Brent Weeks did the honor of answering my questions that I had for him. Some of these questions I've wanted to know for the longest and I'm glad I got the chance to ask! So let us begin!
Who exactly is Brent Weeks?
A question for biographers yet unborn, no doubt! Actually I'm The New York Times bestselling author of The Night Angel Trilogy, and The Black Prism, and the forthcoming The Blinding Knife. I'm a bit of a regular guy living the dream.
Why write such a complex story of assassins (The Night Angel Trilogy) when paranormal was the new thing? In other words, why take that huge chance of being different when you could have gone the safe way?
I don't think there is a safe way in writing. (Me: Touché) By the time zombies or whatever becomes the next big thing, you're often talking about starting your zombie novels two years after everyone else did. And all of the sudden, you'll be submitting your zombie novel at the same time that thousands of other people are submitting theirs. Also, unless you really, really love zombies and were always looking for an excuse to write a zombie novel, if you're writing to chase the market, you're not going to write as well. I've always kind of thought assassins were cool. So I wrote the book that I thought would be fun to write, and fun to read.
Do you ever find it hard to keep up with all of your ideas and notes you have for The Lightbringer Series? It seems that if one doesn't pay attention while reading, they might get lost.
A huge part of the challenge for writing fantasy is communicating a vast store of information to your readers without boring them or lecturing them or treating them like they're smarter or dumber than they are. I have a great respect for fantasy readers and think that the audience is an unusually bright group of people. I think epic fantasy readers especially tend to like complexity. So I shot for a middle ground of ideas that look simple on the surface and yet are actually intricately woven. But yes, as a writer, keeping all of this information about two separate universes straight in my head at all times is quite a challenge.
Were you ever afraid that you would have to hold back on your writing at one point? By this I mean stray away from the nudity, gore and the likes?
I certainly worried about how some people would take it. And when a pleased 10-year-old comes up and asks me to sign their book, I often look at their parents and sort of think, "Really?" But I felt that certain characters and certain actions have to be written a certain way, or it's just not honest. Now there's latitude within that of exactly how close you put the camera to the action, but I've never felt any pressure from my editor or agent to either tone things down or amp them up.
What would you like your author status to be in, say, 20 years?
That's probably a more complicated question than you know. Part of me would be really delighted to stay just about where I'm at. I really love what I do, and I love how when I go to a book signing, I get to have a little bit of time with each and every fan who shows up. That's possible when you have 30-75 fans at a signing, but impossible when you have 500. At that point, it becomes far less personal. Also, as your career expands, and I've seen this even in four years, there are many, many more demands on your time. So part of me loves where I'm at, and of course part of me would love to pack in the big huge audiences and have the TV show and the video games and the whole 9 years. Because, let's face it, a lot of that stuff is just fun.
A question aside from you work, what are your thoughts on this brand new world where fans have such a huge impact on authors with social networks and blogging/reviewing, compared to what was back then?
For the most part, I think it's great. It puts more power in the hands of fans, and less in the hands of big publishers. You rarely these days see the huge ad campaigns telling you what the next hit will be that you would see in, say, the '80s. But that's probably a good thing. Now, as an author, I think you can concentrate on just writing the best book you can, and if it connects with fans, then they have a lot of venues to share their excitement with others, and to form communities if, say, no one else in their high school reads fantasy books. That said, figuring out how to juggle social media and blogging and interviews sure does demand a different skill set of authors. It can be quite distracting from writing as well.
Now that the actual questions are done I have one serious, most important question that has been eating my brain away along with others for the longest. This question has the possibility of saving the world, no, the universe. What do you consider your novels to be? Adult or Young Adult? Good Luck!
I definitely consider my books to be adult. And Orbit deliberately chose cover imagery with this in mind. One of the early thoughts for a cover, because the most important relationship in The Way of Shadows is between a master and an apprentice, was to show a looming Durzo Blint behind a young Kylar. That would have been true to the contents of the book, but not to its purpose. This is a very adult and at times very dark story, and there's swearing, and sex, and even touches of cannibalism and things like that that I would want parents to think about before they give it to their middle schoolers.
Thanks so much for having me on!
And thank you Brent Weeks for taking time out of your schedule and answering these questions for me! I hope you keep writing, even 20 years from now and that hopefully very soon we can see a movie or tv show of your novels! Because, let's face it, Assassins on TV (HBO or Starz) would be FREAKING SWEET!
Again I want to thank Brent Weeks and if you want to know more about him just check him out through his;
Be sure to check back in half an hour when I give away a copy of one of his novels to you guys!
Also, check out all of the posts for the Event from the beginning;