A.W. Hill & Nathanael Hill
That is the word I found to be my word of choice
for this book. The switch is one great read I was
lucky enough to come upon while searching for a
science fiction/fantasy book. The cover and the
premise intrigued me enough that I made this the
next book on my agenda, and was so glad I did! The
story starts out simple enough to where I almost
wondered if it really could be defined as a science
fiction book. It did not take long before it sped
up and hooked me in by doing so, while also expanding
to have a breadth that seemed infinite. I loved
the turns it took. I loved every character (To be
totally transparent I have to say my favorite character
was Gordon. Loved that guy!) that was met along
the way. Each character was different in their own
way and each brought something to the tale. It was
easy to put yourself in the story and be a fly on
the wall because the writing style put you there,
from the descriptions of the sceneries to the facial
expression on each person when they told us how
they felt at the time. The book also used minimal
analogies from movies and books, which I loved.
Sometimes books use too many to where the story
is using them as a crutch and not really relying
upon their own writings to describe what is happening.
Not here. This is a great read for any book lover
and me personally, I would love for an executive
from FX, AMC, or Netflix to get their hand on this
and make this into a series. I would DVR it. No
The authors of this have agreed to take
a few moments out of their busy schedule to answer
a few questions to give the MyShelf readers some
insight as to who there are.
Let me start by saying congratulations on a great
book. It shows a lot of thought, not to mention
a lot of hours of writing to get everything right.
I have no doubt readers will be loving this for
years. How did the idea for The Switch
come about? What was the spark that ignited this
Hill The spark was a child’s curiosity,
combined with my propensity to speculate about things
of which I know little, like theoretical physics!
Nathanael and I had lots of hours to fill in rainy,
sleepy Northern Belgium, and so we spun all sorts
of “what if’s.” One of his was
“what if there was a switch…”
Hill: I could be remembering this incorrectly,
because I was pretty young, but I think I had the
idea of writing a book like this with my father
while living in Chicago, around maybe the age of
10 or 11. Obviously, nothing really sprung from
it, since it was sort of a pipe dream, but once
we found ourselves in a pretty uneventful point
in our lives, it seemed feasible.
Some parts of the story have some deep and profound
questions about life, and everything around us.
Where there any points while writing this, even
the two of you had moments of clarity, where it
made you question what is going on in the real world?
Hill: All the time. Along with the “what
if’s,” there were the “what if
not’s,” like ‘what if you and
mom had met three years earlier, or two years later…and
still made a baby? Would it still be me?’
‘What if someone had assassinated Obama before
he was elected president?’ It makes you realize
just how tenuous and contingent things are. It also
makes you realize—if you accept the ‘many
worlds’ hypothesis—that these things,
in fact, may have happened.
Hill: Of course! The kind of Man In the High
Castle-esque thinking that the book lends itself
to is something I love to discuss with people. There’s
also the question of what we consider the “real
world.” If every branch is explored in another
universe, it seems to trivialize whatever happens
in this one. However, since we unfortunately don’t
have access to a Switch (at least, not one we would
tell you about), all we can do is affect our own
world, and hope the best for the others out there.
When you started writing the book, did
you have the ending in mind, or did the story dictate
how it would be concluded?
Hill: The only thing we knew was that the travelers
had to get home in some manner. We did briefly consider
a sequel-baiting cliffhanger, but that seemed like
a cheat. The question was always what it would mean
to get home.
Hill: I think that some planning was made,
but the final product ended up being drastically
different than the blueprints we would have laid
out regardless. What was interesting was seeing
the characters grow as we wrote them out on the
page… It was almost as if we weren’t
dictating their actions, we were just telling their
story. In the end, the book simply became a product
of the world we created for our heroes.
Do you have anything other books (or other
projects) coming out in 2018?
Hill: If only. I did have a book about film
music (my other life) published this year. And I’m
working on an adult novel about who leads a kind
of evangelical crusade against artificial intelligence
in a world of the nearfuture. But that’s more
likely a 2019 book—assuming it gets picked
up at all! As for Nathanael, he’s gotten a
taste, and now-
Hill: Well, personally, it’s unlikely.
I’m interested in writing in the future, but
with as much change as will be happening in my life
the next couple of years -- what with college, moving,
and whatever else -- I can’t see much opportunity
to sit down and write a book. Once I’ve settled
down, however, keep an eye out for my name in your
local bookstore! (If they still exist).
Lastly, if your readers got one thing from The
Switch, what would you want it to be?
Hill: A slightly altered way of looking at
the world that emphasizes linkage and connectedness
rather than simply causality. Branching possibilities.
I think people would give more thought to their
words and actions. I also think it might be the
best way for ordinary mortals to understand quantum
Nathanael Hill: A more philosophical view
of the world. Today’s cynics see the world
as very cut and dry, which hurts me. I can only
hope that we make our contribution to this world
by showing people that perhaps not everything in
the world is as it seems, and to always think of
life as something to be given your full attention
Be sure to visit them at www.awhill.net&