Posted on May 26, 2011 in Fantasy
, Young Adult
with 7 Comments
Welcome to Day 4 of My Favorite Things: Steampunk Week!
Today I’m welcoming Arthur Slade, author of The Hunchback Assignments series, Dust, Draugr, and much more! Mr. Slade is also offering a *signed* copy of The Hunchback Assignments to one lucky winner (please see the end of this post for giveaway details)!
**GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**
Don’t forget to visit the My Favorite Things Event Schedule for a full event list and head on over to Candace’s Book Blog to see what she’s got going on over there!
Arthur, thank you so much for joining me!You’re a writing machine! You’ve written more than 15 books, as well as numerous short stories and articles! Whew! Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Oh, I wanted to be so many things when I was younger: A comic book artist (but I couldn’t draw feet, so my superheroes were always standing in water…not good for the storyline), a movie director (when I was 12 I made 8mm movies with plastic swords and ketchup as blood), and (don’t laugh) a heavy metal guitarist (still have my guitar). But in Grade 11 I received 100% on a short story project and that really gave me an “aha” moment. Anytime people asked me what I was going to do with my life, I started to answer, “Be a writer.” Eventually (after fourteen years) it became reality.
What were some of your literary influences as a child?
JRR Tolkien, of course. And Lloyd Alexander. But by far the biggest influence was Ray Bradbury. I devoured all of his short stories and novels, anything I could get my hands on. One of my prize possession is a letter that he wrote to me after I sent him a copy of my novel DUST as a thank you for all his years of inspiration.
I’m currently reading my way through your awesome library and I especially adore The Hunchback Assignments series. Empire of Ruins (Hunchback Assignments 3) comes out in the US in September, and I can’t wait! Will there be more books in the series?
There will be one more book in the series that will tie up the conflict between The Clockwork Guild and the Permanent Association, and Modo’s own conflict with his appearance. I’m really looking forward to finishing the “untitled” book (haven’t picked a title yet!) because there are several scenes I’ve been thinking about for years now that I want to finally write.
Modo is an enduring hero, and certainly worth looking up to for his courage and bravery. Who did you look up to as a young person?
Ray Bradbury. Oh, I guess I already said that. My heroes were often people from books or TV. I wanted to be Taran, the Assistant Pig Keeper from The Book of Three, Or Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings (or Gandalf, that would be really cool), or Paul Atreides from Dune. Or Luke Skywalker or the Bionic Man (depending on the day, of course).
Who are your heroes?
Historically, I guess I’d say Tommy Douglas, who was the Canadian politician who brought in health care. A man with real long term vision. Another is Charles Darwin. I admire him for his insights into evolution and being brave enough to speak up about his ideas even though he would have so many people shouting him down. Oh, and Thomas Crapper, the man who made flush toilets popular in Victorian times. He could have spent his life being bitter about his name. Instead he became the richest plumber in all of England. It’s one of the odd things you discover when you do too much Victorian research.
I know that the road to publishing can be long and challenging. How did you first get published, and how did you celebrate when you got the news?
I submitted for twelve years before my first book was accepted. I wrote six novels that were (and still are) unpublished. It was the seventh that hit the “sweet spot.” So I was ready to celebrate. At the time I was working on the family ranch for my father and I rushed into the shop with a beer for him and we toasted my new career.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do to relax?
I do have some favourite tv shows: Madmen, Battlestar Galactica, Being Erica. I read, of course, or take my daughter for walks. And I play badminton.
What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you?
I used to have a mullet.
Quick! Is there anything that makes you laugh out loud?
Killer rabbits. Or, I should say, Monty Python skits.
Is there any news of upcoming projects or events you’d like to share with us?
Thank you so much for taking the time, Arthur!
**GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**
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