Episode 46 | Sylvain Neuvel

***GIVEAWAY: Sylvain Neuvel and The Leighgendarium would like to give one winner a hardback copy of Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods as well as a signed bookplate from Sylvain for each book. To get registered, answering the following question in the comment section:

What was your favorite part of this episode?

Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is only open to those in the Continental United States. The giveaway will run until Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Good luck everyone!***

Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were an astronaut. He likes to tinker, dabbles in robotics and is somewhat obsessed with Halloween. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course).

Awards & Nominations for Sleeping Giants:

Finalist – 2017 Audie Awards in Science Fiction
2017 ALA Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration
Longlist – CBC Canada Reads 2017
Finalist – Best Science Fiction 2016 – Goodreads Choice Awards
Shortlist – Best First Book – QWF Awards

To learn more about Sylvain Neuvel and his books visit his website.

You can also visit the website for The Themis Files here.

You can also follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

All of his books can be found on Amazon.


Make sure you check out our Patreon page. We have started a new podcast called 10 Questions With. . .. You can find the Patreon page here.

Would like to support 30-Minute Author Interviews or the blog but cannot do a Patreon right now? We now have a Tip Jar where you can give a one time donation. Your generous donation will help us continue to Shine A Light On Indie Publishing. Click Here for the Tip Jar.

I would like to thank a few of our Patreon Supporters:
Nick Braker
Maggie Stewart-Grant
ThirdScribe
Diane S. Loftis



Our Sponsors:

About leighgendarium

Preston Leigh, with the help of many in the indie community, is the founder of The Leighgendarium.

26 Responses to Episode 46 | Sylvain Neuvel

  1. Great interview! I loved Sleeping Giants and can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series! I enjoyed hearing about the author’s road to success. Well deserved.

  2. This pod was so cool! It was so interesting to learn about Sylvain’s life beyond his novels. My favorite part was unmistakably when he answered my question; I really enjoyed reading Quantum Night also! He’s a big inspiration to be as an aspiring author, so it was cool to learn who inspires/inspired him.

    • Profile Cover Art

      Andromeda, Thank you for listening. I am glad you enjoyed the podcast. I am glad you enjoyed his answer to your question.
      Don’t forget to check our back catalog on episodes as well. You might find a new favorite author.

  3. Another great interview! I had heard about this book but have not read it. I enjoyed hearing Sylvain’s inspiration for the books & his thoughts about his favorite characters.

  4. I thought this was a really good interview, but I guess my favorite part was when he started talking about the email from Kirkus Reviews. And then he goes on to talk about his process of selling the movie rights, and then getting the literary agent, and the whole time he just seems so humble and surprised by it all. I can’t wait til I can read book 2!

  5. Profile Cover Art

    My favorite part of the episode was actually a series of little bits and pieces: Sylvain’s talking about selling his homemade comic books as a child, his colorful life experiences traveling through 35 of the 50 United States.and getting a degree in linguistics. In a way, it all adds up to one thing overall: everything in his life led up to that crazy month where it all came together. It’s like the universe was telling him he was made to be an author.

    My second most favorite was that crazy month itself, the amazing story of the Kirkus review, the movie agent at CAA, selling the rights, getting a literary agent as well, leading to his contract with Del Rey. That was truly serendipity in action.

    Third favorite: his answer for my Star Wars question. 🙂 That experience he had with it and how it came about was pretty cool.

  6. Favorite part was definitely when he talked about his trip from Montreal to California “just for fun.” Lol reminds me to be young and reckless! Haha. I agree with Donna and Chris though, the part on the crazy month was fun to hear from him too

  7. I loved this! There were so many good parts, it’s so difficult to pick a favorite! I think my favorite part might be when he said he made sci-fi comic books and sold them when he was little. His accent is pretty awesome too! I’m currently reading Sleeping Giants (almost done!) and I really enjoyed hearing a bit about the story behind this incredible trilogy!!! It’s so cool that this all came from his son asking questions.

    • Profile Cover Art

      Hey Rachael, I am glad you loved the episode. That was pretty neat that he did that.
      Thanks for listening. I hope you are able to go back and listen to other episodes and that you find a new favorite author.

  8. Profile Cover Art

    Question: “What was your favorite part of this episode?”


    First: Full disclosure: I stopped listening at the 23:01 minute mark. If that disqualifies me then.. okay.
    But I will add this, in my defense: I had lost my hearing, completely lost it, earlier this year and it’s only recently returned. Noises… echo, inside my ears now, which is a marked improvement from the Sounds of Silence – so I’m not complaining. I’m just saying… listening to audio echos in my ears. I still can’t make phone calls yet, have to get someone else to do them for me for doctors appointments, etc, because the echoing is really horrid using a phone, less horrid listen on the computer to things (and I have fairly decent speakers), but even listening to speaking In Person depends on how long I am listening, exact tones, little nuances in people’s voices, if a person speaks in a level voice or if their voice rises and falls very much, if the person stays with his or her mouth pointed in my exact direction, etc.


    Next – I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the interview that I was able to listen to. I heard Preston’s voice, which I had only heard a few times in the past (I always tended to read the reviews, even before I lost my hearing, as it was always hard for me to stop whatever I was doing long enough to give a Listen to a review my undivided attention – but have always loved reading them when I was able to devote my total attention to them). That was cool – I never realized how much Preston sounds as if he is from the South. I also found out how to say “Sylvain”, which was cool, because I was unsure how the author’s name is supposed to be pronounced.


    Next – to the Real Answer to the Question posed:
    I got to also hear Sylvain’s voice. You, dear Sir, have a very interesting voice. You have a lot of voice patterns going on in your speech. At times, you sound as if you are from the USA, West Coast, sometimes you south as if you’re from the USA, East Coast. And – what I found extraordinarily interesting – was when your voice would flip into sounding as if you are from S. America or even Mexico. Not only that – but sometimes, your voice sounded as if you’re from Asia. Which, when I listened and heard these things – intrigued me to no end. I thought to my self, “Self – he could be Anywhere… and blend in. He could be absolutely in Any Country and sound as if he were Born there, if he knew how to speak the language From that country.”


    And, see, I don’t KNOW if you know a lot of languages or not, but if do – I know this – you could appear as if you were a Native to any country you visited. For certain you could appear as if you were born in any part of the US where you visited.


    Which brings me to my second favorite thing about the Podcast:
    The fact that you left school at age 15 and didn’t go back until later… Not sure at what age, if you said I apologize, I failed to hear that part or I heard it and it didn’t ‘stick’ as well as the other parts did. I have a Traumatic Brain Injury and… sometimes I miss things that other people catch. I like to say I’m not really stupid, now, I am just slowed down a bit. 😉 And, that is actually the thuth, and my brain is Trying to become ‘more well’ every day.


    Anyway – I tend to be long winded, too.


    Here’s the deal: I quit school at age 15, too. I officially had a ninth grade education, was in the middle of the tenth grade when they told my visiting grandfather they had done all they could do for him, the cancer was spreading, and told him to go home from the hospital. So… I agreed to drive him HOME, actually, truly drive him all the way Home, not just to my parents home, where he had been staying while trying to be cured from cancer. Knowing my Mom would say No, we had intended to slip out while she was at work – she worked late two nights a week, but she came home early that time… Told me I was NOT going to go, wasn’t going to drop out of school, wasn’t going to take her Daddy home, he would stay THERE, with us. First time I ever stood up to my Moma… I told her I was going to do it, either then, or the next day when she wasn’t home.


    She ended up relenting, and I spent over a year with my grandfather learning So Many Things… More than I ever could have learned at school.


    Then, like you, there is the fact that I also had Many many jobs before I went back to school. I had been a volunteer since I was age 12 or 13, so I still did that sort of thing, but Also – I worked on a Shrimp Boat (lived on it, actually), drove a cab, worked as a respite caregiver for the families of the ill, worked at places where the ill sometimes lived, called group homes, and so on… Eventually, I went to college too, but they said I HAD to get a GED (High School Equivalency Test) or I could never become a licensed Therapist (Mental Health) nor a Licensed Social Scientist… So while I did get that GED taken care of – and I continued with college for around fifteen years (almost all of which was FT) I do not have a single degree… because, quite frankly, I stink at sciences because I stink at math. I can keep my checkbook balanced, if I have any money in it, and that’s about it.


    So, that is the other thing, Sylvain, that I found interesting. That you went a path similar to the one I took, and you not only got a degree – but you wrote a BOOK.


    Because… I did that too, from ‘scratch’. I read about how to do it and ‘self-published’ my very own book, from start to finish. I wrote the book, drew and painted the cover, then I cut sturdy pieces of paper together and made a book cover, gently and painstakingly glued the pages into it and – there it was – My ONLY Published Book to date! I was in elementary school at the time. It wasn’t a school project, I just wanted to be a writer, so I did that.


    It seems to me as if we have had parallel lives… Except – you did get your degree and you are published… and I not only never got a degree but I write every day and likely won’t ever become published.


    Just answering this is hard for me because it means I had to be In The Public Eye. I have PTSD from the attack that gave me Traumatic Brain Injury (which is why my hearing has a tendency to come and go – calcium deposits (or, perhaps more realistic is: tiny bone pieces) breaking loose and swimming around in there sometimes lodge in my ear canals). Just being in Facebook took a lot of effort – I deleted my original account and didn’t have one at all for a while after that last attack. (I’ve had two major attacks, in my home(s), while being robbed, and was NOT living in bad areas).


    To recap: My FAVORITE parts are… That you did things similar to what *I* did, but finished college, got a degree, AND have not just one but a few books published. AND – you have at least one child. I never had a child born to me, but if I tell that story, too, I’ll bore you to tears.

    I will say this: My ONE Favorite Part is: I am HAPPY for you. You got to travel, see things, meet lots of people (I did too) – but – you Also got to have a son born to you and… you’re a published author. And I’m still sort of on the fence on if I will ever let myself even Self Publish any of my stories.


    Thanks for letting me answer this. Of course, I hope I win, but even if I don’t… I was recently gifted an eBook copy of “Sleeping Giants” and find it Deliciously Brilliant. When I read, I read ‘between the lines’… I read read into a story what it FEELS like, to be each of the people In the story. I sort of become each person, and I feel what they are feeling when I read their words and their descriptions. I like to do that to when I read, to get to feel like what it would be IF I were that person, in the story being told.

    …and I can’t say much more about it, yet, because I haven’t finished reading… But I’ll say this: I am truly enjoying it. Thank you for writing it.

    • Profile Cover Art

      Oops… I goofed. Nothing new there. (BIG-grin)
      TYPOS:
      Spelling of ‘truth’
      ” 😉 And, that is actually the thuth, and my brain is Trying to become ‘more well’ every day.”

      Repetitive:
      “I read read into a story what it FEELS like, to be each of the people In the story.”

      Misplaced word:
      ‘to’
      ” I like to do that to when I read, to get to feel like what it would be IF I were that person, in the story being told.”

  9. Hey Preston, silly me forgot when you announce the winner of this giveaway. I want to mark my calendar so I don’t forget to check. I think this is your best giveaway to date!!!

  10. Pingback: Is Waking Gods My Book Of The Year 2017? | The Leighgendarium

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *