QOTC: First, I'd like to say, please excuse the mess. We're still painting, but we're slowly making progress. So, J, what do you think of my kitchen's new color scheme?
J: I love it! I like how you combined the light and dark greens to create a real feeling of depth. Looks like a model home.
QOTC: Thanks! I just finished reading Far World: Water Keep. I have to be honest here - it was really, really good! I found the idea of a sister planet to Earth very interesting. Especially how some of the geographical areas were similar to each other. How did you come up with the idea for Farworld?
J: Well, I took Hogwarts and renamed it. Just kidding. It makes me laugh though that anyone who writes a YA fantasy now has to worry about having anything too similar to HP. The idea for the story itself showed up in bits and pieces over years and years. I actually wrote a couple of chapters about a wizard sending a baby to another world years ago. But it never really clicked until I started writing this book. Then it was like a fountain I couldn't shut off. My editor kept saying, "Do you realize how long this is?"
QOTC: I have to tell you, the snakes terrify me. Snakes are just freaks of nature. I mean really, it's just not right for things to move when they don't have legs. Ugh! Why did you choose to have the Thrathkin S'Bae turn into snakes?
J: I always loved the nazgul from LOTR, and I wanted that same really creepy feel for my dark wizards. I like how they can just burst out of the ground anywhere. Bad dudes.
QOTC: Speaking of Thrathkin S'Bae - that is the funkiest name. Where in the world did you find it and what does it mean?
J: The direct translation is Masters of the dead who walk. I've actually been doing some work on mapping their language out. Is that geeky or what?
QOTC: Totally geeky . . . and so totally you! In the first book, I found that the bad guys were kind of flat. We really don't get to know too much about them. Will we get to know them better in the next book?
J: The thing with a series is that you only have so much space to introduce new characters, a new world, get the quest underway, wrap it all up. And all the time your editor is telling you to watch your page count. That's why it's so hard to give your villains a real detailed back story. I tried to hint at it in a few places (the fire 1,000 years before, for example) but yes there will be lots more. You haven't even met the bad guys on Earth yet.
QOTC: OK - that sounded kind of scary. I can't imagine what could be worse than the Thrathkin S'Bae. Here's an odd question for you - Did you get the name Ishkabiddle from the Care Bears movie or is it just a weird coincidence?
J: Actually you're thinking of Ishkabibble. I didn't know that was a care bear movie until later. But there was a musician in the 40's who called himself Ish Kabibble which I understand is Yiddish for something like "What me worry?" I liked that my worried little creature sounded like Yiddish for not worrying. But mostly I just liked the sound of Iskabiddle. It’s fun to say.
QOTC: Riph Raph is one of my favorite characters in the book. I loved it when he was transported to earth and became a lizard. His reaction was hilarious! What other creatures can we look forward to Riph Raph becoming?
J: You'll have to wait and see. But it is going to be a running joke. I love how he gets so offended.
QOTC: I think it's really neat that everyone in your book has magic within them. I've been wondering, what's your magic?
J: I accrue frequent flier miles at twice the rate of the normal man. Actually I do, but I think that's just because of my frequent flier status on Delta. That's actually part of my message to schools--the magic part, not the frequent flier part. When I was about eleven, I used to go fishing with my cousins. There were a bunch of us, and I was the oldest. So things got kind of rowdy when the fish where slow to bite. One day one of the kids asked me to tell them a story. I didn't want to tell one of the usual fairy tales, so I made up the adventures of Captain Weenie and The Little Purple Man. I don't know how long that went on, but they remember that series to this day. That was when I realized I had the ability to make up interesting stories. I definitely consider that part of my magic.
QOTC: Captain Weenie, eh? I'll have to remember that for future writing conference pranks. Seriously, I think your writing talent/magic is awesome. Now, if you were a Farworld resident, what would be your magic talent?
J: I definitely think that I'm a fire magic kind of guy. When my new web site comes on-line www.readfarworld.com you'll get the chance to find out what kind of magic you would have. I could blow out a cleansing flame that would edit all my manuscripts in one fell swoop.
QOTC: That's so cool! I can't wait to see what my magic is! You and James Dashner are good friends and often work each other into your stories. If he were a resident of Farworld, what would his magic talent be?
J: Oh probably some kind of air magic. He's a total air head. Like maybe the ability to flap his ears and fly up to ten feet at a time.
QOTC: Hee hee! I hope James is reading this!
J: Actually, I don't think I was ever asked to cut a scene. There was much more adding. Like when MT fights the mimicker, that scene was much shorter at first, but we all like the idea of drawing it out with lots of creature changes.
QOTC: What were the differences, if any, of writing for an LDS market vs. writing for the national market?
J: None for me, because my other books have never been really written for an LDS audience per se. I'm writing the kind of books I'd like to read, regardless of religious tenets people might have. Writing YA and fantasy were big changes though.
QOTC: You usually introduce yourself as a writer with A.D.D. because you have written in so many genres. What are your plans for future books (after you finish the Farworld series, of course)?
J: If I ever have the chance to write full time--just write what I want--it will be scary. I've got so many ideas. At the moment, the one that is the most pressing is an urban fantasy that mostly takes place in Hell.
QOTC: Oh my. You really are a writer with ADD. I'm very interested in seeing what your version of Hell looks like. Thanks, J. I'm starting to get the munchies? I could really go for some yummy ice cream. How about you? What's your favorite flavor and topping?
J: Mint chocolate chip with caramel and bananas.
QOTC: Great! I'll just go program that into my magic freezer & we'll have sundaes in just a few minutes.
J: A magic freezer? If I'd known you had that we could have been eating otter pops all this time. Oh well, ice-cream sounds great!
QOTC: Thanks for stopping by QOTC and hanging out, J. It was lots of fun! Everyone, stay tuned for more about Farworld: Water Keep and the contest details!
J: Thanks for the interview and again congrats on the new kitchen. It looks amazing!
Farworld: Water Keep teasers from J. Scott Savage's blog:
Come join Marcus and Kyja as they try to save both Farworld and Earth. Each time they jump between worlds, they learn more and more about magic . . . and the mystery of who they really are.
Some fun teasers: Read the first Two Chapters here and another teaser here.
And of course, if you absolutely need more Farworld, just enter my contest!
QOTC Rating: Five Stars
FARWORLD: WATER KEEP CONTEST DETAILS!
Enter this contest to win a free, Advance Readers's Copy of Farworld: Water Keep by J. Scott Savage. You can't buy this book in stores until it's release in September. So this is an awesome opportunity! There will be two ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post & you'll receive one contest entry.
2. Write a short post on your blog announcing this contest with a link to this post or QOTC. Another option: If you don't have a blog, you can send an email with the contest info and my blog address (http:queenoftheclan.blogspot.com) to at least five people and add my email (danyelle @familyclan.org) to the list. Come back, leave a comment to let me know you linked up or sent an email & you'll receive TWO contest entries.
All comments and post links/emails must be made before 10 am (Central Time) on July 14th. Around noon, my one year old will choose a name from a hat. The winner will be posted that afternoon. Be sure to check back! The winner will need to contact me within 48 hours with their mailing address. J. Scott Savage will then send you an ARC of Farworld: Water Keep. If the winner does not contact me within the time alloted, another winner will be chosen.