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Little Willow

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Interview: Tom Sniegoski: Part One

This is Part One of a four-part interview with the author. Please come back every Sunday to read a new piece of the interview. The final portion will be posted on July 23rd, the same day that Fallen airs on ABC Family.

Government conspiracies, assassins, action, adventure, and narcolepsy. What's not to love?

Thomas E. Sniegoski's dance card is full this month. The Sleeper Conspiracy, a two-book technothriller otherwise referred to as Sleeper Code and Sleeper Agenda, will be released in bookstores. Comic book shops will get a new issue of Talent, a comic co-written with Christopher Golden which was recently tapped by Universal for development. ABC Family will air a special two-hour movie based on his quartet of novels called The Fallen, which mixes mythology and fantasy with contemporary action and adventure. In other words, everything's coming up roses for Tom. (Thorn-free roses, hopefully.)

Tom found success as a comic book writer, with his first published work coming out 20 years ago. In the late nineties, he added novels to his bibliography, working with frequent collaborator and award-winning horror novelist Christopher Golden. He now writes novels on his own in addition to his work with Golden, and his latest solo novels, THE SLEEPER CONSPIRACY, will be today's focus.

LW: You have two new novels under the banner THE SLEEPER CONSPIRACY. What's the story, and the inspiration behind it?

TOM: The Sleeper books are about Tom Lovett who was born with a rare form of the sleep disorder narcolepsy. Sleep is Tom's worst enemy, overcome with a narcoleptic attack, he can drift off at any moment--his disease stealing days, even weeks of his life. Tom is sick of feeling fragile, sick of taking pills, sick of his small, boring existence. Until one day, the life he's always known vanishes. Tom discovers that his disease is a cover. His life a lie. He can't even trust what's inside his own head. Now Tom has far darker reasons to fear sleep.

Interested yet?

Couldn't really tell you where the inspiration came from. Just one of those bizarre ideas that pops into your head, and it sort of festers from there.

LW: Why is it split into two books instead of one?

TOM: Originally it was planned for one book, but my editor over at Razorbill thought that it would make a great two part story. There's another reason, which has to do with a major idea in the book, but I don't want to explain it and spoil anything. Sorry, just gonna have to read the books.

LW: Did you name the main character after yourself on purpose?

TOM: Y'know, that's really funny. My editor pointed -- as well as Chris Golden pointed that out after I turned the first book in and was working on the second. The scary thing is, I didn't really notice. The character's name was Tom and that was that. I really didn't make the connection that it was my name as well, but by the time that I did, it was too late. That was his name, I couldn't have changed it if I wanted to.

LW: In 2000, you teamed up with Christopher Golden on another conspiracy-themed novel, FORCE MAJEURE. In what ways is SLEEPER similar to that technothriller? Do you think the characters will run into each other?

TOM: The Sleeper books are definitely my return to that genre. The main charaters in these books could very easily run into one another. Maybe someday I'll get to do this big evil-tech crossover event book. The gears have already started to turn.

For more information on The Sleeper Conspiracy, read my review and the book summaries and visit Sniegoski's official website.

Read Part Two of this interview, in which Tom discusses the aforementioned comic book Talent and his self-proclaimed geekdom.

Read Part Three of this interview and find out what Tom feels are the pros and cons of writing alone vs. collaborations.

Read Part Four of this interiew to get the inside scoop on the television adaptation of Fallen.
Tags: books, interviews, tom sniegoski

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