Thursday, 17 October 2013

Interview with Jon Skovron, author of Man Made Boy

At the Other End:
Love can be a real monster.

Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home. When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob. And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times Square, it’s important they maintain a low profile.

Boy’s only interactions with the world are through the Internet, where he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can hide his hulking body and stitched-together face behind a layer of code. When conflict erupts at home, Boy runs away and embarks on a cross-country road trip with the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, who introduce him to malls and diners, love and heartbreak. But no matter how far Boy runs, he can’t escape his demons—both literal and figurative—until he faces his family once more.

This hilarious, romantic, and wildly imaginative tale redefines what it means to be a monster—and a man.


Buy Man Made Boy from all good booksellers and online!


Author Bio:
Jon Skovron has been an actor, musician, lifeguard, Broadway theatre ticket seller, warehouse grunt, technical writer, and web developer. He has nine fingers, dislikes sweets, and possesses a number of charming flaws. He was born in Columbus, Ohio and after getting lost in the Broadway theatre world of New York and the high tech world of Seattle, has settled, somewhat haphazardly, in the Washington, DC area, where he and his two sons can regularly be seen not fitting into the general Government scene.

Handy Hinty Links:
Goodreads:                        Man Made Boy                             Jon Skovron
Website                                Twitter

Take A Seat. Get Strapped In. Let's Go For A Ride:

1. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
I just had my US release and so I know exactly what goes through my mind, and as it turns out, it's something like "BLERRRRGHHHHH..." because I have been running around almost nonstop like a complete maniac all week long doing panels and lectures and traveling, in additional to all the normal things like working and writing and parenting. At this point I can barely put together a coherent thought. In another week or two, I suspect, I will begin stressing about sales numbers and stuff like that, but that sort of information is not something authors get a whole lot ofdetails on anyway, so I'll just be flailing around worrying without much hope of resolution. Fortunately, I have the sequel to Man Made Boy to keep me distracted.

2. Can you tell us about what inspired you to write Man Made Boy?
It began with a short story about The Show, a fictional Broadway show that is the setting for first part of the book. I had an idea for a Cirque du Soleil style theatre of monsters disguising their magical abilities as special effects and I began to write about some of the acts. And that was cool and all. But to my surprise, the monsters that I found the most interesting where the ones working back stage, particularly Frankenstein's Monster and his family. So I started to follow them and particularly the Monster's son, Boy. He took me on a very strange and unexpended journey and after about a hundred pages I realized it probably wasn't going to be a short story. 

3. Do you read reviews, and if so how do you feel about receiving negative reviews?
I used to avoid reviews. I told myself this was because reviews are meant for readers, not for the author. And I do think that's true. But I would also avoid them because negative reviews hurt my feelings. Now, this is my third book and I've learned to distance myself from it all and not take it quite so personally. There is me and there is the book and while I love it very much and hope other people do too, I understand that not everyone will. And that's okay. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if I'm doing my job right, and taking the sort of risks a writer needs to take to make a book good, it's inevitable that some people won't like it. So now I do read reviews and I find other people's interpretations to be interesting sometimes and boring other times, but always informative.

4. How long was the writing/planning process for Man Made Boy?
I first started writing that short story back in 2005. So....yeah. About seven years to finish, and then a year for it to make it's way through the publishing process. I was also writing other books during that time, of course. And doing a ton of research. Not just about Frankenstein, but all the monsters who pop up in the book, as well the authors who wrote them. In fact, I would say I did as much research on Mary Shelley as I did on Frankenstein. I don't do a lot of planning, though. I'm not one of those writers who plans everything out ahead of time. I knew where I wanted Boy to end up, but I had no idea how I was going to get there. Finding out how is the fun part.

5. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have your own ideas about how you wanted it to look while you were writing the book?
Ha! The cover that you see, I actually LOVE. But it was not the first cover that my US publisher showed me. Or the second, or even the third. I should point out that I didn't reject them all. Authors don't actually have a lot of say in the cover. There are all sorts of people who weigh in on the packaging, including the marketing and sales folks. But there was one cover, I think it was the third one, that was a fine looking cover but was directly in conflict with the artistic vision of the book. And I begged and pleaded with my editor to reject it and thankfully she is an awesome editor and cares about things like artistic vision, so she listened to my concerns, agreed with them, and rejected that cover. I'm so glad she did because I love the final cover so much and if I hadn't spoken up, it never would have happened. So I didn't know what I wanted it to look like exactly, but I knew what it couldn't look like.

6. Can you tell us a bit about any future projects you’re currently working on?
I'm finishing up revisions on the sequel to Man Made Boy, scheduled to be released in the US in Spring, 2015. I'm not sure about the AU release. I don't know if I can announce the title yet, though. Don't worry, there's no big cliff-hanger or anything. Each book stands alone. But I'm happy to say that for the sequel I was able to bring back nearly everyone from the first book, PLUS even more cool new monsters and places.

7. What are you top 5 books of all time?
Five??? Just five???? You are a cruel person. American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Scar by China Mieville, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Suzanna Clarke, Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson, White Cat by Holly Black, Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, Vanity Fair by William Thackeray, The Kiss and Other Stories by Anton Chekov, and oh well that's a lot more than five but I'm a writer not a mathematician, please forgive me.

8. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?
None, really. Those are their books and as much as love them, I've never really wanted to write someone else's book. Heck, I barely have time to write all MY books!

9. What was your favourite thing about writing Man Made Boy?
Writing the characters of Sophie and Claire (the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde)was a blast. I don't think I've ever had more fun with writing any other character in my life (so far). They come in about halfway through the book and I loved them so much I kept trying to figure out if I could get them into the story earlier. Sadly, though, I realized that Boy wouldn't have been ready for them any earlier. They are very special ladies, and he needed to grow up a bit first.

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