Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An Interview With J. Scott Savage, Author of the "Farworld" series

I had the pleasure of interviewing J. Scott Savage, an extremely talented author of the "Farworld" series a few months back.  The intentions were to post the interview along with our review of "Farworld: Land Keep" however there were some delays in receiving the book and since we are only reviewing our contest's sponsor publishers throughout the duration of the contest, we are unable to give you a review at this time.  However, we did review book 1 in the series, "Water Keep" and absolutely loved the book.  Scott was kind enough to give me an interview, and I didn't think it was fair to make it wait any longer.  The review of "Land Keep" will come after the end of the contest.  So, without further delay, here is what Scott had to say:

TLG: The Farworld series is very well written, engaging, and book 1, "Water Keep" had me hooked the entire time.  Book 2 of the series, "Land Keep" just recently hit the shelves. Where did the concept for the series come from?

JSS:  Well first, don't to point out the $1,000 check I am paying you for all the nice things you are saying. Isn't that the law now. (I'm kidding about the check, fellow bloggers. Please don't start invoicing me!) I'm so glad you found it engaging though. I like to say that my writing style is just-one-more-chapter-please. I want my books to be hard to put down. As a
writer, I almost always start with character and let the story expand from there. Until I care about my protagonist, it's hard to see the whole picture. I really wanted this series to be about finding the magic inside all of us.

TLG:  So the Farworld series will contain 4 books in all as far as we know. When you started writing Water Keep, did you already have the entire plot of the series mapped out or do you create as you go?

JSS:  Hah! Trick question. There are actually five books in the series. Water Keep, Land Keep, Air Keep, Fire Keep, and Shadow Keep. Without giving too much away, Shadow Keep is about what happens when you leap before you look. I definitely knew the big picture of the series when I presented it to Shadow Mountain. I also knew lots of little details, but definitely not all of them. I really like when a series sets things up early and then reveals the things that were only hinted at in later books. It's hard to do that if you don't know where the series is going.

TLG:  Are you currently working on or is anything in the works for when Farworld is complete? Any plans or ideas for a stand alone novel in the future?

JSS:  Lots and lots! I always have tons of things in the works. Probably the hottest one right now is a YA series called Demon Spawn about a teenage demon who lives in hell and is recruited to help an angel get back to the city of Judgment. It ends up being not exactly what she expects.

TLG:  Every author has a goal in mind for their book or series. What is your goal for how many copies of Land keep or for that matter, the entire Farworld Series you would like to see sold/printed?

JSS:  Well my main goal is to continue expanding my readership with each book. Exact numbers are such a crazy thing. So many thing can affect your sales, marketing (or lack thereof), similar books that take off, even a particular endorsement. It's hard to control any of that. What I can control is making each book so much better than the previous one that readers really begin to spread the word. I still believe that word of mouth is the best long term way to build up a base of readers who will stick with you for the long haul.

TLG:  When you write, do you follow any format or do you just put the pen to the paper and go with the flow?

JSS:  I don't know if you'd call it a format or not, but I try to write what I'd like to read. If I'm excited to write what comes next, readers will usually be excited as well. I never start a book until I know the end of it, and I try to make sure every chapter has a high point for at least one of the story lines. I can't stand chapters that are only there to link two scenes to each other. I want every chapter to have at least some "WOW" factor to it.

TLG:  What do you do when you are not writing?

JSS:  Honestly? Think about writing. My family knows when my head is in another world. I start staring aimlessly. I also love anything that involves doing things with my wife and kids. We are huge Disney fanatics. We like camping and games and traveling. And I am a voracious reader. I honestly read ten to twenty books a month.

TLG:  Please tell everyone something interesting about you that possibly no one has asked you about before.

JSS:  Well for one thing, I lived in your neck of the woods for three year, New Providence, NJ. Also I was nearly arrested for disturbing the peace my senior year in high school. In involved leading a team of searchers for the "golden banana" a historic artifact of mythological proportions. Long story.

TLG:  The Farworld series is a YA/middle grade reader/Fantasy series. Are you interested in trying a different Genre, or do you just feel at home there?

JSS:  Oh, yeah. I've actually written a high tech thriller and a mystery series as Jeffrey S Savage. But this is my first fantasy series and my first attempt at writing for younger readers. I love the YA world as well, but will probably stick to the fantasy area. (For now!)

TLG:  Any favorite authors/books? What have you read recently that you loved? What do you plan to read in the near future?

JSS:  I have so many favorite authors. Stephen King, Garth Nix, Neil Gaiman, Peter Straub, SE Hinton. And I'm a big John Steinbeck fan. I just finished The Giver, The Seventh Tower Series, and Anansi Boys. I also recently read the Uglies series and Catching Fire. Can't wait for the new Stephen King book.

TLG:  Our signature question! What would you, J. Scott Savage, do for a klondike bar??

JSS:  Well I am a big, big, fan of Klondike bars. Especially the ones with the extra thick chocolate. So it's really more like what wouldn't I do? I would definitely eat a live cricket, while attempting to cross the Provo River (which isn't all that wide to be honest) on a unicycle.

TLG:  Scott...thanks so much for the interview! I really did love Farworld and I couldn't put Water Keep down. I am so looking forward to reading and reviewing Land Keep.  After the contest is over, it is a top priority for me!  I think you are extremely talented and hope that you share much more of your imagination with us in the years to come. I wish you the best of luck with the recent release and you have a fan right here for as long as you continue to write.

JSS:  You're welcome. Tell the whole Lateiner gang hi for me.


  1. Wow, great interview with J. Scott Savage. What a nice sounding guy. ^_^

    I liked reading Water Keep. I look forward to reading that review you have of the second one, Land Keep.

  2. Awesome interview! I have been dying to read Water Keep. I have heard it is really great.

  3. Fantastic interview! You asked a lot of unique questions too.

    I haven't read Water Keep (or even heard of it), but it sounds really interesting. I like this whole Water, Land, Air, Fire, and Shadows thing too. I'm definitely intrigued.

  4. Great inteview. I have not read his books, but I am adding them to my list.


  5. I want to hear more about this "Golden Banana" tom foolery! lol. Sounds like it could make a great story.

    Anyway, I love the Farworld series. Everybody needs to check it out! I'm reading Land Keep right now and it's amazing. :)

  6. Thanks guys for your comments. Farworld is a really cool series. Water Keep was an AWESOME book! Its killing me that I have to wait to read Land Keep! I tried to get Shadow Mountain involved in the contest, but they never got back to me after responding that they would :o( I would even sneak in reading Water Keep, but I have so many books that I promised I'd read for the sponsoring pubs, theres just no way I could squeeze it in now. It will be one of the first I read as soon as I am done with the contest. If you have not yet had a chance to read it, grab a copy of Water Keep. It was one of those that I ended up finishing in a day or 2 I was so hooked!

    Thanks again!


  7. What a great interview! I'd never heard of his books, but the covers are awesome, and just from reading him talk (does that make sense?), I feel like I, too, would find his books un-put-down-able. I also love all of his favorite authors. YAY!

  8. I won this book in a contest a long time ago and the author was supposed to send it to me but never did. Hmmmm.

    lol...I'm over it. I promise! I think your review brought it all back because I really did want to read this book! :P

    Great interview. Thanks!

  9. Neat! I am going to tell my sisters about this books series!! :D:D:D

  10. When I first seen this I didn't think it was my kinda read. Great interview, now that I have learned more about it, I think it sounds great.

  11. Great interview - loved all of his responses. I think this series looks really good, and it's on my 'to read' list now. I particularly liked his comment that he writes what he wants to read - AMEN. I can't tell you how many times I've been so frustrated with a book that it motivates me to sit down and write my own story. Anyways, sounds like a promising author to watch - thanks.

  12. Great interview! I've never heard of this series before. It's always nice to get exposed to new possibilities for future reading. And I love the Klondike question at the end!

  13. What a cool interview! I haven't heard of him before, but I'll have to check him out! Thanks! :)

  14. I'm glad you asked about the concept. I always like to know how authors come up with the things they write especially if it has been stuff I've really enjoyed.

  15. Great interveiw. And beautiful covers! I think that's what draws me into fantasy--the beautiful cover art is so inspiring.

  16. Oh! I like the covers. And I like how he wants to be the kind of author that creates books that are hard to put down. Those are the best kinds of books!

  17. Great interview. While this is not the type of book I am normally interested in, based on this interview I would definitely check out his high tech thrillers and mystery series as Jeffrey S Savage. Thanks

  18. Awesome interview! I loved the insight into JSS's writing, such as not starting a book until he knows the ending, and wanting to feature a high point for at least one of the story lines in each chapter. "Wow factor" -- love that phrase!

  19. Wonderful review. I know someone who will love these books. They are now a Christmas present to get.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  20. I love readng books by authors who are such ecclectic readers. These books sound fantastic

  21. I love that he has a set number of books and titles already set. Hopefully it means that the books will be out asap! I think I'll wait until the series is almost complete before starting it; although I definitely want to read it after having read the interview, lol.