Thursday, April 18, 2013

Q&A with Paul Cornell + a Giveaway

I'm happy to be hosting Paul Cornell on the blog today! Paul's latest, London Falling, has just hit London Falling on my Pre Pub Book Buzz Saturday post not too long ago, so you know I've been chomping at the bit to get my hands on a copy! (Book review coming soon.)

Author photo courtesy of Rob Monk
Hi, Paul! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for the blog. And congrats, by the way, on the recent Hugo nomination!


Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started as a writer.

I've never really had a proper job. Well, there was that half a day putting frozen meat through a saw, but apart from that, I have eaten a lot of oatmeal and kept trying to be a writer. I had to, having dropped out of an Astrophysics degree at University College London. Having no money for food is excellent training and motivation for the position of freelance writer. 

How would you describe London Falling?

It's a novel about what happens when a unit of modern undercover London police accidentally gain the power to see the monsters and the magic. After they've finished panicking, they decide the only way they're going to survive is to use (real) police methods against the supernatural. There's loads of cynical copper humour alongside the dark stuff, and I hope it gets quite emotional. If you like the voice I write Doctor Who in, this is much the same. 

What prompted the start of this particular series?

I wanted to write books that, in an adventurous, exciting way (hopefully) let me talk about the real world. Urban fantasy, and particularly the police procedural, really lets you get to grips with the systems of a modern city. 

You write for a lot of mediums/formats. How does writing a full-length novel or comic differ from writing for TV?

There are books to be written on that subject. A novel is a feat of memory, mainly, involving keeping motivations straight and plot points in place. Comics and television each have their own particular challenges, but they're about smallness (of space and budget), not hugeness. 

I’d imagine there are quite a few differences in creating your own concept from start to finish versus working in an established world like that of Doctor Who. What are some of the benefits and/or drawbacks in both kinds of writing and which do you prefer overall?

I prefer having my own world to play in. I love Doctor Who, it's the spine about which my career... revolves... like spines do... but I needed to create my own worlds away from it. I needed that so much. 

Just out of curiosity, who’s your favorite Doctor?

I needed that so much

In all your years of writing, do you have a favorite character? If so, why?

I'm very fond of Pete Wisdom, Chloe in Saucer Country, Ross in London Falling. Actually, Lex Luthor too. I like clever bastards who provide tasty plot reversals. 

Without spoilers, can you give us a hint of what we can expect in The Severed Streets?

Jack the Ripper is back, and this time he's only killing rich white men!

What else are you working on at the moment?

I'm writing Wolverine each month for Marvel, have some short stories on the go, and there are a couple of TV things on the horizon (one my own) which are very exciting for me. 

What sort of advice would you offer to someone embarking on a writing career today – as a novelist, comic, and/or screenplay writer?

I can do this in one sentence. 'It's your job to seek out harsh criticism of your work and change because of it.' I honestly think that's the whole game. Apply over years, and you too can grow mustard and cress at home. 

That was okay, wasn't it? Mixed metaphor, odd asides, bit too personal? Hello? Oh, they've switched the lights off. 

Haha! Again, big thanks, Paul! It was a pleasure to have you on today. And big thanks to the publisher for setting this up.

For more on Paul Cornell and his work you can find him on: Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest, and at www.paulcornell.com.

And now for the giveaway. Thanks to Tor I am offering up a copy of London Falling to one lucky winner here. To enter, please fill out the rafflecopter below. Open to US only (and no PO boxes, please). Giveaway ends midnight, April 30.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Fizzle said...

I enjoyed Paul Cornell’s Doctor Who novel Human Nature and his comic series Saucer Country, so I am looking forward to this.

Unknown said...

I love Paul Cornell's comic book & TV writing. Can't wait for London Falling.

traveler said...

Paul Cornell is creative and talented and this book would be enjoyed. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a book I want to read. Hope to win but will probably buy anyway.