Scott Westerfeld: Goliath Q&A

Today, we are really delighted to bring you an exclusive Q&A with author Scott Westerfeld, whose new book Goliath hits stores exactly one week from today. Scott is super-busy, so we didn’t expect he’d have time for any sort of interviews, but he’s so awesome, he made time to answer a few short questions for us — and that includes some exciting news for all you fans of his Leviathan trilogy!

Now that you’re wrapping up the adventures of Alek and Deryn, are you ready to let this world go? Or do you have plans to explore the Leviathan series further, either in a companion novel or a “guide” to the world (much like you did with Bogus to Bubbly for the Uglies series)?

Keith (my illustrator) and I have planned to do a guide from the beginning, a big full-color art book like the Spiderwick Field Guide. We have a number of pieces that Keith created to map out the world: deck plans of the Leviathan, cutaways of Alek’s Stormwalker, uniforms and walkers lashings of beasties. Basically, it’s like the Manual of Aeronautics that Deryn carries around (and will be called exactly that). It’ll come out next year, along with the paperback of Goliath.

I absolutely adore Keith Thompson’s illustrations in all of the Leviathan books. Do you have a favorite?

In a funny way, the first one he ever finished is still my favorite. That’s “Ascending,” the one from Chapter 4 of Leviathan, in which Deryn is flying away on her Huxley, with the proving grounds below and storm clouds visible in the distance. It’s a perfect little composition, and puts you instantly into both the drama of the situation and of the world itself.

Leviathan was really the first book to introduce me to the concept of “Steampunk,” but I’ve since become mildly obsessed. What is it about “Steampunk,” do you think that’s so captivating?

In this era of injected-plastic blobjects, it harkens to a time when things were handmade and ornate, but at the same time a bit tough. Like an old steam engine: fancy and opulent, but it’ll burn you if you get too close.

If they made a Scott Westerfeld candle, what would it smell like?

Like flying fox, the musky fruit bat that inhabits Sydney’s Botanical Gardens.

Favorite cartoon?

Old-School: Thundercats.

New-School: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla, but the kiss-ass kind with little black dots in it.

Your personal theme song?

Patty Smith’s “Horses,” especially when it goes into “Land of a Thousand Dances.”

You’re on a deserted island and have to read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

War and Peace, because I’ve always meant to read it and, let’s face it, exile on a desert island is pretty much the only way it’s going to happen.

Favorite book as a child?

Charlotte’s Web, which shows the power of the word.

Secret talent?

I can imitate Donald Duck in both cheeks simultaneously, singing in harmony with myself.

Thanks again to Scott for taking the time to answer our questions! If you’d like to meet Scott in person, he’s going on tour! Check out his upcoming appearances online, and in particular take note that he’ll be among the many authors attending Wordstock Festival in October!

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