Andy Remic is an alien blob entity who’s been trapped in a bubble of gelatinous goo and forced to write hardcore fast-paced thrillers, SF and fantasy, sometimes mixing up all the genres in one big whisky barrel, whilst being prodded by an electrified titanium rod. Sometimes he shape-shifts into different types of aliens and appears in movies, and occasionally he is allowed to take human form for photo opportunities and signings. Mainly though, he likes being a blob.
Your new novel, The Dragon Engine, will be published by Angry Robot in September. How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?
The Dragon Engine is a fast-paced dark fantasy novel. It’s about a group of Vagandrak heroes who get drunk and sign a contract to go on a treasure hunt in some ancient, abandoned dwarf mines. The adventurers believe there are jewels hidden there which give everlasting life. Only when they arrive, the mines are far from abandoned, and our heroes learn of three huge dragons held in captivity, enslaved by the dwarves, particularly Skalg, First Cardinal of the Church of Hate… things go downhill fast for everybody. This is the first of a two-part series – at the moment!
What inspired you to write the novel and series? And where do you draw your inspiration from in general?
I’d wanted to write a novel about evil dwarves for a long time. After watching Jackson’s Hobbit films, with comedy beards and banter, I thought, Right, now it’s time to have some really evil dwarves! I’d also wanted to explore really nasty dragons, and so the two ideas came together in a pit of nastiness.
Inspiration in general? Wow. Dreams, people, whiskey, travel, conversation… so, LIFE. Nothing is as mad as the real world!
How were you introduced to genre fiction?
My primary school teacher, Mrs. Buono, used to read Roald Dahl books to our class. That got me interested in reading. I then devoured all the Famous Five and Secret Seven books – which got me into adventures! I love adventure stories. Then I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings which got me into fantasy, and Phil Dick got me seriously into SF.
How do you like being a writer and working within the publishing industry?
I LOVE being a writer. I adore creating worlds and mad characters and watching them come to life, then sending them off into the world for more adventures. The publishing industry is great, once you understand it is a business like any other.
Do you have any specific working, writing, researching practices?
I like to write in my study, a glass of wine, lit candles, sometimes music (I was listening to the Inception soundtrack writing The Dragon Engine). I think most of my research comes from life, as I said earlier. Often people and conversations end up in my books. So be afraid.
When did you realize you wanted to be an author, and what was your first foray into writing? Do you still look back on it fondly?
I wanted to be an author since primary school. My first book, The Four Headed Man, was a about a giant four headed man (the size of King Kong) with planes swooping around him to shoot him down. Heh. Those were the days! I wrote my first “proper” novel when I was 17. It was comedy fantasy called Silkworm. I do not dare go back and read it.
What’s your opinion of the genre today, and where do you see your work fitting into it?
I think the genre is thriving, with a wide range of fantasy styles available for the discerning reader. Where does my work fit in? It’s probably behind the bike sheds, have a sneaky cigarette and hanging out with the bad boys.
Do you have any other projects in the pipeline, and what are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on the follow up to The Dragon Engine, Twilight of the Dragons, plus three novellas for Tor US, beginning with A Song for No Man’s Land, a dark fantasy set in the trenches of WWI. Then I’m about to make my ZX Spectrum film. If you’re an old Speccy geek like me you can see more here. I also made a horror feature called Impurity.
What are you reading at the moment (fiction, non-fiction)?
I’m, currently reading the fantasy novel The Demon Lord by Peter Morwood, J. G. Ballard’s The Miracle of Life and I’m just about to start Banks’ The Hydrogen Sonata.
What’s something readers might be surprised to learn about you?
I have two Collie dogs called Fizz and Tilly (we foolishly allowed the kids to name them – but I’m the one who has to stand out in the field shouting, “Here Fizz! Here Tilly!”). They are brilliant and clever and mad.
What are you most looking forward to in the next twelve months?
Writing Twilight of the Dragons for Angry Robot, my novellas for Tor, and working on my Speccy movie.
Andy Remic‘s The Dragon’s Engine is published by Angry Robot Books on September 1st, 2015. For more on his writing and novels, be sure to check out his website, and follow him on Twitter and Goodreads.