Monday, February 13, 2017

Author Interview with Brian Francis Slattery, one of the authors of Bookburners

Today, we're in for a treat! Critically acclaimed urban fantasy story, Bookburners, previously released serially online is now available in print in one big volume. Today, one of the four authors of this popular story, Brian Francis Slattery is here to chat. A little about Brian and Bookburners.



BRIAN FRANCIS SLATTERY is the author of Spaceman Blues, Liberation, Lost Everything, and The Family Hightower. Lost Everything won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012. He’s the arts and culture editor for the New Haven Independent, an editor for the New Haven Review, and a freelance editor for a few not-so-secret public policy think tanks. He also plays music constantly with a few different groups in a bunch of different genres. He has settled with his family just outside of New Haven and admits that elevation above sea level was one of the factors he took into account. For one week out of every year, he enjoys living completely without electricity. Bookburners, which he wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Mur Lafferty, is available from Saga Press in January.



Title:  Bookburners
Series: Bookburners
Created by: Max Gladstone
Authors: Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty & Brian Fancis Slattery
Publisher:  Saga Press
Release Date:  January 10, 2017 (Paperback Edition)
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Thriller

The critically acclaimed urban fantasy about a secret team of agents that hunts down dangerous books containing deadly magic—previously released serially online by Serial Box, now available in print for the first time!

Magic is real, and hungry. It’s trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, and only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. She joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad—Team Three of the Societas Librorum Occultorum—and together they stand between humanity and the magical apocalypse. Some call them the Bookburners. They don’t like the label.

Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in a fast-paced, kickass character driven novel chock-full of magic, mystery, and mayhem, written collaboratively by a team of some of the best writers working in fantasy. 



Just Commonly – Q&A with Brian Francis Slattery

1. For my readers that don't know anything about Bookburners, can you give us a brief 20-story elevator speech about it?

Bookburners is about a secret team—part of a secret society inside an organization prone to secrecy—who go around the world trying to stop magic from flooding into the world by collecting magic artifacts and locking them away in an underground bunker. What could possibly go wrong? Everything.

2. How about 5 words that you can think of quickly that represents Bookburners?

Breezy, funny, and scary all at once. That's seven words, but I hope it's close enough.

3. Who is the target audience?

Anyone looking for something that is, overall, lots of fun. There's some weight there, too. Our characters are flawed, bruised people, coming to terms with rough pasts. As they fight magic, they learn to face a lot of stuff that might make some people run and hide. But really, we're trying to be broadly entertaining in the best sense. I hope we've succeeded.

4. What makes the serial format different than traditional novels?

It's a lot more like what I imagine it's like to write for television, in the sense that each episode—or at least almost every episode—has to somehow stand on its own as a complete story with a satisfying beginning, middle, and end, even though (like many great TV shows) there's an overall story afoot from episode to episode, and our characters grow and change, in their relationships with each other and with the world.

5. Do you prefer writing this format versus traditional novels?

I jumped on the possibility of writing for Bookburners. With four previous books under my belt, I was getting a little tired of my own ideas, of just stewing in my own juices, and was eagerly looking around for some way to collaborate with other people on any sort of creative writing project. (I'm a musician and a journalist, so I already had a sense of how much fun it was to work with other people.) Bookburners came along at just the right time, and working with Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, and Margaret Dunlap has been even more fun than I thought it would be.

6. Having compiled with several episodes, and written by 4 different authors, how was the coordination process?

We were lucky in that one of the other writers—Margaret—had experience writing for TV. She showed us how TV writers do it, and we quickly warmed to the process. First we had a weekend-long meeting where we hashed out a lot of basic information about the world we wanted to play in and our main characters. Two days, a couple packs of notecards, and a full billboard later, we had something like episode assignments, though they were quite vague. We then ended up with more meetings over Google chat before and after each round of episodes. We wrote detailed outlines and shared them with the rest of the team before really sitting down to write the episodes themselves to make sure we didn't contradict each other. It was a lot of coordination for sure, but it made the writing that much easier in the end, and it meant that each of us could cut loose in our own way on the page.

7. What would you recommend to new writers that want to focus on this format?

Find a good team—people who you get along with and whose work you enjoy. Once you have that, respect that friction and disagreements can be put to creative ends. What has made our team work, I think, is that we're all in it for similar reasons, and with the same spirit of real collaboration. There's been very little ego involved, and a lot more curiosity about what other people's ideas are. We develop our ideas by riffing off each other. We toss around a concept, trimming off the parts that don't work and elaborating on the ones that do, until we have something that everyone not merely agrees to, but is excited to work on. It's as fun as it sounds, and hopefully that translates to the page, and to the reader.

8. Who is your favorite author?

I think of my favorite authors as the ones who, when I read them, totally blew my mind and changed me as a person. For me, the most recent author to do that was Octavia Butler. I started with Lilith's Brood and was speechless when I finished it. After that, I devoured the rest of her books pretty much as fast as I could. Not one of them disappointed, and they often amazed. That she died so young is a tragedy for all of us.

9. Top 5 books you love to reread?

Crazily enough, I haven't reread novels much at all in the past 20 years. I just keep finding new books to read instead! Though I did reread Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, which I think is about as good as a novel gets, and my favorite book by one of my favorite authors. I also reread Victor LaValle's Big Machine, which is one of my favorite novels of the past several years.

Another great exception to my non-rereading rule is graphic novels. I can't count the number of times I've read Charles Burns's Black Hole. It's so strange and beautiful, and the ending is stunning. Shaun Tan's wordless graphic novel The Arrival gets me every time; there's a particular page in it that makes me cry. And soon enough, I'll work up the courage to reread Junji Ito's Uzumaki, though so far its terrifying, mesmerizing spell still hasn't worn off.


Thank you, Brian! 

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BRIAN FRANCIS SLATTERY is the author of Spaceman Blues, Liberation, Lost Everything, and The Family Hightower. Lost Everything won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012. He’s the arts and culture editor for the New Haven Independent, an editor for the New Haven Review, and a freelance editor for a few not-so-secret public policy think tanks. He also plays music constantly with a few different groups in a bunch of different genres. He has settled with his family just outside of New Haven and admits that elevation above sea level was one of the factors he took into account. For one week out of every year, he enjoys living completely without electricity. Bookburners, which he wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Mur Lafferty, is available from Saga Press in January.

TO CONNECT WITH BRIAN: Website l Goodreads



MAX GLADSTONE has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia, drank almond milk with monks on Wudang Shan, and wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat. Max is also the author of the Craft Sequence of books about undead gods and skeletal law wizards—Full Fathom Five, Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, and Last First Snow. Max fools everyone by actually writing novels in the coffee shops of Davis Square in Somerville, MA. His dreams are much nicer than you’d expect. He tweets as @maxgladstone. Bookburners, which he wrote with Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.
TO CONNECT WITH MAX: Website l Twitter l Goodreads




Before joining the Bookburners, MARGARET DUNLAP wrote for ABC Family’s cult-hit The Middleman in addition to working on SyFy’s Eureka. Most recently, she was a writer and co-executive producer of the Emmy-winning transmedia series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and co-created its sequel Welcome to Sanditon. Her short fiction has previously appeared in Shimmer Magazine. Margaret lives in Los Angeles where she taunts the rest of the team with local weather reports and waits for the earthquake that will finally turn Burbank into oceanfront property. She tweets as @spyscribe. Bookburners, which she wrote with Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.

TO CONNECT WITH MARGARET: Twitter l Goodreads


MUR LAFFERTY is the author of The Shambling Guides series from Orbit, including the Netfix-optioned The Shambling Guide to New York City and Ghost Train to New Orleans. She has been a podcaster for over 10 years, running award-winning shows such as I Should Be Writing and novellas published via podcast. She has written for RPGs, video games, and short animation. She lives in Durham, NC where she attends Durham Bulls baseball games and regularly pets two dogs. Her family regrets her Dragon Age addiction and wishes for her to get help. She tweets as @mightymur. Bookburners, which she wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.
TO CONNECT WITH MUR: Website l Twitter l Goodreads




Full tour from February 6 through February 24, 2017! 





                                                                                                                                                                      



1 comment :

  1. Sounds interesting. Annie, thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete