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I Belong


Author Interview & Giveaway: Simon Canderous by Anton Strout

Today, I have author Anton Strout here to talk about his Simon Canderous urban fantasy series.  The fourth book in the series, Dead Waters, was released on February 22, 2011.

One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Dead to Me, Deader Still and Dead Matter.  Details are listed at the end of the post.

Author Bio:

Fantasy author Anton Strout was born in the Berkshire Hills mere miles from writing heavyweights Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville and currently lives in the haunted corn maze that is New Jersey (where nothing paranormal ever really happens, he assures you).

He has been a featured speaker and workshopper at San Diego Comic-Con, Gencon, New York Comic-Con, the Brooklyn Book Festival.

He is the co-creator of the faux folk musical Sneezin’ Jeff & Blue Raccoon: The Loose Gravel Tour (winner of the Best Storytelling Award at the First Annual New York International Fringe Festival).

In his scant spare time, his is a writer, a sometimes actor, sometimes musician, occasional RPGer, and the worlds most casual and controller smashing video gamer.  He currently works in the exciting world of publishing and yes, it is as glamorous as it sounds.

Visit Anton around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Welcome Anton!

DFT: Could you start things off by telling us a little about your Simon Canderous Series?

Anton: Sure.  The books follow the life of Simon Canderous, a psychometrist, the ability to read the history of objects, who used to use his powers for thievery.  After one too many brushes with the law, he now works for Manhattan’s Department of Extraordinary Affairs, an underfunded secret agency that runs under the motto, “fighting evil, under budget.”  Because his lack of control over his powers have crippled every relationship he’s ever had, he has a bit of arrested development, but ultimately the books follow his desire to do good, and maybe, if he’s lucky, find a little love along the way.  Oh, and he bashes evil thingies with a retractable steel bat he carries with him at all times. He also tends to quip his way through fighting off the Lovecraftian horrors of the world.  It’s either laugh your way through things or go mad, really…

DFT: Dead Waters is the fourth book in your Simon Canderous series. For readers new to the series, can you give us a quick overview of the previous books in the series?

Anton: The Simon Canderous series has a lot going on in the three books previous to Dead Waters.  I’m going to try to do this spoiler-free, so bear with me…

Dead To Me follows Simon in his early days with the Department of Extraordinary Affairs under the instruction of his partner in Other Division, Connor Christos.  We are introduced to many things in this first volume, including Simon’s inability to hold a relationship, a dead thief he’s crushing on, cultists and the temps who work for them, and a wooden fish OF GREAT POWER!  Sounds silly in summary, but there you have it.

Deader Still involves Simon’s continued adventures, this time searching for vampiric activity in New York City after a boatload of dead lawyers turns up in floating along the West Side.  There are zombies, gypsy magic, fashion models, and even a little bit of necromancy… fun stuff!

Dead Matter covers a period of time shortly after the previous book, roughly several months when Simon is left on his own to deal with his abnormal load of casework. His girlfriend mysteriously disappears during an investigation, and an ongoing search for Connor’s long missing brother continues and we finally get answers as to his fate.

DFT: Can the books function as a stand alone or do we need to read the series from the beginning?

Anton: I think each of the books stand on their own plotwise, with some overarcing long haul ideas in place that play out over time…. However, that said, I do think you get a certain depth of character reading them in the order they were written more than coming to them in the middle.  Also, my writing got better over time, so there’s that to consider in what order you choose to read them in.  The correct order would be Dead To Me, Deader Still, Dead Matter and then Dead Waters.

DFT: If you could describe your main characters with only 3 words, what would they be?

Anton: Not counting their names, and cheating a little:

Simon Canderous- batcarrier against evil

Jane Clayton-Forrester- ex-cultist girlfriend, technomancer

Connor Christos- partner, ghost whisperer

Inspectre Argyle Quimbley- Mentor, British, mustachioed

DFT: Tell us something about your research process and the choices you make when creating the story.

Anton: Some authors write books with a metric ton of otherworldly stuff, a world where vamps and werewolves are everywhere.  For me, I prefer to write about the real world we all know, and mix in my paranormal as needed.  New York City is perfect for that… there’s so much here that I research simply by living near Manhattan, then I give it a little twist.   But not much… Manhattan is rich with the spirits of the dead (and undead) and there are a million stories still waiting to be told.

DFT: Do you have a long-term plan or goal for this story universe? What happens after book 4, Dead Waters?

Anton: I have some long range goals for the series that have been playing out so far, and I’d like to see it all play out, but right now Ace is asking for a second series from me, so that takes priority.  I’m planning out more Simon books, but at the moment, we have to wait and see….as far as what happens past Dead Waters, well, that remains a secret.

DFT: Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?

Anton: This time around, I’d have to say Simon’s boss, the Inspectre, Argyle Quimbley.  He’s of the old guard of fighting as part of the Fraternal Order of Goodness, and I really wanted to explore what it meant to get old in a world of fighting supernatural horrors.  What does it mean to grow old, to be one of those left standing, when the lifespan of the average agent is relatively short?  I get to explore some of that this time around.

DFT: Do you have a favorite scene or line from Dead Waters?

Anton: My favorite lines are usually the quotes I add at the top of each book… they’re little Easter eggs that hint at what’s to come in each of the books, if a reader is paying attention, that is… my fave came from Dead Matter:

What then is to become of man? Will he be the equal of God or the beasts?

– Blaise Pascal

Om nom nom…– Count Dracula

DFT: What is your favorite part of writing this series?

Anton: Now that I’m several books in, I have a good idea of who my characters are and who they are going to be in the future… but for me it’s discovering how they will react in new situations.  You never know, and sometimes they surprise me.  You want to see someone show who they really are?  Throw some aquazombies at them and see what they do.  I live for them surprising me.

DFT: What other projects are you working on that you would like to tell us about?

Anton: I’m working on a YA Dickensian Steampunk Iron Man kinda thing that I want to shop around in a few months once I’ve polished it up a bit.  I also have a proposal out for a second series with Ace based on a gargoyle short I wrote a couple of years ago, and it looks likely that two books in that series will happen, but nothing written in stone yet.  Umm, no pun intended there…

DFT: What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?

Anton: Well, I’d love to hear the interviewer ask, “So… where can all my millionaire readers bulk buy your books?”  That question never gets asked…

Hmm… I’m not sure.  What do YOU think I really want to be asked?

DFT: What books/genres do you read when you have the chance? Any must read authors or series?

Anton: I’m all over the damn place when it comes to me reading habits.  I try not to miss anything by John Irving, Jasper Fforde, Stephen King… but I also love some nonfiction stuff such as books on the computer industry and gaming.  I have surprisingly read less and less genre lately… I’m not sure why exactly.  Maybe because I’m too busy writing in it to focus on what others are doing with it.  I also love graphic novels and comics, but I’m falling woefully behind on most of them lately….

DFT: What is your definition of a “bad writing day”? How do you deal with bad writing days?

Anton: Well, I try not to beat myself up too much these days when I don’t make word count or don’t write at all.  There are ups and downs and frankly the only days I panic are when it’s close to deadline.  Even a day I don’t write is never a loss, not really. I consider even the downtime good for something, like recharging my brain.  It needs a break every so often, you know?  I also consider time that I’m not writing time that I’m in research mode, gathering details and characters from the world around me so that when I get back to the manuscript there are those added elements of details that give it a certain realism I like my work to have, despite it being all paranormal.

DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or any writing rituals?

Anton: I have a day job in New York City that takes first priority, as many authors have that they must work around.  I live in New Jersey now, so part of my writing ritual is handwriting on my commuter bus everyday, going in and going out.  I then settle in at home, and spend several hours inputting all my handwritten work into the computer, letting myself edit a bit for that first pass, but charging forward day after day, knowing I can go back and make sense of the disconnects that happen along the way later.  Rinse and repeat…

DFT: If you could be any supernatural creature, which one would you be and why?

Anton: I’d have to go for vampire, really.  I need some longevity in my life.  First of all, I have a lot of stories left to tell, and I’d finally have the time to write as much as I’d like.  Secondly, my television and movie cue is getting quite backlogged and, much like the vampires in my series, I’d love the time to sit back and catch up on all my viewing, seasons of shows at a time.

DFT: Thanks Anton for taking the time to stop by.

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:

One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Dead to Me, Deader Still and Dead Matter.

To enter, just leave a comment about this post:

1. +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.

2. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).

3. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada only.

4. Giveaway ends Wednesday, April 20th at 11:59 PM EST.

5. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.


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25 Responses to “Author Interview & Giveaway: Simon Canderous by Anton Strout

  1. RickiNo Gravatar
    1

    I don’t know why I never heard of this series before – it sounds right up my alley!
    rickimc[at]aol[dot]com

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  2. CathyNo Gravatar
    2

    I’m so glad that I saw this on Twitter today! I just finished reading the first three books and will be starting book four later today. I’m looking forward to learning more about the Inspectre. What great timing to find this right in the middle of my little marathon. It would be fun to win the books and be able to read them again whenever I want, instead of having to borrow them from the library. Thanks for the great interview, both of you, and for the fun books, Anton.

    I think I get 5 entries because I’m a twitter follower (greytfriend) and I tweeted about the contest (http://mobile.twitter.com/greytfriend/status/55610736659005440). I also mentioned it on goodreads in my status update, if you think that merits points. Anton is very popular there (personally as well as as an author), it might drive even more traffic to your site. (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/159089096)

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  3. debbieNo Gravatar
    3

    This is a new author for me. The interview was really interesting. I would love to read the books.
    moc.oohaynull@21dnikafoowt

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  4. DarkevaNo Gravatar
    4

    Hiya! Huge Anton Strout fan and I loved this interview!

    Old GFC follower, new twitter follower @d00llface, tweeted about contest on my feed, and love the blog! Also have your badge featured in my sidebar on http://thedarkeva.com.

    Thanks!
    Darkeva

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  5. minhchieu tranNo Gravatar
    5

    i’ve never heard of this series before, but it sounds reallyc oool

    +2 follower on blog and twitter

    +3 tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/chieu12/status/55629476083671040

    moc.liamgnull@21raebulb

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  6. Rain maidenNo Gravatar
    6

    Author is new to me too. I love action pack stories, pleses count me in.

    moc.liamtohnull@3tmnJ

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  7. Bethany C.No Gravatar
    7

    I’ve been meaning to start this series but haven’t had as much reading time lately as I used to. You’re so right about the advantage to being a vampire- I could use eternity to catch up on all my reading/netflix.

    gfc follower and twitter follower bcardoo79

    b(dot)cardone(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  8. n0ta0cpNo Gravatar
    8

    all the books read relatively fast. there is something always going on and for those of us that visit NYC, the landmark ties-in with that and a level of reality to the unreality. (i swear I’ve been in the cafe). love the book, my son. great work,can’t wait til the next one, wherever your imagination (I hope your not really seeing these things) brings you.

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  9. Lesley D.No Gravatar
    9

    I’ve been wanting to read these books! Thanks for the giveaway!

    drakeLa90 at aol dot com

    blog & twitter follower (@lesleyboogie)
    shared on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/lesleyboogie/status/55682185339998208

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  10. ErinberryNo Gravatar
    10

    This series sounds really good. I’d love to read them. Thanks for the giveaway!
    +2 GFC follower and on twitter (Erinberry, @Erinberry12)
    +3 tweet:
    http://twitter.com/#!/Erinberry12/status/55690370062888960

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  11. VivienNo Gravatar
    11

    Another series I haven’t heard of. Thanks for the info!!
    +1 comment
    +3 spread here
    http://www.goodreads.com/event/show/114912-author-interview-giveaway-simon-canderous-by-anton-strout
    just a blog follower

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  12. Tristan BruceNo Gravatar
    12

    Hey new follower, i saw this contest while i was browsin your blog which i love by the way.
    +1 comment
    +2 blog and twitter follower (@larissaharvard)http://bit.ly/dJjYm9

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  13. Lisa RichardsNo Gravatar
    13

    +1 I gotta admit, I too would want to be a vamp, maybe then I’d have a snowballs chance in hell in finishing all the books on my shelves.

    +2 follower on blog(Lisa Richards) and twitter@alterlisa

    +3 tweeted:http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/55743522673922049

    (\___/)
    (=’.’=)
    (“)_(“)

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

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  14. Kaya HNo Gravatar
    14

    Oh I just found this author and I would love to win and read these books!

    GFC

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

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  15. Teri CrosbyNo Gravatar
    15

    I must live in a jungle to not have known this author existed. That and my local book seller is holding out on great reads from me.
    This interview and brief on the series was amazing. I want to read these books. I would love to win them. Thank you for the opportunity to learn about this author.

    +2 GFC

    terilhack at gmail dot com

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  16. Melissa (Books and Things)No Gravatar
    16

    Oh I’ve been wanting to read this series for a while now. Do enter me!

    I’m a gfc follower
    Twitter follower @BooksThings
    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/BooksThings/status/55825065853468672
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  17. JenMNo Gravatar
    17

    There are so few UF series out there with male protagonists, so I’d love to read this and to win all three books would be great. I also love the idea of the gargoyle series – good luck with that one.

    GFC follower – jen at delux dot com

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  18. Garrett JonesNo Gravatar
    18

    Anton is one cool guy. I met him ever-so-briefly at NYCC (while he was doing his best squirrel imitation over cookies, no less!) and the Canderous Novels have become one of my favorite UF series, right up there with Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, Tom Sniegoski’s Remy Chandler novels, and Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series. None of the bookstores around town got Dead Waters in on release day, so I got release day shipping from Amazon. :) Now I need to get that God costume together for cosplay. :D

    New blog follower (Garrett Jones)
    Twitter follower: myyrdneopia
    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/myyrdneopia/statuses/55828228354490368

    ….Should really get a blog started for reviews and things like this. Yeah.

    myyrdneopia [at] gmail [dot] com

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  19. Katie @ Novel SocietyNo Gravatar
    19

    hmm i haven’t read any of these before but they sound great! thanks for the giveaway!

    +2 GFC follower (Katie) and twitter follower (GirlyKat)

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  20. StephanieNo Gravatar
    20

    I haven’t heard of this series before, I will have to check it out.
    spread here http://www.goodreads.com/event/show/114976-author-interview-giveaway-simon-canderous-by-anton-strout

    blog follower

    The girl on fire
    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

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  21. ShereeNo Gravatar
    21

    Even though I shy away from anything Lovecraftian, I enjoy reading these books. Simon is fun and I do like Quimbly. There better be more books after DEAD WATERS, that’s all I’m saying..

    GFC follower and Twitter follower (infinitieh)
    tweeted: http://twitter.com/infinitieh/status/55896349987700737
    ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

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  22. JoNo Gravatar
    22

    I’ve been wanting to read this series – so many books…

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  23. Karen WapinskiNo Gravatar
    23

    I can’t believe I haven’t seen these books before. They sound exactly my type. Thank you for the giveaway.

    I am a GFC follower
    I tweeted here: http://twitter.com/#!/Parakiss25

    faefever25 at hotmail dot com

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  24. Elaina WNo Gravatar
    24

    Twitter Follower and GFC follower: ereader89

    Tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/#!/ereader89/status/58663708792061953

    moc.loanull@sdaeraniale

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  25. Jennifer KJovusNo Gravatar
    25

    I think it would be nice to read a paranormal story with a male lead character. Thanks for the great interview and recommendation for a new series to read.
    tweeted here:
    http://twitter.com/#!/kjovus/status/59819654532694016
    +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.

    2. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
    Mrs. Kjovus
    kjovusATgmailDOTcom

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