Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Spotlight: An Interview with Sorin Suciu

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing author Sorin Suciu. His novel, The Scriptlings, is slated to release September 22nd from AEC Stellar Publishing.

According to the AEC Stellar website, Sorin Suciu is a gamer by vocation and an office dweller by dint of circumstance, Sorin lives in the beautiful city of Vancouver with his wonderful wife and their vicious parrot. Born in Romania, Sorin has stubbornly resisted the temptation to learn English for well over twenty years. When he finally gave up, it was not work and nor was it video games that weakened his resolve, but rather the mindboggling discovery of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and Monty Python. With such teachers, it is no wonder that, much in the same way some lucky people learn to ride before they walk, Sorin has learned to be funny before being fluent.

Now a fluently funny author, he is equally thrilled and terrified to share his debut novel The Scriptlings with the rest of the geeks out there.

Mariah: When did you decide to become a writer?
Sorin: I believe the conscious decision to become a writer came to me the day I finished what was at the time the last novel in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. I felt that, having devoured all humorous fantasy I could find, the only sensible thing to do was to start producing some on my own.

Mariah: Tell me a bit about your book?
Sorin: I’m sure you have already found this description on my website, but I’m quite fond of it so I will use it again.

The Scriptlings is a tongue-in-cheek contemporary fantasy aimed at geeks and mortals alike. It has been best described as the unlikely, yet strangely charismatic lovechild you would expect if Magic and Science were to have one too many drinks during a stand-up comedy show in Vegas.

Sales pitch aside, it is a fun story, full of geeky references and unusual characters who will compete for your attention, and quite possibly, affection.

Mariah: What drew you to this particular genre?
Sorin: I regard humor and fantasy as two of the pinnacle achievements of the human mind, right next to the metric system and the automatic transmission. Humorous fantasy should, therefore, generate the kind of synergy rivaled only by that of the automatic metric transmission. It’s a fact.

Mariah: Where did your idea for The Scriptlings come from?
Sorin: As I have mentioned in other interviews, and I apologize for repeating this word for word, I believe the main idea behind the story – that of Syntax being the language of both computers and magic − was inspired by Richard Dawkins and his “The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like.” (River Out of Eden, 1995).
Sure enough, the way genes trigger various actions is hard to distinguish from object-oriented programming. The very fact that we have discovered this similarity after actually inventing the first programming language is remarkable.

Mariah: Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers? Define some of those.
Sorin:  Well, the title itself is a word you won’t find in any dictionary… yet. As a side comment, I’ve recently learned that they’ve introduced the words “twerking” and “selfie” in the Oxford dictionary. So, you never know.
The word “scriptling” refers to a magician apprentice, and it is formed from the root “script” (as in computer script) and the suffix “–ling”, used here to suggest a sense of belonging.
Another unusual word, and this one I didn’t have to create myself, is Merkin – one of my main characters. I have written a nice little article about the origins of this word on my blog, so make sure to check it out.

Mariah: Who is your favorite character in your book? Why?
Sorin: I’m kind of torn between Merkin and Stapley. Both of them are extremely fun to write and have very strong voices. But if I had to choose, then I’ll probably go with Stapley, who is a magical personal assistant, bearing a completely accidental resemblance to Microsoft’s Office Assistant – Clippy, while acting a lot like P.G. Woodehouse’s Jeeves. He is loyal, obsequious to the point of being annoying, full of hidden talents and, all in all, the best friend you could ask for.

Mariah: If you could introduce your main character to a fictional character from any book, who would it be, and what would they talk about?
Sorin: I think my Buggeroff would enjoy the company of Arthur Dent. They are both charmingly clueless, well intended, unwilling heroes; and it would be nice for them to sit down and enjoy a gin and tonic without being forced into saving the world, for once.

Mariah: What future projects can your readers look forward to?
Sorin: I started blogging, which is an interesting experience to say the least. Other than that, I’m gathering material for a sequel to The Scriptlings, called The Masters, and for a standalone novel, tentatively titled Son of Neither.

The Scriptlings on Facebook
Visit Sorin Suciu on Facebook

I would like to thank Sorin for being my very first author interview. Congratulations on the upcoming release of your novel, Sorin.