Tim Lebbon – the man behind ECHO CITY

As this is Echo City’s (UK | ANZ) launch week, we thought we’d take time to examine the man behind the city, as it were. We were driven by a misson to explain and examine, and I guess a deep nosiness regarding our authors. But perhaps I’d best not go into that and instead go into these answers Tim was kind enough to provide …

Why are you so dark?!
The most interesting stories for me are those featuring characters either in extreme peril, or whose lives are in turmoil. The peril might be of a spiritual or psychological nature, or it could be someone threatened by a great big monster, and Echo City features characters in both situations (and sometimes at the same time!). I like creating characters, making myself and hopefully readers empathise with them … and then challenging them with some of the most dreadful trials. That’s dark. But in truth, I see light and hope in everything I write, however dark it may be perceived. Echo City is no exception.

What were your early influences in terms of books/tv/films?
Doctor Who terrified me when I was young (genuine behind-the-sofa moments), as well as a series called Children of the Stones (anyone remember that?). I consumed the Adventure series of novels by Willard Price, and then when I was ten my mother gave me a copy of James Herbert’s The Rats. Say no more.

What are your current influences?
Writers I enjoy include Dan Simmons, China Mieville, Iain Banks (and ‘M’), Shirley Jackson, Cormac McCarthy, John Connolly, Poppy Z. Brite, Neil Gaiman, Dennis Lehane … countless others. I love movies, and I also think some of the TV series being produced in the USA are masterful.

Some writers say where they live influences their writing. Does your location influence your books?
Absolutely. Place is so important … Echo City itself is one of my novel’s main characters. A couple of minutes’ running in any direction from where I live takes me out into the countryside. I spend a lot of time walking, cycling, and running the locals woods, hills and mountains, and I think my love of nature and the wild is obvious in most of my writing. I can’t imagine living without it … and that idea is also explored in Echo City. Lots of my characters live without seeing anything green. And perhaps it drives them mad.