Tuesday 21 July 2009

Tony Ballantyne - Author Interview


Twisted Metal

website: www.tonyballantyne.com

> Pitch your latest novel

The robot inhabitants of the planet Penrose take a piece of wire and twist it into a mind. As the sole intelligent inhabitants of the planet, they seek out metal to make children, and, when resources are short, they fight for it. Twisted Metal follows the robots of the State of Artemis as they seek to control the entire planet. It is the story of robots that are capable of thought, creativity and emotion, and of anger, hatred and irrationality, each with a mind made up of nothing more than a piece of metal
twisted into shape by his or her mother.

> What are your favourite three books?

Diana Wynne Jones, Fire and Hemlock
J.L. Carr A Month in the Country
and just about anything by Pat Mills.

> What character is most like you?

Kavan, as both of us plan to lead robot armies across the surface of the planet, conquering all who stand in our way. Also we both wear shabby, inconspicuous bodies.

> If you could, would you change places with any of your characters?


> If you could live in your fantasy/sf world, would you? Would you live in somebody else’s?

It depends. Obviously, there would need to be good transport links so we could get back to visit relatives, and a decent school nearby for the kids. Oh, and a reciprocal health insurance arrangement with the UK would also be a plus.

> What is your university degree in?

Maths. Or Math if you prefer.

> Do you think it is easier to write fantasy or science fiction?

I'd probably say fantasy, but that's because I've never really written that much. As they say, everything seems easy until you try it.

> When and where do you write?

I write either at my desk (my preferred workplace) or on a laptop. I write whenever I get the chance...

> What’s the best/worst thing about writing?

The best thing is that you release the pressure of whatever it is that builds up inside you that forces you to write. The worse thing is the point when you are proof reading a novel for what seems like the thirtieth time.

> Do you have any advice for hopeful authors?

Three things. 1) Keep practicing, you get better the more you write. 2) Keep submitting, people who give up after one rejection are not writers. 3) Join a writers group. Writers need feedback.

> Any tips against writers block?

Keep yourself in shape by writing short stories, but always have a novel on the go at the same time. If you're blocked on one, you can always turn to the other. Also, I find the more I write, the more ideas I get.

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