Tuesday, April 15, 2014

12 Questions with the Peacemaker Maker

Today's guest is Marianne de Pierres, author of Peacemaker.

How did you hook up with Angry Robot for Peacemaker?
My agent met Marc Gascoigne when he was in Australia for Conflux. She was really impressed by what they were publishing. We hoped that PEACEMAKER might work for them, and subbed it through the normal channels.

What would you say the big inspirations behind Peacemaker are?
I was destined to write a “Western” flavoured story at some stage. I grew up on a diet of Zane Grey, and have a deep respect for wild and hostile landscapes, having lived in the Pilbara for ten years. I would say that the setting definitely came first in this novel. Then I set about finding out who exactly would populate it. I’d written a short story a fair while back, with Virgin Jackson as the protagonist. It was a futuristic Australian outback tale with post-cyberpunk overtones. I revisited that character and knew she would be perfect in this freshly realised world. In fact, it’s kind of like she’d been waiting patiently in my files for me to come and get her.

Any more books featuring Virgin Jackson in the works?
Yes. Book two is due out next year and has a working title of DEALBREAKER. It delves deeply into the supernatural side of the story, as Virgin and Nate learn more about the Korax. The fun bit for me, will be comparing the politics of the slums and the politics of the university (a featured location) – and seeing how little they actually differ from each other. Oh, and the Gods! There’ll be mythological mayhem.

Who would you cast in a Peacemaker movie?
I’m always a fan of the unknown actor, so I’m not really sure. But maybe Chaske Spencer for Nate Sixkiller.

Who is your favorite author?
Unfair! I can’t possibly pick one. Also, my reading tastes have varied so spectacularly over the years, it’s hard to compare the kinds of writing. However, I will always have a very special place for Ballard’s Vermillion Sands collection, and Terry Dowling’s Twilight Beach collection. Both have a languid romanticism about them that really appeals to me.

What is your favorite book?
See above! I don’t think there is one favourite. At different times, particular novels have meant a lot to me. I remember being totally seduced by Carlos Castaneda’s A Separate Reality, hooked by Charles Sheffield’s Heritage Universe series  and fascinated by Vernor Vinge’s Marooned in Real Time.  Then there was the Endymion series by Dan Simmons and Chaga by Ian McDonald… I really could go on forever.

What are you reading now?
The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly. I’m not finding it as compelling as earlier Mickey Haller stories, but Connelly is always readable.

Is there a book that made you want to be a writer?
Books! Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven and Famous Five series, without a doubt. Empowering kids to solve mysteries - I so wanted in. Oh, and all that homemade lemonade! After that, came The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, followed by every Zane Grey, and then later Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence.  

Peacemaker isn't your first trip to the dance.  What was your first published work?
Nylon Angel back in 2004 was my first novel and my first outing in science fiction. Action, adrenalin-fuelled and raw. I still get fan mail about that series. It seemed to touch a lot of people.

Name an Australian author the rest of the world needs to know about?
 Some of my favourites include Trent Jamison, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Margo Lanagan, Jo Anderton and Lucy Sussex among many, MANY others. Kylie Chan is also huge over here, and I expect will be so internationally soon. But may I refer you to the Skiffy and Fanty podcast about Australian spec fic for a comprehensive answer to that question.

What's next for Marianne de Pierres?
 I’ve got a list of my upcoming projects up on my website. Firstly though, I’m writing DEALBREAKER, followed by a SF near-future thriller with the working title PHARMAKON. I also have a couple of crime novels in the pipeline and will be doing some game writing for a prototype. I love having a number of creative projects brewing.

Any advice for aspiring writers?
 Finish what you start! Best advice anyone ever gave me in writing.  You can find the rest of my writing tips on my website.

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