Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Reading the text: Tim Lebbon

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 9, 2009

Author website:fallen cover

Could you take a minute and explain what Fallen is about?

Fallen is set in the fantasy land of Noreela. The land is young, and largely still unexplored by the humans living to the north of the huge island. Voyagers are explorers, whose aim it is to explore as far and as wide as they can. It’s the Age of Expansion … but some places were never meant to be explored. To the south of the island is the Great Divide, a cliff that is said to rise forever. When two explorers – rivals and friends Nomi and Ramus – discover a manuscript that might well be from the top of the Great Divide, they launch the greatest Voyage of them all. But it’s fraught with danger, and the possibiliyy of what might be up there – a Sleeping God, but one that is fallen – is terrifying. If they make it to the top of the Divie, the world or Noreela will change forever.

What was the process like in getting your first book published?

My first novel Mesmer was published by UK indie press Tanjen over ten years ago . I was quite lucky – I knew of Tanjen, had written a novel that tied in nicely with their guidelines, and was lucky enough to get accepted. So my first novel acceptance was quite easy. It’s the ones since then that have been more difficult!

Where do you happen to find inspiration for your work?

Under a rock in my back garden. Actually, everywhere. We’re a product of our experience, and my work is also a product of that.

Are you or have you ever been a gamer? What has your gaming experience been like (board games, pen & paper RPGs, console & computer games, etc.)?

Never been a gamer.

Were you a big reader as a child/young adult? What were some of your favorite books and/or authors growing up?

I was a voracious reader, even more than I am now (because back then I had the time). I’d read a book per day sometimes. As a youngster I loved Willard Price and his Adventure novels, as well as Hardy Boys, and other stuff I can’t remember now. Hey, I’m knocking on a bit, you know? And in my teens it was all James Herbert and Stephen King, over and over again.

Seeing how you now write primarily in the horror and fantasy genres, would you mind sharing some of your literary influences?

mesmer coverUsually when asked this I’ll name Willard Price from those early years, then Stephen King, and then Arthur Machen. But in truth I have many influences, and I believe a writer is affected by most of what they read one way or another. I’m writing because of Price, and writing horror because of King. I think the seed of my fantasy writing career was planted by Clive Barker a long time ago, and it’s still being nurtured by everything I read now. Everyone finds their own voice eventually–I’ve found mine, but am still working on it with every book I write–but I’m still influenced by what I read. Started reading a lot of dark crime lately … and now I’m working on a dark crime novel, because I love to spread my wings and write as broadly as I can.

Grind is a term used frequently in gaming vernacular referring to something that is rather repetitive or unpleasant that one engages in in order to progress in the game. Would you say there is grinding in the writing process? Please explain.

Not in the writing process itself, nor the revising and editing process. That’s all creative input, and I don’t think anything creative can be called Grind. But then when the book’s being produced, there are page proofs to go through and stuff like that … that can get a bit repetitive. By the time a book’s published I might have read it dozens of times. Hard work. Grinds you down.

Would you have any words of advice for the would-be-writers out there?

Read a lot, write a lot, repeat. Read widely. Don’t give up. Learn from rejection. Use apostrophes correctly.dusk cover

You wake up to a world where Fallen has been made into an MMO. What race and class would you play and why? (maybe you could still take a crack at this one just for fun?)

I’d want to be a Voyager, striving to learn more about the world I live in, taking great risks in traveling further afield than most people ever have before, confronting the new races and animals and geography I discover there…

Is there anything else you’d like to share with this gamer/reader audience?

Just to say that you can find out loads of stuff about me and my books – stuff that even I don’t know – at my website

2 Responses to “Reading the text: Tim Lebbon”

  1. Craig said

    Great interview! Reading Fallen now, and it’s excellent!

  2. […] check out this separate interview I’ve done for a gaming […]

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