Trent Jamieson lives in Brisbane with his wife, Diana. His first novel Death Most Definite is due out from Orbit in August 2010.
1. Death Most Definite is due out soon! How would you describe the novel to someone who has never heard of it?
It’s a love story about Death set in Brisbane. There is mystery and murder and explosions, and it’s a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice tale, but with talking knives and zombies. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had writing anything and I hope people enjoy it. Oh, and because I’m terrible at blurbs and synopses here is what Orbit had to say about it:
Steven de Selby has a hangover. Bright lights, loud noise, and lots of exercise are the last thing he wants. But that’s exactly what he gets when someone starts shooting at him.
Steven is no stranger to death-Mr. D’s his boss after all-but when a dead girl saves him from sharing her fate, he finds himself on the wrong end of the barrel. His job is to guide the restless dead to the underworld but now his clients are his own colleagues, friends, and family.
Mr. D’s gone missing and with no one in charge, the dead start to rise, the living are hunted, and the whole city teeters on the brink of a regional apocalypse-unless Steven can shake his hangover, not fall for the dead girl, and find out what happened to his boss- that is, Death himself.
2. The books are being released in the US and UK as well as Australia – obviously this is insanely exciting, but what have the other effects been? Is there a different editing process for o/s books?
Well, I don’t actually have any point of reference so I don’t know if I can say.
These are my first books, and they’ve been edited in Australia, and they’ve really not asked me to change anything much in relation to an international audience. I’ve got a reference to Chiko Rolls in there, though I do explain what they are, and I even ate one recently – just to help create that sense or verisimilitude required in any book.
These books are very Australian, in setting, and the characters’ experience, but I think they’re accessible. Hearts beat, and things explode pretty much the same in any hemisphere.
3. You’re contracted for three books – where are you in the writing/editing/publishing stage with each of them? Would you like to continue the series beyond three books, or are you already planning your next project?
Book One is done. Book Two is just about through the Structural Edits – in fact I should be doing that now. Book Three is a bunch of scribbled notes and scenes, but I should have a draft by the end of April early May.
If these three books do well I already have some plans for new ones, though there is a arc for the first three, there’s plenty of room to move. Hasn’t stopped me working on new things, or a few old ones too. I’m hoping to get some short stories written this year too.
4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year?
Marianne de Pierres for Mirror Space
Karron Warren for Slights
Paul Haines for “Wives”
Peter M Ball for Horn
And a certain Tansy Rayner Roberts for “Siren Beat”. Oh, and pretty much anything else written by the above last year.
I also think Alisa Krasnostein deserves a nod for all the work she has done with Twelfth Planet Press. So much exciting fiction has come from there in the last couple of years.
Oh, and Keith Stevenson for X6, but I’m biased there. Hell, I’m biased with most of these.
And Jonathan Strahan, who may get overlooked just because he’s been doing such wonderful stuff for so long. The same could be said for Margo Lanagan, and Sean Williams. I’d be happy to see any of these lot in the shortlists, and I’m sure some will be.
5. Are you planning to go to Aussiecon 4 in September? If so, what are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends. Seeing who wins a Hugo, and enjoying having a book out! I never get to enough cons, hoping this one will start reversing that trend. There are so many wonderful friends I have made in this scene that I hardly ever get the chance to see. Whatever the excuses, Aussiecon 4 is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.