Interview: Thomas E. Sniegoski

Today, we talk angels, comics and Lovecraft with Thomas E. Sniegoski, author of two angelic noir, Urban Fantasy series, The Fallen and Remy Chandler. His latest Remy Chandler book, A Hundred Words for Hate, which we reviewed during Shivers and Sighs Week, comes out in bookstores today.

[Warning: spoilers – past, present and future – ahead for both The Fallen series and the Remy Chandler books]

IFP: How did you get started in writing?

TS: Oh, jeez…well, what’s interesting is that I’d always been more interested in the art side of it while growing up. I used to do a lot of, like, I was the yearbook illustrator for school and like that. I did a lot of work that would have probably led me to possibly be into comic books, comic book art, and things like that. But I never felt that I was good enough. I never felt that I had reached the point where I could actually promote myself as an artist. So, I started to focus more on the story aspects. It was kind of like, “Hey! Wait a minute. They write stories for these things, too. Maybe I could do that.” And that’s when I realized that my art wasn’t going to get me where I needed to go. That’s when I started to focus on comic book scripting. Which eventually led into all kinds of other writing.

IFP: So, you actually started with the comic book art and you went on to the writing because you thought that would make more money

TS: Not really. I think it had more to do with the fact that I just didn’t think I was good enough, art-wise. I just didn’t feel that I had what it takes to be a comic book artist. So, I never really went beyond…almost like the amateur stage. But, as soon as I decided to focus on the comic books and learning how to do comic book scripting and things like that, it was kind of like I was getting a little bit older and I started to see that there were independent publishers that could possibly be interested in something that I had to say and the writing became more and more of a profession than the comic book artwork ever did. I never quite got there ’cause I didn’t feel that I was up to snuff.

IFP: And when did you switch over? Was it still in school?

TS: I’m trying to think…Yeah, I think it was. Tell you the truth, I think it even might have been the senior year of high school, when light dawned on marble head. You know, where I just said, “You know, I’m not good enough for this. I think I’m going to focus on my writing. I think I’m going to try to make my writing better.” I just couldn’t see the artwork getting better. So, I decided to focus on the writing. And there, you know, college, and in between studying, in classes and things, I would dabble in short stories and a little bit of comic book scripting, and things like that.

IFP: So, what was your first real success?

TS: What, my first published work?

IFP: Yes.

TS: I had a short story published in a small…I don’t even know. It was almost like an attempt to revive the pulps. It was published out of Providence, Rhode Island. And the magazine was called “Haunts“. And I had a short story published in there. Which was amazing. I have no idea whatever happened to Haunts. I know they did maybe three or four issues, but I never did anything else for them. They were very influenced by Lovecraft, actually. That was kind of like their forte, things that he might have written, or might have appeared in Weird Tales, or something like that. So, yeah, that was my first published work. I didn’t get paid anything. I got a bunch of copies, which was awesome, you know? But again, seeing your work for the first time, that was cool. That was a really cool thing.

And my first published comic book work was for an artist/writer named “Steve Bissett”, who used to do Swamp Thing for DC – really amazing, ridiculously talented guy. He put together a horror anthology called “Taboo“, and he asked me to be in the very first issue of Taboo, which had an introduction by Clive Barker and a story by Alan Moore. I was in amazing company. But that was my first…I actually got paid and everything, you know? That was my first paid work and also, the kick in the pants that really moved me toward comics, at that point. I was kind of like, “You know what? I think I can do this.” You know. That type of thing. So, that’s when I started marching towards comics at that point.

IFP: You’ve written a novel series called “The Fallen“, which is Young Adult, and one about an angel detective, Remy Chandler. How did you get into writing angels? What’s the attraction?

TS: You know what? This is actually a pretty cool story, because I was raised Roman Catholic. There was this old Polish church. I think it was established in the early 1900s, literally almost across the street from where I was growing up. And I was there, every nine o’clock mass on Sunday, you know, with my family. And for years and years and years, that’s where we were, every Sunday, nine o’clock. And I don’t know when it was, exactly, that I noticed it, but I remember there was a ceiling painting – this really, really elaborate ceiling painting – and the church was called “St. Michael’s”. And the painting on the ceiling was of the Archangel Michael, with these gigantic wings, in full armour, sword – like a flaming sword raised above his head – and he was standing on the head of a man whose body slowly morphed into that of a serpent. And I looked at that for years and never really saw what it was that I was looking at. And then, one day, it was kind of like, “Wait a minute. That’s an angel.

Now, in my mind, I’d been told my entire life, and seen my entire life, that angels were pretty ladies in nightgowns with big, cottony fluffy wings, or little babies in diapers and things like that. This was the first time that I had ever seen another interpretation and it really kind of almost just burned itself into my brain. I carried that around for years, even after I stopped going to church. I would always think about what cool things I could possibly do with the whole angel concept, just because of the idea that most people have about these kind of nice creatures that serve God. You know?

So, the older I got and the more research I did – and I was always haunting the old bookstores in Boston, you know, old reference books and things like that. And I was finding all kinds of crazy stuff about angels. And then it was almost like I was compiling a file, you know, to use this someday. I had some great stuff here. I would use some things sparingly in my comic book work, but I never tapped into the full thing.

And the first time I was able to tap into it was when I was working on the very first Remy novel. There was no publisher, yet. It was just that I was doing sample chapters of that particular book. And I was on a roll. I was able to use all the stuff that I’d compiled and all these crazy thoughts that I’d had for all these years. It was just the sample chapters, but what happened, at the same time that I was working on the sample chapters, I had just turned in a book.

It was my first published novel, but it was a reference book. It was called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Monster Book. And I had done that with Christopher Golden and Steve Bissett, the Swamp Thing guy. And we all were part of a group that did – you know, each one of us had six or seven monsters just to kind of research for the book, to do almost the equivalent of a pop culture history of these monsters, where they appeared in folklore and legend, where they appeared in other movies, and how they were used in the Buffy show. Each one of us did that.

Well, the editor on the Buffy books, she was also a general YA editor, a Young Adult editor. And she said to me, “Hey, have you ever thought of maybe pitching me a YA idea?” And was like, “Nah, no, not really. But I’ve got…I can show you some sample chapters of something that I’m working on. And it happened to be the first five chapters of A Kiss Before the Apocalypse. And she read them and was like, “Man, I love this, but it’s not YA.” She says, “I can’t do anything with this. Hey, could you possibly come up with a concept using a lot of these themes, but we could pitch to a YA audience?” And that’s where The Fallen came from.

IFP: So, technically, The Fallen is actually an offshoot of the Remy Chandler universe?

TS: Pretty much…Not really. It’s not the same universe, but it’s using a lot of the same concepts and ideas that I was playing with, just taken and tweaked and twisted for a YA audience. But there are differences in the universe itself, in the two universes. But, again, the Remy [universe] at the time was primarily just sample chapters. So, when you have an editor say to you, “Man, I love these ideas. Can you come up with something especially for me?” You jump on that. So, Remy actually came first, but The Fallen was actually published first. And then Remy would have come not too long after that.

IFP: So, you got started in comics?

TS: Yeah, comics were my love and still my love. Ask my poor wife – there are comics everywhere. I’ve got thousands of thousands. I mean, I’ve been collecting since I was a little kid. That’s a lot of comics.

IFP: What differences are there between writing Young Adult and Detective Noir?

TS: You know, what’s interesting is that the difference between my adult stuff and my kid stuff…there really isn’t much in the way I approach it. It’s primarily the characters that you’re writing about. In YA or kids’ books, you’re dealing with a younger character and you’re dealing with a different, kind of a younger, mindset, a different view of the world. And you just flip that for an adult. You know, you’ve just got your view of the world, primarily, or your character’s view of the world, so attitude is pretty much the major thing, in the difference between my two styles, when I do a YA and an adult series.

There’s also language. I can’t be as filthy as I would be. When you’re writing the adult stuff, you don’t have…there are not as many restrictions. When you’re writing the YA, you gotta be a little more careful in terms of “Oh, I can’t swear, or I don’t want that sex scene to get too graphic.” Or something like that. But in terms of violence, or something, I let the editor tell me. I mean, if I’m writing a particularly violent scene in a YA book, I don’t pull back on something like that. I let the editor say, “Eh, that’s a little rough. You might want to tone that down.” But normally, I don’t. Normally, I just kind of go with the flow.

So, yeah, that’s really the only difference. I really don’t…it’s funny ’cause a lot of my friends will say, “Oh, that’s too bad that that book’s YA, huh?” I’m like, “Why? Why is it too bad?” “Well, you know, you’re not going be able to do what you want to do.” And I’m like, “I do exactly what I want to do.” I really don’t…especially since the idea was probably shaped as a YA concept to begin with, I’m not really giving up anything. I knew that this was how this was going to be. So, no, I don’t feel any real restrictions at all on writing YA or writing an adult. I mean, I don’t in a novel. It’s just the subject matter. It’s how you approach the subject matter, you know? There are just some ideas that just scream to be YA and that’s how the idea kind of germinates in your brain – as a YA concept.

IFP: The Fallen was optioned as a TV movie a few years back. And it came out with Paul Wesley from The Vampire Diaries. How did that happen and what was it like?

TS: Actually, three TV movies. That was really cool. It’s one of those things where I have a manager who handles all my stuff out in Hollywood. He basically takes my stuff and shops it around. That’s his job. That’s what he does. And it’s kind of like, “All right, pal. Here you go.” And I don’t think about it again. When he has something to tell me, he picks up the phone, he calls me and he tells me what’s going on. I say, “Oh, wow! Isn’t that cool!” And forget it as soon as I hang up the phone because 99% of the time, it doesn’t mean a damned thing. You never hear anything about it again. He could have my new book idea in front of every major studio in Hollywood and they could be blowing all kinds of smoke up his butt, saying how much they love it, and it just doesn’t mean anything. It means absolute nothing until contracts are drawn up and a check shows up at my house. That’s when it means something. You can’t let yourself get hung up on that stuff, ’cause it’ll drive you mental.

But The Fallen stuff was really cool because it kinda came out of nowhere. It was like, “Hey! ABC Family Channel just picked up the option for your Fallen books.” And I was like, “Wow!” Never really expecting it to go any further than that. And it just snowballed. I mean, they hired writers and they hired actors, and suddenly, they were making it. Suddenly, I was getting scripts in my email box. So, I’m like, “Wow! This may actually happen.”

IFP: Did you have any say over the scripts at all?

TS: The very first movie, which aired before…They did one movie. And then they did two movies about a year later that followed it. The first movie, I did have a little bit of a say. If I’d complained too much, I’m sure they would have ignored me. I think the only reason that I had a say was that one of my managers was a producer on the film. So, he had a tendency to drag me into the picture a little bit more than I normally would have been, I think. So, they let me see the scripts. They let me give my comments and things like that.

But the two that followed, I had nothing [to do with them]. I didn’t even know they were making them. There were rumours that, “Oh, yeah! We’re thinking of doing some more.” And that was the last I heard. And suddenly, the next thing I hear is that they’re filming in Vancouver: “Oh! Isn’t that nice!” But if you look at the difference, the very first movie, it’s an okay translation of the first book. Not really. It’s all right. It’s not great [but] it’s fun. I didn’t mind it. It’s fun. But the next two don’t resemble the books at all. They just kind of did their own thing. But whatever. The check cleared, you know?

IFP: You were talking with someone on Facebook that you were working on a new Fallen novel.

TS: Yeah, it hasn’t been officially announced yet, but I’m still blabbing about it.

IFP: Can you tell us what it’s about?

TS: I would probably get in trouble for saying what it’s about, but it’s called “The Fallen: End of Days“, and it pretty much picks up where the fourth [left off]. There were originally four novels, but when they rereleased them, they re-released them in omnibuses, so there were two books in each. This one will be called “The Fallen: End of Days, Vol. 3“, because of the previous two. But it pretty much picks up with the last of the books and it kind of shows what the world is like now that our main characters, the Nephilim, have the job of almost like being the divine police force for the world. There are things that weren’t tended to, prior to the Nephilim coming into power, that have been hiding and are now emerging. So, I play with Lovecraftian themes a little bit and yeah, it should be quite interesting. I’m probably about a third of the way done with it right now. It’s supposed to be turned in in March, fingers crossed that I can finish it. [laughs]

IFP: The Remy Chandler series seems to have an ongoing storyline through the books. What kind of future plans do you have for the series?

TS: A Hundred Words for Hate hits March 1 and I’ve just signed for two more after that. There’s a lot of themes. The thing is I try to keep it kind of loose. I don’t like to sit down and plot out definitively what’s going to happen over the next X number of years. I just try to kind of have elements that I just want to explore. So, there’s a lot of things going on in regards to Lucifer being back as top dog in Hell. That’s going to play a lot because that’s riled up all the angels in Heaven. They’re all blown out of their minds. So, they’re gearing up for another war. And that’s going play a huge part in the coming books.

But there’s also lots of cool personal stuff with Remy. ‘Cause in the first one, Remy lost his wife. So, he’s had some issues with kind of grounding himself, in terms of being human. So, he had to kind of almost deal with the idea of “Okay, I’m not a horrible person if I decide to have another relationship. Because I really need this other relationship or I’m gonna burst into flames and kill everybody in Boston.” You know? That type of thing. It’s almost as though he kind of needs that kind of thing to ground his humanity, to make him human. So, his new relationships will be pretty important for the future, too, as well as his relationships with his friends, with Steven Mulvehill, the Boston cop, who, in the fourth book, got a real glimpse at stuff that he’d rather not have seen. He really wishes he hadn’t seen it. And that’s gonna change their dynamic completely. That’s gonna really bring some interesting things into how Steven’s gonna adapt to that.

You know, Francis is – I love Francis. I wish my publisher would let me do a Francis book. I keep asking, “Hey, are you going to let me do a Francis book?” And I guess the Remy numbers have to get a little higher before I have the power to do that.

IFP: Francis is a great character. He’s such a great noir character. He’s just so dark.

TS: Oh, he’s really cool. Yeah, he’s really cool. And it’s so funny, too, because he wasn’t in the third book. I had more people complaining about that. But I kept saying, “Oh, yeah, but wait until the next one. He’s a major character in the next one. His return will make you happy. So far, everybody seems to really be agreeing with that. They really like my take, but they’re also fascinated to know where [it’s going]. He’s obviously had some changes, too – Where’s he going? So, yeah, that’s gonna be fun to explore.

IFP: One of the things I like about it is that you really get into – Remy is not necessarily a nice guy just because he’s the Hero. He’s got all these fractures and fissures with trying to reconcile these two natures, one of which could burn down Boston, if it got out of control, and frequently wants to.

TS: [laughs] Yeah!

IFP: And the other part is that, until very recently, he seems to believe his humanity is just sort of a mask, a facade, and not real. And that’s a very dangerous situation…And then you’ve got Francis, who is making a literal deal with the Devil.

TS: Yeah….

IFP: But I like that they have this redemption thing kind of going on, that just because they’re messed up, doesn’t mean they can’t have a happy ending down the road.

TS: Right. Yeah, I love that. It’s so interesting with these kind of big, operatic-type characters, almost. Just to do these kinds of personal things, like these little intimate moments with them. I have a ball doing them. I mean, I have just as much fun doing a scene where Remy and Francis sit and have a drink than I do with having Remy fighting a hellhound; you know what I mean? Each of those has its moments for me, you know, where I go, “Oh, wow! This is gonna be great because it’ll just give you a bit. Just a slight conversation between Remy and Francis, you get a little bit of insight into the characters that’s just – I think it’s more personal. Their friendship is obviously so tight that just a random little conversation back and forth, where they have a drink or talk about The Wild Bunch, you get so much out of that. It’s just a blast to write.

IFP: Yeah, and it tells a lot about the universe without a lot of infodump.

TS: Yeah! Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

IFP: Do you watch the show Supernatural? Because they do a lot of similar themes.

TS: You know what? I watched the first season and part of the second season and stopped, not because I didn’t like the show, but because I got distracted. I have them all on DVD. I have every intention of sitting down and watching all of them. But I just…it just got away from me. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it, especially these last…like season four and five, I guess, were supposedly phenomenal.

IFP: I keep imagining Jensen Ackles – a little older – as Remy, just because of some of the stuff they’ve done.

TS: I think he’d be a good one. Yeah, that’s cool.

IFP: Yeah, because they keep hinting that Dean has angelic connections and then they say, “Oh, nonono. We can’t go there.” And I’m like, “Well, Thomas Sniegoski did! Why don’t you hire him to do a script? He could clear up that soul thing really fast!”

TS: [laughs] “He’d take care of that easy!”

IFP: Speaking of Remy Chandler, in your third novel, where Francis did not appear (and I was most disappointed), you wrote about a cult that appears a lot in Lovecraft fiction. And, of course, I mean Dagon. I was going to ask if you were influenced by Lovecraft in any way, but I’m gathering already that you were.

TS: Yeah, it’s one of those things where what I love best about doing these biblical-type things is the fact that I can get all kinds of information from everywhere and kind of dump it into a big pot and stir it around and make my own thing. So, I wanted kind of an ancient god, practically forgotten, and the Dagon name popped up. And I’m like, “Oooh! That’s a Lovecraft name! Hmm. Lemme see what I can do with that, but not make it too much like what Lovecraft did. But maybe have it have a slight, familiar taste of Lovecraft to it.” Yeah, that’s pretty much what I was doing. I just took all kinds of stuff from all kinds of places. I created my own ancient deity.

IFP: Yeah, because he is in the Bible, but he’s also in Lovecraft.

TS: Yeah. He’s not interesting in the Bible. The Bible one is a little bit “Ohhh, he’s the god of fish. Fishes of the bounty,” something like that. I was like, “That’s kind of boring. Let’s get a monstery-type feel in there.” And that’s where I borrowed a little bit from Lovecraft.

IFP: Do you have a favourite story of Lovecraft’s, since you first wrote for a Lovecraft magazine when you published your first story?

TS: I love “Pickman’s Model”.

IFP: That’s your favourite?

TS: Yeah, I don’t know why. That one just…you know why I probably like that one? Night Gallery. Remember the TV series, Night Gallery? They did an adaptation of that and I was relatively young, but I just remember thinking that was the coolest thing in the world.

IFP: I couldn’t even make it past the titles. And the promos. Remember the promos? Ohh, they were so scary.

TS: The creepy faces and stuff?

IFP: Yeah! Oh-ho, man!

TS: Yeah! But that’s probably why that one sticks. I love that one and I love “Cool Air”. Oh, “Cool Air”, I love that one. Yeah, that’s amazing.

IFP: We often ask this question of people who write Lovecraft stuff: If you could be any Lovecraft character or monster, which one would you be?

TS: Oh, jeez…hmm. That’s a good one. I dunno. That’s…Herbert West is pretty damned fun. Yeah, tht’s kind of a fun one. That’d be a cool character to be.

IFP: Yeah, “I get to re-animate everything.”

TS: Yeah! Exactly! And one of the old gods might be fun, sleeping under the ocean and in the ice, or something like that.

IFP: Aside from Lovecraft, what are your favourite authors in horror and fiction?

TS: I love me my Stephen King, of course. Love Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch. As far as the noir guys, Raymond Chandler – of course. As far as some of the newer noir guys, Dennis Lehane is freaking amazing.

I’m trying to think of who else I’ve been reading lately. I’ve actually been doing a lot of – just because I do a lot of YA – there’s a lot of really cool things that’ve been popping up in YA, lately. So, I’ve been doing a lot of YA reading. Let me see what…I never can remember their names, of course, because I’m old. There’s a guy named…his last name is “Yancey”. Rick Yancey, The Monstrumologist? That is just freakin’ amazing. What a great horror book that is, but it’s a YA. And it’s so startling. You’re reading it and you’re going, “How did this get past a YA editor?” ‘Cause it’s just so gruesome. Yeah, it’s great, though. It’s really great. It’s got all kinds of Lovecraftian-type hints and stuff.

And there’s another man named “Dan Wells”, who wrote a book called “I Am Not a Serial Killer“, and its sequel, “Mr. Monster“. Those are terrific, too. Those are great. And those even have Lovecraftian overtones. That’s what really cracks me up. So many of these writers these days, I think, are doing little homages to Lovecraft without even knowing they’re doing homages to Lovecraft. They may not even be familiar, really, with what Lovecraft was doing, but if you look at these books, there’s definite tips of the hat, for sure. You know? So, that always cracks me up. I’m reading ’em and I’m like, “Hey, wait a minute. I wonder if this guy realizes what he’s doing? Probably not.”

IFP: What was the last novel that you read?

TS: The last novel that I read? Oh, jeez, I just turned…what did I just finish? I’m actually just about to finish the second book in The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. It’s a vampire, like a modern spin on the vampire story. I’m just about to finish that and I think the one that I finished before that was Mr. Monster by Dan Wells.

IFP: Paranormal fiction, of course, is really big right now….

TS: Oh, it’s huge, yeah.

IFP: I noticed, for example, that you did a story for a sort of sampler anthology to get people interested, and things like that.

TS: Oh, Mean Streets. That was Mean Streets.

IFP: Yeah. Mean Streets. And what do you see for the genre in the future?

TS: You know, what’s interesting about it is that I’d to see a little more variety. I think the biggest problem with this stuff now is the fact that it’s almost stuck in a rut. I mean, if you look at…if you went into the bookstore and gathered up all the Urban Fantasy, and put it in a big stack, I can almost guarantee you, like 75% of it would be: “Hot Chick, sword, knife, maybe a gun, maybe a vampire, maybe a werewolf, maybe a succubus.” You know what I mean? And, I mean, that stuff is fun and I enjoy it, but eventually, it’s going to run out of gas.

IFP: Yeah, it could use more variety. There are more monsters out there.

TS: More variety, yeah. And I think I would like to see somebody come in there and really put a fresh spin on some of this stuff. You know? Actually, there aren’t even that many male Urban Fantasy main characters. I mean, there aren’t as many males as there are females. Maybe just doing more male characters might open the gates a little bit more, you know?

IFP: There seem to be a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayers of various types.

TS: Yes. And I think that’s where a lot of this stuff got rolling, with Laurel K. Hamilton, with her Anita Blake stuff. I think a combination of Buffy and the Anita Blake stuff, I think that just got the ball rolling. And everybody started to kinda do their own take on that, you know?

IFP: What do you think about the new buzz about ebooks like Kindle and Nookbook? Good or bad for writers and readers?

TS: You know what? I’m kind of a techno-idiot. So, I don’t necessarily know enough to have an opinion. I think that they’re not going away. I think this is going be something that publishers and writers and things are just going to have to somehow embrace and adapt to. I think you’re going to see publishing change dramatically over the next couple of years because of that. And again, I don’t know enough to be able to say, “Well, this is what I think is going to happen.” I can only see…I can see the writing-on-the-wall-type thing. With the sales increase of ebooks, these ereaders growing more and more popular every day, it’s inevitable. You know what I mean? It’s going to happen.

I will miss the book in my hand and the smell of the paper and the whole thing. I think I’m going to be really sad if that ends up going away, but I think it just might be inevitable. I think it is going to happen. And again, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, because, no matter what you’re reading it on – be it on paper and turning the pages or reading it on an electronic reader and pushing a button to turn an electronic page, you’re still reading a writer’s work. So, I think the business angle/end is going to change a lot more than the actual reader-enjoying-a-writer’s-work is going to change.

IFP: What advice would you have for a new author?

TS: I think the big thing – I know it’s going to sound silly, but: Write like crazy. Write, write, write. Keep a journal. Write about what you saw at the grocery store.

Read like crazy. Read everything. Don’t just read the stuff that you like. Read the newspaper. Read the phone book. Read everything and have an opinion about what you’re reading. Develop a sense of that you can compare and contrast: “I read this writer’s work and I really didn’t like it. But I liked the way he did, or she did, this. And I love this work and I love the way the guy did this with that.”

You know, it’s almost like going to the grocery store, picking through the vegetables, kind of combining everything that you’re reading and developing your own style from all these influences, whether they be good or bad. I think that’s ridiculously important.

I always remember just grabbing my head and moaning when I would talk to younger people trying to break into comics. And their writing experience came from reading other comics. It was kind of like, “You know what? You’re not getting enough! Just because you read X-Force doesn’t mean that you can write this new superhero title and bring something to it that people really give a crap about. That’s where I always say, “If you want to be a writer, write like crazy, develop your own style, and the only way you’re going to develop your own style is by reading what’s out there and coming up with a sense of what works for you, what you enjoy, what you’d like to try to do yourself and accomplish and incorporate into your own work.”

IFP: Do you have any upcoming projects?

TS: Well, the new Fallen book. Hopefully, that will lead into another series of Fallen books. The new Remy books, two…at least two more. Probably even more than that, if the sales continue to be good.

I’m actually in the process of finishing up the third in a series of original novels based on the comic book series Bone. I was hired by Scholastic and Cartoon Books, who are the publishers of Bone, to do three original novels, to do a trilogy, a fantasy series that takes place in the world of Bone. So, the first book just came out. It came out, I think, in the first week of February [February 1, 2011], called “Bone: Quest for the Spark“, and that’s Book One. And I’m not quite sure when Book Two is due out. And I’m still finishing up Book Three. And that might lead into more books that take place in the Bone universe, as well, but I’m not 100% sure.

And I’ve got all kinds of stuff that I want to spring on publishers that I just haven’t had the time to work on the proposals and stuff. But I’ve got a bunch of stuff that I’m really anxious to do.

IFP: Last question, relating to that: What is your dream project?

TS: My “dream project”. You know what? I’m doing my dream project. The Remy Chandler books, as far as original stuff, the Remy Chandlers are like my dream project. I mean, they are…I just love those. I love that character and I love that world to death.

And I’m really fond of the Fallen universe, too. It’s fun to be back in that. I mean, I hadn’t written the characters in The Fallen in close to seven years. So, it was really interesting coming back to them. I’m still feeling a little rusty. I mean, I think my revision process on that book is going to get me back up to snuff. But right now, I’m kind of like, “Oooh, jeez, I don’t remember how this guy talked. I don’t know how this guy would react to something like this.” But yeah, those two things are great. But I’ve been thinking as I’ve been talking; a little part of my brain has been thinking, “If I could do a dream project, I would love to do something like an old-style pulp character. Like something in the vein of Doc Savage, or The Shadow, or something like that.” That would be a blast. I love that stuff like crazy, so if somebody came to me and said, “Hey, Tom. Develop/create a brand-new character for us. We want to do new pulp stories. Create something new and crazy.” I would embrace that. I would love to do that.

Bio: Thomas E. Sniegoski is a New York Times bestselling author who had written for children, young adults and adults, who has also worked in the comic book industry. As a comic book scripter, Tom has worked for nearly every major company in the comic book marketplace and has written such characters as Batman, The Punisher, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Hellboy.

He is the only writer ever invited to work on Jeff Smith’s international hit series Bone, working with Smith on Bone: Tall Tales, and is currently writing an original Bone trilogy, Quest for the Spark, for Scholastic Books.

Tom is the author of the ground-breaking teen series The Fallen, which was transformed into three 2-hour movies for ABC Family Channel in 2007, earning stellar ratings for the cable network. He is currently writing a brand new The Fallen novel, The Fallen: End of Days.

Sniegoski is also the author of the popular adult Urban Fantasy series featuring angel-turned-private eye Remy Chandler, beginning with A Kiss Before the Apocalypse. The fourth book in the series, A Hundred Words for Hate, will be released March 1st of 2011.

Tom was born and raised in the Boston area, where he still lives with his wife LeeAnne and their French Bulldog puppy, Kirby. Please visit him at

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IFPInterview: Thomas E. Sniegoski