In celebration of the David Gemmell Award long-lists being published, Gollancz is thrilled to be running a series of interviews-in-sixty-seconds with as many long-listed authors as we can get our hands on. First up is the marvellous Jon Sprunk, author of Shadow’s Son, Shadow’s Lure (which is nominated for Best Fantasy Novel 2011) and the forthcoming Shadow’s Master. We caught up with him, and took a moment to ask a few questions . . .
Congratulations on being long-listed for the David Gemmell Awards! Can you tell us, in a few words, why any readers who are new to your work should rush out and read it?
Shadow’s Lure (sequel to 2010’s Shadow’s Son) is written in the same vein as Joe Abercrombie’s blood-soaked works. While I try to deliver a stunning story with plenty of twists and turns, I always have my eye fixed on character. The battles aren’t important unless you care about the people fighting them.
Who was your first favourite author?
There are too many to name, but some of my favourites are Robert E. Howard, Glen Cook, Robert Heinlein, and Leo Tolstoy.
Who would you cite as your influences?
I think our influences are mainly subconscious. I don’t try to write like anyone else, but I’m sure all of the authors I listed above bleed through my work.
Do you think authors have a responsibility to do more than tell an entertaining story?
I think entertaining is the first responsibility, and without that you have a tough time getting anyone’s attention.
Is there a storytelling tradition you see your work as part of?
I’d like to believe that I’m continuing in the tradition of Howard, Moorcock, Ashton Smith, Cook, and so on, but that’s really for the readers to decide.
If your novel were to be arrested for a crime of passion, what crime would it be and why (society may not be to blame!)?
Is public drunkenness a crime of passion? And lechery runs a close second.
After ten year’s hard work, and having published a number of short stories, Jon Sprunk broke into the world of Serious Publishing with his knock-out debut novel Shadow’s Son. He lives in Pennsylvania with his family, and you can find out more about his work on his website, or follow @jsprunk70 on twitter.