Kevin J. Anderson Interview: On Fire In A Clockwork Universe!

Clockwork.Angel_.11. First off, what in Lord’s name have you done or experienced … I mean I am floored by just the love story that is “The Bookseller’s Tale” to kick off the compilation of stories “Clockwork Lives”. And is this Kevin J. Anderson’s first love story? Jeesh!

Thanks. As a writer, I try to absorb the experiences of all kinds of people so I can work them into my fiction. And you only get half of it in this—there is more from Mrs Courier and her lost love in CLOCKWORK LIVES. this story isn’t the opening piece, by the way. There’s a lot more before and after, but this seems a very good standalone sampler. We will be releasing one more, The Pickpocket’s Tale (the story of Guerrero, whom readers of CLOCKWORK ANGELS will recognized), before the book comes out. It’s certainly not my first love story! I hope I put at least some element of romance in all of my novels.

2. Why not go back to Owen Hardy — that is what RUSH and KJA fans were thinking, kinda?

we wanted to go back to the *whole universe* of the Watchmaker, with so many characters we had fallen in love with. Readers will indeed spot Owen Hardy in CLOCKWORK LIVES, but his story was pretty much finished in CLOCKWORK ANGELS. Believe me, Marinda Peake is just as compelling a character. I love her adventures and her quest.

3. Do you envision the big screen dreams for the Albion universe, and would you personally — or with Neil — be able to write a script and what would that be like?

I think I can speak for Neil that we would both love to see Clockwork Angels brought to the screen, but all of that is in the hands of the Watchmaker. Some filmmaker has to decide to tackle it. At that point, whether they would want us to work on the initial script or assign their own writer…it’s all unknown.

5. I follow everything RUSH. Why do you think the Toronto three are doing “Losing It” and — for that matter — “How It Is” and do you know if they will do these songs in Colorado on your special night? 6. Are you going to take the stage and maybe recite some “Clockwork Angels” for us? It would be super-cool if we could hear you say “What do you lack?”

I just went to the Denver show, and they didn’t play either of those songs. I will be at the last LA show, so maybe then? But no, I will not be taking to the stage. My part in the Rush universe after their 40 years of creating and touring together is so minuscule that I would never even consider any of that. Neil and I now have two books that we can be very very proud of, and the story “Drumbeats.” That is enough to make me very happy.

7 Has all your traveling given you a fresh perspective on writing and please tell me about your current and future plans writing-wise, across the board.

Traveling, and EXPERIENCING, is what gives a writer the ingredients he needs to understand people, places, history, geography, and the world. I like to see a lot of places, cultures, and meet many different people so that I can draw from those memories when I write my stories. Right now, as we gear up for the release of CLOCKWORK LIVES (which is truly one of my masterpieces, I believe), I have written ETERNITY’S MIND, the third book in my gigantic Saga of Seven Suns space opera; I will edit that one as soon as I finish editing NAVIGATORS OF DUNE (600 pages long, and in its fourth edit now), and I am staying in a small cottage in the Colorado mountains near the ruins of WWII Camp Hale, where I am writing a new work to launch a spinoff series based on the HEROES television series. Always a lot of irons in the fire.

8. Do you envision yet another and another “Clockwork Angels” spin-off, sorta like the Star Wars and Star Trek universes?

CLOCKWORK ANGELS was its own standalone novel, start to finish, and not intended to spark a whole series, but Neil and I loved it so much that after a couple of years we kept being drawn back to that universe. CLOCKWORK LIVES is, in my mind, the perfect standalone companion book. My love for that clockwork universe is undiminished. It won’t be an endless series, but eventually there may be room for another story…

9. I was so impressed by how cool you are, but I got to ask you — are you shy of all the adulation at book shows or do you deal well with all of it

One of the hardest things to learn is how to accept compliments. When you have many readers coming up to you to tell you how much they like your work, it’s hard to know how to respond. But I really do appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. Recently at a book show, a 34-year-old man came up to me with his young son, carrying a battered old copy of my novel JEDI SEARCH. He said “My father gave me this book when I was ten years old, to encourage me to read, and I became a lifelong reader. Would you please sign this book to MY son, so I can give it to him and encourage him to read?” It just doesn’t get better than that.

10. Can you give me a little story about some mountain-climbing experience that you have had with RUSH or something amusing?

Well, when Neil and I climbed 14,000-ft Mount Evans near Denver, during which we plotted CLOCKWORK ANGELS, we got to the top of the peak to find crowds there (a road leads to the top, for those who don’t have the stamina to hike). Just as we staggered to the summit, we saw a guy standing there wearing a Rush T-shirt and hat from the concert the night before. We quietly slipped down a different trail.