Daniel Polansky was our guest blogger yesterday but we managed to get our hands on this exclusive quick bite sized Q&A. There will be a fuller interview over in the main website in the next few days.
What is the difference between Low Town and Baltimore?
Pixie’s Breath, Choke or Wyrm: which would you recommend?
Depends on what you're holding.
Why winter? Is it a mood thing ...?
It's meant to evoke a certain atmosphere, sure.
How do you view the marriage of classic crime and high fantasy - and was it easy to pull off?
I felt like a lot of what is great about well done in crime novels, in terms of a fast pacing and realistic motivations, could be effectively introduced into a high fantasy mold. As far as the degree to which I did it successfully, I'll leave that to the reader to decide.
You have traveled a lot - do any of the strange places you have visited find their place in SRC?
In a sort of oblique way, I suppose. I've spent a lot of time in different cities, from Washington D.C. to Belgrade to Delhi, so that gets you thinking about the way these places are set up, and how an imaginary metropolis might behave. And sometimes you meet somebody or see some particular sight that you can wholesale thieve from reality and write up in your book. That's a lot of fun.
Do the names of places and things in the book come to you as you write about them, or do they come in the middle of the night, or whenever it is that you dream?
Getting a decent naming convention down is one of the more difficult parts of writing speculative fiction, and one I've struggled with. Sometimes things just come naturally, but usually it requires research and contemplation.
Your literary heroes, please, authors and characters
Heroes is kind of a loaded word. Obviously the archetypal noir hero as exemplified by Dashiel Hammet's continental op and Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe were a big influence on the Warden. In terms of authors that I've strongly connected with, really the list could run on -- everyone from Rudyard Kipling to Hannah Arendt to John Keegan to V.S. Naipaul.
Should the book be made into a film - who would you have direct it?
What is John Ford doing these days?
What would be on the accompanying soundtrack to Straight Razor Cure?
Ghostface Killah, Johnny Cash, and of course, J Dilla.
Who are your sci/fi and fantasy influences?
I'm sort of bearish about a lot of high fantasy. Like the rest of the planet, I love George R.R. Martin. I think Gene Wolfe has written some real classics. Jorge Louis Borges is a true genius, and someone I've probably cribbed from in a lot of ways.
Can you tell us anything about what’s coming next for The Warden?
Without going into to much detail about a sequel still in development, I would say very bad things are coming for the Warden. We'll see if he survives them.