Talking VWars with Jonathan Maberry

I am very fortunate to present you with a end of the year gift! A Q&A with the creator of the VWars world,Jonathan Maberry!

The Netflix show was #1 in so many countries, I don’t think anyone missed it!!!

Check out the incredible work of Jonathan Maberry, available on Amazon and lots of bookstores!

QUESTION:  Do you think that the name of the new race, Bloods sounds more threatening than vampires?

JONATHAN MABERRY: The name comes from street slang in the VWars books and comics. Bloods is shorthand for blood-drinkers, and in the books non-vampires are known as Beats, which represents the classic view that humans are alive, and hence have a heartbeat. It’s a bit inaccurate because none of the vampires in the VWars universe are actually undead. But street slang isn’t known for being entirely accurate…merely cool.


QUESTION:  In VWars the book there are more races of vampires, based on the ethnic background, will there be more than 2 in the future of the show? 

JONATHAN MABERRY: If we get picked up for a second season we will definitely see more vampire species emerging. We didn’t want to crowd it too much in the first season, since we had to spend a good deal of time establishing the world of VWars, but for anyone who saw the last episode, it’s clear the plague is spreading.


QUESTION:  Being a Blood was transcending each blood’s personal race and background and becomes a them against us type deal…Is that a possibility? 

JONATHAN MABERRY: Sure, especially since there isn’t such a thing as ‘pure’ blood, especially in North America, where the story begins. They call America the ‘melting pot’. And looking at the results of companies like 23andMe or Ancestry.com show that all around the world people have blended DNA. Even in my own family, when two of my sisters and I had our ancestry checked there were subtle differences. Genetics is a bit of a roulette wheel.


QUESTION:  The VWars bloods can’t turn humans, does that make the gap between them and humans bigger?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Because the vampirism in VWars isn’t a supernatural curse but something medical, it requires the right co-factor for infection to spread. As we’re discovering, however, a lot of people have that co-factor. In the books it was between 5 and 10 percent; but it’s proving to be quite a lot higher in the show. And that opens the door to new problems. Since not all (or even most) of the vampires in VWars are predatory or murderous, the rest will want to fit into society as best they can. However there will be issues of immigration, healthcare, legal rights, neighborhood zoning, and so on. Some humans and Bloods will want to be separate but equal; others will want to merge. There will be conflicts on all levels.


QUESTION:  The evolution of the two main character is fascinating, I honestly started rooting for Michael Fayne. Would you be with the humans or the bloods? 

JONATHAN MABERRY: Fayne is a sympathetic character. He is not evil. His DNA has changed, which means his biology and chemistry has changed. Mood, emotions, and impulses are greatly driven by the chemicals produced by our brains. When he began to hunt shortly after his transformation he was acting in strict accordance with this new nature. Even before he realized it, Fayne was no longer human, and no longer driven by the same bio-chemical triggers. Only later, when he realized that it wasn’t just him, and that there were consequences to his actions, he forced himself to stop feeding—and therefore stop killing humans. This was critical, because it shows that a strong will can rise above enough our basest and most compelling natures. It makes Fayne heroic from a certain viewpoint. Also, actor Adrian Holmes really sells the human, inhumanity, and conflict of his charac


QUESTION:  Fear is in our DNA .. I don’t think that there’s a deeper fear than of a predator that feeds on the human life essence, would a real cohabitation of two human type species be possible?

JONATHAN MABERRY: There’s no fundamental difference between two different vampire species cohabitating than, say, a vegan in a relationship with someone who loves a good steak. Or someone with different political views, religious views, or even cultural identity. The vampire species’ in VWars don’t eradicate the basic personalities, likes, or dislikes of that person; though there are changes, and that will be explore if we go to second season.


QUESTION:  Ill will make a parallel to True Blood.. The synthetic blood would have worked but would there not be vampires that would prefer to live the predatory life?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Yes, there would be vampires who choose to opt out of the blood substitute and live more according to their nature. This creates a lot of dramatic potential in the show, because any hunting/killing would result in more fear, hatred, and pushback on the part of the humans. They would likely want all vampires stopped, controlled, or exterminated just out of fear of being hunted by them. It’s not an unreasonable fear, either, but it will likely lead to a dangerous overreaction. 


QUESTION:  How does it feel to have your book turned into a TV show? 

JONATHAN MABERRY: It’s deeply surreal. When I first created this premise and began the book project back in 2011, I had no idea it would ever become a TV show. It was shopped for years but without success, so I figured that it would be the same outcome that happens to most writers: we get a whiff of Hollywood but no bite. And then about two years ago I got a call saying that it had sold to Netflix. That absolutely stunned me. Netflix is the perfect home for it. They are risk-takers and they have a serious eye toward both content and quality.

When I went to the first table-read –where the actors, director, producers, and some other crew gather for the reading of the first couple of scripts—it was crazy. Here were all of these actors from shows I’ve watched and enjoyed (Smallville, Vampire Diaries, The Expanse, Battlestar Galactica, Orphan Black, The 100, Arrow, and others) embodying characters I created and reading lines of dialogue from my books and comics. There is nothing in a writers’ career that prepares him for that.

It was even crazier when I was on the set to watch the first few days shooting. Watching the actors becomethe characters. So wild.

And, of course, the day it premiered, seeing the final polished cuts of each episode was amazing. And seeing my name in the credits (twice!) was beyond anything I could have imagined!


QUESTION:  For the future (let’s hope there will be many more seasons) do you have a actor that you would love to cast, and would he/she be a Blood or human? 

JONATHAN MABERRY: That’s tough. I’d love to see my friend, Ray Porter, in V-Wars. He’s the narrator of my Joe Ledger novels, but is also an actor with a lot of chops. He’s been in Monk, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, Argo, Almost Famous, Modern Family, CSI, and so many other shows. He’s one of those actors who has enormous range, and tends to submerge so deeply into a character you almost can’t recognize him. 

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