Erika Swyler

The Play­wright and food blog­ger Writ­ing books about books. also mer­maids

SFX - - Red alert -

What is The Book Of Spec­u­la­tion about?

It’s about Si­mon Watson, a re­search li­brar­ian who re­ceives a mys­te­ri­ous book which un­earths a fam­ily curse that’s been killing women in his fam­ily for cen­turies. He’s fran­tic to break the curse be­fore his sis­ter be­comes its next vic­tim. His ef­forts lead him to un­cover the twisted history of a trav­el­ling cir­cus in the 1790s, drown­ing mer­maids, tarot, star-crossed lovers, and the se­cret lives his par­ents led.

What are the big themes/ideas you tackle in the book?

In­her­i­tance, loss, obli­ga­tion, and the dif­fer­ent shapes love and fam­ily can take. I went broad with themes. They’re tied to­gether through a love for books and the writ­ten word. It’s in no small way a book for bib­lio­philes.

How long did it take you to write?

It took the bet­ter part of a decade to fig­ure out not just what I wanted to write, but how to write it. I had the idea long be­fore I had the skill to com­mit it to pa­per. I’ve lost count of the num­ber of drafts, but there are more than enough pages to fill a room.

Which SF/fan­tasy au­thors would you like to be com­pared to in a dream re­view?

Su­sanna Clarke or Neil Gaiman would be right up there. Those com­par­isons are never go­ing to hap­pen for me, but I deeply ad­mire the hu­mour and in­tel­li­gence that bub­bles in their writ­ing. I also have an enor­mous book crush on Kirsty Lo­gan.

The Book Of Spec­u­la­tion is pub­lished by At­lantic Books on 4 Fe­bru­ary.

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