Friday, June 12, 2009

Steven Brust - Interview

Steven Brust is the author of the fantastic "Jhereg" series of books, which follow the exploits of Vlad Taltos, a human assassin in a sunless world of Dragaeran overlords. As many fans know, the unique setting and mythology behind the novels were the result of some intense RPG sessions with like-minded creative folks, Vlad being Steven's favored character. To this day, Steven's books remain entertaining for multiple reads, and each new book further solidifies his reputation as a stalwart of fantastic literature. I got the chance to present a lighthearted series of intereview questions to Steven a while back:

Beyond the Black Gate(BtBB): OK, here we go...

BtBB: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Steven Brust(SKZB): Probably, in some sense, about as long as I was reading. I got more serious about it later, of course, but I can remember playing around with making up stories as a very young child.

BtBB: What writers were particularly influential to you growing up?

SKZB: Probably A.A.Milne, Lewis Carrol, and John Ciardi.

BtBB: How did you get your first book published?

SKZB: I sent it in and they bought it.

BtBB: I knew it was easy!(kidding!) Tor sure handles a lot of popular (contemporary fantasy) writers. Do they get you guys together every year for a big company Christmas Party or anything?

SKZB: No, but it sounds like a fun idea. How 'bout your house? Can you cover
air fare and hotel costs?

BtBB: Maybe Greyhound fare... Describe your feelings the first time you walked into a bookstore and a saw a book with your name on it on the shelf.

SKZB: I don't think I can describe it. It was every bit as much of a thrill
as you'd think it would be. In some sense, I'm still not over it.

BtBB: Quite a few of your contemporaries were also avid role-playing-game players. Do you think rpg's make people want to write or do writers just like to play rpg's?

SKZB: No idea. I imagine it would depend on the person.

BtBB: You've mentioned a few writers you are personal friends with. Mention a few you'd like to beat up.


BtBB: When doing interviews, what is your least favorite question ever?

SKZB: If I tell you, you might ask it, and then I'd have to kill you.

BtBB: You have quite a reputation as a fun guy to hang out with at conventions. What is it about conventions you enjoy the most?

SKZB: Hanging around with people and just talking. I also enjoy playing music at conventions.

BtBB: How about some quick fill-in-the-blanks?

BtBB: If I were an animal I'd be a __?

SKZB: Jhereg.

BtBB: If I wrote a biography it would be about__?

SKZB: U.S. Grant

BtBB: My drink of choice is ___?

SKZB: Laguvullen (scotch!)

BtBB: ___ will one day conquer the world?

SKZB: The international proletariat.

BtBB: I wish ____ would get out of my life?


BtBB: Don't we all! All right, last question: Many writers admit to having a crutch, or good luck charm they need to write, like a favorite pen or hat or brand of cigarette or morning ritual, etc. How about Steven Brust?

SKZB: have plenty of rituals. Cup of coffee in the right place, a good western on TV...geez. Caught up on email. I can't think of them all.

BtBB: Thanks so much more for your time, and thanks even more for all the great books! Keep 'em coming!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oops.

    Nice interview.

    It was nice seeing him tell Mike Moorcck that Mike had played an important role in his development as a writer (at the 2008 Nebula awards).

    And, yes, he was wearing that hat. :)



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