A Moving and Profound Journey: PW Talks with Gillian Anderson
By Lenny Picker
Publishers Weekly: Aug 29, 2014
X-Files star Gillian Anderson makes her fiction debut with 'A Vision of Fire,' a science fiction thriller coauthored with Jeff Rovin.
How did A Vision of Fire come about?
I have always enjoyed writing, and had it in my mind that writing a book would transpire later in life: later than now even, and not necessarily in the realm of science fiction - in fact, not at all, really. But I was approached by someone with the idea that I might get something out there sooner if it were in a coauthorship format. That appealed to me, and I understood that, at the outset, it might be a good business move to hook the book into the science fiction genre, for obvious reasons.
How did the relationship with Jeff Rovin work?
Jeff came to the forefront of potential coauthors, and he and I met in New York one blustery day and began our brainstorming sessions. We started with the central character, who I was determined would be my age and a single working mother, and [also with the idea] that whatever we created would be filmic enough that it could translate easily to the big screen. Jeff is about 1,000% more knowledgeable about all things science fiction than I am, and quickly took our basic concepts and expanded them.
And the process of writing?
Because I was working on three different TV series at the time, it was important that Jeff laid the groundwork for each chapter, and then I added and subtracted on airplanes.
What did you mean when you said to Entertainment Weekly that "after nine years of living in a semi-science fictional universe, I think I now have an ingrained knowledge and rhythm for it"?
Just that the world of sci-fi was such a monumental part of my life. Even though I don't read it or study it, it sits somewhere in my cells, and I can call on the fascination and excitement for it at will. Films are where I get my sci-fi fix.
What worried you most about the writing process?
Well, I was worried that it was going to be cheesy, and I am pretty sure that it's not. I believe that the characters are people who are developed enough, that they are easy to care about and invest in, and that the journey is at times moving and, dare I say, profound. It's a global adventure that, although science fictional in nature, encompasses current-day issues in all corners of the world. It was important for us that we include as many characters from different cultures as made sense for the story—although I'm having to contend with that decision as I'm negotiating the accents for the audiobook!