Peter V. Brett Interview


Peter V. Brett ile yaptığım söyleşinin İngilizce tam metni

English: Fantasy author Peter V. Brett at the ...

Image via Wikipedia

Mr. Brett your book The Painted Man is published in Turkish. The Painted Man was published in 2008 and it was in Best 10 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books list in Amazon UK and was nominated for David Gemmel Legend Award. The Painted Man has an interesting story. It was written on your smart phone. Could you tell us about how and why you wrote it?

The first book I ever bought and read by myself was The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien, and that began a life-long love of fantasy stories that led me to hundreds of other books, many of them from other cultures and dating back thousands of years. Stories of imaginary places have a rich history in every world culture and civilization, with a common thread of exploring questions about our humanity, lives, and beliefs.

I decided young that I wanted to be a fantasy writer. I finished writing my first novel when I was 17. The only problem was that the book was terrible.

So I wrote another. It was better, but still not good enough. So I wrote another after that, and another after that. Each book got a little better. All this time, I was continuing to go to school, getting a degree and then a job, buying a home, getting married, etc. As I got older, there were more and more demands on my time. Writing time became a luxury, a hobby I could no longer fit into my life.

I decided to show my work to a professional agent to see if I was wasting my time. He read two of my books and agreed that they were not written at a professional level. My heart began to fall, but then he help up the manuscript to my most recent book, a novel called Tibbet’s Brook, and said, “Don’t quit. Take this and fix it.”

So I decided to do just that, and if free time was a problem, I would make time. My commute to and from work was almost an hour each way. I had traditionally spent that time reading, but I decided to try writing then, instead.

I bought a smartphone with a full keyboard and word processor, and began fixing my book. I threw out about 60% of the original manuscript and wrote a new novel around what was left, a few hundred words at a time, on the New York Subway. Each night, I would go to my computer late at night, synching the files to my computer so I could add a few hundred more. I wrote about 1000 words a day. In a year, I had a new novel, The Painted Man.

The Painted Man has an interesting new approach to fantasy. What was your inspiration?

Many of the fantasy stories I used to read when I was younger shared a common dialect that made them less accessible to the uninitiated. They were full of grand adventures, powerful wizards and larger than life heroes. I wanted to tell a more grounded story that focused on the everyday lives of normal people.

At its core, The Painted Man is a study about fear. In the story, humanity is nearing extinction. The people live in a oppressive state where demons come out each night and hunt them, hindered only by complex symbols of protection that require constant maintenance. The demons are immortal and almost impossible to kill with ordinary weapons.

In this world, three young people are scarred by a demon attacks in their respective villages. Each of them is pushed onto a new path in life as a result, and grows to find a unique way to fight back against the demons and regain what they lost.

In an interview you stated after your first four unpublished novels you changed your writing technique. Could you tell us more about it?

My agent gave me a book called Writing to Sell, by Scott Meredith, a famous literary agent. The book told of what Mr. Meredith considered the essential elements of good story that publishers were looking for. I didn’t agree with everything the book said, but it definitely taught me some of the right questions to ask about my own writing style.

I tend to have a much more structured approach to creating a story now, with lots of outlining and planning up front. My prose has tightened considerably, with a lot less unnecessary description and more focus on character and mood.

Could you tell us what was the effect of your new technique to The Painted Man?

I had done a lot of worldbuilding in the setting, creating different cities and cultures, as well as a very detailed magic system. The earlier version focused more on action and the details of these things than about character development, and it made for a weaker and less compelling story. I cut a lot of that extraneous detail out of the final draft.

The Painted Man has no roots to Christian or Arthurian Myths. Do you think that made your novel more “global” ?

Certainly fantasy is dominated by settings that mirror medieval Europe, and that was something I deliberately avoided. As I said in a previous question, I tried very hard to make the book feel accessible to anyone, whether they were fantasy readers or not. I do think this had an effect on the story’s ability to be published in so many languages without losing too much in translation.

What’s the response to The Painted Man from non-English speaking countries?

The book has done well in most every market, making bestseller lists in Germany, Poland, China, and others. Readers from all over the world write to me, and I’ve been invited to speak in several different countries. Thanks to the internet and translation software, I have been able to interact with readers who live thousands of miles away in ways I never would have dreamed possible ten years ago. I am incredibly fortunate in that regard.

In an interview at 2010 you stated that selling rights to Turkey was an important event for you. What was the reason? Have you ever been to Turkey?

Every new language the book is translated into is an exciting and important event to me, and I try to make each edition special. Turkey was of particular note because of its rich history straddling the divide between Europe and Asia.

I have wanted to visit Turkey ever since my trip to Rhodes, Greece, in 2008. I sampled a lot of Turkish cuisine while there, and had my first taste of raki, which is very similar to the cinnamon-flavored drink, couzi, the Krasian people drink in my books.

Hopefully, now that I am published there, I will have an opportunity to visit!

Do you still sign books with the pen your mother gave to you?

Yes and no. My mother bought me some high-end disposable signing pens, and I drained them, one after another. I don’t think either my mother nor I anticipated how many books I would sign over the years!

When I ran out of the original pens from my mother, I tried to buy more, and found out the model was discontinued. I tried other pens, but they just didn’t feel right. So I went on the internet and tracked down a whole case of them. I am stocked for years. 

What were your friends and family’s response to your fame and books?

I wouldn’t really consider myself famous, but my closest friends and family knew that writing was my dream, and were overjoyed when I sold the books. They were all extremely supportive, even early on when I quit a steady job to try and write full-time.

Everyone else in my life had the same response: “I had no idea you were a writer!” Writing has always been a very personal thing for me. My secret pleasure. I didn’t tend to talk about it unless asked.

Could you tell us about next books in the series?

There will be a total of five books in the Demon Cycle. The sequel to The Painted Man is called The Desert Spear, and follows the life of Ahmann Jardir, who is something of a villain in the first book. The Desert Spear takes a deeper look at his culture and upbringing, and see how he is an amazing hero in his own right. Desert Spear is an international bestseller and has been sold in Turkey. It is currently in translation, but I do not have the publishing date on hand. I expect it will be in the first half of 2013.

The third book will be called The Daylight War, and I am in the process of completing it now. It will be published in English sometime in the next year, and hopefully Turkish soon after!

Your web site www.petervbrett.com has some deleted scenes from The Painted Man. Is it OK if a fan of yours reading this interview to translate those to Turkish?

Not at all. I want my work to be accessible, and those bits of extra material are my gift to readers.

What would be your calling if you lived in the world of Demon Cycle?

Ha. This question sparked a big debate with a friend of mine. They maintained that I would be something badass like a Messenger or Sharum warrior (and I would like to think so myself), but the truth is, I’m a storyteller. That falls firmly in the Jongleur camp. I am a lousy juggler, though.

When we will see the movie of The Painted Man?

The series has been optioned by director Paul WS Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt, who have made a number of big budget action movies. They are very excited about the project and I think they will bring brilliant things to the screen, but as yet we do not have a studio green light to start production. It might be months or even years before something happens, if ever.

Could you tell us where readers can find you online? If they wanted to buy English versions where can they buy ebooks?

My website is www.petervbrett.com and it is pretty active. I have the aforementioned deleted scenes and extra material, as well as a fan forum and a blog that is updated fairly regularly. I do all sorts of fun contests for readers to win free signed books and other prizes.

You can also follow me on twitter @PVBrett, and find me on facebook and google+.

English versions of my books are available through all the major eBook vendors, so regardless of what type of eReader you have, they should be accessible.

Thanks for your time. Do you have some more to add for Turkish readers?

Thanks for reading! Please send baklava!

Turkish Interview

Peter V. Brett

December, 2011

Mr. Brett your book The Painted Man is published in Turkish. The Painted Man

was published in 2008 and it was in Best 10 Science Fiction and Fantasy

Books list in Amazon UK and was nominated for David Gemmel Legend

Award. The Painted Man has an interesting story. It was written on your smart phone. Could you tell us about how and why you wrote it?

The first book I ever bought and read by myself was The Hobbit,

by JRR Tolkien, and that began a life-long love of fantasy stories that

led me to hundreds of other books, many of them from other cultures and

dating back thousands of years. Stories of imaginary places have a rich

history in every world culture and civilization, with a common thread

of exploring questions about our humanity, lives, and beliefs.

I

decided young that I wanted to be a fantasy writer. I finished writing

my first novel when I was 17. The only problem was that the book was

terrible.

So

I wrote another. It was better, but still not good enough. So I wrote

another after that, and another after that. Each book got a little

better. All this time, I was continuing to go to school, getting a

degree and then a job, buying a home, getting married, etc. As I got

older, there were more and more demands on my time. Writing time became a

luxury, a hobby I could no longer fit into my life.

I

decided to show my work to a professional agent to see if I was wasting

my time. He read two of my books and agreed that they were not written

at a professional level. My heart began to fall, but then he help up the

manuscript to my most recent book, a novel called Tibbet’s Brook, and said, “Don’t quit. Take this and fix it.”

So

I decided to do just that, and if free time was a problem, I would make

time. My commute to and from work was almost an hour each way. I had

traditionally spent that time reading, but I decided to try writing

then, instead.

I

bought a smartphone with a full keyboard and word processor, and began

fixing my book. I threw out about 60% of the original manuscript and

wrote a new novel around what was left, a few hundred words at a time,

on the New York Subway. Each night, I would go to my computer late at

night, synching the files to my computer so I could add a few hundred

more. I wrote about 1000 words a day. In a year, I had a new novel, The Painted Man.
The Painted Man has an interesting new approach to fantasy. What was your inspiration?

Many

of the fantasy stories I used to read when I was younger shared a

common dialect that made them less accessible to the uninitiated. They

were full of grand adventures, powerful wizards and larger than life

heroes. I wanted to tell a more grounded story that focused on the

everyday lives of normal people.

At its core, The Painted Man

is a study about fear. In the story, humanity is nearing extinction.

The people live in a oppressive state where demons come out each night

and hunt them, hindered only by complex symbols of protection that

require constant maintenance. The demons are immortal and almost

impossible to kill with ordinary weapons.

In

this world, three young people are scarred by a demon attacks in their

respective villages. Each of them is pushed onto a new path in life as a

result, and grows to find a unique way to fight back against the demons

and regain what they lost.

In

an interview you stated after your first four unpublished novels you

changed your writing technique. Could you tell us more about it?

My agent gave me a book called Writing to Sell,

by Scott Meredith, a famous literary agent. The book told of what Mr.

Meredith considered the essential elements of good story that publishers

were looking for. I didn’t agree with everything the book said, but it

definitely taught me some of the right questions to ask about my own

writing style.

I

tend to have a much more structured approach to creating a story now,

with lots of outlining and planning up front. My prose has tightened

considerably, with a lot less unnecessary description and more focus on

character and mood.

Could you tell us what was the effect of your new technique to The Painted Man?

I

had done a lot of worldbuilding in the setting, creating different

cities and cultures, as well as a very detailed magic system. The

earlier version focused more on action and the details of these things

than about character development, and it made for a weaker and less

compelling story. I cut a lot of that extraneous detail out of the final

draft.

The Painted Man has no roots to Christian or Arthurian Myths. Do you think that made your novel more “global” ?

Certainly

fantasy is dominated by settings that mirror medieval Europe, and that

was something I deliberately avoided. As I said in a previous question, I

tried very hard to make the book feel accessible to anyone, whether

they were fantasy readers or not. I do think this had an effect on the

story’s ability to be published in so many languages without losing too

much in translation.

What’s the response to The Painted Man from non-English speaking countries?

The

book has done well in most every market, making bestseller lists in

Germany, Poland, China, and others. Readers from all over the world

write to me, and I’ve been invited to speak in several different

countries. Thanks to the internet and translation software, I have been

able to interact with readers who live thousands of miles away in ways I

never would have dreamed possible ten years ago. I am incredibly

fortunate in that regard.

In

an interview at 2010 you stated that selling rights to Turkey was an

important event for you? What was the reason? Have you ever been to

Turkey?

Every

new language the book is translated into is an exciting and important

event to me, and I try to make each edition special. Turkey was of

particular note because of its rich history straddling the divide

between Europe and Asia.

I

have wanted to visit Turkey ever since my trip to Rhodes, Greece, in

2008. I sampled a lot of Turkish cuisine while there, and had my first

taste of raki, which is very similar to the cinnamon-flavored drink,

couzi, the Krasian people drink in my books.

Hopefully, now that I am published there, I will have an opportunity to visit!

Do you still sign books with the pen your mother gave to you?

Yes

and no. My mother bought me some high-end disposable signing pens, and I

drained them, one after another. I don’t think either my mother nor I

anticipated how many books I would sign over the years!

When

I ran out of the original pens from my mother, I tried to buy more, and

found out the model was discontinued. I tried other pens, but they just

didn’t feel right. So I went on the internet and tracked down a whole

case of them. I am stocked for years.

What were your friends and family’s response to your fame and books?

I

wouldn’t really consider myself famous, but my closest friends and

family knew that writing was my dream, and were overjoyed when I sold

the books. They were all extremely supportive, even early on when I quit

a steady job to try and write full-time.

Everyone

else in my life had the same response: “I had no idea you were a

writer!” Writing has always been a very personal thing for me. My secret

pleasure. I didn’t tend to talk about it unless asked.

Could you tell us about next books in the series?

There will be a total of five books in the Demon Cycle. The sequel to The Painted Man is called The Desert Spear, and follows the life of Ahmann Jardir, who is something of a villain in the first book. The Desert Spear takes a deeper look at his culture and upbringing, and see how he is an amazing hero in his own right. Desert Spear

is an international bestseller and has been sold in Turkey. It is

currently in translation, but I do not have the publishing date on hand.

I expect it will be in the first half of 2013.

The third book will be called The Daylight War,

and I am in the process of completing it now. It will be published in

English sometime in the next year, and hopefully Turkish soon after!

Your web site www.petervbrett.com has some deleted scenes from The Painted Man. Is it OK if a fan of yours reading this interview to translate those to Turkish?

Not at all. I want my work to be accessible, and those bits of extra material are my gift to readers.

What would be your calling if you lived in the world of Demon Cycle?

Ha.

This question sparked a big debate with a friend of mine. They

maintained that I would be something badass like a Messenger or Sharum

warrior (and I would like to think so myself), but the truth is, I’m a

storyteller. That falls firmly in the Jongleur camp. I am a lousy

juggler, though.

When we will see the movie of The Painted Man?

The

series has been optioned by director Paul WS Anderson and producer

Jeremy Bolt, who have made a number of big budget action movies. They

are very excited about the project and I think they will bring brilliant

things to the screen, but as yet we do not have a studio green light to

start production. It might be months or even years before something

happens, if ever.

Could you tell us where readers can find you online? If they wanted to buy English versions where can they buy ebooks?

My website is www.petervbrett.com

and it is pretty active. I have the aforementioned deleted scenes and

extra material, as well as a fan forum and a blog that is updated fairly

regularly. I do all sorts of fun contests for readers to win free

signed books and other prizes.

You can also follow me on twitter @PVBrett, and find me on facebook and google+.

English

versions of my books are available through all the major eBook vendors,

so regardless of what type of eReader you have, they should be

accessible.

Thanks for your time. Do you have some more to add for Turkish readers?

Thanks for reading! Please send baklava!

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