November 2009 Jérôme Vincent, Interview de KJA VO

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November 2009 Jérôme Vincent, Interview de KJA VO

Postby D Pope » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:39 am

Interview de Kevin J.Anderson VO

de Kevin J. Anderson

ActuSF : How did you discover science fiction ?
What in particular attracted you in this specific genre ?
And, finally, what made you decide you to write in it ?

Kevin J.Anderson : From the time I was very young, I was captivated by
science fiction and monster movies. I started making up stories of my own,
even at 8 years old, and they all seemed to be science fiction. It was what
interested me — all the imagination, all the ideas.

ActuSF : How did you come to write in preexisting universes like Star
Wars, Star Trek or X Files ?

Kevin J.Anderson : I had established myself as a professional author first,
writing many original books and stories, which my editor and publisher liked.
When the opportunity to do new Star Wars novels arose, the publisher
suggested my name to Lucasfilm, and they liked my books as well.
So I got the invitation.

ActuSF : By the way, what’s your opinion about these movies and TV
shows ?

Kevin J.Anderson : I love them, of course. I was a big fan of Star Wars,
Star Trek, and X-Files before I ever agreed to work on them. The same is
true for my Superman and Batman novels for DC Comics, THE LAST DAYS OF
KRYPTON and ENEMIES & ALLIES. It’s too much work to write in a universe
you don’t enjoy.

ActuSF : What’s your method when you’re working on this novels ?
Do you perfectly know all the episodes ? Do you discuss with scriptwriter ?

Kevin J.Anderson : For Star Wars, I had watched the original three films
countless times and studied them carefully ; then I read the background
material, other novels, even gaming guides. For X-FILES I had indeed seen
every episode, and I flew out to Hollywood to meet with the show’s creator
Chris Carter and discussed my ideas with him.

ActuSF : Do you take a certain form of pleasure, when immersing
yourself in these universes ? There is maybe some kind of comfort in this
exercise ?

Kevin J.Anderson : Yes, when I was working on X-FILES, for instance, I
had videotapes of all the episodes from the studio ; I had the music soundtrack,
and I just played everything all the time, keeping myself immersed. I used the
same technique with Star Wars. I was a fan before I started, and an even
bigger fan while I was working on the books.

ActuSF : What about Dune. How did you come to work with Brian Herbert ?

Kevin J.Anderson : DUNE was always my favorite science fiction novel. I
had read all of Frank Herbert’s sequels, and all of his other novels as well.
When he passed away in 1986, it was clear that he intended to write more
stories in that universe, since CHAPTERHOUSE DUNE ends on such a
cliffhanger, with the story incomplete. After I had established myself as a
successful writer, through a mutual friend I met Brian Herbert and suggested
to him that the story needed to be finished. When we found Frank Herbert’s
notes detailing other parts of the history of the Dune series, we realized there
were many other stories to be told.

ActuSF : How do you consider this major work of science fiction, and the
work of its creator ?

Kevin J.Anderson : I think it’s the best science fiction novel. Frank
Herbert changed the entire genre with the publication of Dune because he
wrote a story that had such a scope and depth to demonstrate the true
possibilities of science fiction. No one else has ever been able to match it.

ActuSF : Do you ever feel hindered by the fear of committing sacrilege ?
Do you feel entirely free to develop your stories ?
Isn’t Frank Herbert’s ghost always watching behind your back ?

Kevin J.Anderson : Frank Herbert’s ghost is always watching behind our
backs, but that is a good thing. He left an incredible legacy for us, and Brian
and I have to be sure we maintain the quality and complexity. Thankfully, now
that we’ve just published our 11th book in the series, the fans continue to follow
us and express their enthusiasm for new volumes. When we create our stories,
we have to stay within the boundaries of the Dune novels Frank Herbert wrote,
but it’s a big universe and there is plenty of room for us to express our creativity.

ActuSF : What kind of relation do you have with Dune’s followers ?
How did they react when they learnt that the master’s work would be continued ?

Kevin J.Anderson : Anyone who has read CHAPTERHOUSE DUNE knows
that Frank Herbert meant to continue the story, so we’re not making up
novels that don’t need to be told. Because Frank Herbert’s very last published
novel (MAN OF TWO WORLDS) was a collaboration with his son Brian, and he
had asked Brian to write further Dune books with him, it’s certainly a
legitimate effort. Some of the fans were skeptical when they first heard of
the project, and some even posted very negative comments before they read
the first novel, HOUSE ATREIDES. After the book came out, though, we
received numerous apology letters from the complainers.

ActuSF : What’s your response to people who claim that your work can’t
compete with Franck Herbert’s ?

Kevin J.Anderson : We don’t believe we (or anyone) can match the genius
of Frank Herbert. Our style isn’t the same as Frank Herbert’s, but remember
that Frank Herbert’s own style varied greatly, even from DUNE to DUNE
MESSIAH. We have a very active fan following, with millions of the new Dune
books in print around the world in many languages ; and of course, if the fans
prefer, they can always just reread Frank’s originals

ActuSF : You’ve collaborated with many people such as Brian Herbert,
Doug Beason, Dean Koontz, Rebecca Moesta. We would like to ask you, why
this choice ? What did you get out of this ? Which of these have meant the
most, for you ?

Kevin J.Anderson : All of my closest friends are other writers, and I really
enjoy exchanging ideas, brainstorming, making up stories with other people.
I enjoy learning from fellow authors, and when we work together we create
something neither of us could do individually. Rebecca Moesta and I have
been married for 18 years, so by far my closest working relationship is with

ActuSF : Could you tell us how The Saga of Seven Suns has took form in
your mind ?

Kevin J.Anderson : I wanted to write a giant story that took advantage
of all the resources of the genre — in a way, Saga of Seven Suns is like a
love letter to science fiction, with a huge cast of characters, and monsters,
and aliens, and planets. I had read many multi-volume fantasy series, and I
thought it was about time somebody did it with science fiction.

ActuSF : What did you want to do with this series ?

Kevin J.Anderson : This is tale that truly requires all seven big novels to
tell.not just one book and other adventures added on. I planned the whole
thing from the beginning and developed and expanded it as it went on. I want
people to read it and understand just how exciting the field of science fiction
can be.

ActuSF : Tell us about Ildirans and Klikiss. How do you see them ?

Kevin J.Anderson : The Ildirans are a humanlike race, but with significant
differences ; in a fantasy novel, they would be like elves, a capricious and
ancient race that’s on the wane, but still very powerful. The Klikiss are a lost
race, a civilization of intelligent insects, who have left ruined cities behind
as well as ominous beetle-like robots built in their own image.

ActuSF : Do you ever consider writing more novels in this universe ?

Kevin J.Anderson : I think it was very important to END the story when I
promised to. Readers don’t like it when the author keeps stringing them
along from book to book, long after a series should have been completed.
So "Seven Suns" is a finished story. However, I did create a large universe
with lots of planets and characters ; I am considering returning to that
universe with other stories.

Kevin J.Anderson : However, I am now in the middle of a very ambitious
fantasy epic, "Terra Incognita," about sailing ships and sea monsters and
the crusades, set in a world much like Europe during the Age of Discovery.
The first novel, THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, came out in June, and I have
just complete the second, THE MAP OF ALL THINGS. Another unique aspect
of this is a crossover rock CD, by the supergroup Roswell Six, that converts
part of the story into a rock opera. (Rebecca and I wrote all the lyrics.) You
can see the book and the CD at

ActuSF : What are your current projects ?
On what are you working on at the moment ?

Kevin J.Anderson : THE MAP OF ALL THINGS just went into production,
and Rebecca and I are working on the lyrics for a second rock-opera CD for
that story. And Brian Herbert and I are now writing an original science
fiction book (not related to Dune), called HELLHOLE. Before the end of
the year, I have to start the third & final "Terra Incognita" novel.

When a brand knew urinal puck showed up in the bathroom of my studio, I knew what I had to do.
D Pope
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