinks it’s a clever joke, “When’s book three going to be done?” I suppose it is clever for them, they just thought of it. But I’ve already heard it 30 times….

You recently became a father. The pictures of your son on your blog are ridiculously cute. Has being a father influenced your writing?


ABC Talks To: Ken Follett

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

When a customer comes to ABC asking for an intelligent thriller that’s ‘not like Dan Brown’ then we’re very likely to hand them a copy of Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth; a historical novel, that was a 2007 Oprah pick, and is still an ABC Evergreen,  about the building of a cathedral in 12th century England. It’s a massive, immersive and utterly enthralling book that grabs the reader from the first page, widely acknowledged as Follett’s  masterpiece.  It was recently turned into a miniseries for television, helmed by none of other than Ridley Scott. Pillars of the Earth was published in 1989 – readers had to wait almost twenty years for the sequel, World Without End, which shot straight to number one in the bestseller charts across the globe, even outselling Harry Potter in some countries.

At last, Follett has another new book, Fall of Giants, the first in a brilliantly researched trilogy, spanning Europe and the 20th century. Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St. Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty. It’s another massive book, but as always with Follett, the pages turn fast and the characters draw you into their world.

Mr Follett graciously took the time to answer a few questions from Do You Read Me? reader GJ.

Where do you write and do you have a limit on how many hours you write per day?

I have three houses, and there is a library in each. I like to work surrounded by books. At present I write from 7am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

How do you keep a book with 700 pages exciting on every page?

The story must turn every four to six pages. A story turn is anything that changes the situation for the characters.

What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabelle Allende. It’s about slaves in Haiti, and the Caribbean really suits her sensual writing style.

Fall of Giants is the first part of a trilogy, have you mapped out where book 2 and 3 will go?

I’m writing the second book, and I have a rough idea of the plan for the third.

You deal with real historic characters in Fall of Giants, do you research them first to fit your fictional characters into their documented lives?

Absolutely. Everything I say about people such as Woodrow Wilson or Lenin is true. If they have a fictional conversation, I used words they really did use in other circumstances.

There are a lot of nationalities and countries in Fall of Giants. How do you come up with names for every character?

There are now Internet web sites with names in every country.

Your first novel was published in 1974, how has your writing style evolved since then?

My style was too brisk in the early days, because I was used to writing for newspapers. My early unsuccessful books were all too short. Clearly I have now solved that problem!

Have you been stuck writing at a certain point in Fall of Giants and how did you find a way to continue?

No, I don’t often get stuck. Sometimes I pace around for a while, thinking.

What is it like to have Pillars of the Earth turned into a mini-series? Have you turned down many requests to adapt it and why?

I’m very pleased with the miniseries. The script is good, the actors are wonderful, and the whole thing is very exciting. Two sets of negotiations for the rights foundered on the question of length: I insisted on at least six hours. Ridley Scott was prepared to guarantee that, and we made a deal.

When can we expect the second book in the Century Trilogy and what have you done to relax between book 1 and 2?

I hope to finish the second book in time for it to be published in autumn 2012. I haven’t done much relaxing.

Bookbits for September 17th, 2010

Friday, September 17th, 2010
  • Awards! The inaugural Penguin Prizes for African Writing were handed out to You’re Not a Country, Africa! by Pius Adesanmi (nonfiction) and Patchwork by Ellen Banda-Aaku (fiction).  Neither are available yet through our Penguin contacts, but we’re hopeful!
  •  Barack Obama’s third book will be out in November.  This time it’s a letter to his daughters called Of Thee I Sing, a 40-page children’s book; proceeds will go to a scholarship fund for children of soldiers who are killed or injured.  Thanks Rick for the tip!
  • And, really, this picture belongs in a Lit Links post, but I can’t resist! The TU Delft’s Library Information Desk, made entirely out of books (thank you!):

Ask fantasy author Steven Erikson a question!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

ABC is (hopefully, fingers crossed, knock on wood) soon going to have the chance to interview the amazing Steven Erikson, author of the Malazan Book Of The Fallen series,  via e-mail for this very blog.

We know there are a lot of Erikson fans among our customers and we’d like to put your questions to him. If there’s something you’d love him to tell us about, leave your questions in the comments, or send them to,  and we’ll do our best to have them answered!