Literary Escapism recently had the chance to talk with Thomas Sniegoski. The next Remy Chandler novel, In the House of the Wicked will be released next week.
Remy Chandler is about to go where he’s not wanted…
PI Remy Chandler has always been able to rely on his angelic powers when the situation called for it. But now his human and angelic natures are sharing the same space, and Remy can feel himself becoming more and more volatile. Then Ashlie Berg, a young woman who is like a daughter to him, vanishes without a trace. A once-formidable sorcerer has taken her. The man wants vengeance against those he believes wronged him—and Remy will be the instrument of his wrath—or Ashlie will most certainly die…
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of A Hundred Words for Hate.
Literary Escapism: For those who haven’t discovered Remy Chandler, how would you describe the world you’ve built? Is there anything you’re hoping your readers will get, not just from the individual books, but from the world you’ve created?
Tom Sniegoski: The Remy world is everything that I love about books, movies and comics thrown into a great big pot and stirred around. As far as what readers might get from the books—hopefully they’ll just have a really entertaining time. The Remy books are what I would love to read, and I hope people picking them up find them as entertaining.
LE: What was your inspiration when you created your characters and the world they live in? How did you determine how they were going to interact with each other?
TS: My inspiration for Remy was all the great hard-boiled mystery characters that I’ve read and loved throughout the years: Philip Marlowe, Spenser, Leo Hagerty, Simion Grist, John Francis Cuddy, Elvis Cole . . . I’m probably forgetting a ton of others, but I think you get the idea. As far as how other characters would react—you just sort of set them loose upon each other and watch the sparks fly. I think when you’re writing a particular scene where the characters in the Remy universe will meet, you have a general idea of how they feel about each other, but you really don’t know the true depths of this until you’re actually writing the scene and suddenly sparks are flying. The classic example of this is Remy’s interactions with Francis. I knew that he and Remy would be a blast to write together, but I never realized how much. Francis is to Remy what Hawk is to Spenser, or Joe Pike to Elvis Cole. Their scenes together are some of my favorite things to write.
LE: Why Remy Chandler? What was it about Remy that drew you to him and want to tell his story?
TS: Remy just kinda showed up on my door step and said, “Hi, I’m the character that you’ve been waiting to write for a very long time. It was pretty amazing. He just kind of sprang fully formed into my idea—well, fully formed enough to be able to write him comfortably. He’s grown quite a bit over the last few books. But yeah, Remy has become the perfect vehicle for me to write the kinds of stories that I absolutely love to write, and read. I love the fact that he just sort of showed up inside my head.
LE: Remy is a conflicted character, being an Angel living amongst humans. Can you give us some insight on his big decision to leave Heaven?
TS: It’s pretty simple really, he just got sick of all the bullshit. Here he was existing in the perfect place (Heaven) basking in the glory of God’s love, and suddenly this war breaks out with Lucifer Morningstar. Remy then finds himself faced with the unthinkable, where he is forced to fight and kill his brothers in battle, that have decided to go to war against the Almighty. It was just to much for Remy (Remiel) . . . he said screw this nonsense, and went down to earth. Remy was really damaged by the War, and it haunts him to this day. He believes that Heaven has become corrupted as a result of the war—tarnished—and it can never be what it was again. Kinda sad, really.
LE: Since creating your world in A Kiss Before the Apocalypse, has there been anything you’ve regretting starting or wish you had started sooner? Was there something that worked out great in A Kiss Before the Apocalypse, but now you wish you had done differently?
TS: Not really. I sort of have a very general idea as to where I’m going with the Remy books, but there’s also alot of freedom. People always say to me, damn you started out with the Apocalypse, how’re you gonna top that? And I usually just smile, and tell them to give me a chance, that this was all part of a plan, and then I start worrying about how I’m gonna top it. HA!
LE: How do you separate your imaginary world with real life? Do you often take something you see during your daily life and twist it a little to make it work elsewhere? Have you ever wondered what would happen if any part of your world were, in actually, a part of our reality?
TS: Sure, I think all writers do that. Most of the stuff between Remy and Marlowe (his Labrador Retriever) is based somewhat on my interactions with my own Lab, Mulder, who passed away not too long ago, and my new pup, Kirby. As far as how my real world life would react to the kind of stuff I’m throwing out there in the Remy books—Wow, that would be total chaos, but it is the kind of thing that I try to keep in my when writing the books. As crazy as the Remy stuff is, I try to keep it as anchored in reality as much as I can. I think that’s what makes the Remy books stick out from some of the other Urban Fantasy titles out there. Remy is the kind of guy that you’d like to hang out and have a drink with, you believe that he could be living next door, seeing him go out to walk his dog and stuff—at least that’s what I’m trying to achieve.
LE: Which do you find is more central in your writing: the characters or world creation? Why?
TS: I think the characters are what drive this series—not that the world building isn’t important also, which it is, but the characters—I think—is that the kinds of characters, and how they react to this Biblical craziness, is what makes the actual plots and world in which they live, work. The reader sees how they react to the weirdness, and go for the ride with them.
LE: You made your start in writing with young adult books, what made you decide to delve into the world of adult literature?
TS: Actually, I started my writing career in comic books, and my first novel was a ANGEL novel, from the spin off of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. But, to answer the question, I see very little difference between the Young Adult market and Adult market. They’re all about the writing, the story and the characters. In Young Adult, your protagonist just are a little bit younger—that’s really how I see it. I pretty much write one the same way that I write the other—except in Young Adult stuff, they can’t swear as much. When I started doing books, I always knew that I’d jump between Young Adult and Adult stuff . . . some stories are just better suited to a teenage audience, while others, speak to an older one.
LE: Who are your writing influences? Do you have an absolute favorite author?
TS: Man, that’s a tough one . . . my head is kind of like that big pot that I described earlier . . . I’ve thrown all the stuff I love inside it and have stirred it around. There are SO many influential writers . . . Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, Hemingway, Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Dennis Lehane . . . and tons of inspiration from comic book writers and artists as well . . . Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman . . . I could go on and on. It would be too tough to pick a favorite.
LE: Have you always had an idea as to where the series/novel is going? Do you know where it is going or is the storyline evolving as you write?
TS: As a writer, you’re always supposed to tell people that you’re in control, that you know exactly where you’re going . . . well, in this case a little yes, and a little no. The story has a very general direction, but I really don’t know for sure how I’m going to get there. See, I just told you guys a secret that I shouldn’t have. I love to let the characters and situations evolve in such a way that it sort of propels you to the next place you’re supposed to be. I’m at the stage right now that I need to start plotting the sixth Remy book, and I’m going to have to sit down with the fifth to remember all the things that I put in there that need to be included in this latest plot. These sort of unexpected things that evolve as you’re writing a book help to shape where the characters are going and where they’ll eventually end up. How I’ll get there? Your guess is as good as mine.
Meet Thomas Sniegoski!
THOMAS E. SNIEGOSKI is the author of more than two dozen novels for adults, teens, and children. His teen fantasy YA series Fallen was adapted into a trilogy of monstrously successful TV movies by ABC Family Channel. His other books for teens include Sleeper Code, Sleeper Agenda, Legacy, and Force Majeure, as well as the series The Brimstone Network. The author’s first adult novel, A Kiss Before the Apocalypse, developed into a series of novels about the character Remy Chandler.
Sniegoski’s work for younger readers includes the Billy Hooten: Owlboy series and the fantasy quartet OutCast, which he co-authored with Christopher Golden. OutCast is in development as a film at Universal. Sniegoski and Golden have also collaborated on the adult dark fantasy series The Menagerie, and multiple creator-owned comic book series, including The Sisterhood, which is being prepped for a feature film by InterMedia, and Talent, currently in development at Universal after a major bidding war.
As a comic book writer, Sniegoski’s work includes Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails, a prequel miniseries to international hit Bone. Sniegoski has also written the Bone: Quest for the Spark novels. Sniegoski collaborated with Bone creator Jeff Smith on the prequel, making him the only writer Smith has ever asked to work on those characters. Sniegoski and Golden also wrote the graphic novel BPRD: Hollow Earth, a spinoff from Hellboy.
Want to purchase Thomas’s novels?
- A Kiss Before the Apocalypse at Amazon | Book Depository
- Dancing On the Head of a Pin at Amazon | Book Depository
- Where Angels Fear to Tread at Amazon | Book Depository
- A Hundred Words for Hate at Amazon | Book Depository
- In the House of the Wicked at Amazon | Book Depository
- Walking in the Midst of Fire (August 2013)
The Fallen Omnibus 1: Fallen / Leviathan at Amazon | Book Depository
The Fallen 2: Aerie / Reckoning at Amazon | Book Depository
The Fallen 3: The End of Days at Amazon | Book Depository
The Fallen 4: Forsaken at Amazon | Book Depository
Mean Streets at Amazon | Book Depository
Thank you Thomas for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!
Thomas is giving away a copy of A Hundred Words for Hate. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: Have you read all about Remy Chandler’s adventures? What do you enjoy most of this series? If you haven’t read it, what is it that intrigues you about this series? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
The contest will stay open until August 15th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have.