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Friday, July 15, 2011

Interview: Robert J. Sawyer, author of WWW Trilogy

I'm extremely honored and excited to be joined today by the phenomenal Robert J.Sawyer, author WWW Trilogy: Wake, Watch, Wonder.

Guys, please give a warm welcome to Robert!

E: Evie
RS: Robert J. Sawyer

E: Welcome to Bookish Robert! I can’t express how honored I am to be able to talk to you today! Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
RS: Sure! I was born in Ottawa and have lived in Toronto most of my life. I originally wanted to be a scientist, not a science-fiction writer. But at the time I was heading to university, the chances of being a world-class scientist in Canada seemed dim, whereas few if any had tested the proposition of whether one could be a world-class SF writer in this country. Now, of course, there are lots of great scientists in Canada, and I’m delighted about that. But, I’m also delighted with how it turned out—I’m glad I ended up being a writer!
E: Your latest series - the WWW Trilogy - has made a huge impression on me. It’s intriguing, thought provoking and brilliant in its complexity! Who or what inspired you to write a series of novels that explore the origins of consciousness?
RS: Well, I think science fiction has spent too long on outer space; inner space is much more interesting. I also love the way the science of consciousness brings so many fields together: neuroscience, computer science, philosophy, and more. But the germ for the trilogy was simply reading in a science magazine an off-hand comment that someday the World Wide Web will have as many interconnections as a human brain has synapses—and that made me wonder if consciousness was something that just emerged spontaneously out of complexity.
E: Do you mind telling us how long did it take for you to write each novel?
RS: Wake, Watch, and Wonder were my 18th, 19th, and 20th novels. I normally spend a but a year on each book, but I found this trilogy very challenging to write; in total, it took about six years, although I took a break early on to write another novel, Rollback.
E: WWW Trilogy follows Caitlin Decter, a blind teenager, who undergoes an experimental procedure to restore her eyesight and discovers an emerging consciousness of the web. Was it challenging for you to write a story with a 16-year-old girl as the lead character?
RS: It was indeed, but that’s what made it worth doing. I’m always looking for something challenging; otherwise, it’s just not interesting to do. Caitlin was difficult because she’s female and male; because she’s a lot younger than me; because she’s blind and I’m not; and because she’s a math genius, and I most certainly am not. But she’s my favorite of all the characters I’ve created over the years.
E: Caitlin is one of many fascinating, unique and vivid characters you’ve created. They all grow on you and it’s impossible not to get emotionally attached to them. Which of your characters do you feel is most like you?
RS: In the WWW trilogy, ironically, it’s Webmind—he’s curious about everything, and so am I. Outside of the trilogy, it’s Don Halifax of Rollback and Tom Jericho of Calculating God. Don has the actual degree I ended up with, in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson, and Tom does the job I wanted to have when I was a kid, studying dinosaurs at the Royal Ontario Museum.
E: One of your previous novels - FlashForward - has been adapted into a very popular TV series. If your WWW Trilogy was to be made into a movie or a TV show, how would your dream cast look like?
RS: You know, I’m just not great about figuring out which actors should play which parts. still, I’ll give it a shot: She’s not known for intellectual roles, but Miley Cyrus looks a lot like Caitlin Decter. And let’s say Lauren Graham, from Gilmore Girls, as her mom, Barb.
E: What’s next in line for you? Are you working on a new book now? If so, could you tell us a little bit about it?
RS: I’ve just finished my 21st novel. It’s called Triggers and is about memory, post-traumatic stress disorder, and—the science-fiction element—a kind of telepathy; it’s a fast-paced thriller and well be out in April 2012.
E: Where is your favorite place for writing? Do you have any special writing rituals?
RSMy living room! I have a nice recliner chair, a cordless ergonomic keyboard, two big monitors, a fireplace, and great views out of my penthouse windows. I love it. The only ritual is to get in the chair and start writing!
E: What genres do you like to read in your free time? Which three of your all-time favorite books would you recommend everybody to read?
RS: I read a lot of mystery fiction to relax, and particularly enjoy Canadian authors such as Peter Robinson, Linwood Barclay, and Eric Wright. My three all-time favorite books are To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the kid’s novel The Enormous Egg by Oliver P. Butterworth, and the science-fiction classic Gateway by Frederik Pohl; all three are well worth reading, and they’re all very different from each other.
E: What advice would you give to aspiring authors who are interested in writing Science Fiction novels?
RS: Read a lot of science fiction. The stuff you see on TV and in the movies bears only a passing resemblance to print science fiction; print science fiction is much more accurate with its science, and often much more character-driven. But it’s a field that’s wide open to newcomers, so dive in and give it a try!
Random Questions:

- white or dark chocolate? Dark.
- coffee or tea? Neither!
- night or day? Day.
- dog or cat? Dog.
- 3 biggest pet peeves? online, people who talk during movies, people who don’t vote
- ebook or printed copy?  Ebook

Robert, thank you so much for joining us today!  
I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing your next books!

I hope you guys enjoyed the interview, for more information about Robert J. Sawyer and his books, please visit his website:  Author Robert J. Sawyer or/and read my reviews of: Wake, Watch and Wonder.
And don't forget to come back tomorrow to enter the giveaway of the whole WWW trilogy!

This interview is posted as a part of WWW Trilogy Week @ Bookish

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Bonnie said...

I am really looking forward to reading this series Evie! I am not a huge Sci-Fi fan because I don't care much for 'outer space' and I loved Robert's thought that "Well, I think science fiction has spent too long on outer space"

Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

Dana said...

Great interview! I love your questions.

Sarah said...

Awesome interview. I love how Robert's vision of sci-fi is much larger than just the stereo-typical space adventures.

Julie said...

What an interesting way of looking at science fiction! Inner space instead of outer space! I can't wait to read these books! They sound absolutely awesome.

Thanks for the great interview:)
jwitt33 at live dot com

Anna said...

Loved the interview the The WWW Trilogy sounds ah-mazing can not wait to read this series.


SweetShenanigans said...

Normally I don't read a lot of sci fi but this character seems interesting and I can relate a lot to her

Lissyta said...

I loved this interview, i can't wait to read this Trilogy

Nikki said...

Series sounds great Evie!! Thanks for the insightful interview!

Ciocârlica. said...

I haven't read the trilogy, but I'm reallt looking forward to. Awesome interview, by the way.

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