MFT Interview and Giveaway with Alexander Gordon Smith

Hi gang! I’d like to kick off Dystopian Week with an interview and giveaway with Alexander Gordon Smith! Gordon is the author of the Furnace series (and more), and is one of the nicest guys in the business. He was kind enough to answer a few of my questions and is also offering 2 copies of Lockdown: Escape from Furnace #1 to two lucky winners (please see giveaway details at the bottom of the post.)



Thanks so much for stopping by the blog! I thought I’d do a fun Q&A with you, since there’s a rather exhaustive interview in the back of your first novel, Lockdown!

Hi Kristin, thanks for having me on your blog, it’s awesome to be here!

Out of all of your novels, what was your favorite character to write, and why?

Great question! It’s tricky because there are several answers to this. I get so attached to each and every character in a book that all of them are favourites in one way or another. You become their soulmates, their family, fiercely loyal and protective of them. It’s an amazing feeling! I think the character that I’m closest to is Alex from the Escape From Furnace books. We are one and the same person, because he’s based on me when I was a teenager. When I was sixteen or so I went through a… I guess you’d say troubled stage of my life. I skipped school, hung out in biker bars, spent my time drinking and getting into fights and even stealing. It was terrible, horrible, and even though I wanted to stop I couldn’t. My family were brilliant, steering me gently back onto the right track. They saved me, and I went and lived my life. But in my head there was always this version of me as a teenager who didn’t get saved, who carried on down the wrong path. I always wondered what his story might have been if he’d had a chance to tell it. When I was looking for a new book to write, this version of me, Alex, was jumping up and down yelling for me to give him a chance to finally live his life. So I did, and the story of Alex Sawyer and Furnace was born. In the original draft his full name was actually Alexander Gordon Smith, but my UK publisher asked me to change it.

Writing the Furnace books wasn’t always easy, though, especially as I was so close to Alex. I experienced every single thing with him – the fear, the pain, the hope – and it was pretty intense! Writing The Inventors series was a completely different experience. I wrote these books with my brother Jamie when he was nine years old, and we actually tried to make most of the inventions in the story for real. We built traps and gadgets and robots and rocket boots and all sorts, it was so much fun. When it came to writing the books we knew exactly what it was like to be inventors, so the story just flowed. I think for that reason Nate and Cat from The Inventors were my favourite characters to write.

What is your most unusual writing habit?

Chewing. I used to write longhand, but I would chew through my pens. Seriously, I’d do it without thinking and suddenly have a mouthful of splintered plastic and ink. I must have chewed through hundreds before I switched to writing on a laptop. I don’t chew the computer, which is a relief, but I do chew the collars of shirts and T-shirts when I’m writing. I kind of zone out, and then when I’m back I realize I’ve gnawed a hole in the fabric! It’s weird, but I just accept it now as a sign that I’m lost in something good. The bigger the hole in my T-shirt, the better the chapter will be!

Do you have any current favorite authors?

Pretty much every time I read a new book I find a new favourite author. I love starting a book by an author I’ve never read before, it’s so exciting to see how other people craft stories. Discovering an author who really moves and excites you is an incredible experience. My newest favourite authors are George R. R. Martin and Jonathan Maberry. Martin made me realize what a fool I’ve been all these years for not reading fantasy. I always preferred horror, but that’s because I never gave fantasy a chance. His Song of Ice and Fire books are just mind-blowingly good, and I feel like a whole new universe has been opened up to me. Maberry’s books are pure awesomeness, I cannot put them down once I’ve started them. Reading the Joe Ledger books made me realize that I had to up my game when it came to writing action, which I’m very grateful for! They’re just brilliant, brilliant fun, and Maberry himself is a truly inspirational guy.

Are there any movies that you’re looking forward to this summer?

I love movies almost as much as I love books, and will probably end up going to see most things at the cinema. I think, like most people I know, the one I’m looking forward to most is the final Harry Potter film – it’s going to be epic. I’m hoping that one day I’ll be able to go and see a Furnace movie – I don’t think I’d ever leave the cinema!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

This is going to sound pretty lame but… the place I love to travel to most is home. I travel quite a bit to do research for books and for events. I love travelling, seeing the world, visiting new places and experiencing different cultures (although I HATE flying!). The world is so huge in some ways, and yet it’s so small too – you can travel pretty much anywhere in a day or two. And there are so many astonishing places. If I could choose anywhere then I think it would be Antarctica – it must be the closest you can get to being on an alien planet. But for me nothing beats that last leg of a journey, the moment when your home city comes into view. There’s a tiny bridge that you cross on the train on the way back into Norwich, and when I hear that hollow drumroll of the wheels rocking across it I can’t help but smile. Going away is wonderful, but being homeward bound is better.

What’s one of your pet peeves?

When people read books written by other authors instead of by me. 🙂 Only kidding, I don’t think I have many pet peeves, apart from the usual ones that annoy everybody. People are people, sometimes irritating, sometimes wonderful, always complex, and you just accept them for who they are! I do hate it when people don’t wave a thank you when you’ve let them pass in the car, though…

Is there any news of upcoming events or projects that you can share with us?

Yes! I have a new series starting in the UK next March. It’s called The Fury, and it’s essentially a zombie book… without zombies! I wanted to write something that felt like a zombie book, because I’m a huge fan of the genre. But I wanted to try to do something different, because other authors (namely Jonathan!) have done the zombie thing so well already. So The Fury is about a group of kids who trigger a reaction in everyone around them which turns friends and family and strangers alike into mindless, bloodthirsty savages. Everybody tries to kill these kids, but as soon as they have – or as soon as the kids are out of their ‘radar’ – they go back to normal and totally forget what they’ve done. So the main characters in the book are stuck in their own Armageddon while the world carries on without them. The explanation for it is totally out there, but I hope people will enjoy it! I’m writing the second and final book now. Hopefully it will be out in the States very soon as well.
Other than that there’s lots going on. My first feature film, which I wrote with my sister and brother-in-law, is being filmed later this year (or early next year depending on the schedule). It’s called Stagnant, and it’s a comedy horror set on the Norfolk Broads about a mutant bride who kills stag parties. We’ve just finished filming a short zombie film too, called Sola Gratia, which we’ll be taking to the horror festivals later this year. There are a couple of books for younger readers in the pipeline too, as well as a horror novel for adults, but I’m not sure what’s happening with them yet! It’s good to be busy anyway!Thanks again for interviewing me on your blog, Kristin, it was great!

Visit the author at his website (where you can also enter to win an IPod Touch)!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
**GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**
 

About the book (from BN.com)
Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison. 
  Together with a bunch of inmates—some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers—Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world.

99 Comments:

  1. Oh my God I had to laugh out loud when I read that his worst writing habit is "chewing". Talking about a balanced diet, hehe!
    BTW I love the green/red color themes on those great covers!

    Thanks for the chance!
    danaan at gmx dot at

  2. SusieBookworm (Susanna)

    Thanks for the great interview and giveaway! The Fury sounds quite interesting…

    susanna DOT pyatt AT student DOT rcsnc DOT org

  3. Wow, Furnace sounds like an incredible series! The covers are so eerie and cool. And this was a very entertaining interview… I used to chew on the ends of pens and pencils in school, but I never made it all the way through to the ink, I don't think, only received lots of weird looks from my classmates. 🙂

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    aveelachild@gmail.com

  4. BooksforCompany

    Thank you for the giveaway!
    I used to always chew pens when l was at school! Bad habit haha
    booksforcompany @ gmail.com

  5. BooksforCompany

    l am a gfc follower =)
    booksforcompany @ gmail.com

  6. I would love to read this book, it looks like a very gripping read!

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

  7. GFC follower

    freda.mans[at]gmail.com

  8. Elli Winchester

    thanks for the chance to win, i wanna read this book!

    ellisapirat@seznam.cz

  9. Elli Winchester

    GFC follower

    Elli Winchester

  10. Great giveaway!!

    widsfam7 @ digis dot net

  11. GFC follower too.

    widsfam7 @ digis dot net

  12. And also, I am a subscriber via e-mail. Via the same address: frederikker.jb@gmail.com 🙂

  13. I love that you chew on things, you have to be SO into it if you don't notice 😉 And I LOVE the Furnace books!! They are super intense and amazing writing, I'm jealous 😉

    Thanks!
    Deeds42@yahoo.com

  14. Thanks for the giveaway! This sounds like a good book.

    captainsarahsparrow at hotmail dot com

  15. GFC follower SarahSparrow.

    captainsarahsparrow at hotmail dot com

  16. Yes, Thanks so much! I've been really wanting to get my hands on this one.

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  17. GFC follower

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  18. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway (:

    dinkyka(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. GFC follower – Dinky

  20. Great interview! I think he is one of the nicest guys in the business, to. At least after this interview. Thanks for the giveaway!

    balmezandrada at yahoo dot com

  21. GFC follower as balmezandrada

  22. Sounds like an interesting book 🙂 and the interview was pretty interesting too.

    vinsarama[at]gmail[dot]com

    thanks!

  23. That's definitely interesting how the author modeled the main character a bit after himself (I really cannot wait to read it).

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway. 🙂

    Orchid
    The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
    hauntingorchid(at)aol(dot)com

  24. Also a follower 🙂

    Best regards!

  25. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh this sounds so deliciously creepy. Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway!
    books (Dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  26. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I'm a gfc follower
    books (Dot) things (at) yahoo (Dot) com

  27. These look really amazing. Thank you.

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  28. GFC follower- thegirlonfire27

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  29. Ishita aka Fishy

    thanks for the giveaway! the book sounds great !

    coffee_ishita@yahoo.com

  30. Ishita aka Fishy

    i am also a GFC follower : Ishita aka Fishy

    email follower: coffee_ishita@yahoo.com

  31. Great interview, the book sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    myra0502 at yahoo dot com

  32. GFC follower Myra C

    myra0502 at yahoo dot com

  33. Thanks for the giveaway, and for making it international! Because after reading this interview, I'm looking forward to read something by this author. 😉

    catarina_romeira at hotmail dot com

  34. I'm a GFC follower, as p7.

    catarina_romeira at hotmail dot com

  35. Thanks so much for the giveaway! I am DYING to read this one!

    misslaurenwilk at gmail dot com

  36. I follow you with GFC via Miss Lauren.

    misslaurenwilk at gmail dot com

  37. Great interview! Thanks for the chance at this one…it's been on my TBR list for awhile. :0)

    luvswdw(at)telus(dot)net

  38. I follow you GFC as TracyH

    luvswdw(at)telus(dot)net

  39. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  40. I want this book!! No, I'm serious, I really, really want this book! Thanks so much for the giveaway 🙂

    jwitt33 at live dot com

    Z

  41. I am a GFC follower 🙂

    jwitt33 at live dot com

    Z

  42. Offbeat Vagabond

    Great interview guys. Chewing is definitely an interesting habit. Does your neck hurt after you chew a hole in your t-shirt while writing? That just sounds uncomfortable LOL! When my brain is somewhere else, I chew the inside of my mouth, been doing since I was kid. It doesn't hurt, just makes me look funny while I do it LOL! I too love movies just as much as books. Harry Potter will be packed, can't wait. I hope your books become a movie too, it looks like it would be fantastic. I really love the covers. Thank you so much for the interview, it was fun 🙂

    drharleyquinn87 (at) gmail (dot) com

  43. Offbeat Vagabond

    Extra entry:

    GFC Follower-drharleyquinn87

    Thanks again 🙂

    drharleyquinn87 (at) gmail (dot) com

  44. That's a great Q&A. Thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  45. I follow.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  46. Id like to be entered in this giveaway please!! =)
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway!!

    SpadesHigh @ http://SpadesHighReads.com
    TValeros18 AT gmail DOT com

  47. GFC Follower: SpadesHighReads
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway!!

    SpadesHigh @ http://SpadesHighReads.com
    TValeros18 AT gmail DOT com

  48. Please count me in 🙂 Thanks.

    quixoticdreamer(at)hotmail(dot)com

  49. I follow via GFC quixoticdreamer

    quixoticdreamer(at)hotmail(dot)com

  50. Thanks for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

    The interview was great.

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  51. I Follow via GFC

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  52. What a great opportunity!!! Thanks for the chance!!!

    Nat. (:

    nat_isabel(at)hotmail(dot
    )com

  53. I am also a follower!!! (: (: (: via GFC (:

    nat_isabel(at)hotmail(dot)com

  54. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!

    zsaz1029(at)yahoo(dot)com

  55. GFC follower Spaz

    zsaz1029(at)yahoo(dot)com

  56. Sofija Kapranova

    Wish I could win this!

    kapranova.sofija@gmail.com

  57. Sofija Kapranova

    GFC follower as Sofija Kapranova

    kapranova.sofija@gmail.com

  58. The new series sounds really good! Can't wait to read it.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    candicerjames (at) gmail (dot) com

  59. GFC: Candice

    candicerjames (at) gmail (dot) com

  60. Damla (Sweepstake Lover)

    Thank you very much for the giveaway!

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

  61. Damla (Sweepstake Lover)

    I follow your blog.

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

  62. I can't believe the author hates flying 🙂 But he chose some really great places to go to 🙂 Thank you for the giveaway! GFC Krystal Larson edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom

  63. GFC Krystal Larson

  64. hedgerhousehold

    Thanks for the giveaway
    jenhedger at hotmail dot com

  65. hedgerhousehold

    Follow on GFC as Jenn
    jenhedger at hotmail dot com

  66. Thanks for the giveaway. This sounds pretty good.

    jessicamariesutton(at)msn(dot)com

  67. Linda: By the Book

    Haha. I had to laugh at the chewing thing. That is a very unique quirk. But I have to admit my some of my pens end that way too. The books look awesome! They are going on my TBR list.

    Lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

  68. Linda: By the Book

    GFC follower: lindadao2060

    Lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

  69. Thanks for the giveaway!

    mendyha26@gmail.com

  70. Wow great interview!

    wbbusby(at)gmail(dot)com

  71. The chewing thing is so odd and interesting, haha!

    I also love how he loves to travel home, so sweet!

    mnchapm2@mail.usf.edu

  72. I also follow on twitter (@fadedrainbows)

  73. michellesheavenlyreviews

    the giveaway looks great!
    starlightgirl678 at aol dot com

  74. michellesheavenlyreviews

    i follow on twitter (michelledluvsu)
    fb
    gfc
    and email

  75. destinulgardianului

    thanks for the giveaway :*
    ioana_raluk95@yahoo.com

  76. destinulgardianului

    i follow on GFC under the name Ioana Lacatusu

  77. Natasha Areena

    Thanks for the interview. I do enjoy it very much. Oh the chewing thing!

    thebookish96(at)gmail.com

  78. Natasha Areena

    I'm follower
    thebookish96(at)gmail.com

  79. Thank you for the giveaway!
    GFC-Christine Davis

    ceeenndee at gmail dot com

  80. Would love to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  81. I'm a follower

  82. This sounds really interesting.

    spav05(at)gmail(dot)com

  83. GFC follower

    spav05(at)gmail(dot)com

  84. Mare/TommyGirl

    Sounds great! Thanks!

    Mare
    tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com

  85. Mare/TommyGirl

    I'm a GFC follower as TommyGirl

    tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com

  86. This book sounds very very awesome! Thanks for the giveaway.

    GFC: Hannah/Jaedia
    jaedia(at)live(dot)co(dot)uk

  87. Hahah, the chewing thing is hilarious! 🙂 Alexander sounds like a witty and sweet person, thanks for this interview and giveaway!

    evieseo(at)gmail(dot)com

  88. I'm a GFC follower :Evie Seo

  89. katklaw777 at yahoo dot com
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  90. GFC follower

  91. heiss(dot)britta(at)gmail(dot)com

  92. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    crazypplrok at gmail dot com

  93. I follow via GFC!

    crazypplrok at gmail dot com

  94. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Xx

    pranali_nk04@yahoo.com

  95. I am an old follower
    🙂
    pranali_nk04@yahoo.com

Comments are closed