THE WRITE STUFF
LW: THE SLEEPER CONSPIRACY marks your first solo novels since THE FALLEN; your other recent works, for the most part, have been written with Christopher Golden. What do you like most about collaborating? Least?
TOM: The best thing about collaborating is the whole challenge thing. He writes something that's really cool, and of course I have to try and top it. We're always trying to outdo each other, challenging the next guy to pump up the volume even more.
Things I like the least? There's nothing I can think off right now. I've got an awesome collaborater, and I think we work together really well.
LW: What do you like most about solo projects? Least?
TOM: The best thing about going solo is that it's all you. Everything is up to you.
The bad thing? It's all you. Everything is up to you.
LW: You've written for a multitude of mediums and genres - comics, novels, children's series. Which is your favorite?
TOM: I have likes and dislikes about all of them, but I think comic book scripting is the most fun of all the writing that I've done.
LW: Who do you consider to be your target audience? (Aside from your dog, Mulder.)
TOM: Anybody who loves a good story -- who wants to be taken for an exciting thrill ride. I want readers who have no problem sitting down and devouring a book in one sitting.
LW: Do you adjust your writing style or the voice of the character depending on your audience or plot?
TOM: Definitely. Every story -- every character as a very specific tone. A voice.
LW: When writing for a younger audience, do you self-censor? Do you prefer to write what you want to write, then leave it up to the editors to say what is or isn't appropriate?
TOM: There's a little bit of self-censoring that goes on. Every once in a while you write a particular scene and then suddenly find yourself asking, "Did I just go over the edge with that?" Sometimes you really can't answer the question yourself, so you leave it in to see how the editor reacts. If she doesn't have a problem, you leave it in.
LW: When and where is your next signing?
TOM: I'll be at San Diego Comicon this year promoting Fallen for ABC Family Channel. I get there Friday so stop by and see me!
LW: You have been working away on many new books. Care to share dates and details?
TOM: Hellboy: The God Machine will be out this month, July.
The third book in The Menagerie series with Christoper Golden, Stones Unturned, will be out in September.
Billy Hooten: Owlboy will hit late summer of 2007.
I'm also working on the first in a series of supernatural mysteries, the first being A Kiss Before the Apocalypse. Not sure when that one will be released.
There is also at least one more Menagerie, and one more Billy Hooten adventure.
LW: Any new comics?
TOM: I've got a serielized story appearing in the three issue run of the Goon Noir book coming from Dark Horse that will be drawn by the Goon creator, Eric Powell that features the Little Unholy Bastard s. It's pretty crazy stuff. Also, more Talent.
LW: Which of your books makes you the most proud?
TOM: I think the book I'm currently revising, A Kiss Before the Apocalypse, is my best work to date. I don't think I've ever written something that touched me so personally as this. It was really an experience writing it.
LW: Which characters and worlds would you love to revisit?
TOM: I'd love to return to The Fallen universe. I think I've got at least four books left in me for that. I've got at least two more Owlboy adventures planned. My supernatural detective, Remy Chandler -- he and I have lots more stories to tell.
LW: OutCast, the quartet of fantasy juvenile novels written by you and Chris, was optioned by Universal last year. What's going on with that?
TOM: OutCast is still in that weird, script writing stage. No news yet on whether or not it will eventually go into production. Fingers crossed!
TOM'S TEN FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME
TOM: Man, that's a tough one.
1. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
2. The Shining by Stephen King
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. The Owl
5. Salems Lot by Stephen King
7. Blue Belle
8. The Collected Short Stories of Ernest Hemmingway
9. Darkness Take My Hand
10. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
Read Part One of this interview to learn more about Tom's newest novels, The Sleeper Conspiracy: Sleeper Code and Sleeper Agenda.
Read Part Two of this interview, in which Tom discusses the aforementioned comic book Talent and his self-proclaimed geekdom.
Read Part Four of this interiew to get the inside scoop on the television adaptation of Fallen.