Thursday, 3 February 2011

*** Interview with Robin Jarvis (author of Dancing Jax)***

I would like to start by thanking Sam, at HarperCollins, for making this post happen. I'd also like to thank Robin Jarvis, of course, for taking the time to answer these questions for my little blog - I really appreciate your time and responses. 

Today is the publication day for Robin's latest book "Dancing Jax", which in my opinion, is long overdue and one of the best books published this year. If you want to find out more about this amazing book then please check out my book review.

1. How would you describe your new book Dancing Jax to potential readers?
 It's a supernatural thriller, very much set in the here and now - and it's a warning.

2. Where did you get the inspiration for the characters for this book?
 Unlikely as this sounds, back in 2005 I had the most detailed, realistic dream of my life. It gave me the entire final chapter of the book, with the knowledge of what had gone before. It was all there, complete with names and even what everyone was wearing: the minchet, the Ismus, Paul dressed as the Jack of Diamonds shouting "Give me your jools, give me your jools!" Martin dragging him away and encountering the Jockey and the title of the book itself. I woke up with a jolt and ran straight into my study, switched the computer on and wrote down 2 and a half pages worth of synopsis and characters. I wish I could remember what I'd eaten before bed that night.

3. Are there any other books in the series to follow? if so, can you let us into any secrets?
 There are going to be two more. I've almost finished book two. Its set a few months after Dancing Jax is published in this country and just about everyone in the UK is affected by it. This tells the story of what happens to the children over whom neither it nor the minchet have any influence.

4. Do you share any similar traits with any of the characters in the book?
 There's a lot of me in Martin I 'suppose- but then I found myself agreeing with certain things the Ismus was saying, which is a bit scary.

5. The story is developed through so many different characters. Therefore, how do you piece everything together and make it all fit?
 I just knew the story I wanted to tell and so tailored the characters to suit and to get me to that final scene in the subway. One of the best aspects about writing is putting yourself into the heads of so many different characters and working out what drives them. I love doing that.

6. Could you describe any element of the editing process that this book went through in order to reach the final stage?

The editing process is usually pretty painless. I always go through the book so many times before the editor gets to see it, there isn't much needs doing. The only thing I can think of for Dancing Jax was the late addition of the chapter in the hospital ward, which served a number of purposes, one of which was to have a really powerful and violent chapter in the middle of the book, but it also introduces Mauger properly and something else which appears again in the second book...

Originally there wasn't any artwork either and every chapter was headed with an extract from Dancing Jacks but we thought it would be more interesting to include other elements from Austerly Fellows' evil work, such as the tune, dance steps, areas of map etc. Oh and I updated certain pop culture references within the text.  

7. Who inspires you to write?
 Nobody really. I think it has to come from within yourself. Thats how it works for me anyway. I get excited by ideas and want to write stories around them. 

 8. If you found yourself with a spare afternoon what book would you choose to read?
 I've got a stack of books I haven't gotten around to reading yet. Top of the pile is Wolf Hall so it'd be that.

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