Paul Hardy Interview Part 2

Written By: Kellie - Jul• 31•11

Q- Which character in TLMOEC do you most relate to, and why?

Probably Asha. Having to be the ringmaster in a particularly fractious circus can’t be easy, and that’s what pretty much what I was having to do while writing. The group therapy sessions were particularly tricky, and I had to improvise a few times when the characters wouldn’t do quite what I wanted them to.
Of course, there’s a little something of me in all of them. Or in Olivia’s case, there’s a little something of my grandmother, who grew bitter in her final years as the world grew ever more scornful of the attitudes of her generation, and cancer made life progressively harder to bear. Olivia’s a bit like that, but turned up to eleven. Surviving a zombie apocalypse when everyone else gave up and died is likely to leave you unhappy with the people who didn’t bother to survive.

Q- Has Science Fiction always been your genre of choice?

When I was making short films, I tended to go for comedy instead, partly because it required less resources and partly because people always responded well to it in such a short format.
Although, come to think of it, I did have a tendency towards speculative fiction in general, even then; Bunny’s Job was the story of an imaginary friend having a bad day at work because she was trying to be a therapist when that wasn’t actually her job, while Arrivals followed a therapist trying to help a group of the recently deceased who’d shown up in the afterlife with a ton of problems.
Okay, so maybe what I’ve been doing is therapy narratives all along. Against a Speculative Fiction background. Except for all those times I was doing comedy for the hell of it.
Of course, now that I’m doing novels, I don’t need to worry about budgeting for special effects, or how to coax After Effects into doing impossible things. So SF becomes a lot easier to do.
SF was the vast bulk of what I read as a child, and of course I had a steady diet of Doctor Who and Blake’s Seven from an early age. Being British at a certain time makes that almost inevitable. My interests broadened as I grew up, but SF will always be the genre that fascinates me the most. It’s just the sheer possibilities that entrance me; and how they can be turned into something even more remarkable when you treat them as something that might happen to real people.

Q- What are you currently reading?

A Dance With Dragons. Because, well, it finally came out. What I love about George R R Martin’s work is the approach from a level of reality. He’s not writing escapist fantasy – he’s writing a story of how people would actually act in a fantastical world. Or rather, he’s writing a story set in a world more mediaeval than anything else, but which happens to have fantastical elements. It’s still wildly exciting, but you can imagine history being written about these events, and standing up next to the things that happened in Europe or China or India or Mesoamerica in ages past.
Before that, I read Ian Kershaw’s biography of Hitler: both horrifying and amazing. It finally made sense of how such a feckless egotist – who refused even to prepare for an entrance exam to art school, even after he’d already failed once – ended up in charge of a previously sane country.

Q- Are you already working on your next project? Any hints on what’s coming next?

Next up is a (hopefully) shorter SF novel set in a very different kind of parallel universe structure, tentatively titled All That I See or Seem. Here’s some blurb:
On a world where religion works in a predictable and measurable way, an inquisitor tortures a heretic to uncover the apostate underground threatening the institution of prayer which keeps crops growing and disasters at bay. But instead, the inquisitor stumbles on clues as to the real nature of the universe, and sets out to find who or what really controls the world.
What he discovers leads him to universe upon universe above his own, and a final confrontation with the power that dominates and destroys the worlds below.

(that’s my first attempt at a blurb for this one, so expect changes. I’m still outlining at the moment. With any luck this will be done sometime in the first half of 2012)
I might well wind down after that with some short stories and novellas drawing on all that background material I created for The Last Man on Earth Club. There’s just so damn much of it, and so many stories that could be told. After that, there’s another novel set in the same multiverse as the Interversal Union, but that’s way, way in the future for now, and anyway, I might come up with other ideas by then. If anybody reading this wants me to write faster, tell all your friends to buy LMOEC so I can quit my job and do this full time :-)

Paul, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview, putting so much effort into it AND offering up a copy of your book for a giveaway.

The giveaway will be up later tonight, so if this sounds like something you might like, please enter for a chance to win :)

Or even better, visit Amazon and order your own copy for only $2.99.

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