A Q&A with Jeff Giles:
Author of The Edge of Everything
January 2017, Bloomsbury
Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk to us about The Edge of Everything! We’ve known each other via Twitter and FB for some time now, so it’s been exciting watching us grow closer to your debut date!
Q: First things first: given your previous career in entertainment, give us the elevator pitch for The Edge of Everything: The Movie. Bonus points if you can do it in one hundred forty characters or less.
“Grieving Montana girl goes into a blizzard to save brother & dogs—and meets a hot bounty hunter from the underworld. All hell breaks loose.”
140 characters FTW!
Q: You’ve stated in previous interviews that your work on The Edge of Everything began while you were still living in Brooklyn.
How did your environment influence the development of the story? After all, you were writing a tale of supernatural drama and isolation, in a dense urban environment. Did the denseness of your environment – for lack of a better term - influence the progress of your setting or your characters?
By the way, I spent a lot of summers in Montana before I started writing the book because I have family here. But I’d never visited during the winter, and I assumed January and February were even harsher than they actually are. That wound up helping the novel because I wanted the opening sequence in the blizzard to be as wild as possible. Winter is pretty tough here, but in real life there are no creatures from the underworld using the weather as a weapon.
Q: I’m going to be honest: when I started researching for these interview questions, I kept getting distracted by some of the wonderful pieces you’ve written throughout the course of your career in entertainment journalism.
You have such a distinctive, snappy first-person voice, regardless of subject. Was it a challenge to reign in your inner voice, and focus on the third-person narration for The Edge of Everything? If so, how did you work through that process?
With the third-person narration, I pushed myself to try things that I’d never done before, like writing scary/romantic/funny sequences—or really trying to figure out what’s going on in the characters’ heads. Interviewing movie stars is fun, but sometimes there isn’t ANYTHING going on in their heads.
Q: In a 2012 interview with Popdose’s Jeff Giles – a.k.a. your entertainment doppelganger - you mentioned that part of your fears for the future of writing, were predicated around the idea that future writers wouldn’t have the opportunity to truly learn how to research and write, because many of the up-and-coming platforms, didn’t lend themselves to that type of development.
Four years down the line, what are your thoughts on this continuously evolving dynamic?
And what are your thoughts on the idea that part of the reason why so many are turning to say, the YA genre and books like The Edge of Everything, is because it’s a genre that still does cherish unique writing, and development in writing?
What I admire about the YA community is that they’re in love with words and storytelling in a way that not a lot of journalists are encouraged to be. In 2016, I read a beautiful transgender fairytale (“When the Moon was Ours”), a great, supernatural Latin American portal fantasy (“Labyrinth Lost”) and a riveting condemnation of rape culture (“Asking for It”), among other things. Anyone reading or writing YA is truly seeing what words can do—and, as we demand and support more and more diverse voices, the genre will get even richer.
Q: While each reader will have their own interpretation of a novel, are there any specific themes or ideas that you hope a reader will take away from their reading?
Q: Finally, what’s next for you?
Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up, make my son French toast before school, and then keep writing Book 2 of the “Edge of Everything” series. Zoe is about to do the bravest thing she’s ever done. I hope she knows what she’s doing!
About the book:
X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe's evil attacker and others like him. Forbidden to reveal himself to anyone other than his victims, X casts aside the Lowlands' rules for Zoe. As X and Zoe learn more about their different worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for both of them.
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