60 Seconds with Dan Abnett

dan abnettDan Abnett is a novelist and award-winning comic book writer. He has written over thirty-five novels, including the acclaimed Gaunt’s Ghosts series, the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies and, with Mike Lee, the Darkblade cycle. His novels Horus Rising and Legion (both for the Black Library) and his Torchwood novel Border Princes (for the BBC) were all bestsellers. His novel Triumff, for Angry Robot, was published in 2009 and nominated for the British Fantasy Society Award for Best Novel. He lives and works in Maidstone, Kent. Follow him on Twitter @VincentAbnett

Which was your favourite childhood book?

Joint winners: The Owl Service by Alan Garner, and The King Of The Copper Mountains by Paul Biegel.

Where do you write?

Just below the wrist. Or, in my basement office.

Which was the book that changed your life?

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury.

What objects are on your desk, and why?

A pen (a-duh), a rolodex (because I’m low tech), a pair or paper scissors (ibid), a toy theatre (for dramatic effect), a figurine of Joan of Arc (for that Saint Sabbat vibe), and a life-size, articulated wooden model of a human (skeletal) hand (because it’s handy).

Which book should be on the national curriculum?

Anything, ANYTHING decent, but nothing, NOTHING by living authors – can’t we let anything mature and become established any more? What the hell is wrong with anything that’s more than a few years old? Are Keats and Conrad too ‘hard’ for kids? Tough!

Do you have a word or phrase that you most overuse?

Yes, but it’s not a good out loud one.

Is there a book you were supposed to love but didn’t?

Of course. That’s why there are lots of books.

What have you learned from writing?

That there?s always more to learn. And that you’ve got to read to write.  If you’re a writer who claims not to be an avid reader, then I’ve got a very special word for you, and it’s not a good out loud one either.

Which book do you wish you’d written?

Dandelion Wine, The Owl Service and/or The King Of The Copper Mountains 😉

E-books : nemesis or genesis?

Fine by me. And I’m a Luddite.

Which book/writer deserves to be better known?

Savant by Adelie High.

What are you working on at the moment?

The assumption that I’ll be done by tea time. (Actually, my Combat SF novel for Angry Robot, Embedded).

What do you put on your chips?

All my hopes whenever I roll the dice.


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