The Shivered Sky - Interview with the Creator.
(25. Dec 2003)
1) Easy Question. Why such a biblical theme to your book? Was there
something to inspire you to use this as a basis to your story?
I get asked quite a bit if this is a 'Christian' novel or a 'Pagan' novel,
etc., and I'm never quite sure how to answer. I've always been interested
in world religions, and as a teenager, I was overly obsessed with the
concept of life after death. That was my inspiration. However, my interest
has not led to real personal spirituality. I am not a Christian, and this
is not a Christian novel. I'm not a pagan either, or an atheist, or any
other religion. I think agnostic is what best describes me. Still... most
my writing has a definite religious flavor. I can't really explain why.
It's where my writing leads me.
2) I couldn't help but notice that while the book has elements of Fantasy
(Angels, Demons, etc), that, it doesn't fit at all in the genre. It
had a more science fiction feel to it. Was this on purpose?
My three favourite genres to read are fantasy, horror, and war, and I set
out to combine those elements. However, it didn't really make sense that
Heaven would be without technology. I decided to create a world that was
more technologically advanced than what we currently know. So I guess it
does have a light sci-fi feel to it, too. A lot of the feedback I get
suggests people view it as a modern war/political novel with a fantasy
setting and cast.
3) I am wondering how much of this book was just ideas from your head, and
on actual research? Say, the actual demons, and the hierarchy of Angels?
I did a great deal of research for this book, and I used elements from
more than ten different religions to create the cast of characters. While
I did make up a few of the demon races, and fiddled with a few more, a
vast majority of them come from various religions or mythologies. The
hierarchy of the angels, and the names of each of the angel castes, also
comes from the work of biblical scholars. On my website
(http://www.mattdinniman.com) I've created a glossary that describes the
demons and angels, and it notes the origins of each one.
4) In the novel, you made it appear that the some of the demons weren't
actually bad. That, really, they weren't any different than anyone else.
Why did you do this?
Without giving away too much of the plot, (in the book) humans and human
nature as we know it comes from a combination of angel and demon.
Therefore it would only make sense to give the demons and angels some
One of my biggest pet peeves in reading has always been characters that are
strictly black and white. You have the good guys and you have the bad
guys. In reality, it is rarely like that. While evil certainly exists, it
almost always has a motivation. And it rarely views itself as evil. What
if some of those motivations justify their actions?
5) For those who haven't read this book, this next question you'll want to
avoid. What's next? Obviously, this book works alone, but, you definitely
left us with some pretty big questions.
I purposely left the ending a little open to allow myself room for a pair
of sequels. But I also wanted a solid ending. If I do create future books
in this story, they will complement each other, but they'll also stand-alone. I always get nervous starting a series that isn't yet finished (I'm
constantly thinking, what if George R.R. Martin drops dead?). I want to
avoid that. If I get hit by a train, it's nice to know I'll be dead
without leaving anyone hanging.
Matt Dinimmanís book can be purchased at his website, or at Amazon. The ISBN number is 1-931095-51-5.