The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Marcus Sedgwick

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Marcus Sedgwick

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Summary: Bookbag loved Marcus Sedgwick's Revolver. It's densely written and chilling in every sense of the word. We jumped at the opportunity to ask him some questions about his work.
Date: 30 May 2009
Interviewer: Stefan Bachmann
Reviewed by Stefan Bachmann

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Bookbag loved Marcus Sedgwick's Revolver. It's densely written and chilling in every sense of the word. We jumped at the opportunity to ask him some questions about his work.

  • When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Marcus Sedgwick: This always sounds a little arrogant but I don't see my readers when I'm writing. Even if I tried I don't think I'd have a clue, or get close... I think you have to write the book you want to write, and then hope that it finds favour with people; I don't think you can second guess what people want to read.

  • BB: Many of your books, Revolver included, take place in bitter cold and snow-bound lands. Do you like cold weather?

MS: Yes, I love it! I travel a lot in the winter to northern and eastern Europe, and I love the bracing feeling of a snowy landscape. As long as you're prepared for it, you don't get cold.

  • BB: I thought Revolver was quite different from anything you had written before (and far scarier!). What do you yourself want to accomplish with Revolver?

MS: I wanted to write a short novel, and I think I did that! But I also wanted to write a very taut and tense story with a tight plot, the sort with twists and suspense, and I wanted to write about a really big moral choice - in this case, whether it's right to use a gun, or not.

  • BB: For its short length, Revolver is incredibly dense and complex. Did you have to plan it out in minute detail beforehand in order to write so concisely?

MS: Yes, in this case I planned almost everything before I wrote a word of it. I did allow some room for 'accidents' to happen as I wrote, but the key moments and beats were pretty much laid out first.

  • BB: What kind of research did you do in order to get just right all those little details Revolver sports?

MS: For a short book there was lots of research. I couldn't travel to Alaska, so those sections I did using books and the net, but I did travel to the arctic circle to Swedish Lappland, to get the feel of the main episodes of the story. I also had to do a lot of research into Colt revolvers, which I did at the Royal Armouries museum in Leeds (an amazing museum) and by travelling to eastern europe in order to fire a real Colt revolver with live ammunition.

  • BB: You are a very prolific writer with sometimes as many as three of your books released in a single year! How long does it normally take you to complete a novel?

MS: A book such as Revolver takes about a year though most of that time is thinking/dreaming/planning and not writing. But it can take much longer, and the gestation period for an idea in the first place can be very long.

  • BB: Are there any books that have influenced your writing especially?

MS: Too many to mention I would think. Sorry!

  • BB: Can you remember the first story you ever wrote?

MS: The earliest thing I can remember was a short horror story I wrote for a competition as a teenager, and I'm pleased to say it won. But then there was probably only one entry...

  • BB: Who is your favourite character in literature?

MS: James Bond. Today, but tomorrow it might be...

  • BB: What's next for Marcus Sedgwick?

MS: Breakfast.

  • BB: Thanks a lot, Marcus. Enjoy your breakfast!

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