Fantasy Faction Podcast

Posted on February 21st, 2012 in interviews

While at the SFX Weekender in Prestatyn, those two nice young men from Fantasy Faction interviewed me in a room full of snooker tables.  You may witness the results, largely consisting of me speaking very quickly, upon their podcast.  We talk of books past, books present, and books yet to come, among other things.  Quickly, in my case…

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  1. Cool interview. And A RED COUNTRY is a far better title than just RED COUNTRY.

    Yet again, silly Yanks just have to arbitrarily change stuff that doesn’t need to be changed.

  2. Great interview Joe, feeling A Red Country works better for me, alternatively THE Red Country. Doesn’t seem to fit without either prefix.

  3. Cool Interview, i can tell it’s going to take a few episodes for these guys to get into the swing of things, but not bad for the first.

  4. very intrigued about this next gen of characters, and hopefully an escalation of hostilities between bayaz & Khalul

  5. The teaser for the podcast was “why the heck Joe hasn’t continued the tale of Logan Nine-Fingers!” I listened to the interview, which was great, and it sounds like the your reason is you don’t want people to get burned out on your characters. I agree there is a fine line and if you wrote 20 books about Logen constantly escaping impossible odds, it would get old and I’d probably quit after book 8 or so. But do you ever worry that by jumping ahead so many years each book, and moving to many new characters each book, that you are limiting your chances at truly huge success, movies, tv and such? GRRM’s five books follows the same basic folks around (those that are still alive) book after book. I wonder if by staying with the same characters that people love, he keeps them coming back for more as they are dying to see what happens to them?

    I’ll take your 5 books in 6 years over his 5 books in 16years any day of the week. I think your a better author. But, I wonder if you could have the same kind of success with Logen, Glokta, Jezal, etc, had you stayed with those folks rather than jumping ahead now 15 years. If Logen is now 50′ish then you are limited in what you can still do with him. I, like many others would have given a left nut to have read a few more books with Logen and gang. Movies and epic sales figures may yet come, you may not care. This is not a complaint. Just wondering if you worry that you under-did it rather than over-did it with your characters. Thanks Joe.

  6. Hawkeye,
    I think much more important is I don’t want me to get burned out on my characters. Obviously you worry with every book you write whether it’s going to be successful, but I have my doubts that the route to any kind of success is to write for some perceived guess at what people might want to read rather than what you want to do yourself.

    If getting filmed is the aim, I think you’d probably have a much better shot writing shorter, more focused stories than very long and labyrinthine ones. But I don’t think getting filmed can really be your aim when you write any more than bagging a zillion readers can. You have to write for yourself and hope some readers will want to read it. So far I haven’t done too badly out of that approach.

  7. Thank you once again to Joe for the fantastic interview – I don’t think you spoke all that fast… and hey, even if that was the case, in that abandoned snooker-hall area that we were allocated for interviews, I could understand wanting to get out there pretty quickly. I was waiting for a ‘Hearrrrrrs Jonny’ or at very least some kind of ghoul to show up. It was pretty creepy.

    Can’t wait for (A) Red Country and I’m also looking forward to seeing where you go from there… certainly an exciting time to be an Abercrombie fan! :)

  8. @Hawkeye – Surely if a writer write’s in order to fit in with possible TV & movie deals then he might as well just write a script?

    As much as I’d love to see Joe’s work on screen – and I do think The First Law would fit very well in episodic form – I don’t think he – or any author – should deliberately write with a possible script in mind or to make it more appealing to producers.

    Reading GRRMs ASoIaF you can see he does write that way, but then GRRM was a scriptwriter before he wrote novels, so I guess his mindset works that way.

  9. Part of the problem with a lot of fantasy literature is that the same characters repeatedly surviving book after book becomes swiftly unrealistic.

    After a while you stop believing they’re going to die/get maimed/have so much as a bad day.

    By introducing new characters to an already established world, you can keep the drama of each situation alive, while maintaining the familiarity of the setting for the long-term reader.

    In my opinion of course.

  10. When I see the title A RED COUNTRY, I think of the song entitled IN A BIG COUNTRY by the band BIG COUNTRY from 1986.

    Looking forward to reading the new book.

  11. @Phil Norris

    Well, GRRM has stated that being held back by budgets while writing for TV was one of the reasons he wrote aSoIaF. He wanted to write something in epic scale that wouldn’t be held back by budgets because it was never gonna be on television.

    He’s background might have led the books to be more accessible for a showrunner, but still – beyond hard to make a series of.

    I definitely think The First Law would be great as a three season series.

    (On other notes, Joe, will you be doing a post about the SubPress limited Last Argument of Kings, or maybe sum up the triologi in it’s limited state? After comparing books, I can’t say I’m very happy with the last one. Several quirks making it lesser than it’s predecessors.)

  12. Great interview; always cool hearing you work.

    I was curious about that one point you made at the end. You said that you noticed certain parts of First Law that you would have written differently. Is there anything in particular that you wish you’d done a different way?

  13. …always cool hearing you *talk about your* work.

    Not sure how I butchered that one quite so badly.

  14. @Phil Norris
    I don’t think that the suggestion that GRRM “deliberately write[s] with a possible script in mind or to make it more appealing to producers” is accurate or fair. If he was trying to “deliberately” appeal to producers then he’d pump out shorter novels with fewer characters and tighter plots culminating in single climaxes towards the end of each book, not a multi-volume sprawling saga in which the conclusion may never be reached (God forbid!).

    @henderson
    I also think of the 80′s song, but, coming from Australia, the title ‘A Red Country’ also makes me think of the Australian ‘outback’, because in much of Australia the soil is red, sometimes a very strong red (as is unsurprising, given the colour of Uluru/Ayers Rock).

    @The Dude
    ‘The First Law’ would definitely make an excellent series and ‘BSC’ and ‘The Heroes’ would make great feature films (each with a full-length director’s cut of 3 hours plus please). Perhaps ‘TFL’ should be HBO’s next project…

  15. Good interview.

    After the end of the first law trilogy i wanted more! I didnt care who from or who i hurt to get it but i wanted more Bloody-Nine.

    In my head you will be releasing the Second Law Trilogy that will start off with an ugly guy in the water whispering “still alive…. still alive”
    Then we carry on with the vengeance of Ferro
    the rebuild of the Union by Jez and Glokta
    and hopefully we get to see Dogman as King Of The North :)

    Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he left me wanting more!

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