Hey, beautiful! Today, I’m back with another really exciting post for you! I got to interview one of my favorite authors of all time, E.C. Myers, in January, but decided to delay posting this till the paperback release of The Silence of Six!
I wrote a review on SOS if you want to go and read that before, and in there you can see that I was really excited to read the sequel, and I still am, but at least now, I know I bit more about it.
You can see that in this interview we get an insider’s view on the new sequel, Against All Silence, which is coming out on the 19th of July; so if you want to read about that and learn more about The Silence of Six, and Against All Silence then keep on reading.
General Author Questions:
Can you introduce yourself to the readers?
Hi! Thanks for having me here. I’m E.C. Myers, and I write stuff. Mostly young adult novels and science fiction and fantasy short fiction these days.
Would you like to share with the readers what other books you’ve written?
My first novel was Fair Coin, which was published by Pyr Books in 2012 and won the Andre Norton Award for Best Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It’s about a boy named Ephraim who finds a coin that grants his wishes when he flips it – if it lands on heads. The sequel, Quantum Coin, was also published in 2012.
Are you working on any book at the moment?
I’ve just finished work on Against All Silence, a sequel to The Silence of Six, which will be published in July 2016. I’m also revising another young adult novel and planning the next thing, which might be my first middle grade. I’m juggling a few short stories and some other projects as well!
What authors influenced your style of writing?
Probably all of my favorite authors have informed my writing, but my biggest influence was probably William Sleator.
Can you give us a quick overview of The Silence of the Six?
Evan Baxter hacks into a video feed to ask the cryptic question, “What is the silence of six, and what are you going to do about it?” — and then he kills himself. He also sends an important clue to his best friend Max, a former hacker, who has to dust off his old skills and meet some new friends to find the answers to Evan’s question, uncovering a vast conspiracy threatening the privacy of everyone on the planet.
What are the 5 words you’d use to describe SOS?
Too close to real life!
What can we expect when reading Against All Silence?
There’s actually less computer hacking and more real world action, and you’ll see a lot more of Penny. I wanted to try to do something very different from the first book and challenge myself, so the entire story takes place in Europe — and the stakes are even higher, both on a personal level for Max and for everyone who uses the internet. While I still tried to make it as realistic as possible, and it’s grounded in actual events and technology, it’s also slightly more speculative than The Silence of Six.
What are the 5 words you’d use to describe AAS?
Max can’t catch a break.
Are we gonna see a printed version of the prequel anytime soon?
I think Adaptive is planning to print an extremely limited run of “SOS”, which will hopefully be available through giveaways or as some kind of special bonus. I don’t know all the details yet, but follow @AdaptiveBooks on Twitter or me (@ecmyers) to stay informed.
You mentioned that some of your favorite lines from the book have been cut out, can you share some of them with us?
It’s hard to remember after several drafts and edits, but in an abandoned scene from the first draft, Max helps Penny and Risse evade capture and she criticizes his driving:
“I’m going to have to downvote this entire experience. Did you hack the DMV to get your license?” Penny asked. “Pull over. I’m driving.”
Which is funny now that I see it again, because Penny pulls a similar stunt in Against All Silence. I’d forgotten about that scene.
Would you go back and change anything about the book if you could?
A tech-savvy programmer friend of mine pointed out that Panjea should be a much bigger company than it appears in the book, so I’d probably try to make it more like Google and Facebook and less like a startup.
You said that DoubleThink was your favorite character, can you tell us why? (spoilers are allowed)
I love the fact that Penny and Risse are much better hackers than Max, and he knows it. Penny, in particular, is such a joy to write because she’s so badass, and she’s more morally complex than Max. They really need to inspire each other to be better people than they would be on their own, which I think is at the heart of many strong relationships.
Did you have anyone in mind when you were writing the character sketch of Max?
No one in particular from real life, if that’s what you mean, but early on I thought I would try “casting” the characters to have a mental image of them, and I decided on using actors from superhero TV shows and movies. I cast Tom Welling as Max, and in some ways, I think that works well. Welling’s Clark Kent on Smallville starts as someone who wants to do the right thing but also just wants to fit in and be popular and get the girl. The more he uses his hidden talents, the greater the risk of him being exposed, and the more danger he and his friends face.
What 5 words would you use to describe the main character, Max?
Conflicted, capable, brave, geeky, clever
Do you see any resemblance of yourself in any of the characters? If yes, then who?
Possibly in little character traits here and there, but probably most in Evan, who was an unabashed nerd who enjoyed mashing up old and new technology and sharing his favorite media with friends.
You said you took action after writing the book (i.e.: covering your camera, taking care of what you put on the internet). This got me thinking, have you ever hacked yourself?
I’ve actually tried to hack my wife’s Macbook using the technique Max does in the book, but only to try to fix it! I’ve also messed around with trying to hack Wi-Fi routers and running Tor, but usually only going far enough to feel comfortable writing about it.
How was the process of writing the sequel of SOS?
In some ways, it was easier because I already knew the characters and on the whole, the book is less technical. But I still had to do a lot of research, and it was challenging to come up with a problem even more threatening than what Panjea was doing.
Are we gonna see more of the other Dramatis Persona characters in AAS?
Risse is really the only link to them in AAS, and I greatly scaled back their involvement, for several reasons. It made sense for the story, and like I said, I didn’t want to rehash too much from the first book. Some of them might reappear one day if I tell more of these stories!
What idea do you want the readers to leave with when they finish reading the book?
Hopefully, they come away feeling entertained and thinking they haven’t wasted their time and money on it! I didn’t really have an agenda per se for the book, but as with the first one, I think it’s an added bonus if people start questioning how they interact with technology and start paying more attention to what’s happening with the internet and how companies are using their data. The only way things will change is if people get more engaged and fight for full disclosure of what companies are doing with their information.
Much love, Rawan <3…