Friday, December 17, 2010

Interview of British Author John Trevillian, and about his new book 'The A-Men'

iScribal Love Welcomes Author John Trevillian

John Trevillian is an author of punk-noir science fiction novels. His newest work The A-Men is available from Matador, Amazon and Author's Website at

So where do you hail? Where are you from?

I was born in London, England, and so I guess I am technically a cockney, but just now I live about fifty miles north of the City in deepest, darkest Essex.

What is the name of your latest book? And how did you come up with the title?

The book's called The A-Men (with the trilogy continuing with The A-Men Return in 2011 and Forever A-Men in 2012). The name refers to the street gang the main protagonist creates when he finds himself alone on the streets of a dying city.

What is The A-Men about?
It's about not being able to run from our past; our mistakes. It's written from five first-person viewpoints of people who find themselves in a place that comes to be known as Dead City fighting for survival. Jack is the central character ; a man with no memory awakening to find he paid a corrupt medical officer to erase his memory after signing himself into a peace-keeping force sent to quell the riots. The only clue to his former life is a handwritten note in the pages of a book of faerie tales entitled Forevermore.

Marked for death, he finds sanctuary and survival with other renegades who form The A-Men. Yet that is until their paths cross with Dr Nathaniel Glass and his mysterious experiment locked deep beneath the Phoenix Tower.

What inspired you to write this book?

When I read I have always enjoyed either hardboiled science fiction or mythic fantasy, and this story began with a setting to cross the two.  I had also watched for too many noir movies and one in particular 'Somewhere In The Night' sparked the idea of a man with no memory battling with three questions:

For what possible reason would you pay to have your memory erased?
How can you enact revenge on someone you cannot even remember meeting?
What would you do if you found out that your greatest enemy was yourself?

Do you have a specific writing style?

Intimate first person narratives, fast paced, action oriented.  I've been told my style for the 'A-Men' books is incredibly cinematic, that the book is as visual as it is visceral.

What books have influenced your life most?
I love such a wide selection of books, but always the top three for personal enjoyment and inspiration are:

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
Shadowland by Peter Straub

Did you find the idea of having your work published for others to read intimidating?  If yes, why? If no, why not?
Not at all.  The reason these books got written is that they are immensely character-driven and, after having a lot of fun watching their adventures over the years, I wanted to share the fun and mayhem with others.

Do you find that international audiences are different from your home or native country's audience? 
No, not really.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I wouldn't say that any one writer was a mentor, but many have inspired me.

What books are you reading now?
Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
Kick-Ass: The Graphic Novel by Mark Millar.
The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.

What are your current projects?
I have just sent the second novel, 'The A-Men Return', final manuscript and cover to the publishers and am expecting switching into proofing mode when they send back layouts soon.

Do you see writing as a career?
As I write the way other people watch the television – for relaxation and pleasure – I would love to write for a living. Currently though I also have a full time career path just to be sure I can eat.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

The A-Men have been written over the past seven and a half years of my life, so when the final novel came out, I'd had a long time to

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My mother was given a Smith-Corona typewriter and she let me play on it from the time I was four. By six I'd typed my first (four-page) novel!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Two things:  signposting for the reader and over-structuring.  Both of which I need to watch to keep my writing coherent.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Novels only get written if you love your characters.  They're like babies.  Writing about them gives them life, and only by having that special relationship do you want them to thrive – and continuing to write more is the only way you can do that.  The hardest part with 'The A-Men' is that after three books I have to learn to stop imagining more adventures for them.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
To be a writer is everything.  To be known as a writer is nothing.   If you learn nothing else, learn this – and your heart will be in the right place when you begin.

Thank You John for Dropping By!
You are welcome Clare.

You can find John on the web at:
There's a full dramatised audio podcast available free from iTunes or from

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