Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Interview + Giveaway- The Well's End by Seth Fishman

A deadly virus and an impossible discovery unite in one enthralling can’t-miss read

Sixteen-year-old Mia Kish has always been afraid of the dark. After all, she’s baby Mia, the one who fell down a well. That was years ago, though the darkness still haunts her. But when her classmates and teachers at ritzy Westbrook Academy start dying of old age from a bizarre and frightening virus that ages its victims years in a matter of hours, Mia becomes haunted by a lot more than the dark. Their deaths are gruesome and Mia worries she and her friends may be next. In order to survive, Mia and her small crew must break quarantine and outrun armed soldiers in hazmat suits who shoot first and ask questions later.

And there’s only one place to go—the Cave, aka Fenton Electronics. Mia knows it’s somehow connected and hopes her dad, Director of Fenton Electronics, who has always been strangely secretive about his work, has the answers she needs, and more importantly a cure to save everyone before the whole town succumbs to the mysterious virus. Unfortunately, it’s not answers Mia discovers, but something far more treacherous and impossible than even the virus itself.

A high-stakes, fast-paced adventure with imagination and heart.

Seth Fishman is a native of Midland, Texas (think Friday Night Lights), and a graduate of Princeton University and the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. He spends his days as a literary agent at The Gernert Company and his nights (and mornings) writing. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. This is his first novel (that’s not in a drawer).

Here's an interview with the author, and an ARC giveaway below it:

1) How did you get the idea for The Well's End?

That's a good question. And while there are a number of influences, the main idea stemmed from an event that happened in my hometown of Midland, Texas when I was young. A baby girl fell down a twenty-two inch hole and was stuck for 58 hours. Her name was Jessica, and she was quickly dubbed Baby Jessica by the media. Here's an archived piece on the event. While there's much more going on in my book, I was fascinated by the idea of what would happen to that girl in the world I created, and so was born Mia... Baby Mia who fell down the well.

2) Are you working on another novel? Can you tell us anything about it?

I'm happy to say that Putnam bought two books from me, for a series, so I'm about 3/4ths through book two, and had something of a breakthrough this week actually, so I'm quite excited. I can't say much of the plot, as it spoils The Well's End, but the goal in mind is to get you connected to the characters enough in book one that you'd follow them anywhere...

3) What's your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor(s)? Or, if you don't like those, your favorite snack to have while writing or as a reward for writing?

Well, I DO love Jelly Belly's (bubblegum), but I don't snack on them when I write. When I write I either am eating almonds (odd, I know), butterfingers (my wife hides them in my shoes she knows I love them so much!) and, of all things, Nerds. But Nerds are dangerous. Once you start, you can't stop.

4) You're a literary agent too. How did you get started in that field, and was it hard to juggle that and writing?

I went to the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England for my MFA in Creative Writing, and there we met agents. They didn't bother with the Americans too much, so I got to see my friends interact with agents objectively, which was very interesting. I learned quickly that that the process of professionalizing a work begins with agents. Editing and packaging and submissions and on and on. Many of those big and wonderful self-made writers (like Hugh Howey) still rely on agents to help them guide their way. We do so so much more than sell a book, we're there for the entire process from start to finish, and that was really appealing to me. I hope to have my clients with me through my entire career, and me through theirs.

I'd say it isn't easy to wake up early and write, then go to work and edit/read/doagentystuff and then come home and read for work and then write some more. Sometimes it would be nice to just have my mind away from editing and be a zookeeper or something. But that said, I love love love my job because it puts me so close to the brilliant writers out there. My clients are amazing, and such friends, and there's nothing more satisfying than helping them get their careers started and moving. Now that I have a similar course going on, I understand even more what is important to them - I think I've only become a better agent as a writer.

5) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start? Are there any upcoming books you're excited about (aside from your own)?

Aside from my clients' and potential clients' material, I'm reading Laini Taylor's Days of Blood & Starlight (which I find to be so well-crafted) and Bill Cheng's Southern Cross The Dog, two books that are fairly opposite. But I like to read across genre and age. Lots of really amazing stuff out there now.

And finally, the giveaway is of an advance copy of The Well's End once copies are made available and a signed piece of Kate Beaton art. This contest is open to US/Canada residents and all you have to do is leave a comment by Monday, June 24 at 9pm EST.


  1. Awesome interview! Thanks for the giveaway :)
    -Scott Reads It!

  2. I would love to read it! Please enter my name to win. Thank you.

  3. Well I definitely want to enter this contest! An ARC and Kate Beaton's art! Woohoo!

  4. I came across Seth Fishman because I believe that my aunt knows him - or his family - since she and my uncle lived in Midland for several years. I enjoyed reading this interview and look forward to the book. I like his humor, so I hope that I see that aspect in a book in the future too!

  5. I remember the Baby Jessica story! (I live a long way from Midland, but it still made the news.) Sounds like a fun science fiction read.

  6. Ooh, I would LOVE to win an ARC of this book! I've had my eye on it for a while. At first I was amazed at the number of writers who have day jobs as agents, editors, publicists, or other position in the literary world, but then I realized it actually makes a lot of sense. I don't guess you'd go into a job like that unless you loved books in the first place! Some of those people are bound to have writing talent of their own. What I don't get is how they have time - or really, ENERGY - to go home after such demanding day jobs and actually be creative and productive! Kinda makes me tired just thinking about it :) I would also worry that I'd jumble some of my clients' ideas with my own - and that would NOT be good. Well, that's why he's the agent-writer and I'm, well, NOT!

    Thanks so much for sharing the interview (and of course for the great giveaway)! I follow Seth on Twitter and his sense of humor shows up there too, for those who enjoyed it :) Oh, and I knew from the *second* I started reading Seth's answer to your question about inspiration that he was going to say "Baby Jessica"!! There are some things that happen in your childhood that make such an impression that you just never, ever forget them. Her ordeal was only the second time I remember really "sharing"/going through something like that, in real time and through the media, with the rest of the country (the first being the Challenger shuttle explosion just a year prior). Nowadays, it's really not all that unusual, but back then it was quite surreal.

    Thanks again!

    1. Thanks everyone for the kind words! Being an agent and writer is really difficult, but, like you said, I always wanted to write, I have been doing so for years, and fell in love with this job in the process.

  7. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com