Please extend a warm welcome to Joseph Devon, who has wandered into the ruins today to talk about his book, Probability Angels. Stick around for my review, and be sure to read through to the end for details on today's giveaway.
Beauty in Ruins: If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?
Joseph Devon: Do I get to have their bodies and such? I’ve got a samurai named Kyo that’s a master swordsman and tactician. It would be amazing to feel as tough and confident as he does. If I have to actually do my own thinking then I think I’d stay away from him. I’m not as smart as he is and nowhere near as quick and he harbors too much pain to make that swap worthwhile.
BiR: Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?
JD: Faulkner’s famous advice: “Kill all your darlings.” I didn’t really get it until I started treating rewriting as seriously as I did my first drafts. Now not only does it make sense but I see shades of it in tons of other advice. Like: “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away,” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Same thing. You obviously can’t cut all of your words and expect your reader to figure things out from a blank sheet of paper, but there’s a paring you do during rewriting where you get rid of as much fluff as you possibly can but still keep your impact. It’s perfect writing advice.
BiR: If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?
JD: Shardik by Richard Adams. I loved Watership Down and was really excited to read another one of his books but it turned out to be one of the few books I have put down and never finished. That’s rare for me. So I’d want to rewrite it just because it was horrible and I had such high expectations for it and I want to make it better. I could improve on it, like by having a point, or a plot, or interesting scenes.
BiR: You just woke up in an alternative universe. Can you describe what it would look like and tell us what your first reaction would be.
JD: How do I know I’m in an alternate universe? Is it crazy different from ours? Now I’m worried. Did I wake up in an alternate universe this morning? If I walk outside will Central Park be gone? Will the sun not set tonight, or will there be two moons? Who did this?! Was it you? WHY???
BiR: Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover? If so, what book?
JD: I tend to read based on recommendations from friends, so I don’t think I’ve ever bought a book based on a cover. Actually, that can’t be true. I’m sure as a kid I fell in love with the covers of some adventure books and bought them. I know I fall for a lot of covers of video games that turned out to be awful. So yes I have purchased books based on their covers, but that was back in my salad days. Now I’m much more mature and I only buy video games based on their covers.
GIVEAWAY: For a chance at winning either a print copy of Probability Angels (US, UK, and Canada only) or an eBook copy (Global), simply leave a comment below. Let me know if you've liked my review on Goodreads, or marked my review as being helpful on Amazon, and I'll even throw in a bonus entry. Joseph's tour ends on the 15th, so be sure to leave a comment before then to be entered.