Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your novel, Written in Fire! As the final chapter of the Brilliance book series, what are you most looking forward to sharing with readers?
Marcus Sakey: I always conceived of this series as a trilogy, so I’m most excited that now people can follow the story beginning to end. The books are pretty much contiguous, with all three spanning less than a year of “book time,” and decisions made in each directly shaping the others. We’ve all had those beloved series that peter out in the middle, and I really didn’t want to leave anyone hanging.
BD: What was the most challenging aspect of bringing the series to a close, and do you feel that there will be opportunities to revisit the Brilliance world?
MS: One of the most challenging parts of writing any book is trying to tie up all the plotlines without getting overly neat. But for a trilogy, that’s exponentially harder, and there were plenty of days when Written in Fire kicked my ass. That said, I quite honestly couldn’t be happier with how it all came together, and so far readers seem pleased, too. As far as revisiting it, who knows? I don’t have any plans, but life is long, and I enjoyed writing these immensely.
BD: With a move adaptation of the series currently in the works, how do you feel that the visual medium will enhance and evolve your work?
MS: Film adaptations are a crapshoot. All you can do is sign on with passionate people who have a vision, and then cross your fingers. The good news is that the Brilliance Trilogy takes place in an alternate present, essentially our world, just modified to include the impact of the 1% of people born as savants. That means that it won’t need to have a hundred million dollar VFX budget. Which is a good thing, because story and character always trump explosions.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from Written in Fire and the series as a whole?
MS: My goal is to create entertainment for smart people. I want to write books that keep you up too late or make you blow your train stop, and yet which exist in shades of grey, and include questions that linger. So while the books are unabashedly thrillers, they are also explorations intolerance, governmental control, the costs of doing the ‘right’ thing, and especially the twitchy fear we seem so willing to fall prey to these days.
BD: For readers who may be unfamiliar with the Brilliance series, would you recommend it to a specific demographic or to fans of certain genres or properties?
MS: Well, if you’re into books where the cat solves a mystery, these books probably aren’t for you. But it was important to me not to write to a particular demographic. This series has action, suspense, romance, duty, love, sacrifice, massive stakes, all the good stuff. I’m a big proponent of the notion of leaving it all on the field, every time.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you are able to share with our readers?
MS: One funny thing about publishing is that by the time a book comes out, you’re already deep into the next. I’m well along in my new novel, another speculative thriller, which is something like The Lovely Bones crossed with The Matrix. I’m pretty giddy about it.
BD: What is the best way for readers to find Written in Fire and your other work?
MS: The books are for sale online, in chains, and in independent bookstores. I’m a big fan of the latter, but I’m just delighted that people want to read the books at all, so I won’t get picky about where you buy them. If you’d like to learn more about the series and my other books, the easiest place is my website, cleverly located at MarcusSakey.com.