Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) is the international bestselling author of the wildly popular Artemis Fowl series, which won the British Childrenís Book of the Year Award and has sold over 18 million copies. Heís also the author of Half Moon Investigations, which was the basis for a TV series in 2009, plus The Supernaturalist and Airman. Owenís latest book is the highly anticipated sixth installment to the late Douglas Adams' popular Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series and is called And Another Thing. Eoin lives in Ireland.|
This episode originally aired on 10/15/2009 with the following authors:
Note: The following interview has been transcribed from The Author Hour radio show. Please excuse any typos, spelling and gramatical errors.
Interview with Eoin Colfer
Bonus Question(s) that Didn't Air on the Live Radio Show
Well, let me ask you a bonus question. And Another Thing is your first book for adults.
What was it like writing a book for adults compared to writing for a younger audience?
I thought I would find it more difficult than writing for young adults. But I actually didnít. In a way it was like the speed limiter was taken off the car and I could just go as fast as I wanted and I could say what I wanted and I could use any theme I wanted to do. Now, having said that, the themes are not very risque and I donít use bad language really, so, but I just felt that I could if I wanted to and it really freed me up. So, I think writing this book has been the most fun Iíve had of all of my books and I think actually the writing of it is going to be the best part of the experience. So, you know, it was great fun. You did have to think a little bit harder and I had to fight myself not to foreshadow stuff. When youíre writing a kids book you have to leave big hints along the way maybe sometimes. With this book you just let little tiny hints, you know people will pick up on them. Because I think the people who read hitchhiker books are by and large a highly intelligent bunch, so they wonít have any problem picking up on little tid bits I drop here and there and references back to the original five books.
Extra Material That was Cut from the Radio Show Because of Time Constraints
Eoin Colfer: So, I gave up for a while then, and I went over seas and I wrote a few plays and I dabbled here and there, but eventually I came to rest in a town in North Africa. I was still teaching and my wife and I became involved with this orphanage and I helped out street kids. Really then I couldnít help but write that story down and I did and I actually got a publisher, and pretty quickly. But I think what had happened was I had spent 10 years in between the 2 books, finding a style, that was a good style and learning to write something that was real and true, so when I finally did get a book out, it was something that I could be really genuinely proud of and not something Iíd kind of cobbled together from various other books. My first book was largely Tarzan, set in Ireland. If Iím honest, and I was kind of ďwhat would really sell?" and I thought well, something like Tarzan, and I put a few Vikings in there as well. But with the second book which was called Benny and Omar, I never thought like that. It was, this is the story, and if people want to read it great, and if they donít well, you know . . . and I did my best.
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Matthew Peterson: Well, your main character, Artemis Fowl, is a genius, so you would expect him to be thinking a little bit more maturely than a normal young teenage kid.
Eoin Colfer: Trouble is, Iím not a genius. [Both laugh]
It takes me months to think up the things that a genius thinks that Artemis does off the cuff. So, but thatís a very important point, that he is a genius, so at least one genius-like thing must happen per book to justify that monitor, so . . .
Matthew Peterson: Yep.
Eoin Colfer: I spend a lot of time thinking about, ďWhat would be a nice genius thing to happen here?"
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Matthew Peterson: And youíre writing the last one [Artemis Fowl book]. Is it the last one of the series that youíre writing or that will come up next?
Eoin Colfer: I donít know, Matthew. I donít know if itís going to be the last one. It will be the last one for a while because I think I want to do some other things. But I would never say never because the end of this story that Iím working on at the moment does not really tie up all the loose ends. So, I would think I will write this one and maybe do two or three other books and maybe come back, but I donít really plan that far ahead. I know some writers have the last . . . they know exactly how many books are going to be in it and they know whatís going to happen at the end, but my books are . . . each book is a separate adventure, so itís not one story arch that continues on until the big battle at the end where good versus evil and one is killed. Mine are more like little James Bond books Ė each one is a separate adventure.
Matthew Peterson: Yeah, thatís true. I like that you said James Bond because it does have a big James Bond feel to it.
Eoin Colfer: It does. I was very influenced by Bond especially the Connery Bonds, the first movie I ever saw on the big screen was Thunderball and imagine if youíre a kid in the country in Ireland and this is the first movie you see, itís kind of the epitome of sophistication and class and wit. I mean, I was hugely influenced by that, and I think, even so much that I have a few of the characters myself in the books: a centaur who gives out all the various gadgets . . .
Matthew Peterson: Thatís true, thatís true.
Eoin Colfer: But heís become more than that, I think, but in the initial book he was certainly just a cipher for Q in a way, but thatís the kind of influence they had on me.
Matthew Peterson: And speaking of movies . . . how is the Artemis Fowl movie coming along?
Eoin Colfer: Itís slow. Itís in kind of in production hell, I think is the phrase over there, but Airman, which is another one. Thatís coming along really quickly, in fact, theyíve overtaken it. Thatís in production now. Theyíre making out of stop motion 3-D and itís in the script writing stage now, so I think thatís going to be great. From what Iíve seen and what Iíve heard, thatís going to be fantastic. The Artemis movie, I donít know, I think itís kind of, itís stuck in the doldrums, but Iím always hopeful that Iíll get a phone call, and say, well itís gone ahead now and theyíve sorted out the problems and itís in production.
Matthew Peterson: And thereís graphic novels, and so thereís lots of stuff for us to wait for as the graphic novels come out. If weíre not getting a new book coming out, at least weíll have graphic novels.
Eoin Colfer: Well, the graphic novel . . . the 2nd graphic novel is just out and then the new book should be out next summer. Iím trying to not keep the wait too long.
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