KryptonSite Interview With Paul Simpson - Author of Smallville: The Official Companion
Sept. 12, 2004 - Interview conducted by Craig Byrne (

This month sees the release of an official companion book for the first season of Smallville. The book's author, Paul Simpson, was kind enough to answer some questions for us about the book and himself, to share with KryptonSite's readers and give you an idea of who and what went into this project....

KRYPTONSITE: Let's start at the begninning. How and when did you begin writing about television?

PAUL SIMPSON: Initially I began as a fan. I grew up as a fan of Doctor Who, the old British series, and when I was about 12 or so, contacted the show's former script editor Terrance Dicks, who was then writing a lot of the novelisaions of the series, and asked if he'd be interested in doing an interview.

It was more for my own benefit, but through Terrance I met up with Mac Hulke, who was his old writing partner, and a former writer on Doctor Who and The Avengers. Around the same time I became involved with organised Doctor Who fandom, and the interviews started to see print in fanzines.

K-SITE: Beyond Doctor Who, what other series have you covered journalistically?

SIMPSON: Professionally, I was editor of DreamWatch for nearly five years, from 1995 to 2000, so covered the shows that were current then. Since 2000, when I went freelance, I've covered most of the SF shows shooting out of Vancouver and Los Angeles. And of course, I wrote the books chronicling the history of Farscape.

K-SITE: When did you write your first Companion book? Was Farscape the first?

SIMPSON: It was the first licensed book on a series; however Andy Lane and I had written The Bond Files, an unofficial examination of all things 007 (still available from all good bookshops!) before then.

K-SITE: Why did you choose to write about Smallville for a companion book?

SIMPSON: Very simple: I was asked to write about Smallville by Titan Books. Adam Newell, the editor there, asked me if I was interested in doing a similar book on Smallville to the four we'd done on Farscape together. I had already pitched a book on the series so they knew I was interested, and I'd been trying - without luck - to go on set.

K-SITE: Was there anything that particularly surprised you when putting this together?

SIMPSON: In terms of the information I learned, there were always things that you'd never have guessed until you were told - the Arnie connection that Al and Miles revealed in the Foreword is a prime example of that. But in terms of the writing of the book, what pleased us all immensely was the great co-operation and honesty of the cast and crew. if something didn't work, they weren't afraid to say so.

K-SITE: What did you believe was required in order for the book to be a success?

SIMPSON: People to buy it. Ok, seriously, we had to give fans something that they didn't have before. In this age of DVDs, and in depth magazine features, it's hard to find something that people haven't already seen, but it was our aim that even the most hardened fan would be learning new information from the book. Hopefully we succeeded.

K-SITE: What was the time frame in which you did all of the interviews etc. for the first Companion?

SIMPSON: I've been very lucky in that I was able to go to the set last fall, and spend a week with the cast there; obviously, because of the nature of production, it wasn't feasible for me to speak to everyone then, so there were quite a lot of pick up interviews by phone in the succeeding weeks. Because the books are an ongoing project, and now that there's the magazine as well, it's an ongoing process talking to everyone, and that material feeds through to both. So effectively Book 4 is being written now!

K-SITE: Do you know when the future volumes are planned to be available?

SIMPSON: As far as I know, they're going to be released on a rolling schedule through 2005 and beyond. Once I deliver the manuscript, it's out of my hands... but I'm sure details will appear in the Magazine (and on KryptonSite!)

K-SITE: Do you have any stories about interacting with the cast or crew that were amusing and you would be able to share?

SIMPSON: One of the things that made this book such a pleasure to work on was the way in which I was made so welcome by cast and crew when I was out there. They're a great bunch of people.

K-SITE: What was the most difficult part of this project?

SIMPSON: Having to decide which bits couldn't make the cut - luckily now we have the magazine as well, some of the great anecdotes that there just weren't room for in the book can see print.

K-SITE: What other projects are in your future?

SIMPSON: Smallville 2. Smallville 3. Smallville 4. Some other things that aren't Smallville... I'm co-writing books on The Magic Roundabout, a big animation movie that's out next February.

K-SITE: Besides the already said bits of how it has information fans would not know, why do you think the Smallville Companion is something that any Smallville fan would enjoy?

SIMPSON: There's a chance to hear the voices of the people who make the show from both sides of the camera, and combine it with the DVDs, it gives a great record of the first year of a new legend. And there's some cool photos!

K-SITE: The book is dedicated to a Sophie. Do you care to tell us something about her?

SIMPSON: The book is dedicated to my daughter, Sophie, who, like any small child, is constantly looking at the world with fresh eyes - and very much at times a Strange Visitor from Another Planet!

Return to KryptonSite - Click here to order a copy of the book through and support K-Site! - Read our review of the Official Companion!

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