Today I am interviewing Tim Major, author of the new sci-fi thriller novel, Snakeskins.
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DJ: Hi Tim! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Tim: I’m a writer of SF and weird fiction, and I live in York in the UK with my wife and two young sons. My previous books include Machineries of Mercy, You Don’t Belong Here, and a non-fiction book about Les Vampires, an amazing silent film from 1915. My short stories have appeared in lots of places, and have been selected for Best of British Science Fiction and The Best Horror of the Year. By day I’m a freelance editor, and I’m also co-editor of the British Fantasy Society fiction journal, BFS Horizons.
DJ: What is Snakeskins about?
Tim: It’s about a group of British people whose bodies rejuvenate every seven years, and in the process they produce a sentient clone known as a Snakeskin. The trouble is, the Snakeskin lives on for a while – maybe a few minutes, maybe a few days… The novel’s about what it might feel like, coming face to face with an exact copy of yourself – and it’s also about what the effect of society might be if only some people had this peculiar power.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Snakeskins?
Tim: The central idea is based on a real fact – after seven years, every cell in the human body will have been replaced. I liked the idea of that process happening not gradually, but all in a single moment. And then that idea got all mixed up with the concept of snakes shedding their skins, obviously. In terms of fiction, Snakeskins was influenced in its structure and scope by the TV series I was binging at the time. Humans was in the mix, certainly, but an even bigger influence was Deutschland 83, a terrific political thriller about an East German spy undercover in West Berlin. There’s no SF element to it, but the pacing and set-pieces influenced the novel a lot.
John Wyndham’s novels are perennial influences on my books, and the concept of the Fall is a direct homage to the meteor shower in The Day of the Triffids, the novel that introduced me to adult SF when I was around ten years old. Continue reading