Category Archives: Five Answers

Five Questions for Jason Franks

Today, Jason Franks answers five questions about his new book.

For our interview, Franks is wearing a pair of classic-cut Levis that are probably Costco fakes. His black t-shirt is frayed at the collar but the Black Sabbath logo looks crisp as if it had just been printed. He hasn’t shaved in a couple of days and his glasses are smudged. He has terrible posture and a very small head.

(Descriptions supplied by Jason Franks.)

Jason Franks

  1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how did you choose the title?

The book is called FAERIE APOCALYPSE. Originally it was going to be LOVERS, POETS AND MADMEN, which sums up the seed inspiration for the story, but does not give much of a clue as to what the book is about. So I went looking for some other options.

The book is set mostly in the fairy realms and deals with the nature of the place and the people who venture there, so FAERIE seemed like an obvious place to start.

I was reading about Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian—a key influence on my book—and I came across the phrase ‘apocalyptic prose’. That immediately seemed to fit not just the style of my own work, but also the story. So there it was.

Faerie Apocalypse.

  1. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

I have this one already sussed from IFWG and I were working out the cover art. In the end we opted not to show any characters on the cover, but here’s what I came up with. There are five leads, as follows:

  • The Veteran: Contemporary Christian Bale. Long hair, bearded, a bit haggard, a bit spaced-out.
  • The Magus: Contact-era long-haired, crazy-eyed Jake Busey.
  • The Warrior Queen: Carey Lowell circa 1990.
  • Malo: A teenaged Benicio Del Toro.
  • The Engineer: A CGI rendering of a youngish lady, designed not to stand out in a crowd. A bit pixilated and well inside the Uncanny Valley.
  1. What five words best describe your story?

Dense, circuitous, violent, occulted, and reflexive.

  1. What faerie creature would you most like to meet – or be?

Out of all the creatures in the book I’d most like to meet the Queen of the Ore-lands. She wouldn’t have much time for me, but she’s also less likely to try to trick, murder or eat me than any of the other characters.

  1. What song reflects a theme, character or scene in your book?

The book references a number of songs quite explicitly. There’s a couple of Hendrix songs that flag key plot points. One of the monsters is a Blue Oyster Cult song given flesh. But the last part of the story is called Black Wings, after the Tom Waits song, and I think that perfectly sums it all up.

If you want a second helping, try Earth Died Screaming, also from the Bone Machine album:

About Faerie Apocalypse.

Over the centuries the Faerie Realms have drifted away from the mortal world. But for some, the Doors will open. For some, there is a Way to travel there, if they want it badly enough.

If they dream it hard enough.

In this era, only lovers, poets, and madmen can access the Realms of the Land—and for good reason.

A succession of mortals travel to Faerie: a veteran seeking beauty; a magus seeking power; an urchin seeking his wayward father; an engineer seeking meaning. These mortals bring the horrors of our age to the Land, and the Folk who live there respond in kind.

About Jason Franks

Jason Franks is the author of the novel Bloody Waters, the Sixsmiths graphic novels, and the Left Hand Path comic series. His work has been short-listed for Aurealis and Ledger Awards. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he is widely known as a person of low character and wicked intent.

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Five Questions for Tansy Rayner Roberts

Today, Tansy Rayner Roberts answers five questions about her new book:

Tansy Rayner Roberts

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how did you choose the title?

Girl Reporter – and it’s absolutely the clear, best, most obvious title for this story, given that it’s all about the ‘girl reporter’ trope in superhero stories. I may have been slightly inspired by Kelly Link’s Girl Detective short story from some years ago – I love stories that are named after slightly problematic tropes! (I also published a story called Fake Geek Girl, so.)

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Oooh I like the time travel option, it’s definitely necessary. For Friday, someone with sassiness like 80’s era Nadine Garner, or Melissa Howard who played Rebecca in Dead Gorgeous, that ABC TV show about Victorian ghosts.

For Tina Valentina I’d love an actress who was a big name in the 80s-90’s for that authentic cred – like Claudia Black or Lucy Lawless. Justine Clarke, maybe?

Actually all three of those might be slightly too young, we can also go forward in time, yes?

There are so many options for Griff but my head settled on 90’s Matt Day and I can’t go past that.

Caitlin Stacey is my favourite of everything, I was thinking Solar but actually I can see her as Astra. Clearly I’d have to write her an Astra story to give her a bigger part.

Isla Fisher and Rose Byrne could fight it out for who gets to be Megadethra.

Rachael Taylor as Danni/former Catsuit. Yes, I’m pretty much casting just the women here.

I think Celia Pacquola would do a good job of Astra III.

I want people who have read the story to come back and fill in the blanks here!

3. What five words best describe your story?

Fun, snarky, heroic, action-packed and loving.

4. Who’s your favourite hero and/or sidekick? (Not necessarily a team)

I adore the relationship between Hawkeye and Hawkeye in Marvel comics. The way that Clint Barton dealt with a young woman taking his name and superhero identity while he was dead/out of town… at first he was determined to put her in her place, but they became a great team, and he happily shares the name and status with her instead of insisting he is senior. I like the way that their mentor-mentee relationship is often quite broken and sibling-y because he’s less competent at life than she is. So great.

Another favourite was Barbara Gordon as Oracle, mentoring Stephanie Brown as the new Batgirl.  And of course you can’t really talk about the sidekick relationship without addressing Bruce & Dick from 60’s Batman. “Robin, it’s important to stay in school. Be a good role model. Drink plenty of milk.”

5. What song reflects a theme, character or scene in your book?

Ha this is a ridiculously hard question for me. The Press Gang theme music? All the Crazy Ex Girlfriend theme songs as sung by Megadethra? Remy Zero’s ‘Save Me’, still the absolute best creative decision made by the Smallville production team? Ooh NO I know what it is. It’s totally the Birds of Prey song from Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

(but an honourable mention to this version of Bonnie Tyler’s Holding out for a Hero, as performed by Melissa Benoist on Glee.

About Girl Reporter

From the award-winning author of Cookie Cutter Superhero and Kid Dark Against the Machine comes a brand new novella about girl reporters, superheroes, and interdimensional travel

In a world of superheroes, supervillains, and a machine that can create them all, millennial vlogger and girl reporter Friday Valentina has no shortage of material to cover. Every lottery cycle, a new superhero is created and quite literally steps into the shoes of the hero before them–displacing the previous hero. While Fri may not be super-powered herself, she understands the power of legacy: her mother is none other than the infamous reporter Tina Valentina, renowned worldwide for her legendary interviews with the True Blue Aussie Beaut Superheroes and her tendency to go to extraordinary lengths to get her story.

This time, Tina Valentina may have ventured too far.

Alongside Australia’s greatest superheroes–including the powerful Astra, dazzling Solar, and The Dark in his full brooding glory–Friday will go to another dimension in the hopes of finding her mother, saving the day, maybe even getting the story of a lifetime out of the adventure. (And a new girlfriend, too.)

About Tansy Rayner Roberts

Tansy Rayner Roberts is an award winning blogger, podcaster and fantasy author. She co-hosts the Galactic Suburbia and Verity! podcasts, and is well known for writing feminist commentary on pop culture including superhero comics and Doctor Who.

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