Author Answers: Paul Cornell

220px-Paul_cornellToday’s answers are from Paul Cornell, a busy writer with several projects going on (Spoilers).  The Word Nerds found him through his novels London Falling and The Severed Streets.  His background is beyond novels and includes writing for short stories, ,comics, and Dr. Who.

Take it away, Paul:

WN:  What should readers expect from your book?
PC:  The Severed Streets is the sequel to London Falling, in which a small team of modern undercover London police officers find themselves cursed to see the magic and the monsters, and decide the only way they’re going to stay sane is by using real police methods to combat them. In The Severed Streets, something that resembles Jack the Ripper has returned, but he’s only killing rich white men.

WN:  Who is your favorite villian? Why? (This can be one you’ve written or someone else’s villian)
PC:  I really enjoyed writing Lex Luthor in Action Comics. He’s got endless depths to him. His villainy is about him being such a wonderfully flawed human being.

WN:  Tell us a bit about your writing background. The various formats and characters are very wide-ranging. What’s it like to juggle so many differences?
PC:  I like a bit of variety. My first love is prose, and I’m very proud to have my collected short stories coming out this year, under the title A Better Way to Day, but I’ve also always loved comics, and I got into writing television specifically so I could write Doctor Who, and stayed put afterwards. It’s sometimes hard to switch gears in a single writing day, but it makes my work life interesting.

WN:  One of your career accomplishments has been writing for Dr. Who, specifically three episodes: Father’s Day, Human Nature and The Family of Blood. Being part of the Dr. Who canon is astonishing. What was it like to also be part of the series on the first official animation?
PC:  All that was my life-long ambition achieved. After that, one has to find a way to build on it, to do other things, to not leave it behind. Hence the Four Doctors crossover for Titan Comics this summer.

WN:  What’s a must have for your writing procees? (specific tools? Tea? Coffee? Location? Our readers really enjoy the insight into the writing life.)
PC:  I don’t really have any must-haves, because if I’m forced to I’ll use whatever, whenever, but I do like to be at my desk, and I do drink a lot of tea. I can’t listen to music, but I do like having the cricket on in the background.

WN:  What question should the Word Nerds have asked, but didn’t?
PC:  You could have asked about the novella I’ve got coming out from Tor in September, part of their new regular range of shorter books. I’m very proud to be part of their launch for that, but can’t reveal the title yet. Thanks!

Thank you, Paul!  I’m excited to look for that installment from Tor.


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