Friday, October 28, 2011

"Nightingale", an interview with David Farland

Shelly: At last. A break from science fiction. And from Derick William Dalton, as he's napping.To be honest (regular honest, not my usual scathing kind), this is one of my favorite posts. I have the privilege of interviewing David Farland, New York Times bestselling author of the Runelords series and Of Mice and Magic. A big to-do in the literary world is his next project, Nightingale, and that's what readers and I want to hear about. Before we discuss that though, Mr. Farland, I can see by your follicular activity and the infrared radiation exuding from your person, you are a mammal. How do you focus and create all these works when you are continually eating and filtering waste and grooming and dealing with such a huge range of emotion?

Dave: Not all of us are fortunate enough to be turtles, of course. The ancient Chinese believed that turtles were the most blessed of creatures, special to the gods, and hence were given the gift of long life.

So, I generally try to do only two or three things at a time. I can brainstorm on a work while filtering waste. If I work hard, I can even brush my follicular activity. But I can’t do too much. I can’t, for example, chew bubble gum while doing all of the above.

Shelly: Were it not for my dermal pigmentation, you'd see that I'm blushing over your Far East wisdom. So, about Nightingale. I hear DWD's kids singing a song about a nightingale. “Sing sweet nightingale, sing sweet nightingale, la la la la guyuguyuguyah.” Makes no sense to me. Must be from some old cartoon. What's your story about, and what was your inspiration?

Dave: The inspiration comes from many sources. My hero in the story was raised in foster care, shipped from home to home, much as my wife was. The ideas about memory transfer came from pondering stories of the Wise Men from the bible, speculation about what they might have really been up to. Combine that with a really cool school for the arts nearby, and my own artistic dreams as a child, and the novel just came together.

Nightingale tells the story of a young man named Bron Jones, who is abandoned at birth. Raised in foster care, he’s shuffled from home to home. At age 16, he’s kind of the ultimate loner, until he’s sent to a new foster home and meets Olivia, a marvelous teacher, who recognizes that Bron is something special, something that her people call a “Nightingale,” a creature that is not quite human.

Suddenly epic forces combine to claim Bron, and he must fight to keep from getting ripped away from the only home, family, and girlfriend that he has ever known. He must risk his life to learn the answers to the mysteries of his birth: “What am I? Where did I come from? Who am I?”

Shelly: How delightfully Guaguin-esque! Now, I heard rumors of a soundtrack. I also understand it contains country music.

Dave: Yes, it has a sound track by the head of the National Composer’s Guild, James Guymon, with a dozen professional musicians and vocalists. Since my hero wants to be the world’s greatest guitarist someday, much of the music contains smoking-hot guitar tracks by Tom Hopkins in the style of Joe Satriani, or the band Pink Floyd. I found it to be surprisingly good, mesmerizing even. We also have some tracks that are done in a middle-Eastern style. Think of the music from Lord of the Rings, but instead of elves singing, imagine that you’re in a market in Baghdad. But we do have a song sung by Bron’s girlfriend at one point, a nice pop country piece.

Shelly: I'll have to get that on my iPod, set it on repeat for my next hibernation. But with that last comment , I'll need to post this interview before DWD sees it. Another bit of excitement is the unusual way the book is being released. What's novel about your novel?

Dave: This is a big project, an enhanced novel with illustrations and animations from half a dozen talented illustrators. We’re releasing the novel in several formats, as an enhanced book, a normal e-book, an audiobook, and as a hardcover—along with that soundtrack, of course.

Shelly: I notice you didn't mention something. On condition of anonymity, I've been told of imbedded metadata code. This reportedly causes Kindle, Nook, and iPad readers, plus Borders' new Flatline monitor, to operate beyond original designs. What can you tell us about the 3D hologram-projection feature?

Dave: Uh, that’s still in beta testing. I’ll bet the marketing department promised it already, right? They’re always promising things that we can’t deliver. Okay, maybe next week I can have it, if we work overtime. . .

Shelly: Last thing – as I know how quickly you mammals burn through your calories and your water and your lives and you're terribly impatient. Reader's want to know: How long do we have to wait for Nightingale?

Dave: We’ve got it now! We had our programmers create a web app so that you can enjoy the book on your computer—read a few chapters, take it for a test drive, or simply buy it for reading online. You’re free to go check out the results at You can order it in any format. The hardcovers won’t come out until December 1, but you can reserve your own signed copy and we’ll ship it right out. If you like it, remember to “Like” us on Facebook. Better yet, re-post our site info and tell your friends on Facebook.

Oh, and while you’re there, check out our short-story contest, where you can win $1000

Shelly: Thank you, Mr. Farland. It's been a pleasure interacting with an intelligent human for a change. I wish you well on Nightingale and your Runelord's theatrical project. I'm about to open a can of worms. Hungry?

Dave: Mmmm. Sounds good! Meal worms, or nightcrawlers?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Shelly. Excellent interview. And thanks Mr. Farland, for another amazing book to read!