Steven Savile has written for Doctor Who, Torchwood, Primeval, Stargate, Warhammer, Slaine, Fireborn, Pathfinder, Arkham Horror, Risen, and other popular game and comic worlds.
Tell us one thing you loved or found fascinating about a place you have lived.
I used to joke that I emigrated to Sweden because it smelled so good. Even the subway smelled good, crowded with people at rush hour, even on the hottest days, both women and men. It was all expensive designer cologne and perfume, obviously, but beyond that I was renting a little place and on the street corner was one of the biggest bakeries in the area, so I’d come home at one in the morning from the pub and the entire street smelled of cinnamon. The experience actually inspired one of my favourite—and I suspect best—short stories, Icarus Descending, which was published by Len and Mick at Engimatic Press. The notion behind it was that there are only so many real people in the world and that they’re creating the world around them as they move through it, and all of those really powerful smells, fresh cut grass, cinnamon from the bakery etc, are all signature scents of those real people busy creating.
What did you want to be when you grew up (other than a writer if that was an option)?
I always wanted to be a sports journalist – football specifically. But in terms of more esoteric choices, I wanted to be a professional cricketer. I used to train down at Sussex with Imran Kahn and Paul Parker as, at the time, I was one of the better slip fielders in the county, but I was convinced to go get an education and find a real job. Well, I showed them, I went and became a writer. Bet they wished I’d become a cricketer now!
Which super hero would you most like to be and why?
I can only name about three superheroes, and I have very little interest in all of the Marvel stuff. I’m not a fan of the idea of super powers, so for that reason, I’d be the big black bat. I mean, who doesn’t want to say ‘I’m Batman’ at least once and mean it?
It’s finally happened! The zompoc is here! Name four things in your ‘go bag’ and your primary weapon.
A toothbrush, because dental hygiene is important, obviously. Soap, because come on, it might be the end of the world, but no one wants to die smelly. A bullet with my name on it. That way I know I’m not going to get shot as I’ve got the offending lump of lead. A corker, and a cricket bat. It doesn’t have to be the end of civilisation just because the dead have risen after all. Maybe we can get a few overs in and defend ourselves at the same time.
What is your go to comfort book or writer when you can’t settle into anything new?
I don’t really. There are only a few books I’ve ever read twice. I do have a few writers I’ll queue up to buy their new books, and always put down whatever I’m reading to start theirs: Stephen Lawhead, Clive Barker, Lee Child, Jonathan Carroll, and most of those are down to the fact I’ve been reading the guys for a long time now.
What is the single most important thing to your writing process?
Coffee. It’s a ritual. It gets me out of the house. Without coffee I’d never see another living soul. I’d be locked away in my basement studio writing and never come up for air. Coffee is my social lubricant.
If you could collaborate with any author who would it be and what would you write together?
Clive Barker. I have no idea what we’d write. Something fabulous and dark and sexy, obviously.