Sunday, 6 May 2012

Interview & Giveaway (INT'L): The Lesser Evil by Shane W. Smith

Original Title: The Lesser Evil
Series: The Lesser Evil #1
Author: Shane W. Smith
Publisher: Zeta Comics
Published Date: August 24th 2011
Genre: Graphic Novels, Children's

Stanley Myres, Chancellor of the galactic Senate...Elam Padakan, Overlord of exiled superpower Padakan House...Young Ross Tillman, a student on Messar...When civil war erupts on Messar, these three men aredrawn into the conflict. And as their paths begin to intersectand tangle together, they come to realise that the galaxyhas very different plans for all of their dreams.The Lesser Evil is a graphic novel that examines what itmeans to have a dream... and what that dream can end upcosting, regardless of whether it comes true.



1.  Is there an inspiration behind why you chose writing?

When I was very little, three or four perhaps, I have this memory of writing a book with my dad, in which Oscar the Grouch and a cat came around to my place with lots of fruit and vegetables.

I guess that’s when the seed was planted, but it’s really hard to say. For all my living memory, I’ve loved to read and aspired to write.

2.  When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?

It was always a writer. There was no other option.

3.  Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is....

The Bible. Or the dictionary. You know how well those books sell?

4.  What are your current literary works?  Any sneak peaks?

I counted this recently. I have nine projects on the go at the moment at various stages of completion: four graphic novels, one children’s picture book, a novella, a short screenplay, a non-fiction book, and one project that’s so new and raw that I haven’t chosen a form for it yet.

My website has more details for all of these, including some small previews!

5.  If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

As much as I want to see how things turn out, I think I’d go back in time. Last week, I had the world’s greatest steak, and wouldn’t mind reliving that.

6.  If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why?

The one on the right.

7.      Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. 

It’s hard to find literary sensibilities in science fiction, and equally hard to find them in graphic novels; The Lesser Evil attempts to rectify both these generic shortcomings.

8.  Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

I just got back from an interstate trip to the recent Adelaide Oz Comic-Con, where I overcame a significant number of personal insecurities to run a table and sold over a hundred copies of my book to passersby. It would be near impossible to describe the sheer scope of the triumph I felt when I realised that I was going home with an empty suitcase (I had feared the opposite).

One man bought a book from me, read part of it while in line elsewhere and came back specifically to tell me that he had greatly enjoyed what he had read so far. It was a really nice gesture that I appreciated so much that I shamelessly sold him the next book in the series before he had a chance to escape!

During this weekend, it dawned on me (finally!) that I am a published author, that I’ve done it. I’ve made it. Transitioned from the amateurs to the pros.

9.  What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Perseverance is only part of it. Be creative not just with your content, but also with your form. Consider reimagining your work as a graphic novel or screenplay or album instead of a novel: it will give you a new appreciation for all modes of writing, and also for the worlds you’ve created.

Oh! And once you’re published, you will have to market yourself, and it’s a process that might threaten your writing time. Be prepared to divide yourself!

10.  If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

I’d probably like to live in the world of my autobiography (note: currently does not exist, and may never!). It would be just like my life, only ordered and streamlined so that it actually makes sense...

11.  If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Probably something mundane, but I would push to have it called The Lesser Weevil

12.  What is your favorite scene in the book and why do you love it?

My favourite scene in The Lesser Evil comes very early on in Volume One, actually: Ross Tillman writes a heartfelt letter to his parents, explaining why he feels he has to run away from home to achieve his dreams... and then screws it up and chucks it away, appalled by his inability to take such a risk in his life.

The reason I like this scene is threefold: it’s an introduction to his character that I’m particularly proud of, and sets up his entire character arc thematically and stylistically; it plays with the graphic novel format by presenting a sudden wall of text and forcing the reader to take an extra moment to absorb it; and it’s a window into my long-gone teenage years, when the life I craved wasn’t the one I was drifting towards, but I felt powerless to do anything about it and immensely frustrated as a result.

13.  What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?

None really, but people tell me regularly that I should be embarrassed to admit that I enjoy the Super Mario Brothers movie (1993).

14.  What is one book everyone should read?

Aside from The Lesser Evil, you mean? Probably any of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes: it’s accessible, interesting, often hilarious, and a really engaging lesson in logic and observance.

15.  One food you would never eat?

I guess people answer snails and stuff for this question, usually...? I add my voice to this chorus, and add my peanut allergy to the mix.


Favorite place?
There’s no place like home.

Best christmas present?
Nothing beats a new old book. I’m a sucker for old leather books with gilded pages.

Favorite book?
Tends to be whatever I’m currently reading.
I’m currently reading a leather-bound Sherlock Holmes omnibus.

Favorite author?
Tends to be whoever I’m currently reading.
I’m currently reading a leather-bound Sherlock Holmes omnibus.

Favorite smell?
Old books

Favorite series?
Comics: Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan
TV:         Six Feet Under, The Shield, or Gilmore Girls
Books:    Difficult. Maybe Song of Ice and Fire.

My only current nicknames were bestowed upon me by my wife, and I’d rather avoid public disclosure of the details!

Favorite writing spot?
A big black desk in the study of the house I used to live in.
Since then, I prefer to write at my old campus library... but actually do most of my work at home on the floor.

Favorite movie?
Children of Men or Clerks II.

Favorite dish?
Braised steak and onions.

Favorite color?
Whatever the new black is.

Favorite quote?
“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones;

So let it be with Caesar.”

– Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare

Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate chip.

Your best trait?
Singleminded focus.

Your worst trait?
See #14.


Shane W. Smith was born in 1985. For quite a long time after this, nothing much happened. Then he got used to writing about himself in third person for bios like this. Before The Lesser Evil was picked up by Zeta Comics last year, his proudest professional moment was getting a comic book entitled Academaesthetics published in an A-ranked academic journal. His family makes up the remainder of his proud moments.

Shane has a Bachelor Degree in Creative Writing, with First Class Honours, and believes that analysing stories to find out what makes them work is the best possible use of his brain power. The Lesser Evil is, hopefully, the first step in Shane's prolific and profound creative career. Find out more about Shane's books at his website:

AUTHOR ONLINE:  Facebook | Twitter | Website


The author is giving away a copy of The Lesser Evil Volume 1 to one of you readers, as long as the Book Depository ships to you.   See here to know which country they deliver to.  If your country is included there, then please enter the Rafflecopter below.  

Giveaway ends May 18th!  Please spread the word!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Graphic novels are still pretty unknown to me so it would be great to win this so I could read more of them!

  2. I would love to read a graphic book the last 'like' book I read was Wonder Woman by Jodi Picoult. I read lots of different books and genres so I do not have a favorite book as such.Maybre yours will be it as you sell it so well,

  3. Graphic novels are one of my pleasures in life, but they are quite expensive so a student like me can't afford most of the good ones :))

  4. Thanks for the giveaway! I love graphic novels..

  5. Great giveaway. I love graphic novels! But I haven't read many of them.

  6. Great Giveaway Vidya!

    I love all sorts of books - as long as they are not erotic or self help! So I have a rather long list of favourite book! :)

  7. I keep hearing about graphic novels but have not tried any. This would be a great way to see what they are all about.

  8. Thanks for your comments everyone, and thank you for hosting me here Vidya!

    I definitely encourage you to check out The Lesser Evil (of course). I'm very proud of it, and extremely pleased to have been picked up for publication!

    For those who are unlucky enough to miss out on the giveaway, the Book Depository is generally the cheapest option to buy the book!

    If you're on the fence about me or my work, please check out my website where some of my other work is available for free!

  9. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win something so cool. I love how graphic novels provide a different meaning to the essence of a book. Would love to win and share The Lesser Evil with my friends. Thanks again. ;)

  10. I want to win because I want to have an english book at home (I am from Slovakia)


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