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:
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.