Monday, 27 July 2009

Author Interview! Tim Lebbon ('Hellboy' this time...)

I enjoyed reading Tim Lebbon's 'Hellboy' novel, 'The Fire Wolves', and thought it would be cool to run a few questions past Tim about the book. Tim's a very busy guy (just finding out all the stuff he has on made me want to have a lie down!) but found the time to answer my questions. Thanks Tim!

Here's what he had to say for himself...

Hi Tim, thanks for agreeing to answer a few questions for the blog...

Thanks for asking them!

How did you come to write a ‘Hellboy’ novel for Dark Horse? Did they come to you about it or did you have to pitch the idea to them? Or was it a mixture of both?

Well, I’ve already written a Hellboy novel a couple of years back for Simon & Schuster – Hellboy: Unnatural selection. And when this new series started up with Dark Horse I was asked to pitch an idea to them. Luckily it was well received!

Were you a Hellboy fan prior to writing ‘The Fire Wolves’?

Yeah, a big fan. Although I have to admit, my first Hellboy writing experience – a short story called The Glass Road for the Dark Horse anthology Odder Jobs – required me reading all the graphic novels to get into the gist of things. … I’d read some of them before, but reading it all in one go made me realise just what a wonderful, rich universe Mignola has created. And that artwork …

How have you found the experience of writing in a universe created by someone else? Did you feel a weight of expectation from fans or were you just too busy writing the story?

I’d done a couple of tie-in books before. The first Hellboy book, and the novelisation of the movie 30 Days of Night. There’s a certain amount of trepidation, but that usually disappears from page one onwards when I get into the story. Obviously with this I couldn’t do anything that would have affected the Hellboy timeline too much, but I had quite a nice amount of freedom to play with. It’s an interesting process, but it still gives me the usual storytelling thrill.

Are you contracted for any more Hellboy novels (or anything else with Dark Horse)?

Not at the moment, but never say never. I’d love to write an Alien novel one day.

What’s the recipe for a good Hellboy story?

Knowledge of the back-story, an appreciation of the way humour and darkness can co-exist, and more than anything the willingness to explore Hellboy’s vulnerabilities and doubts.

Are you a fan of comic books? If so, what do you recommend?

Not as much of a fan as a lot of my friends. I’ve enjoyed Preacher, Y, Hellboy, Sandman, Watchmen and some others, but I don’t have a weekly comic fix.

Are there any plans for your own work to be adapted into graphic novel format? If not, which of your books would you like to see make the transition?

No plans at the moment. I think my fantasy world of Noreela is a rich vein to be mined. We’ll see.

What are you reading and why should we drop whatever we’re reading to read it as well?

I’m reading Captains Outrageous by Joe Lansdale. Joe’s work is always entertaining, reliable, insightful and exciting. As for what’s up next … maybe another John Connolly book. He’s the master.

What does the next month, or two, hold for you?

I’m writing an original novel set in the 30 Days of Night universe, so I’m trying to squeeze in work on that between the kids being off school, the bathroom being refurbished, writing pitches for a new trilogy, and lots of other stuff. Oh, and I turn 40 on July 28th, so there’s lots of celebrating.

Happy Birthday for the 28th! Finally, you’re being haunted but who do you call? The B.P.R.D... or Ghostbusters?

BPRD of course. They all look cool.

Thanks Tim!

Thank you!

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