Interview with Marcus Sakey, Author of Written in Fire

18 Jan 2016
Tell us a little bit about your new release, Written in Fire.

The Brilliance trilogy takes place in an alternate present where 1% of people are born with exceptional gifts, akin to savants. The question is, when one person in a hundred is objectively superior, what happens to the other 99 of us? The entire trilogy takes place across a bit less than a year, perhaps the most tumultuous in human history. The pressure on society is becoming overwhelming. Terrorists have seized cities, crippled the armed forces, and assassinated the president. The government has responded with internment camps and sanctioned murder. Most people just want life to return to normal, but as the sides engage and the stakes spiral higher, the nature of humanity–and our future–is on the line.

If you could invent anything, what would it be?

A source of clean, abundant, inexpensive energy. Oh, and a burrito that microwaves itself. That would be sweet.

Who is your favorite fictional character from literature?

Han Solo. Mic drop.

If you were born “Brilliant”, what would your special skill be?

The one I gave to Shannon Azzi, a freedom fighter/agent provocateur. She can read people’s motion and intentions as vectors, allowing her to move almost invisibly. But the real benefit would be never having to wait in line.

What will your next adventure be?

I’ve had a lot of fun “researching” my books via adventure: diving for pirate treasure, rappelling with SWAT teams, pub crawling South Boston with a bank robber, even being pepper sprayed. I love that kind of stuff–well, mostly, the pepper spray sucked–and always look for an opportunity to do it. I can’t say this will be my next, but one day I want to do an ocean crossing in a sailboat. Something about being out in all that blue, under all those stars, with no one for hundreds of miles, well, it sounds scary as hell and absolutely worth doing.

What’s on your writing desk?

A coffee mug, a candle, a lava light I rarely turn on, a flick knife a cop buddy of mine gave me, and often a cat.

What’s your favorite quote or scene from Written in Fire?

“Good men would never acknowledge that fire is most seductive when it is not in control.” Kinda sums up the whole series.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

Personally, it’s “Ask forgiveness, not permission.”
Professionally, it’s “Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard.”

Actually, now that I see them juxtaposed, they’d work the other way too.

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Marcus Sakey is the author of the new book Written in Fire.

Connect with Marcus
Author Website
 Twitter

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Sarah Pannenberg