One of my favourite reads this year was a book that not only had the coolest cover but it had an amazingly surprising unique concept. Blackbirds took my breath away and I am extremely excited about the sequel Mockingbird which releases later this month. I wonder if both books will make it into my top ten of 2012. I know Blackbirds will!
I contacted the author, Chuck Wendig, and he was nice enough to answer some of my questions. I hope you enjoy reading about the books and maybe you will even pick up a copy. I can only highly recommend Blackbirds and keep raving about it whenever possible.
Maybe you want to win a copy of Blackbirds? Make sure you enter the contest when you are done with the interview!
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your book, Blackbirds?
Chuck - Miriam Black can see how you’re going to die, just by touching you. For a long time she believes she can’t change fate, can’t sway the Reaper’s scythe, but she meets a man, a good man, and discovers that somehow she’ll be complicit in his demise. And so begins her last ditch effort to see if she can avert the waters of fate or whether she’ll drown in them like everyone else.
Chuck – Blackbirds comes out of the helplessness we have in the face of death. Not just ours, but the deaths of those we like and love. The premise was not a long process; the writing of the novel most certainly was.
Amber - Miriam is an amazing character! How did you manage to write such a fascinating female character? Is she based on someone you know?
Chuck – Not any one person, no. She’s a profane pastiche of people I’ve met (and a little bit of me) slopped together with a glue made of whiskey and nicotine.
Amber - Miriam is quite a 'potty mouth'. Was it a problem with the publishers to have so much bad language inside the book? Are you a 'potty mouth' too?
Chuck – I am not a potty mouth. I am chaste as the untouched snow, pure as a mountain brook, I am –
Okay, you can stop laughing. My mouth is so foul it could gag a buzzard.
The book was a problem for some publishers. I received way too many “Editor loves this book, loves loves loves it, but we think it’s too dark, too foul, we can’t sell it, etc.” letters.
Thankfully, Angry Robot was comfortable with the book’s, erm, tone.
Amber - How do you pick the names for your characters? Do they have any special meanings?
Chuck – The names just often come to me. The names in Blackbirds are somewhat inadvertently appropriate (though obvious to me now). Mostly in the last names. Black. Darling. Gaynes (“gains”).
Amber - If the book was going to be made into a TV series or Film, who could you imagine playing Miriam?
Chuck – I’ve had a great many actresses in mind – the cover version of her has a little Anne Hathaway in there. I also like Lizzy Caplan, Mila Kunis. You need someone young but old at the same time.
Amber - Mockingbird, the sequel to Blackbirds, is due out in August. What can we expect from the next part?
Chuck – Miriam finds herself at a girl’s school in Pennsylvania, there initially to help a teacher confirm or deny her hypochondria, but then poor Miriam gets dragged into a serial killer murder mystery that’s been going on for years – and, given Miriam’s power, she sees it will go on for years, too. So, she’s set to try to once again solve murders before they happen, this time armed with the knowledge of how to stay Fate’s bloody hand from killing these poor girls.
Amber - How come we are being made to wait a year for the second part? (Thank you!) Will there be more books about Miriam? Will we have a longer wait for them?
Amber - You have written quite a few other books. What can you tell us about your other work?
Chuck – Dinocalypse Now features 1930s pulp heroes (including a kilted professorial gorilla) fighting a plague of psychic dinosaurs; Bait Dog features a teenage detective-slash-vigilante going up against bullies and corruption in a small town; Double Dead features an irascible vampire who wakes up during the zombie apocalypse.
Amber - The cover for Blackbirds and the upcoming sequel, Mockingbird, really make an impact and look extremely cool. Did you get to pick the covers? or have any say in the look?
Chuck – I did not get to pick them and it’s a good thing I didn’t – Joey Hi-Fi did work well beyond my wildest dreams. I did have some say in what went on those covers in terms of the little images embedded in Miriam’s crazy head and hair.
Amber - I am sure that being an author has its ups and downs. What experiences have you had so far?
Chuck – It’s been pretty much all awesome. All up’s for me. The downs that have happened have been ironed out and lost in the haze of pure unbridled joy that I get to do this for my living.
Amber - Alot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music that influenced your books?
Chuck – Blackbirds was strongly influenced by music. Particularly Butterfly Boucher’s first album and the music of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s.
Amber - What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favourite authors/series?
Chuck – I’ll read anything by Joe Lansdale. He could write a Denny’s menu and I’d read it three times.
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Chuck – Unicorn. Because unicorns get all the ladies. I know, you’re thinking, “It’s the horn.” But really, it’s their gentlemanly demeanor.
Amber - Thanks for visiting Amberkatze's Book Blog!
I am giving away a copy of Blackbirds to one lucky winner!
How To Enter
Blackbirds & Mockingbird. You see the pattern evolving? What birds do you like? or/and don't like?
No Answer = No Entry
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