TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery.
Eric: Delighted to be facing the grilling...
TQ: Are you a plotter or a panster?
Eric: Both. In the early stages of a novel I plot it roughly in stages or scenes; I know where it’s going, and what the major scenes, and the ending, will be – then I begin writing and never refer to my notes. I allow my subconscious to take over, and this does the writing and gets me over all the difficulties. And I sometimes find that the finished result bears little resemblance to the initial concept.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Eric: The initial idea, settling on something that a) works for me, and b) works for my publisher. After that it’s plain sailing. All I have to do is sit down and write four thousand words a day, every day, until the book is finished. And then the next hard part: rewriting, cutting. (Another challenge is attempting to make a living by writing these days.)
TQ: Tell us something about The Serene Invasion that is not in the book description.
Eric: It’s the best thing I’ve written for a few years, I think. It’s the novel whose message I believe in more than I do with many of my more recent books.
TQ: What inspired you to write The Serene Invasion?
Eric: Despair. Despair at the people who use ideology to commit violence on the innocent. Despair at the US gun lobby and their cynical manipulation of the population’s assumed right to bear arms: seen from outside, looking in, it strikes me as evil and insane. Despair at the Taliban and their ideology of ignorance. Despair at religion.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for the novel?
Eric: I try not to do any research before beginning a book, for fear of allowing the research to get in the way of the story and characters. I do fact-checking after the second draft.
TQ: It strikes me that the title of the novel can be read in 2 different ways - 1) an invasion by the Serene and 2) an invasion that is serene. Did you name the Serene after the concept of a benign invasion or did the name of the alien race come first?
Eric: I named the Serene after the concept, and called the aliens the S’rene.
TQ: In The Serene Invasion, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?
Eric: James Morwell. I hated doing his sections. I hated having to get into the mindset of someone who thinks that violence, and the status quo that allows violence to flourish for reasons of material gain, is good. He’s an amalgam of certain businessmen I despise, and his scenes were hard to do. I wrote them last. Ana Devi was the easiest. I’ve written about her before, in different guises. I think the reason I found her easy to do was that she’s a good person.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Serene Invasion?
Eric: I found myself close to tears when I wrote the epilogue, so that’s probably my favourite scene.
TQ: What's next?
Eric: Next month I’ll begin my second crime novel, the follow up to Murder By the Book, a murder mystery set in 1955 London – just out now. Then I’ll be doing four more novellas for PS Publishing, and later this year starting a steampunk novel for Solaris, Janisha and the Greater Game, set in India in 1900. That should be fun, as I like writing about India.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Eric: And many thanks for the questions!
About The Serene Invasion
The Serene Invasion
Solaris, April 30, 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 512 pages
The Serene are an alien race. The Earth in 2025 is an ailing world, and the Serene an end to poverty and violence - but not everyone supports the seemingly benign invasion. There are forces out there who wish to return to the bad old days, and will stop at nothing to oppose the Serene.
It's 2025 and the world is riven by war, terrorist attacks, poverty and increasingly desperate demands for water, oil, and natural resources. The West and China confront each other over an inseperable ideological divide, each desperate to sustain their future.
And then the Serene arrive, enigmatic aliens form Delta Pavonis V, and nothing will ever be the same again.
The Serene bring peace to an ailing world, an end to poverty and violence - but not everyone supports the seemingly benign invasion.
There are forces out there who wish to return to the bad old days, and will stop at nothing to oppose the Serene.
What: One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of The Serene Invasion from The Qwillery.
How: Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.
Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59PM US Eastern Time on Saturday,May 4, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change.*
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