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An Interview with Lucien Telford, Author of The Sequence

Telford

Lucien Telford is a British-born Canadian writer who burst onto the science-fiction thriller scene with his multiple-award-winning debut novel, The Sequence, in 2021. The book showcases Telford’s talented prose with a fast-paced style that keeps the reader turning the page. The Sequence, the first novel in a planned quadrilogy, explores emergent genetic technology using themes of morality, global power, and how these emerging technologies affect the human condition.

During his continuing thirty-one-year career in aviation, Lucien has traveled and adventured extensively around the globe. The Sequence, his first book, draws heavily on those experiences.

AWARDS and NOMINATIONS.

2021 HUGO ASTOUNDING AWARD NOMINEE

2022 CHANTICLEER CIBA GLOBAL THRILLER AWARD FIRST PLACE IN CATEGORY

2022 CYGNUS SCIENCE-FICTION AWARD LONG LIST NOMINEE

2023 IPPY SILVER AWARD MEDALIST FOR SUSPENSE/THRILLERS


You can buy The Sequence here.


Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. As a teenager, I wrote and illustrated my own comic books. In high school, I wrote songs and played them with my band, a group of guys with whom I’m still close friends. As an adult, I found I needed a creative outlet, so I took some online creative writing classes at UBC via edX, and the characters and plot of The Sequence evolved from there. If there was one author who influenced me the most heavily, it’s William Gibson. His books shaped my artistic vision of a realistic possible future.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I’m an airline pilot by trade and working a full schedule. I’ve waited tables, worked the line in a bottling factory, and even had a paper route when I was young! Something my readers might not know is that I used to do background acting and that I’ve been on TV shows like Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, and When Calls the Heart, among many others. I was even directed by Steven Spielberg on The Big Friendly Giant as Soldier #17!

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The book’s title wasn’t easy to find, but I was aware of its importance, so I tried to let it expose itself organically. When that didn’t work, I started writing out the various themes of the book and genetic sequencing repeatedly came up. I found the title not only sounded punchy but generated questions for the reader.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

Relief. Editing, publishing, and cover design were much more involved than I had anticipated. I imagine today the process of cover generation with the integration of AI is even more frustrating, as the number of possible images is effectively infinite. I’ve already selected a cover image for my second book, so I’m hoping to finish it off quickly.

Holding my book in my hands was indescribable. It was an emotional, rewarding, spectacular experience!

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

For the flying scenes, without a doubt a song by Tool, Forty-Six and Two. For the Hong Kong detective scenes, I’d ask my friend DJ Kevin Shiu to put together a slowly building mix of minimal and tech house. moody, rolling beats, something that plays off the thrum of constant rain. Think Ghost in the Machine style movie music.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

A glimpse into our collective genetic future and the ethics surrounding it. I believe the events of The Sequence are entirely possible, and that their consequences must be considered. Having said that, The Sequence is a fun and exciting thriller, and my perfect reader would also enjoy authors like Michael Crichton, William Gibson, and Chuck Wendig.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

Once the book was published, I said to family and friends that if one person that I didn’t know read the book and enjoyed it, like a 5 out of 5, I would be happy. That has happened more than once! Hopefully I can ensnare some more readers for my next book!

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m currently doing some final edits on my second novel, titled False Ignition. It’s the sequel to my debut novel, and I’m hoping to blow the doors off my debut. Beyond that, I continue to enter the NYCMidnight competition for short and micro fiction and post a weekly newsletter on Substack.


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