Author: Scott K. Andrews
Published: 19th May 2016
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Today I am delighted to be on the tour for Second Lives by Scot K. Andrews. I am thrilled to be sahring with you an interview with Scott telling us more about his Timebomb series and little bit of background into his writing process. If you are a fan of time travel stories then I highly recommend you pick this one up! You can follow along the tour with the stops listed below. P.S Scott is giving away 5 copies of Timebomb and Second Lives, read on to find out how to enter.
1. Hello Scott and welcome to the blog. Second Lives is the second book in the Timebomb series, so for those who have not read the first book, please can you give us a little bit of background.
Hello Laura. The Timebomb series follows three teenagers – one from the past, one from the present, one from the future – who find themselves caught up in the machinations of a mysterious adversary, and a war that spans both the entire solar system, and all recorded history, which turns out to be far more personal than they initially suspect.
2. Where did this story idea come from?
A long-standing love of time travel stories. I really wanted to write my version of all the stories I loved growing up, and Steven Moffat’s unabashedly complicated take on Doctor Who convinced me I could get away with doing the kind of insanely twisty story I had always wanted to take a stab at.
I also wanted to write a book about children and their parents. I've got two young children, and parenthood was very much on my mind when I developed the pitch for the trilogy. So many YA characters are orphans, especially in fantasy and sci-fi – I really wanted to tackle three main characters whose relationships with their parents were at the very heart of the story.
3. Are there any writers out there that you think influenced you?
When I was growing up YA wasn't a category in bookshops, but it existed nonetheless. For me, the great YA writer of my youth was Robert Westall, whose book Devil on the Road was a particular influence on Timebomb. I also loved the adventure stories of Hammond Innes and Nevil Shute, who managed to meld plot and character in ways I loved as a teenager. It’s the page-turning readability those guys I’m seeking to emulate.
4. What was the most surprising thing you learned from writing your book?
How unbelievably hard time travel is to write. Oh boy, did I underestimate the complexity of it. I had flowcharts and colour coded diagrams to keep track of it all. It was utterly crazy making. Never again.
5. What do you think makes this stand out from other books out there at the moment?
I tried to ensure my heroes were a mixed bunch, so I’ve created a diverse lead trio, who I’ve tried to make very distinctive from each other. I also didn’t quite want to play the love triangle card, so I’ve put a hopefully fresh spin on their relationships with each other.
Once I decided to tackle time travel the big task I set myself was to work out a new explanation for it. I didn’t want a time machine, or magic, or anything like that. I wanted a proper explanation rooted in science, but I wanted it to be something I’d never read or seen before. It took over a year to come up with a mechanism I felt happy with. And then I had to drip that explanation out over the three books, to prevent it being too infodumpy.
6. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Absolutely. I was (unsuccessfully) pitching Doctor Who novels to Virgin twenty-five years ago! It took a long time before a publisher was willing to take a punt on me, but I stuck at it relentlessly until finally Abaddon caved and commissioned School’s Out ten years ago. It’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.
7. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. That way madness lies. And anyway, it’s time travel - if I changed one detail, the whole thing might unravel!
8. What book are you reading now?
I tend not to read novels while I'm writing one, and then I binge in between. So right now, because I’m very focused on finishing the final Timebomb book, Godless, I’m on a comics kick – Ms Marvel, Batgirl, Saga and Sex Criminals are piled up on my bedside table at the mo.
9. Do you have a specific writing style?
I try not to analyse it too much. Everyone tells me my books are very fast paced, which makes me happy. I sometimes have to try and curb my tendency towards long, flowery nineteenth century sentence constructions – the legacy of studying literature at university – so I try to keep my sentences pretty punchy.
10. How can readers connect with you?
I'm giving away five copies of Timebomb and Second Lives when I hit 100 subscribers to my new mailing list: http://scottkandrews.com/index.php/mailing-list/
I'm also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScottKAndrews and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/scottkandrews/