In Which I Get To Interview My Favorite Author

Originally sent to newsletter subscribers on October 27, 2014.

 

I have something super awesome to share with you today. Normally I only do interviews once a month, but I just couldn’t hold onto this one. My absolute favoritest author ever, Jonathan Maberry, offered himself up for the Three Questions! How could I pass that opportunity up?? If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading his technothriller Joe Ledger series or Rot & Ruin, his YA series. So here we go. Thanks again, Jonathan!

What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m in the middle of the busiest year of my career. I’m juggling a whole lot of projects –and different kinds—of projects. Here’s a quick peek at that….

I had two novels out this year, CODE ZERO (book #6 of the Joe Ledger weird science thriller series being published by St. Martin’s Griffin) and FALL OF NIGHT (2nd book in my zombie apocalypse series, also from Griffin).

I’ve already written four novels this year: PREDATOR ONE (book #7 of the Joe Ledger series), THE NIGHTSIDERS: THE ORPHAN ARMY, book one of a new series of middle-grade SF/fantasy adventures to be published by Simon & Schuster); BITS & PIECES (a book-length collection of short stories and novellas tied to my ROT & RUIN series of post-apocalyptic zombie novels for teens; also for Simon & Schuster); and DEADLANDS: GHOSTWALKERS (a novel set in the world of the popular Deadlands role-playing game, to be published by Tor).

I wrote BAD BLOOD, a 5-issue horror comic for Dark Horse that launched early this year and will be released in graphic novel format in November. And I write two monthly comics for IDW, V-WARS and ROT & RUIN. The first V-WARS trade paperback, CRIMSON QUEEN, just came out last week.

I’m editing a slew of anthologies, including the soon to be released volume 2 of V-WARS (which is the prose companion to the comic; and which will be a board game in August 2015 and is being shopped for TV with DEXTER head-writer Tim Schlattmann as our EP and showrunner); and I’m editing three more V-WARS anthologies for 2015. I’m editing three anthologies of all new X-FILES stories. I have a dark fantasy anthology due out next month, OUT OF TUNE; and I’ve begun work on SCARY OUT THERE, an anthology of horror for teens.

I’m currently writing WATCH OVER ME, the first in a new series of mystery-thrillers for older teens featuring teen bodyguard DYLAN QUINN (Simon & Schuster, 2016), and will jump from that to THE VAULT OF SHADOWS, the second NIGHTSIDERS book. If there’s still time this year I’ll dig in on GLIMPSE, a standalone horror novel for the mainstream market (to be published by Griffin). Next year I have another four novels already pre-sold that I’ll write, including COLD COLD HEART, the second DYLAN QUINN book; then KILL SWITCH (Joe Ledger Book #8), and a couple of other projects we haven’t yet announced.

And we’re working on some Hollywood stuff. V-WARS is on its way to TV, as is EXTINCTION MACHINE, the 5th Joe Ledger novel. And ROT & RUIN is in development for film.

I’ve also written a number of short stories and novellas this year, including ‘THE MILLION DOLLAR HUNT’ for Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse (TRUE BLOOD) anthology DEAD BUT NOT FORGOTTEN; ‘A CHRISTMAS FEAST’ for Kevin J. Anderson’s holiday anthology; ‘THE DAMNED ONE HUNDRED’ for John Joseph Adams’ new military fantasy antho; several Sam Hunter werewolf PI stories for STREETS OF SHADOWS and LIMBUS II, and other stuff I’m probably forgetting. And I recently sold BENEATH THE SKIN: THE SAM HUNTER FILES, a collection of werewolf PI short stories for Blackstone Audio.

And I tour all over the country, teach writing workshops and recently filmed six segments of an upcoming History Channel series on Monsters and Myths.

So, before you ask…no I don’t sleep.

What is one thing you struggle with?

Time management is the only real struggle. Right now having all these projects is a bit like juggling chainsaws. But it’s also one hell of a lot of fun. After all, I get to play in the weird little playground of my imagination all day long and get paid for it. So, since I’m a working professional writer, I don’t let myself get bitchy or too insanely stressed about things. I’m always analyzing my process to look for ways to improve. After all, there are faster writers among my circle of friends, like Kevin J. Anderson, Nancy Holder, and Rachel Caine.

Oddly, since moving to sunny Southern California last year, I’ve been getting much more done in less time…and turning out my best work.

What book are you reading right now?

I’m always reading a few. One on audio (DEADLINE by John Sandford), a graphic novel collection (EMPIRE OF THE DEAD by George Romero), some nonfiction books (on electromagnetic pulses, remote viewing, and wilderness survival –research for my next thriller), and a bedside book (a bio-thriller DEADOUT by Jon McGoran).

On Halloween week, though, I always reread the same two books: SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES by Ray Bradbury and I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson. I was incredibly lucky to get to know both men when I was a young teen, and they gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received on how to be a good and successful writer. They also gave me signed first editions of those books. I have those locked safely away, but I buy new copies of each book every year, read them, then donate them to a different local library.

Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestselling author, four-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and comic book writer. He writes horror, thrillers, fantasy, science fiction and suspense for adults and teens. His novels include PREDATOR ONE, CODE ZERO, ROT & RUIN, FALL OF NIGHT, GHOST ROAD BLUES, PATIENT ZERO, and many others. Several of Jonathan’s novels are in development for movies or TV including V-WARS, EXTINCTION MACHINE, ROT & RUIN and DEAD OF NIGHT. He’s the editor/co‐author of V‐WARS, a vampire‐themed anthology; and is editor for a series of all-original X-FILES anthologies, the YA anthology SCARY OUT THERE, and the dark fantasy anthology OUT OF TUNE. His V-WARS books have been developed as a board game. He is a popular featured expert on History Channel shows like ZOMBIES: A LIVING HISTORY and MONSTERS, MYTH AND LEGEND. Since 1978 he’s sold more than 1200 magazine feature articles, 3000 columns, two plays, greeting cards, song lyrics, and poetry. His comics include V-WARS, ROT & RUIN, CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA, BAD BLOOD, MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN and MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE AVENGERS. He lives in Del Mar, California with his wife, Sara Jo and their dog, Rosie. www.jonathanmaberry.com

Happy reading!!

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