The opening scene provides a bit of backstory, and some heartwarming attraction to some of the first characters. Mortimer, Jenny, Shanna, and even Clay are introduced as personable people with aspirations and devotion to one another. That goes up in flames quick for some of them. Was that a designed effort to suck readers in and then change the game on them right away?
Of course…making people care about the characters is the most important thing you can do, and it only makes the scares more real when they come.
Reading Draculas is very fun. My first thought was that if I didn’t know that four different authors worked on this, I wouldn’t have known four different authors worked on this. What approaches did you use for continuity, and what thought processes went into choosing who wrote the characters they did?
We really appreciate this comment. It’s one we’ve been hearing in many early reviews and was our goal from the start. Joe and Blake created the cast of characters and Jeff and Paul got first dibs on who they wanted to write. In terms of continuity, we wanted the story to suck the reader in, not distract by having the readers try to figure out who wrote what. Our final polish really brought all the writing into a uniform style that is an amalgamation of everyone’s. I still can spot Jeff and Paul’s though. Joe and Blake, because we’ve worked together a lot, sort of have a certain style we adopt when we collaborate that’s different from either of our individual writing styles.
Randall is a pretty simple guy. He’s determined, if dull, and he appeals to readers right away. Which of you got to write the beloved, simple Randall, and how would you describe his charisma to readers?
Randall was all Jeff Strand, and he knocked it out of the park. His charisma has to do with the fact that he actually changes during the book, and he’s a guy who, though perhaps a little slow, is doing everything possible to better himself. And his love for Jenny is real. Readers love characters who love like that.
Draculas may imply to some folks an army of stiff, white guys, but this small army of vampires is far from that vanilla. We experience everything from a nine-year old to a dying cancer patient, and even a clown…yes, a vampire clown. (Well there goes several dozen readers clicking away in horror.) One of the things I found fascinating was how each of these different vampires views what they’ve become. Can you talk a bit about that diversity?
One of the best parts of writing this book was writing the villains. Externally, they’re basically human sharks, but internally, they’re addicts of the most extreme form. So when we wrote about the villains, we were all, in one form or another, writing about addiction.
This is pretty open-ended, and I apologize for that, but talk a little about Clay’s gun collection. That aspect of the deputy is pretty comedic in all its Rambo-esque glory.
Paul’s readership and the folks who hang out at the forum at repairmanjack.com are gun aficionados. Paul was able to tap his fan base and incorporate their incredible knowledge and appreciation of rare firearms into the book.
Readers are treated to a number of very visual gags. What inspired the approach to visual approach to writing in this novel? It’s a lot like watching scenes unfold instead of theater of the mind. Was that the intent from the start?
We all have a cinematic style, so it was inescapable that the book would take on that aspect. It wasn’t an overt intent, just who we are as writers.
Each of the four co-authors brought their own strengths to this project. Who would you say was the most responsible for the collaboration on “Draculas”?
This is going to sound like bullshit, but honestly everyone brought their all to this project. No one was dead weight. Everyone fired on all cylinders. That is the only way this book turned out the way it did, in basically eight weeks of writing.
If you had a trophy to award to the author who reached the greatest extreme in “Draculas”, who would earn that title?
F. Paul Wilson, hands down, in the triple fatality scene in the maternity ward toward the end of the book.
“Draculas” has a very special bonus package, in that readers are treated to a multitude of extras, including email conversations bantered back and forth. What is the ultimate release plan for the story? Will readers ever see a physical release or just digital downloads?
We will release the novel itself in physical form in the very near term. Probably as a trade paperback.
I know you can’t speak for everyone, but tell us a little bit about the experience of collaborating in this manner, and do you see other projects for this writing team in the future?
Honestly, this collaboration should not have been as easy as it was. I think there was magic or good karma, whatever you want to call it, hanging over this project. I can’t wait to work with these guys again.