Today I am interviewing World Fantasy and British Fantasy Award winning author Lavie Tidhar, whose Bookman Histories trilogy has just been reissued in new editions by Angry Robot Books.
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DJ: Hey Lavie! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!
Laive Tidhar: My pleasure! Thanks for having me.
DJ: Your work has spun everything from the more light-hearted adventures of The Bookman Histories to political noir explorations of current and alternate realities in the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winner and Premio Roma nominee A Man Lies Dreaming, to the World Fantasy Award winning Osama. How do you move between genres and modes of writing like this, and what do you look for in a project before you sit down to start?
Lavie: That’s an excellent question, as I’ve been thinking a lot about this myself recently. There’s a certain register shift between writing something like The Bookman, which is very much in the manner of, almost like a serial, a lot of things happening, you know, from secret catacombs to mechanical assassins to pirates, all coming at you! – and then to something like, say, my recent novel, Central Station, which is almost plotless, that is a much slower, gentler slice-of-life science fiction, I’d call it. And from that to the dark comedy of something like A Man Lies Dreaming. I guess moving between these keeps me interested – it would be terrible to only write the one book over and over – and actually this is also seen in the three Bookman Histories novels, each of which is really in a different genre – adventure, crime, and spy respectively. While all taking place in this mad sort of Victorian era that never was. What I look for, though, is a sort of… I need to be able to have something to say, that the book must be more than just a story, it needs to have a certain weight (if only for my own satisfaction). But I’ve been doing very complex novels recently, in a structural sense, in a sense of voice or whatever, and I’m increasingly being drawn back to the more story-telling mode of The Bookman Histories. We’ll see! Continue reading