1. How did the idea of The Silence came to you?
I remember it as one of those 'what-if'? moments: 'What if there were monsters that hunted purely through sound?' The rest of the story built from that core idea. Sometimes a story comes almost fully-formed like that, but most of the time it takes a good while.
2. How long did it take you to write the first draft of The Silence?
It was a few years ago now and my memory isn't that good ... but most novels take me about 4 months in first draft, so I'm guessing this was the same.
3. Is Ally based on anyone you know in real life?
No, she's completely made up. I did make her my daughter's age when I was writing the book, and Jude was my son's age, so I think that helped get the brother/sister dynamic right.
4. Was there a particular teacher (or anyone) who encourage you to write when you were a child? If there was, how did he or she encourage or help you?
I had an English teacher called Christine McCourt, and another called Mr Hughes, both of whom I was very fond of. I don't remember any real encouragement to write, but they did open my eyes to literature, and English lessons never felt like work to me. Another teacher at our school––Pete Jones, who never actually taught me but who was a friend of the family––was also very encouraging. He turned up at a book launch of mine about 10 years ago, out of the blue, and that was a lovely moment.
5. Do you write every day, and for how long do you write for?
I write Monday to Friday, and usually try to work for 6 or 7 hours per day, sometimes more. I'm not one to sit at my desk for hours non-stop, but I do work from before 9 til about 4 or 5. There are often breaks in between to go for a run or a bike ride.
6. Who was your favorite author as a teenager? And who is your favorite now?
As a teen, Stephen King. He's still one of my favourites now, but it's difficult to pick a firm favourite, as my tastes continue to change over time.
7. Which of your novellas would you like to see as a feature film or for television and why?
There are loads I'd love to see adapted, but I think White would make a great movie. Hollywood writer Stephen Susco had it under option for a while and he wrote a brilliant script, and I'm really hoping it'll find a home with a studio one of these days.
8. Please watch this Youtube book review of The Silence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oBcM5n3Bak could you respond to what you think of it?
Yes I've seen that before, very good. It's nice to see a bit of imagation used in these reviews. There was a review of my novel Face, too ... Tim Lebbon's Face. You can imagine how that one went.
9. You have written several Movie novelizations such as Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi, The Cabin the Woods, Alien, and Kong: Skull Island. Could you express your experience with writing movie-related titles versus coming up with your own work?
First, I should differentiate. In your list in the question you have novelisations I've done (turning screenplays into novels) and also tie-in novels set in an establish universe.
Novelisations ... these are a different experience. I enjoy doing them, but honestly I do them for the money. I make a living writing, and these novelisations are a reasonable amount of income for a set amount of work. I wouldn't do them if I didn't enjoy them, and I'd only do a movie I was excited about. That sounds a bit mercenary ... but there is a creative side to them, too. I've had a lot of great feedback about my novelisations, and they tend to reach a readership that hasn't heard of me before. Which is good news when those readers who them move onto my own novels. If I had a preference, it's always to be writing a novel of my own. But novelisations are fun, and they're something different to try now and then (and when I'm offered them).
As for original novels set in established universes (Alien, Star Wars), these are all my own work––characters, settings, plots. They still have the advantage of reaching new audiences, and I've definitely seen a crossover from people enjoying my Alien novels then moving onto books like The Silence, etc. That can only be a good thing. I probably won't do quite as many in the future as I've done over the past couple of years (although I do have one more to write this year that I can't talk about yet), but we'll see.
10. From your website you stated that Black Heart was your first horror story, could you briefly tell us what that story was about?
A long, long time ago that one. From what I can recall it was a racist getting his comeuppance.
11. Silly-Game question: From The Silence could you please leaf through the pages and point at a random place. What is the full sentence? And what is the page number of this random sentence?
page 134: His hackles were raised, his eyes dilated, and he leaped at the windows where vesps were attached.
12. In your experience, what would you say it takes to be a successful author?
Determination, growing from rejection and failure, belief. Most of all, a love of writing, and a need to write whether you're successful (whatever that means) or not.
13. Congratulations on your book The Silence being made into a feature film, would you like to make a cameo?
Watch this space ...
14. Have you ever considered writing a screenplay?
I've written quite a few. Chris Golden and I wrote a screenplay for Fox when they optioned out Secret Journeys of Jack London books. Playtime, a script I wrote with Stephen Volk, is in development right now, as is My Haunted House, a spooky animated movie. I've also written a few others that are in various stages of revisions, and I have ideas for more. It's all about finding the time...
15. What are your thoughts about Stanley Tucci being casted in the film adaptation of your book The Silence?
Terrific. A wonderful actor, a classy guy. And a very lovely man. I chatted with him when I visited set in Toronto. I couldn't be more pleased.
(You can check out Tim Lebbon's blog post of his set visit of The Silence and meeting Mr. Stanley Tucci by clicking this link: www.timlebbon.net/random-stuff/the-silence-set-visit-and-usa-trip/ )
16. Last question, if you have the skills of an Olympic athlete, what sport would you compete in?
Triathlon. Actually, I do compete in triathlon, but not quite at an Olympic level.
I'm quite excited to see the film adaptation of The Silence. I can't wait to spot Mr. Tim Lebbon when he makes a cameo in the movie as well. I hope you all enjoyed reading this interview as I did having it. Go check out The Silence and more stories from Mr. Tim Lebbon. His website is www.timlebbon.net/. As always thanks for stopping by my blog and I hope to see you all here again. Take care and keep being amazing readers.