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. Today we’re chatting with Sarah Silverwood, author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Nowhere Chronicles which began with The Double-Edged Sword, followed by The Traitor’s Gate which is nominated for Best Fantasy Novel 2011 and which will conclude this year, in style, with The London Stone. We caught up with her, 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?
Because I have my eye on a lovely house in Antibes . . . So actually, just rush out and BUY it. Reading it is secondary 😉
Who was your first favourite author?
Oh god. I was the Enid Blyton generation, so my first favourite author has to be her, but my favourite author in my teenage years was Stephen King.
Who would you cite as your influences?
Stephen King, John Wyndham, John Connolly, Daphne Du Maurier, Philip Pullman (for The Nowhere Chronicles books)
Do you think authors have a responsibility to do more than tell an entertaining story?
No, I don’t. I think a story is always better if there is more to it than just a yarn, and I think it’s actually very hard to tell a story that is simply designed to entertain because your characters will all have issues to work through along the way, but I don’t think there needs to be a big moral point to everything. Plus, we’re not God – only to our characters. I don’t have any right to tell anyone else how they should think or feel on a subject. If I choose to use a story to express my only feelings about something then that’s different.
Is there a storytelling tradition you see your work as part of?
The Ernest Hemingway, 1,000 words and then drunk by three p.m. school of writing.
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!)?
Infidelity. That’s what comes from writing under two names.
Sarah Silverwood was born in 1972 in Buckinghamshire, and now lives just a few miles away after a childhood spent travelling all over the world. She has tried a lot of jobs ‘some of which were mind-numbingly dull and some of which definitely weren’t ‘ but has decided that writing books is by far the best of them. You can learn more about her and her novels on her website, or you can follow her alter-ego on twitter: @SarahPinborough.
You can vote for The Traitor’s Gate, or any of the novels long-listed for the Legend Award for Best Novel, here. You can also vote for Eamon O’Donoghue’s iconic artwork, as the Best Art of the year, here.