Neil Peart: Clockwork Angels' Author Kevin J. Anderson

We spoke about how certain types of music inspire your and inform your writing process. Can you elaborate?

I've always been inspired by music as I envision and write my stories, and the music of Rush has been a particularly strong influence. Listening to the music, along with innovative or thought-provoking lyrics, was like a catalyst for my imagination, triggering scenes or whole plots. My first novel Resurrection, Inc. (1988, and just reissued) was almost entirely inspired by the Rush albumGrace Under Pressure. As I was developing the framework of the novel, listening to that album, it seemed as if the songs drove my plotting. Because of that novel (and a nod to the inspiration of Rush in the acknowledgments), I got to know Neil Peart, who writes the lyrics for Rush. We've known each other for more than twenty years, interacted in our separate creative fields -- his music, my fiction -- and we even wrote a short story together. When Neil began to conceive the steampunk fantasy story that eventually became Clockwork Angels, he used me as a sounding board for some of his ideas, since he had read some of my earlier fantasy novels that had steampunk elements, Eventually, as the story of the album -- as told in snapshots of the music tracks -- grew, Neil asked me to work on the novel.