Interview with Danie Ware

We've been lucky enough to be granted an interview with Danie Ware, Forbidden Planet events / social media organiser and now author with her quite brilliant debut novel Ecko Rising, published by Titan Books.

To celebrate the launch of SFBook is proud to be part of the book tour and as well as this interview and a review of Ecko Rising.

Thanks to Titan Books we also have a signed copy to give away. (Click the link to enter the competition)

Ant You've worked with Forbidden Planet for over a decade and are clearly influential in the science fiction / fantasy scene. What elements do you feel have influenced your writing the most?

Danie The single strongest influence has been one of pure motivation – when you’re surrounded by creative energy and output, when you can see your friends and contacts making their stories happen, it really makes you want to write your own. Be you published or self-published, writing for yourself or for an audience, it doesn’t matter – creativity is catching!

Ant What has encouraged you to write a speculative fiction novel mixing a fantasy world with a high tech scifi future?

Danie It started out as a ‘what if’, writing purely for the fun of it. When I was younger, this stuff was just fun to do, to share with my friends. Years later, after having picked the project back up, it became more of a conscious decision to actually write a ‘culture shock’ novel – to find out what would happen when a character with that much damage potential and sardonic wit was placed in a setting that couldn’t handle him.

Ant The style of your writing, your voice is quite distinctive and pretty unique. Who would you say are your biggest influences within the genre, who has inspired you the most?

Danie From when I was a kid – Julian May, Stephen Donaldson, William Gibson. Having come back to genre fiction in more recent years, I’m enjoying the grittier edge brought to fantasy by Richard Morgan and Joe Abercrombie, the vistas of potential opened up by China Miéville, and the way that new publishers like Angry Robot are challenging genre traditions.

Ant It's clear that Ecko: Rising is planned as part of a larger series, can you tell us anything about future plans you have for the series.

Danie I’ve just handed in the first draft of the sequel, which takes the threads from the first book and weaves them into a much more dynamic and encompassing story. It moves in a slightly more political direction, and it also explores just what Ecko is really capable of, when there’s no-one to control him and he’s let off the leash.

Ant What (or Who) inspired the character of Ecko?

Danie If you’ve ever seen the film ‘Repossessed’, there’s a sequence where the demoniac Linda Blair, secured by the wrists to the bed, comes up off the pillow at Leslie Neilson, snarling, ‘What crawled up your ass and died?’ The character of ‘Ecko’ – he was originally called ‘Oxy’, short for oxy-acetylene – was born in that moment. Everything about it, the rasp of her voice, the expression on her face, the angle of her body, her whole attitude… the entire character was conceptualised that solitary sequence.

Ant Your favourite robot?

Danie Bender Bending Rodriguez from Futurama – sociopathic, alcohol-powered, whore-mongering, chain-smoking, compulsive-gambling… in every way, Bender should be utterly abhorrent. And yet he’s charming, he’s funny, he has emotions when a robot clearly shouldn’t, and you can’t help but love him. A masterwork of character illustration!

Ant If you could be asked any one question you wanted, what would the question and answer be?

Danie The question would be, ‘If you could show this book to any one person, who would it be?’ The answer would be to the man to whom it’s dedicated, my late fiancé Bones. There’s a lot of Bones’ memory in the story, in the character of Lugan, and particularly in the Cut Off Of Eternal Dog-Ends, which is still hanging in my wardrobe. Still produces dog-ends, as well.

Ecko Rising is released into the wild on the 28th September 2012.