Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

timo

Finnish Director Timo Vuorensola

Read my feature interview with Finnish Director Timo Vuorensola. Timo is the Director of the film Iron Sky and is currently working on the follow up titled Iron Sky – The Coming Race.

 You can visit Antigrav Review at by clicking here for the full interview.

 

An interview with Australian writer & author

Morgan Grant Buchanan

Morgan Grant Buchanan is a talented Australian writer and author. He has his hands in a variety of media projects including screen plays / scriptwriter, comic books, and novels, all primarily in science fiction and fantasy.

He most recently published book is a collaboration with Claudia Christian (remember Commander Susan Ivanova of Babylon 5) titled ‘Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex & Addiction’ and has just signed with Tor Books (Macmillan) for Wolf’s Empire: Ice Station Legionary, a sci-fi novel also written with Claudia Christian!

Morgan has been kind enough to grant this interview, letting us have a brief peek into his life, and his work.

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WD:  Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself:

Morgan: I’m an Aussie though I lived in Rochester, NY for a few years at one point. I’m a full time writer and part time tai chi teacher. I’ve worked on comics, films, short stories, novels and now, Babylon Confidential, a memoir with Claudia Christian. 

WD:  What inspired you to write your first book / When did you first consider writing and what were your influences?

Morgan: Bablyon Confidential is my first published book (with Claudia Christian) though I’ve written a few others that are in the process of being sold. I’ve always written stories, and used to entertain my school-friends with them, so I guess that’s where it all started.  

WD:  Do you have a specific writing style?

 Morgan: I’m a Taoist so I try to write with simplicity and clarity. After that it depends on the subject. With Babylon Confidential my objective was to get out of the way as much as possible and ensure Claudia’s voice and story were present on the page. 

WD:  What books / authors have most influenced your writing?

Morgan: Taoist poetry, Mark Twain, Stephen King, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, any ancient world classics like the Odyssey and Iliad. I was a comic book nut when I was a teenager so I know everything about comics in the 80s and 90s. Even when I write prose, I still visualise the scenes like it was a comic and sometimes I lay out scenes in panels before writing. I hope that brings a cinematic element to my work. I just finished up a Babylon 5 fan fic novelette with Claudia Christian called Red Fury. Lots of the feedback related to people’s experience of the story being similar to watching a movie or the TV show, which made me happy. For my part, I wanted to give the audience the feeling that they were back in the B5 universe. 

WD:  Where do you find inspiration for your work? Your characters, scenes, plots, sub-plots, etc..

Morgan: That’s the ‘”Where do you get your ideas from?” question. I have an easy answer – from dreams. I have very vivid dreams and I write them down when I wake up. Often these serve as inspiration for my stories. 

WD:  Is there anything you do for extra stimulation when you’re looking for inspiration?

Morgan: I’m normally writing every day so when I relax on the weekend with my family, or when I meditate, ideas spring up.

WD:  What holds you back? Is there something you would love to do, but.?

Morgan: Right now I’m doing everything I want to with my life. I love my family, I’m teaching tai chi and helping people and I write professionally every day. I collaborate with very talented writers and artists and have lots of work lined up. Things are pretty good right now.

WD:  How much time do you spend writing?

Morgan: Two to three, two-hour shifts, five days a week. 

WD:  Do you get much time to read in your day? What book(s) are you reading now?

Morgan: I try to read in the evenings when my kids can’t crawl all over me. They like to do that when I try to read. In fiction I’m reading a collection of Roald Dahl’s short stories and also the books you get from other writer friends. Top of the list is my friend Cecilia Dart-Thronton’s new young adult novel, The Midnight Game. In non-fic I’m reading The Pax Britannica trilogy and The Elizabethan Underworld.

WD:  Is there anything you find particularly demanding in writing?

Morgan: Some days are easier than others. The hardest thing for me was establishing a dedicated routine of daily writing but I’ve been doing that regularly for some years now so it’s mostly a pleasure. I write in cafes, the louder and busier the better.

WD:  A lot has been made about the ‘work life balance’; do you find it difficult to find that balance?

Morgan: Sure. Especially when there are deadlines pressing. Tai Chi helps me a lot with this. I meditate and practice every day. It helps keep things in perspective. 

WD:  Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Morgan: I’m working on a future Rome sci-fi series with Claudia Christian. Some significant news on that coming soon. I’m collaborating on a sci-fi children’s book with artist Eytan Wronker. I’m also collaborating on a comic series with two talented Australian artists. I have a TV series I’m pitching to a network. A Victorian-era supernatural murder mystery novel is in the works. There’s another historical fantasy series that I’m collaborating on and it looks like Claudia and I might also be involved with some exciting interactive digital books. The schedule is pretty jam-packed right now!

WD:  In light of your co-writing, how did you find the experience? What challenges, if any, did you have to work through?

Morgan: I collaborate with quite a number of people. The most important things in successful collaboration are communication and respect. If both parties respect each other’s input and keep the lines of communication open then it will be a success and a pleasure. In terms of my relationship with Claudia when working on Babylon Confidential, we got on very well. We’d worked on a sci-fi space race movie called Barrier and developed a good relationship. Claudia was incredibly brave, she bared her soul and was very honest during our interviews.

WD:  Staying on the theme of challenges for a moment, you have also tackled screenwriting. How did you find the transition from novels to scriptwriting?

Morgan: It wasn’t a problem because I’d started out writing comics. Comics are a cousin to movies and full comic scripts have lots in common with screenplays. In fact, when I write novels, I sometimes lay them out in rough storyboards first!

WD:  What are some of your long term goals or projects that you can share?

Morgan: To finish all those projects mentioned above and then get onto the next ones.

WD:  In today’s age of communication, there is a trend to reduce the amount of time spent traveling. With agents in New York, co-authors around the globe, book signings, launches and other events; do you find you still have to travel very much or are you able to work online?

Morgan: There’s less need to travel thanks to social media. In the past, if you were writing in Australia you have to overcome what we call “the tyranny of distance”. Thanks to social media I’m doing better with my career in America now that I’ve moved back to Australia, than I ever did when I lived in upstate New York! Telephone and video conferencing is now commonplace technology, as well, which makes things easier – although the time differences can be a bit of a challenge. 

WD:  Do you design you own covers? If not, how much input do you have in the creative process?

Morgan: It depends on the publisher. The covers are their call. I do have a background in design and I do put forward my input regarding covers but ultimately it’s the publisher’s choice. 

WD:  How much time is spent on the cover design and how important is the design to the book?

Morgan: It’s extremely important and publishers put lots of money into getting the right cover design, especially if it’s a book they anticipate will be popular. 

WD:  Do you have a favourite character in your writing and if so, why?

Morgan: They’re all fun but right now (I guess because we’re working on it) I enjoy Accala Viridius, the protagonist of the Wolf’s Empire books. 

Thank you so much for this interview Morgan, it has been a wonderful thrill to meet [the virtual] you; and I look forward to reading the Rome series with you and Claudia Christian along with seeing your [future] work. It all sounds great.

Some links you may enjoy.

Babylon Confidential is available at Chapters Indigo, Amazon, Kobo, and other book stores

Wolf’s Empire: Ice Station Legionary is a colaberative work with Claudia Christian and will be avalible soon from Tor Books (Macmillan)