Interview With Paul Simpson - Author of Smallville: The Official
Sept. 12, 2004 - Interview conducted by Craig Byrne (PlanetKrypton@aol.com)
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
Let's start at the begninning. How and when did you begin writing
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.
Beyond Doctor Who, what other series have you covered
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
When did you write your first Companion book? Was Farscape
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.
Why did you choose to write about Smallville for a companion
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.
Was there anything that particularly surprised you when
putting this together?
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.
What did you believe was required in order for the book to be
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
What was the time frame in which you did all of the interviews
etc. for the first Companion?
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!
Do you know when the future volumes are planned to be available?
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!)
Do you have any stories about interacting with the cast
or crew that were amusing and you would be able to share?
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.
What was the most difficult part of this project?
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.
What other projects are in your future?
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.
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?
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!
The book is dedicated to a Sophie. Do you care to tell us
something about her?
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
to KryptonSite - Click
here to order a copy of the book through Amazon.com and support
K-Site! - Read our review
of the Official Companion!