MFT Interview and Giveaway with Simon R. Green!

Today I’m honored and thrilled to have Simon R. Green on the blog! Simon is the author of the Deathstalker series, the Nightside series (one of my faves),  the Secret History series, and much, much more! He’s here to talk about writing, acting, and the daring thing he did on stage (you’ll never guess what it is!). Also up for grabs is a copy of For Heaven’s Eyes Only (Secret History Book 5) to one lucky winner (please see giveaway deets at the bottom of this post)!

**Don’t forget to check out the My Favorite Things Event Schedule for a complete listing of events and giveaways, and visit Candace at Candace’s Book Blog for even more awesomeness!

Please welcome Simon to the blog!

Simon, you’ve been writing for over 30 years, and have published about that many novels. What was the most difficult part of getting published?

I haven’t actually been writing that long! Not professionally, anyway. I certainly started writing seriously back in the Seventies, when I was living in London, as a student. Sold a handful of short stories, but mostly to low-paying semi-prozines of the time like Fantasy Tales. And one professional sale, to the Swords Against Darkness Vol 5 anthology by Andy Offutt. I hit thirty, in 1985, and was laid off. I spent the next three and half years unemployed, and wrote seven novels during that period, all of which were repeatedly rejected. Then, towards the end of 1988 I finally got a job at Bilbo’s Bookshop, in Bath. I started work on the Monday, and on the Wednesday I got a letter from Ginjer Buchanan at Ace offering to buy the first Hawk & Fisher book. And; would I be interested in writing five more books, featuring the same characters? Well, I said, I could be persuaded… And that’s how I got started. I went on to sell five more of the books, thanks to my agent Joshua Bilmes of Jabberwocky, and that was it. I was off and running. So the most difficult part of getting published… was getting my foot in the door. Fifteen years of trying, to become an overnight success.

Out of your multiple series, do you have a favorite, or one that you enjoyed writing the most?

Blue Moon Rising is still my favourite, I think mostly because so much of the characters and story are autobiographical; if expressed in fantasy ways. And then there’s Shadows Fall, about a small town in the back of nowhere, where legends go to die when the world stops believing in them. Sort of an elephant’s graveyard for the supernatural. I think that’s my best written book, and a whole lot of fun. But really, my favourite book is always the one I’m working on Right Now.

Who has been your biggest literary inspiration? Is there a particular author or novel that really influenced you?

Roger Zelazny, certainly. The way he mixed fantasy and science fiction, and his delightful style. Harlan Ellison, for the emotional rage and power in his stories. Cordwainer Smith; who just blew me away, by showing what was possible. Outside the field, I would say Thorne Smith, funniest writer ever. And Leslie Charteris, because I was always a huge Saint fan. And M R James, best ghost story writer of all time. More recently, Jack Cady, Glen Cook, Tim Powers, Kim Newman.

It says on your website that your Secret Histories series is your tribute to James Bond. Do you have a favorite Bond story or character (besides James himself, of course)?

I love the original Ian Fleming books. I was reading the novels before I was old enough to get into the cinema to watch the films. And much as I enjoy (most of) the films, it’s the books that made a huge impression on me. Especially From Russia From Love, which is just the best spy read ever. Though of course the best character comes from the films; and that’s Q. My own Drood Armourer is clearly inspired by him; though I can also see a lot of my father emerging in him. Not deliberately; just the way things work out.

Do you have a favorite writing spot, or are you able to write anywhere?

I can write anywhere. I have a study set aside in my house, where most of the work gets done, but I can plot, solve problems, try out bits of dialogue pretty much everywhere. I prefer the study because I like music in the background while I’m working. Film soundtracks especially; nothing like them to get you jump-started first thing. Unless there are kids playing outside, in which case I put on the heavy metal and turn the volume up.

When you’re not writing great fiction, how do you like to spend your free time?

I started out life as a professional actor, back in the Seventies, working in the theatre and television. But it was very hard to get your union card back then, and I got hit by some really bad health problems. Including recurring glandular fever, mono, which lasted on and off for eleven years. Which sank my chances at an acting career. So I spend most of my spare time in amateur theatrics, especially open air Shakespeare productions. I’m currently rehearsing for The Crucible, playing the evil Judge, which we’ll be putting on in my small country town’s Tithe Barn, a 13th Century structure which will give the play a marvellous atmosphere.

Do you like to travel, and if so, what are your favorite destinations?

I hate travelling. I’ll do it when I must, to get to where I have to go; but I do like my home comforts. My favourite destinations are inside my head.

Can you share something with us that maybe not a lot of people know about?

Not a lot of people know… I’ve been riding motor-bikes since I was a teenager. Always preferred them to cars. And yes, I know nurses and doctors have a special term for bikers; they call us organ donors… but I’ve never crashed my bike once. On the other hand, while learning to drive I drove my dad’s car into a telegraph pole at 30 mph and wrote it off completely. (Wasn’t my fault, the pole jumped out in front of me.) I got out without a scratch on me; God looks after fools. What else; I sing folk songs. I have worked as a bicycle repair mechanic. And I’m anybody’s for a good curry.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done (or will admit to)?

The most daring thing; I appeared naked in an open air production of the play Tom Jones. I was playing his hypocrite puritanical tutor Thwackum, and there’s a scene in the play where Tom comes looking for his girlfriend Mucky Molly, but when he knocks on her door it becomes clear she’s already got a man in her bed. Tom insists on seeing him; and of course it’s Thwackum. The script said I came to the door in a long white nightgown. My director said; No, we’ll have you wrapped in a sheet, to show you’ve come straight from her bed. I said; Why don’t I come out naked, apart from a three-cornered hat, conveniently placed? And that’s what I did. The audience… I’ve never heard a noise like it. That’s what I call upstaging…

Is there any news of upcoming projects or events you’d like to share?

The second Ghost Finders book is coming out beginning of September; GHOST OF A SMILE. That’s traditional hauntings, in modern day settings. I’ve got a pirate novella coming out from PS Publishing, THE PIT OF DESPAIR. Then there’s the 12th and final Nightside book, THE BRIDE WORE BLACK LEATHERS. To be followed by the 6th Secret Histories book, LIVE AND LET DROOD. I’m also talking with my editor about writing a third Forest Kingdom book, ONCE IN A BLUE MOON. And there’s a whole bunch of short stories forthcoming, including an appearance in Charlaine Harris’ HOME IMPROVEMENTS UNDEAD EDITION.

Visit Simon at his website

*Giveaway is for one copy of For Heaven’s Eyes Only to ONE winner


About the book (From Barnes and Noble)

Urban noir fantasy hits a high note with this new number of Simon R. Green’s Secret Histories series. In For Heaven’s Eyes Only, Eddie Drood and his witch paramour Molly Metcalf are up to their ears in evil plotting Satanists. Like other books in this series, For Heaven’s Eyes Only possesses a slightly twisted 007 style. In fact, its hero has been rightly hailed as “a hard-boiled, fast-talking, druidic James Bond and its title is a hat tip to Ian Fleming’s For Your Eyes Only. A nice fit for fans of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files.


  1. Offbeat Vagabond

    What a great interview. I couldn't stop laughing at the getting naked on stage thing. That is just too much LOL! These books sound and look amazing. I am definitely a Jim Butcher fan, so I know I will love this. Thank you guys for the interview and giveaway and good luck on the Crucible 🙂

  2. I have read some of Mr. Green's work, but not this series and would love to do so. Thank you for opportunity to win this giveaway.

  3. Stacy (Urban Fantasy Investigations)

    Thank you for the giveaway.

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