Interview: Tom Sniegoski
Current Mood: awake
Current Song: Big Casino by Jimmy Eat World
First of all, how are you?
I'm good. A little bit crazed right now with deadlines, but I'm good. Thanks for asking.
Before we talk about your newest series and your works-in-progress, let's talk about your first published work.
The Way was my first published story, but I'd been writing stuff and telling stories for many, many years before that. I used to have all these action figures in this box was I was like seven or eight -- or maybe even older now that I'm thinking about it. How embarrassing.
Anyway, I'd use all these toys to help me tell these big elaborate stories that I would have continue day after day after day. Thinking about it, I was doing my own sort of TV series, or comic book series. I was a pretty crazy kid, lost in my head a lot.
I can also remember just sitting down at the old fashioned typewriter and just typing away, telling some insane story off the top of my head - usually having something to do with Godzilla - and it had no punctuation at all and minimal use of spacing so it would just all sort of run together. But I knew what it said.
Owlboy, your hilarious series for kids, has a little bit of everything - adventure, horror, comedy, superheroes - something for everyone. What were you like as a kid?
Like I said above, I was a little odd, into some really bizarre stuff. It's funny - I see kids today that are more like me. It's almost as if as time marched on, people became more tolerant of a little weirdness. Boy, did I get looks when I'd start to talk about dinosaurs, monsters, and superheroes. My mother used to try and bribe me with Hot Wheels cars so I wouldn't like weird stuff. She'd say, "I'll buy you this Hot Wheel, but you have to stop talking about Frankenstein." I'd agree, and then that night I'd be talking about the Creature From the Black Lagoon.
You've written for many different comic lines, including Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Batman. If you could write for any existing or classic comic book series, what would you pick?
I'd love to something sort of obscure and a little off-kilter. There was this comic in the 70's called DEVIL DINOSAUR that is one of the most insane things I've ever read. It only ran for nine issues and it was written and drawn by one my greatest heroes, Jack Kirby. I actually got to do a DEVIL DINOSAUR story with my Owlboy artist Eric Powell for Marvel comics about two years ago that was a blast. I think I'd like to do a regular DEVIL DINOSAUR comic. And then there's BATMAN and the FANTASTIC FOUR -- of course I'd like to do something with them, but right now, since you're asking, DEVIL DINOSAUR, please.
The Menagerie, a dark fantasy series you co-write with Christopher Golden, combines elements of mythology with recognizable characters from classic literature as well as modern-day original characters. Which character do you most resemble?
It's sad to say, but it would have to be the foul-mouthed, shadow-traveling Hobgoblin, Squire. Yep, he's short and nasty, sarcastic and has a bad attitude. I don't have all of these traits (though Chris and my wife might say differently) but I think he's the closest member of the team that thinks and reacts like me.
Tell us more about The Brimstone Network, your juvenile series due out in the fall of 2008.
The Brimstone Network is a complete blast. It takes place in this slightly off-kilter world where threats of the supernatural are kept in check by an organization called The Brimstone Network that has existed since the dawn of time. They're a crack team of special warriors and magick users who respond to a vampire attack, or zombie outbreak in a heartbeat, and deal with it.
But then something terrible happens: the Network is attacked from within, and all the agents stationed around the world killed. Suddenly, there isn't a Brimstone Network anymore, and the supernatural threats begin to gather their strength to take the world as its own.
The leader of the Network, one Elijah Stone, planned for something like this -- he had a contingency plan, a secret weapon. His thirteen-year-old son has been hidden away in a monastery in Tibet, learning everything that there is about combating the forces of darkness. His name is Abraham Stone -- Bram Stone -- and it is up to him now to put together a new Brimstone Network to defeat this new, organized, supernatural threat to the world.
His team is made up of all these people his own age that have been somehow touched by the paranormal. We have a teenage girl who is a werewolf, a handicapped boy whose brain is one of the most deadly weapons on the planet, and a guy called Mr. Stitch who is sort of like the Frankenstein monster, his body made from the best Brimstone Network agents that lived - and died.
It's pretty much the series of books that I was always looking for as a kid, but could never find. If I would have found The Brimstone Network at the bookstore or library when I was ten or twelve, I probably would have had a stroke.
I'm in the middle of writing the second book in the series right now. I had a bit of a nightmare occur last month when I accidentally (yes, I'm an idiot) deleted the entire manuscript. Close to two hundred pages gone in one deft move. Luckily, I had the first one hundred and twenty pages on my old laptop that I could recover, but there was close to a hundred pages wiped out. That's what I'm working on re-writing right now.
A Kiss Before the Apocalypse comes out in May 2008. What (or who) is at the heart of that story?
A Kiss Before the Apocalypse is my first solo adult novel. It's really personal, and I think it's the best thing I've ever written. How's that for setting myself up for failure?
It's a supernatural/hardboiled detective/fantasy/love story about a Boston private investigator, that just so happens to be an angel that left Heaven a few millenia ago because of the whole war with Lucifer. Disheartened, he came to earth, and eventually started living like a human. He loved the hardboiled writer Raymond Chandler, and decided that maybe he'd like to try being a private eye. What the heck?
This particular book deals with a case that Remy is working on the involves him being hired by a host of angels from Heaven to find the Angel of Death who has gone missing. I really don't want to say anything more. I don't want to spoil anything.
I actually just finished the first draft of the second Remy book yesterday. It's called Dancing on the Head of a Pin, and this one is pretty special as well.
What's next for...
I just finished writing the third Owlboy adventure, Tremble at the Terror of Zis-Boom-Bah. I think that will be out in October of 2008. I still need to write the fourth adventure, The Flock of Fury. If you can't tell, I really do love this series. They're a riot to write.
The fourth Menagerie book -- Crashing Paradise -- hit stores this summer, and we're still waiting to hear if we're going to do anymore. We'd love to do at least one more, just to finish off the main story that has been running through all the books. Fingers crossed.
Your dog, Mulder?
Mulder is very much looking forward to his walk in a little while, and the snack that will soon follow. He's all about the snacks.
Visit Tom at http://www.sniegoski.com (You'll see Mulder there too.)
Today's WBBT Schedule
Perry Moore at The Ya Ya Yas (Part 1, Part 2)
Nick Abadzis at Chasing Ray
Carrie Jones at Hip Writer Mama
Phyllis Root at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Laura Amy Schlitz at Fuse Number 8
Kerry Madden at lectitans
Tom Sniegoski at Bildungsroman
Connie Willis at Finding Wonderland