– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Devil’s Apprentice’ blogtour, organised by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …
… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.
During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.
In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.
My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.
A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.
I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.
About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.
Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.
Welcome to the other side!
Title: The Devil’s Apprentice (The Great Devil War #1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m 42 years old and used to be a school teacher, now a full time writer. I was born in Denmark and I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two sons and a dog. I began writing in high school. I’ve always loved to read, but when I was introduced to Stephen King it blew my mind. I was 15 years old when my school teacher gave me a copy of ”The Shining” and I was hooked. King inspired me (as well as many others) to start writing. But I wasn’t very good at it and it took me seven years and fifteen turned-down manuscripts before I finally got my first book published. But I was never close to giving up – on the contrary. It became an obsession for me to write something that was good enough to get published. Which finally happened in 2000. Since then I’ve published more than 35 books.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
”Narnia” and ”The Never-Ending Story” were favourites of mine. But mostly I was into horror when I was a kid. Still am, but now I’m more selective. I’m always excited when a new King-novel comes out. I’m also a big fan of his son Joe Hill. His graphic novel ”Locke & Key” is awesome. I try to read all different kind of genres, but like things with a twist. I recently discovered the author Christina Henry. She’s very good. I like it when the world we know is turned upside down, but I value credibility above all else. Not in the sense of story, but the way the story is told. Credibility and language.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
If I can go with a dead one, I’d pick Ray Bradbury. I’ve read all his books and short stories – ”Fahrenheit 451” is a book everyone should read (and no, it doesn’t count if you just see the movie). A tremendous imagination, a tremendous langauge, a tremendous mind.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would love to have both the Devil, God and Death over for tea (all characters in The Great Devil War). It would be a lot of fun, I think. And I would have a lot of questions for them.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I drink a cup of coffee or two and that’s it. No music, just silence. I write four hours a day. I have an office in my basement and I write from 8 am – 10 am and then again from 1 pm – 3 pm. I don’t aim for a certain amount of words or pages. Sometimes I write half a page in two hours if things go slow, sometimes three pages. It depends.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I often get inspired by reading books and watching movies, and sometimes I even get my ideas from them. A good example of this is ”The Devil’s Apprentice”. Years ago I was reading a Danish novel called “Little Lucifer”, where the main character misbehaves and someone yells at him, that he’s the Devil’s apprentice. At the exact moment I read those two words I thought that would be awesome: To write a story about a boy who literally ends up as that – the Devil’s Apprentice. In Hell where he is to be trained in evil by the Devil himself. Hell is very much inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy – although my Hell differs a lot from Dante’s.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a plotter, but at the same time I try to go with the flow. If new (good) ideas pop up, then the plot will change. When I started writing ”The Devil’s Apprentice”, I basically knew everything that was going to happen. But I didn’t know, that I was actually starting a story which would turn out to be much, much bigger, making The Devil’s Apprentice book 1 of 6 in The Great Devil War series.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Write a lot and read a lot. Books are good for inspiration, but it’s by writing and writing and writing you develop your own style and your own ideas. And if you want to be good at something then you have to practice. And not give up.
What are your future plans as an author?
Years ago I wrote a superhero series called Antboy. I wrote six books, which were turned into three movies (they are available on Netflix, low-budget, but high-charm 😊) Right now I’m working on three, maybe four more Antboy books. I’m also working hard on getting some of my other books out in English.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
In this scene Philip has just arrived at the gates of Hell, meeting the gatekeeper (the demon on the cover of the book) for the first time.
“You’re fairly young, aren’t you?” A forked tongue moistened his scaly fingers, and the gatekeeper flipped through more pages. “How old are you?”
“Thirteen?” the beast mumbled, clearly impressed. “It’s not very often they come to us so young. You must’ve done something really horrific.”
“What do you mean?” Philip shook his head. “What is this place?”
“This place?” The monster raised an eyebrow. “Haven’t you figured it out yet? Oh well, evilness and stupidity often go hand in hand.” His crooked smile revealed pointed teeth, and his gruff voice lowered to a hiss. “This, my boy, is the outer court of Hell. That—” he directed a hooked nail at the black gate, “is Hell.”
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Kenneth B. Andersen.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
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P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!