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An Interview with Dan Abnett
conducted by Nathan Brazil

© Dan Abnett
Dan Abnett
Dan Abnett
Dan Abnett lives and works in Maidstone, Kent. After graduating from Oxford, he worked for a while as an editor of comics and children's books before turning to writing full time. In the dozen or so years since then, he has written for such a diverse range of characters -- including Scooby Doo, Thunderbirds, Conan the Barbarian, the X-Men, Johnny Bravo, Batman, Rupert the Bear, Dr Who, Mr Men, The Terminator and Postman Pat -- that he is now clinically bewildered. He created the popular series Sinister Dexter, which he continues to write, along with other strips, for 2000 AD, and has recently helped rejuvenate the Legion of Superheroes for DC Comics.

Dan Abnett Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Primeval: Extinction Event
SF Site Review: Ravenor Returned
SF Site Review: Titan: God-Machine
SF Site Review: Ravenor
SF Site Review: Riders of the Dead

Primeval: Extinction Event
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Aside from not killing off a major cast member, what constraints were placed upon you when writing Extinction Event?
The producers were keen for my story to be 'in continuity.' They wanted the fans to consider it canonical, and they also wanted me to go wild with the big special effects budget of a novel.

Did you find it more or less difficult/ interesting, using other people's characters?
Not at all. It's something I do regularly, and I enjoy the challenge. It was good to meet the actors, and get the measure of them and the sets before writing.

Will you be writing more in the Primeval world?
If they ask me, I'd probably be happy to.

Which of your many characters has been the most satisfying to write, and why?
I'd probably have to say some of the characters in the Gaunt's Ghosts or Inquisitor series I write for Black Library. The first has run to thirteen books so far, the second six, and you really begin to get to know characters when you've been writing them that long. It's like working with good friends.

In retrospect are you happy with all your works, or is there one in particular you would change?
There's stuff I probably wouldn't write the same way today, because I've evolved as a writer, but there's nothing I'm ashamed of.

What comic book character that you have not yet written, would you dearly love to write?
Daredevil, maybe, or Wonder Woman.

Ravenor versus Braniac, who wins?
Well, Ravenor, but I would say that, wouldn't I?

What can you tell us about your involvement with the Ultramarines movie?
It was immense fun, and I think they ended up producing a very enjoyable 40K romp with lots of satisfying bolter action!

I have a pet theory that the silicon used in CPUs has rudimentary intelligence, and knows when someone inexperienced sits before the screen. Can you confirm this?
Well, that's what my iMac keep telling me, so it must be true.

How much of the real world you, and your personal viewpoints, makes it way into your characters?
A lot. In fact, I'd say it all comes from the real world. My approach to fantasy and SF is to find the closest real world analogue for something, to research that, and then manipulate it into the genre. I find that gives things an authentic feel. It works for me, anyway. So pretty much everything I write comes from somewhere in the real world originally.

Copyright © 2011 Nathan Brazil

Nathan Brazil
If Nathan Brazil were dyslexic, he'd be the dog of the Well world. In reality, he's an English bloke who lives on an island, reading, writing and throwing chips to the seagulls. Drop by his web site at www.inkdigital.org.


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