The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
 

The Winner’s Curse

Review

 
Children’s Fantasy: Eight of the Best – Part One
 

8 of the Best Children's Fantasy Books

Part One

 
In Defence of the Chosen One
 

In Defence of the Chosen One

Article

 

Scott Lynch Interview

With the utmost pleasure and excitement, Fantasy-Faction brings to you today an interview with one of the nicest, most genuine people you could ever meet. Not only is he a great guy, he is a talented one, and in many people’s eyes THE stand-out writer of new era fantasy. His debut novel The Lies of Locke Lamora was hailed by critics as delightful, unique, heart wrenching, comical, beautiful and much more besides. He has since gone up to prove his talents and abilities with the sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and is set to release his third novel (after a number of false starts) in February 2012.

The interview itself we feel at Fantasy-Faction is one of the most in-depth we have done and we hope that upon reading it, you too are struck by the charisma and good nature of the author that is Scott Lynch.

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Just to start us off, do you want to tell us about the writing process of The Lies of Locke Lamora? When was it that you made the decision to actually sit down and write the book? What was it that led you to writing your first novel and was writing something you’d always wanted to do?

Writing was something that I had always been interested, at least from the age of about ten. That’s when I tried to write my first actual book, and made it roughly a page and a half. I also spent a great many years convinced that I was going to draw comic books, but in high school my art hit a plateau and I didn’t have the discipline to drag myself off of it…so voila, plan B was writing.

I started seriously planning the book that eventually became TLOLL sometime in 2000, and was making half-assed attempts to write it the year after that. Until 2003, mostly what I had was a very large pile of notes, research, genealogies, and two-page fragments that went nowhere. Originally, the book I was trying to write covered the events of what will be Book IV of the Gentleman Bastard sequence. At some point, I decided that I didn’t know the characters well enough to throw them into such a media res situation, and I backed up a few years in their lives to the events that became TLOLL. It was a very fortunate happy accident.

Did the success of The Lies of Locke Lamora surprise you? Scare you even? You would have been 28 (right?) when the book was released. The fact you had people like George R. R. Martin praising you and calling you one to watch must have really hit you hard – I wonder whether positively or negatively or a bit of both?

It was a very pleasant surprise! I think it’s fairly common for writers to be afflicted with two simultaneous yet contradictory delusions, the burning certainty that we’re unique geniuses, and the constant fear that we’re witless frauds who are speeding toward epic failure. These feelings rise and fall at various times. I suppose the stress of expectations can be pretty daunting, if you dwell on it, and that’s really the key. The trick is to feed on the energy of reader enthusiasm and market enthusiasm for what they’re worth, but not to let anything actually halt you in writing or planning or living your life. Dealing with all this stuff is not an instinctive talent for most people (myself included), I suspect, but is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced.

Lies of Locke Lamora

What is Locke? Is he a hero? Is he a villain? Should we like him? Should we despise him? I mean, I want to hate him, he lies and he cheats, but I love him and I can’t help that! Should we feel bad for liking him? What is it about this character that makes him such a love-able rogue?

Locke is meant to be variable and multi-faceted. We’re all different people at different times, and while there are some very strong and attractive aspects to his character, he also has some pretty serious weaknesses. He is charming, loyal, and lovable, and energetic and clever and highly sensitive to the nuances of the people around him. He’s also self-pitying, morally weak, careless, and stubborn to the point that he’s a danger to himself and others. Locke is uniquely skilled at contorting and talking his way out of risky situations, but the fact is he might not find himself in those situations if he’d only think things through more broadly and carefully to begin with.

Locke has a powerful conscience, but it’s not a steady and reliable guide to him…it’s more of guilty self-rebuke that emerges when he starts to go too far. He’s a crook through and through, a socialized crook who has more of a super-ego than most of his kind on account of Father Chains’ intervention in his life. He’s still capable of supreme ruthlessness and murder, and of unjustifiably hurting innocent bystanders in his quests for vengeance.

I think, if I do my job properly, you should like him…and then occasionally loathe him…and then cheer for him…and then want to slap some sense into him. Sure, he’s a hero, a man of great skill and capacity whose deeds greatly influence his world (both visibly and invisibly), but he’s not meant to be one note played over and over.

The setting of this series is not dissimilar to renaissance Venice. It is therefore quite recognisable and certainly feels more modern than a lot of other fantasy novels. It is also worth noting that the magic within your work is fairly limited i.e. we know it is there, but it isn’t constantly affecting the story and its limits are never fully defined. Is the Tolkien style epic fantasy and increasingly popular hard magic system something you purposely stayed away from and to what extent would you credit the setting to the success of your work?

Well, the setting is in many respects very necessary to any success of the work, because a character like Locke needs a sufficiently complex world to operate in if he’s going to be any recognizable sort of con artist. You need social fluidity, middle classes between the peasants and the nobility, and you need a more generally literate and cosmopolitan society with lots of various forms of banking and lending. You couldn’t have someone like Locke, without the aid of magic, slipping effortlessly back and forth between societies like the Rohirrim and the Gondorians in Tolkien’s work, because the societies are too small, the rituals and class barriers too thick, the borders too guarded, everyone too well known to everyone else of similar rank. A master of disguise could live several different lives at the heart of Rome, but not in a legion camp in northern Gaul, if you see what I mean.

I wanted to keep the supernatural elements of the story, the magic, monsters, and mysteries, rather nebulous and only explained to a certain limited point. I just think they’re so much more effective that way, more beautiful and more scary. Certainly it raises questions in the minds of some readers, and even I sometimes have to curb the wish for more information when I’m reading other books. But dammit, the imagination needs to be flexed as well as fed, and writers should stay in practice with the fine art of omission as well as inclusion.

To focus on a point you made earlier, the fact that the majority of your plans were stemmed around book four helps me make sense of the deaths at the end of book one. I mean, I was in utter shock at what happened and I know from our forums with other members (not me…I’m a man!) there were tears! I guess knowing where you need to be by book four means that you can really play with us until then because whatever you create can essentially be taken out. After book four, how much of the series is planned out? Have you mapped out the majority of the story-lines and eventual destination or is there still a lot of planning to do in that respect?

The entire story is pretty thoroughly outlined. I know where it’s going, I know how it ends, and that’s the way I’m most comfortable working. There’s a lot of room on a book-by-book, chapter-by-chapter basis for unexpected developments. Regardless of what those surprises are, the last few paragraphs of the last book are still going to say the same thing.

I’ve got a rough draft of those paragraphs on my hard drive…I’ll revise them to be as lovely as possible, but their content isn’t going to change. How the plot swerves to get there is definitely open to adjustment.

Your second book, Red Seas Under Red Skies, has certainly been warmly received – perhaps even too warmly received, because people are literally screaming for the next one! What Red Seas Under Red Skies seemed to do was take the exciting life and intriguing characters from book one and placed them into a new setting with a new mission. It seemed obvious though by the end of the book that you were rapidly beginning to build upon things. Seven books is certainly a huge commitment and a lot of words to write! I wonder how much the story is set to evolve throughout the series? The Fallout with the Bondsmagi certainly suggest events will begin to get bigger and bigger. Is book three the point we can expect this?

Republic of ThievesThere is definitely a separation from the basic structure of TLOLL and RSURS that begins in the third novel and accelerates as the series goes on, as we move from the Gentlemen Bastards attempting to stage relatively local crimes to them getting caught up in wide-ranging events including politics, espionage, and war. One of the major themes of all the books is how life always seems to interfere with their meticulously-planned schemes, and that’s true in macrocosm as well as the micro.

The Republic of Thieves does finally explore certain elements of the power and the goals of the bondsmagi, and in it we catch our first glimpse of the major world event that’s going to steer the second half of the series, as the entire northern half of the continent Locke lives on dissolves into civil war.

Keeping the entire series in Camorr and keeping the specific flavor of TLOLL going from book to book was a tempting thought, but it’s not what I have a real passion for, which means that sooner or later I’d have been faking my enthusiasm and the series would have suffered. I’m sure that some readers are going to fall off the wagon along the way because of the assorted changes, but what can you do? Some would fall off on account of repetition if I’d gone the other way. Ultimately, you have to write to please yourself; you can’t do anything but go insane if you try to second-guess the tastes and motives of tens of thousands of readers.

You are currently working on a series called Queen of the Iron Sands – it is completely free and online. Could you tell us a little bit about it and why you chose to serialise it for free online as opposed to make it into a book and charging for it?

Queen of the Iron Sands was started as an attempt at self-therapy for my depression and anxiety attacks…in that respect, it didn’t work. The allegedly weekly installments have been pretty seriously held up while I’ve dealt with life issues and gotten proper assistance for those problems. I have high hopes I can get new installments posted before I head to Armadillocon in late August.

Queen of the Iron Sands comes from a couple different places. It’s partly an homage to pulpy serial adventures and planetary romance, and it’s partly a deconstruction of them. I love the pacing and spirit of excitement that corner of the genre has always had in spades, but I’m less enthusiastic about the shallowness and simplicity of our nostalgia for it. Why can’t we have richer characters, actual plots, and serious questions, PLUS rayguns and rocketships and chapter-ending cliffhangers? I’m not interested in a moral regression to PEW! PEW! SHOOT THE ALIENS! as the full scope of narrative concern.

A friend of mine once aptly described the TV series FarScape as the story of how John Crichton, a very standard corn-fed pulpy American hero, went forth into space and did not, in fact, convert the universe to the values of mom, baseball, and apple pie. Instead, the strangeness changed him, and he had to re-invent himself as something newer, something more flexible, something stronger, in order to face that universe. QOTIS is the story of how a very classically pulpy American heroine finds herself in the same mess on Mars, fighting for life and justice in a situation that is bigger than she is.

The series is very different from the Gentleman Bastards series. Not only is it within a completely different genre, but it is told in the first person. Could you explain to us how difficult it is moving from the third person narrator of the Gentleman Bastards series into the first person voice of Queen of the Iron Sands?

It has the major disadvantage of not really allowing you to reveal information beyond the narrator’s grasp, unless you cheat a bit. Ultimately, that’s why I decided not to write the Gentleman Bastard sequence from Locke’s perspective, because there’s just too much the reader needs to see that he will never have any plausible reason to. On the other hand, it’s a very inviting perspective. First-person makes identification with the protagonist relatively easy, and it lets you inflect -all- of the description with their idioms and their tone of voice, which can help craft a very compelling atmosphere independent from the objective look and feel of the world.

For example, look at Stephen Brust’s Jhereg, the first Vlad Taltos novel. It’s very lean and has very little genuine description of any of the environments Vlad visits, but because they’re all flavored by the smart-ass personality of Vlad’s narration, you have the pleasant illusion of a deeper sense of atmosphere. I’m more overtly descriptive than that, but I still admire the effect, and hope to emulate it.

You have been quite public about your issues with depression and I have to say, not knowing much about you going into The Lies of Locke Lamora and even at the time I first read Red Skies I really struggled to believe that the guy who wrote these exciting, comical and I guess in many ways “happy” stories could suffer with this condition. I mean, if someone told me the author of a book like say The Farseer Trilogy, etc was depressed – I could have far more easily accepted it, because of the sorrowful style it is written.

One thing to keep in mind is that while hindsight reveals a number of precursor symptoms and lesser episodes, my full-on clinical depression really didn’t manifest in a life-impairing way until about 2008. And even then, the disease doesn’t necessarily bear much relationship to what can come out of a depressive’s mind and creativity (an awful lot of brilliant comedians have suffered from crippling depression, for example). It’s an irrational condition. It doesn’t limit our output to Cure songs and tombstone facings.

Evidently, through your writing you are able to create an uplifting style of narration – I can tell you for certain that you have left the smile upon the face of tons of our users in fits of laughter because I’ve read comments on our forums. I guess where I’m going with this question Scott is “What is depression to you?” How does it affect your life both personally and as an author?

I’ve said almost everything I want to say about the matter in a lengthy blog post, available here.

I point to that not to be rude or to refuse the question, but merely because I don’t particularly want to duplicate my statements on this subject.

What it means to me personally? It nearly destroyed my life. It was a major contributor to destroying my marriage. I’ve got no fond or romantic feelings about it at all. I wish it had never shown up. That said, it’s here and it doesn’t go away. It’s an illness like any other, and sooner or later we all have one coming in this life.

Professionally, it stole several years from me that should have been active, happy, productive years, and there will only be more Gentleman Bastard books because my editors on both sides of the Atlantic showed incredible patience and fought very hard through long periods where they received nothing to show for it in return.

I guess the pressures of being a writer are well documented. It can’t be easy having tens of thousands of fans asking you when the next book is coming and I remember you getting some rather unfair comments from anonymous users on your blog a long while back. At the same time, writing must be a great way of escaping to another world. In this respect, do you think the writing has helped or hindered your recovery?

I don’t think I’ve actually suffered much in the nasty comments department, unlike a certain world-famous fantasist whose initials start with G and in RRM, but then again he’s surely the president of the I-Cried-All-The-Way-To-The-Bank club.

Writing can be a problematic profession for those with an emotional illness (it’s one of those chicken-or-egg discussions…are writers inclined to depression, or does writing help make them depressive?) because of the solitude, the mental and emotional isolation, the intense absorption in a mental landscape. I never had an issue with writing itself while I was most severely depressed…my problem was with doing anything useful once I’d done so. Editing, revising, even communicating…those were the things that weren’t getting done.

Thank you so much for sharing that with us Scott. I know from my community interaction that your fans are wishing you the very best with your recovery and appreciate your openness during such a tough time.

Lynch - Armadillo Con

We’ve talked about your writing process for your first and second books. But, let us say you had at your disposal a time machine. I wonder if looking back on your writing of The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies – is there any advice you would give to the younger and less experienced Scott Lynch or anything you wish you had done differently within the novels?

Oh, hell yes. I mean, a writer is always going to lament what they might have done had they been more experienced. You can’t really let yourself pine for a chance to go change things, however. The books are of their time, slices of a specific period in an author’s life, and if you fret about re-writing old stuff you’ll never get around to writing new stuff. I think serious adjustments and “author’s preferred editions” should be limited to occasions when the author was truly compelled by outside circumstances to make significant changes to their original vision for a book.

Each book has flaws that I readily admit to. In TLOLL, I rather inelegantly turned the historical interludes from Locke’s life into more omniscient slices of Camorri history and custom as the book went on, and the transition was not particularly smooth. There are also some elements of back-story, such as the full relationship between some of the Gentlemen Bastards and the Guilded Lilies, that would have been much better left on the page.

In RSURS (spoilers follow!), I think I rather let the ending come on in a hurry, and I didn’t sufficiently allude to the Priori early on, to allow them to feel like a more natural mechanism for Locke to strike against the Archon with. Checkhov’s Gun -was- shown onstage in the first act, but only barely, and it was badly-lit and concealed behind some other scenery, so the fact that it was technically there doesn’t excuse the poor execution of the foreshadowing.

But hey, shit happens. If you refuse to let a book out of its cage until it’s flawless in every last facet, you’re going to work on it until you die, and you’ll die unpublished.

I want to give you a statistic related to the above question: “Only three out of every 10,000 manuscripts submitted in the United States each year get published.” Now, you’ve been there and done it and submitted one of these three manuscripts. For our community of writer’s do you have any advice to them as a professional in either terms of their writing or approaching of agents/publishers?

The writing is what’s important. Fuck statistics, approach, etc. until much later. Everything is superfluous to learning how to write, and to actually writing. Read good books…read a great many books…read them in a learning mindset. Take them apart, identify the tricks and techniques the authors are consciously using. Apply that learning to your work. Then write, and write, and write, and write.

Statistics like “3 out of 10,000” even if accurate, are largely meaningless. It’s not a random draw. Your slush manuscript is NOT in competition with the ones written in purple crayon, the ones covering topics that editor does not actually publish, or the ones that are plainly the ravings of illiterate maniacs.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden wrote a legendary blog post called “Slushkiller,” in which she discusses this very subject. Check out section 3, under the heading “the context of rejection.”

Learn and write. Keep learning and keep writing. Have a product to bring to market before you worry about the ins and outs of selling it. Remember, there are unheralded geniuses out there, potentially brilliant writers, people far more gifted than you or I or anyone currently working in the field, and it will never matter one iota because they won’t sit down and apply themselves to actually writing.

If you love this and want to do it, throw yourself at it. Don’t wait and don’t make excuses. You’re several heartbeats closer to your death than you were when you started reading this paragraph; that’s the only certainty you get. Worry about writing first, and the rest will sort itself out when you produce something worth reading.

One word that drops up a lot with the Gentleman Bastard series is different. But when you read novels (other than your own) are there certain things your look for or have you guaranteed to pick that novel up? What do you consider the ‘recipe’ for a good novel?

Locke SettingI have three competing goals when I shop for books. On the one hand, I’ve been deliberately engaged for several years now in a loose project to do a grand historical survey of science fiction and fantasy, working from awards lists and lists of “classic” or influential works. Those take up a significant percentage of my buying and reading time.

Next, I take pretty regular vacations to read outside the sf/f genres, and I tend to do that in bouts of 3-4 books at a time. Sometimes that too means working from a list, and sometimes I just conjure a notion and follow it…3-4 “great American novels,” 3-4 books solely by women, 3-4 farces or satires, and so forth.

Last and certainly not least, the important one, the new sf/f stuff. I have a small advantage here in that my editors will shed good books on me months before general release, and my editors tend to have really excellent and eclectic taste (sure, they publish me, but nobody’s perfect). That saves me a lot of trouble! But when I go hunting for sf/f stuff all on my own, I tend to look for a combination of vivid imagination, boldly-sketched characters, and visible prose skill. I can’t abide stuff written at a 5th-grade reading level. I need to see, from page one, that the author gives a damn about choosing one word rather than another, and isn’t writing the narrative equivalent of stereo instructions.

I also like, in no particular order, thieves, skullduggery, alchemy, thin swords, Renaissance/Elizabethan/Georgian levels of worldbuilding, and really cool coats. If your book cover looks like something out of Plunkett & Macleane, you’ll probably get my attention.

I guess now we should tie you down to some. So, what I’m going to ask you to give us six novels that we should read if we haven’t already. Two from each category if you please:

Two that have been released in the last two years:

The Red Tree by Caitlin Kiernan and The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie.

Two that are classics that fantasy fans should have read, but probably haven’t:

Bridge of Birds, by Barry Hughart, for being exquisite, exciting, hilarious, and heartbreaking all at once. Also, the planetary romances of Leigh Brackett, from the 40s and 50s. What a sense of wonder that woman had, and what a subtle touch she used to elevate standard premises and turn standard plots upon themselves.

Two that are unique in either their style, theme or plot:

Heroes Die, by Matthew Woodring Stover. Criminally underrated, though it claims a rabid cult, myself included. It’s a gritty, bloody, deeply touching work of genius that is a thorough dissection of the roleplaying hobby and of a bad potential future for our society. Also, the original Dying Earth cycle, by Jack Vance. A narrative voice unlike any other, in a world of lush and poisonous beauty. Description, even hyperbolic praise, slides off it like water off a duck’s back; it simply has to be read.

It seems to me that fantasy could well making its comeback to television. I mean, fantasy television was massive “back in the day,” but it seems to have been switched out for sci-fi and urban fantasy, which I guess was because it is easier to budget for and harder to make cheesy. A Game of Thrones has just proven to most of us that now that people are ready to spend the budgets on doing it right – it can be done. Firstly, did you see A Game of Thones? What were your thoughts?

I’m going to admit weakness here…I don’t have HBO. If the episodes had been offered on iTunes or something, I would have snapped them up. As it is, I’m waiting for the DVD set. I’m a huge fan of the novel series (and am currently working on a re-read to bring myself up to speed for book five). I think that what I’ve seen of the TV series looks incredible, and the casting (especially Peter Dinklage) looks inspired. You can all assume that when the season becomes available on DVD, my life will at that precise moment be derailed (same thing when Skyrim comes out).

Secondly and inevitably, would The Lies of Locke Lamora work as a television series? Who would play who and what scenes would you most look forward to coming to life?

James McAvoyI think it would stand a much better chance of survival in the visual medium as a series, or even as a miniseries, so the story doesn’t have to suffer from compression into two hours and it doesn’t have to somehow squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars out of people just to break even. I’ve thought that since I first saw the late lamented Rome.

Now, I’m much less involved in that side of things…I give the nod to rights sales and from there stuff is largely out of my hands. If Locke & Co. were ever to go to the screen in any fashion, I’d be far, far less involved that George has been with his series (and those bitterly complaining about how the TV series has been a ‘distraction’ from his novels have, I think, ignored the fact that George had a long pre-ASOIAF career wearing multiple important hats in big-time television…writer, editor, showrunner, etc.). I don’t have that background, or that interest.

I don’t -generally- believe in dreamcasting major characters of mine, since I prefer to let readers imagine their own without prejudice, but I’ll drop a few hints. If you want my original mental model for the Gray King, think of Michael Wincott. If I had the magic power to cast anyone, I think Kenneth Cranham (you’ve seen him in a dozen things, I’m sure) would be brilliant as Father Chains -or- as Capa Barsavi.

I would personally love to see a more humanistic sort of approach to a hypothetical series…no swooping, god’s-eye CGI of the cities and towers. I’d love some fog, mystery, and claustrophobia. All the wonders of, say, Camorr presented solidly from the perspective of the people living in it, who are for 95% of the length of TLOLL gazing up at things rather than prancing about the heights of the Five Towers. I’d love to see it take its time, build on-screen camaraderie, paint the whole tapestry of mixed classes and colorful lowlifes…let the characters really live and breathe before the plot starts dropping anvils on their heads.

There’s been a ghastly trend in recent years of taking brilliant fucking actors and thrusting them into tiny little roles in fantasy films where they barely get any lines…I’m thinking of Derek Jacobi and Christopher Lee, for example, utterly fucking wasted in the adaptation of The Golden Compass AKA Northern Lights, depending on where you live. I would want to see any hypothetical adaptation of my work do the exact opposite.

In regards to the future of the genre, how do you think that fantasy is developing? I’ve interviewed a few authors recently and quite a few of them are naming now as the ‘new golden age’ of fantasy. I’d like to hear your thoughts on where you think the genre is going in the slightly more distant future. How do you see fantasy changing over the next 25 years?

Well, we’ve reached a point where the fantasy side of the genre has become much more of a commercial power, relatively speaking, than the science fiction side, so writers working in the various flavors of fantasy have more room to stretch themselves, I think, in terms of the elements they want to throw into the literary mix. Anything’s on the table, anything can be made to work.

We’ve also reached a point where we’ve moved on from the relatively rough craft of the genre’s earlier years… we’ve had decades now to assimilate the psychological and literary advances of all genres of fiction. Fantasy is now being written that is not necessarily purely reaction to modern life, or a re-imagining of ancient legend, but is a reaction to existing genre fantasy itself.

I think the fantasy readership has developed a definite taste for richer and more genuine character portraits. We seem to want all the traditional trappings, all the color and adventure and magic and so forth, but we want to see more authentic and multi-dimensional protagonists having these adventures. The segment of the readership still clamoring for the simplistic, broadly-sketched plaster idol sort of hero has shrunk pretty sharply, though of course you can still find them howling in the wilds of the web.

Most of us seem to yearn for sophistication in every facet of our stories, and we’ve got a couple generations of fantasists now working to provide it, deepen it, and build upon it. It’ll a more globally and socially inclusive genre as well… by hook and by crook, by natural progression, and by the occasional fist upside the head when it’s called for. The genre won’t go back into all the old little boxes, nor will the people reading and writing it.

Let us move forward to 50 years into the future. Scott Lynch is probably pretty tired now.

Lynch 2075

Scott Lynch 2075

Ouch. Thanks for that. As it happens, I plan on having most of my body replaced with titanium hyper-alloy, and my assisted mobility chair is going to have some big fucking lasers. I write fantasy, but I intend to become science fiction. And then I’m going to remember this comment and come looking for you.

He’s written a ton of books and is ready to put his pen down, sit back and reflect upon everything that he has done within the genre (and perhaps beyond it). What kind of things do you think/would you like to think people will be saying about you and your work?

Wow, an invitation to morbid narcissism decades before the fact. Ain’t that beautiful. Well, look, we all want to be The Most Important Writer In the History of Everything, but we can’t just will it. Nor is it up to our contemporary critical establishment to make any judgment as to lasting value while we’re still alive. Frankly, history finds its own uses for us and it tends to do so according to its own unforeseeable rules long after we’re gone. Do you honestly think that if the major critics and academics from across the 19th century were polled on the writers they thought would have the greatest lasting commercial and artistic impact into our time, they’d really have named Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Sir Arthur-fucking-Conan Doyle?

So it goes and will go with us, I’m afraid. I’d like to be commercially and artistically successful in my life. I’d like to have a long, comfortable, meaningful career producing worthwhile stuff and being a useful part of the community. That last part means a lot to me…writing is a solitary occupation, and depression multiplied that sense of isolation significantly. Whatever else happens, I don’t want that again. I don’t want to be shut away from the world and from the genre community in my dotage…I’d like to still be as engaged and outgoing as I can be.

Finally Scott. I’d like to say a huge, huge thank you to you. I think this is an interview that will open the eyes of a lot of readers, inspire a fair few writers and quite literally have Locke fans drooling over the prospects of what’s to come in the Gentleman Bastard Sequence. Before we say goodbye and leave you, I wonder if there is anything that you want to comment upon that we haven’t yet covered or that you would like to leave us with.

I’m sure I’ve spilled enough pixels already…thanks for having me!

Scott and Elizabeth

You can read Fantasy-Faction’s review of The Lies of Locke Lamora here.

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21 Comments

  1. Mistique says:

    I was a huge fan of the first two novels and my heart has broken each time the third has been put back. I am really hoping that February 2012 is the real thing and this article sets things up brilliantly. I look forward to the world of Locke Lemora growing and growing.

  2. Paul Wiseall says:

    Fantastic interview!

    Without sounding like I’m blowing smoke, I really enjoy your questions, they have a great way of showing the man behind the pages. Lynch comes across as the kind of guy you could chat to for days and never be bored. I found it particularly interesting to read of the problems he’s dealt with. It inspires hope for people dealing with similar issues.
    Right, I’ve had Lies Of Locke Lamora sat on my shelf for months in the ‘to read pile’ just gathering dust and this article has made me want to go and pick it up. Mainly because after your questions I can’t wait to read ‘Red Seas Under Red Skies.’ :D
    Nice one Marc

  3. Jared says:

    Scott Lynch! 1000% pure awesome. Excellent interview!

  4. Reuben says:

    One of the awesome things about reading interviews with the current generation of fantasy authors is how obviously engaged they are with the community and with each other. I really appreciate the time that authors like Mr. Lynch are taking to use the Power of the Intertubes for good in this regard.

    The next step is clearly old-school hip-hop-style collaborations. Joe Abercrombie adding a chapter in the middle of the next Locke novel. George RR Martin writing ltitle italicized sections in a Daniel Abraham book, like a hype man. Come on, you know it’d be awesome!

  5. Khaldun says:

    Love Scott Lynch and everything he writes (even QOTIS) . If you haven’t read his short story ‘In The Stacks’ you definitely should find it and devour it. It’s awesome.

  6. redhead says:

    Brilliant interview! with one of my favorite authors!

    and it had a photo of one of my favorite actors as a bit of a teaser to play one of my favorite fantasy characters.

    damn this is an evening of favorites, and thank you very much for once i can’t wait to go to bed and DREAM about everything I just read!

    In the Stacks also was f’ing incredible. Best story in that anthology.

  7. Elfy says:

    Great interview. Ever since reading Lies and having it become one of my favourite books ever I’ve devoured anything I can get on or about Scott, and I was unaware of this interview, which is a shame because I think it’s one of the best with him that I’ve read. Now, I’m just hoping that the most recent speculative publication date given by Simon Spanton at Gollancz is on the money and we can all treat ourselves to more of Scott’s wonderful work.

  8. [...] guy and I really hope he feels better soon. In the mean time, we invite readers to check out our interview with Scott and try to understand the difficulties he [...]

  9. [...] – Read Fantasy-Faction’s interview with him here. [...]

  10. JJJJ says:

    His books are awesome. He can take all the time he needs to finish them. The series will be a masterpiece when it is finished.

  11. Ken says:

    All I have to say is what a brilliant interview this is. Wonderful!

  12. missy says:

    who is the guy in the photo with the comment “real life Locke”? Is he an actor? What’s his name? He really is very near to my idea of how Locke should look like!!! Please please please tell me his name!!!

  13. [...] the mean time, readers: you can read our interview with Scott here, an exclusive reading of The Mad Baron’s Mechanical Attic, a prequel to Lies of Locke Lamora [...]

  14. Diena says:

    Wow, had no idea the long lapse in writing was due to clinical depression and anxiety. Coincidently, i myself was depressed during those same years (6 altogether), only kicked it begininng of 2012. Anxiety persists but gets better every month.
    I am glad to hear that Scott is better too. Depression is a fucked up thing to suffer from, i wish it upon no one.

    I can totally see James McAvoy as Locke! He would be perfect!

    Thanks for the interview!

  15. […] In an interview I did with him a couple years back he said that at times the transitions are ‘not particularly smooth‘, and that they’d be one of the things he’d change about this first book if he could now as a […]

  16. […] Scott Lynch Interview – In depth with no holds barred. […]

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