Asking Bram Stoker award winner and NY Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry 20 questions (part 1)

There are authors that do not really need any type of introduction. I am sure that you read one of Jonathan Maberrys books and loved it.. With over 35 published novels, countless comics and short stories, Jonathan Maberry is one of the biggest names in contemporary fiction (part one of the interview) ..

  1. ALINA IONESCU: Which one is your favorite novel from the over 35 you have written?

JONATHAN MABERRY: GLIMPSE is my favorite novel I’ve ever written. The lead character is a young woman recovering from years of drug addiction who is now clean and looking for the child she gave up for adoption. That child, now ten, is in the hands of some very frightening creatures. GLIMPSE is a fractured story about courage, love, and hope. And it’s recently been optioned for film.

2. ALINA IONESCU: Your new comic book PANDEMICA is expected by fans and mentioned by the press, would you like to tell me a bit about this project?

JONATHAN MABERRY: The story is very gritty and a bit cynical. It deals with a group of entitled businessmen and scientists who have developed a way to create ethnic-specific bioweapons. They can target very specific ethnic groups and are selling these weapons on the black market. A resistance group, Pandemica, rises to try and stop them before the death toll mounts into the millions. And things go even more badly wrong when the diseases begin mutating out of control. The first issue debuts in September from IDW Publishing.

3. ALINA IONESCU: I am fascinated by your vampires, they are very different, why did you choose to be inspired by folklore and not go with the Hollywood version?

JONATHAN MABERRY: My grandmother was a wonderfully strange old lady. Quite a bit like Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, but as an old woman. She loved all things about what she called the ‘larger world’. Ghost, demons, vampires, werewolves…all of it. And when I was little she told me stories about these monsters, and later encouraged me to read the mythologies, the folklore, and also the cultural anthropology so I could understand why people believed what they did. I was exposed to the folklore versions of these monsters before I began reading horror novels and watching monster movies. They are my first love.

4. ALINA IONESCU: I finished reading The Pine Deep trilogy, how much of your own personality is flowing into the main character Crow?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Crow has my sense of humor, my martial arts background (we’re both advanced practitioners of Japanese jujutsu), and my idealism. We were both rather badly abused as children, though in different ways. His subsequent emotional damage is different, though. He became an alcoholic and I’ve never been addicted to anything.

5.ALINA IONESCU: Your fans love your strong female characters, is it harder to write from a female perspective than a male one ?

JONATHAN MABERRY: I grew up as the younger brother of four sisters. I studied martial arts at a dojo that was forty percent women during an era when that was not at all common (1960s-70s). And later I taught women’s self-defense at Temple University in Philadelphia for fourteen years. I’ve known a lot of very tough women; and it was my honor to help thousands of women learn to embrace their strength to become tough as students in my classes. I’ve never actually thought women were the weaker sex. People are stronger or weaker according to who they are. And that’s reflected in my characters –like Shuri in my BLACK PANTHER comics, Dez Fox in DEAD OF NIGHT, Val Guthrie in the Pine Deep novels, and so on.

6.ALINA IONESCU: what’s your writing routine?

JONATHAN MABERRY: I’m a professional writer, so I approach it as my job. I write, on average, eight hours per day. I try to write about four thousand words each day. Sometimes less, sometimes more. I pay attention to the business side of things –pitches, contracts, shifts in the market, and so on. And I stay focused.

If I’m at a convention or conference –which is often— I still need to find time to write. And I manage my own social media –Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

7.ALINA IONESCU: Do you have any advice for authors that try to become successful?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Anyone hoping to break into the publishing world needs to be very good at three things. First, they have to constantly refine their craft. There is no end to the process of becoming the best writer we can be. Second, they need to understand how publishing works –to be savvy, forward thinking, flexible, and not vulnerable to taking things personally. And third, they need to have a very good social media game. Even before they sell their first word. Oh, and…only write the stuff that’s the most fun to do. That enthusiasm will shine through.

8.ALINA IONESCU: Your V Wars will be turned into a Netflix series, that’s so cool, how much influence does an author have on the final product?

JONATHAN MABERRY: V-WARS will hopefully launch in December with a ten episode first season. I am not an executive producer on the first season, which means I wasn’t deeply involved in the creative process. However I was at the table reads and on the set for the start of shooting. I’ve become friends with many of the cast and crew, including our star, Ian Somerhalder, and cast-members Adrian Holmes, Laura Vandervoort, Peter Outerbridge, Michael Greyeyes, Kyle Breitkopf, and others. And if we get picked up for a second season there’s a chance I may be elevated to EP.

That said, for all subsequent projects I am an executive producer, including the ROT & RUIN movie in development by Alcon Entertainment (BLADERUNNER 2019, THE EXPANSE); and others.

9.ALINA IONESCU: A Rot and Ruin question.. Is a doomsday cult a possibility after the apocalypse? A solution for people that don’t think that they live and just exist?

JONATHAN MABERRY: I think a doomsday cult is a very real possibility. After the world has fallen, taking with it the government, infrastructure, and the institutions that were supposed to save us –such as major religions—people would all be suffering post-traumatic stress and despair. Anything that gave them something to cling to –even a cult that embraced a meaningful rather than meaningless death—would be dangerously appealing.

10.ALINA IONESCU: Is there a mythical monster that you have not written about yet?

JONATHAN MABERRY: That depends on how you define ‘written’. I’ve written about hundreds of different kinds of folkloric monsters in a series of nonfiction books I wrote in the early 2000s. However, in my fiction –novels, short stories, and comic books—I’ve barely scratched the surface. Mostly because folklore and myth has such a wonderful menagerie of creatures, including variations (or subspecies?). There are, for example, hundreds of variations of vampire, many more different kinds of demons, countless theriomorphs (shapeshifters), and so on. I haven’t had time to even make my way through my personal wish-list of favorite monsters.

I was drawn to writing fiction because I wanted to explore how ordinary humans would fare against the folkloric versions of vampires, ghosts, and werewolves. That became GHOST ROAD BLUES and its two sequels.

That said, I am planning a swords-and-sorcery short story about a warrior from the Crusades encountering the fierce Draugr of Viking legend. That’s a demonic spirit inhabiting the corpse of a dead Viking. It’s smart, powerful, and evil. No weapon can kill it, and it can only be defeated by a hero in unarmed combat.

This was the first part of the interview…. Part 2 to follow soon.. Find the books online and in all good bookstores… On a personal note, if you are a zombie fan you should start with Rot&Ruin…… https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=mw_dp_a_ap?_encoding=UTF8&author=Jonathan%20Maberry&searchAlias=books&asin=B001JSF8TK

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