I'm so excited today to have Adam on the blog, for those of you unfamiliar with him, he's the author of the brilliant Outpost and the equally great prequel Juggernaut, which is out today.
-I’ve loved zombies since I was deliciously traumatised by a crappy ZHS of Dawn of the Dead as a kid. Turning the zombie infection into a visibly invasive, parasitic tumour seemed a good way to emphasise the body-horror aspect of any illness (I worked very briefly on a cancer ward). Adding over-tones of collective consciousness seemed to emphasis one of the anxieties that zombies personify: loss of individuality. Being over-whelmed and absorbed by a crowd.
-Having written a story set in the Arctic, I wanted to create a mirror-situation set in a desert.
There is something compelling about bleak, harsh terrain. So much of life is boring trivia. Survival stories are a chance to contemplate existence striped back to bare essentials.
-I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I had an office job, but spent most of my time secretly writing novels on a memory stick. I was a cinema projectionist, a fantastic chance to scribble stories in a notebook while the films were running. These days, I get up each day and please myself. Long may it last.
-Each morning, I drink a big mug of coffee. Then I drink a mug of coffee. Then, just to get myself going, I drink coffee.
-I have a handful of CDs on my desk, the same soundtracks I return to time and again. A bunch of John Carpenter movies: The Fog, Escape From New York, Assault On Precinct 13, The Thing, and Halloween. It’s a way of returning to childhood and adolescence, reconnecting with stories that thrilled and excited me, narratives I aspire to emulate. It’s also a way of circumventing writer’s block.
-I have young kids, and hold children’s authors in very high esteem. I’ve read The Gruffalo aloud so many times I know it by heart. It is an extraordinary concise and well-structured piece of work. Maybe, one day, I will write something for my kids.
Why write an end-of-the-world tale? Because we have so little control of our lives. We commute, punch the clock and pay our bills. It’s easy to feel totally infantalised, totally bossed around. It’s fun to picture a scenario in which we are thrown back on our own resources, forced to take control of our fate. It’s a seductive daydream.
-I always find myself rooting for the bad guys. Not sure what that says about me.
-HP Lovecraft, Mervyn Peake and Conan Doyle. Each of them created a wonderfully complete fictional world.
James Ellroy and Thomas Harris. Incredibly lean, muscular thrillers.
David Mamet. His collections of essays teach more about the art of dramatic writing than any other books.
‘Mayday, mayday. This is Kasker Rampart broadcasting to the Arctic rim, is anyone out there, over?’
‘Only a sucker would stay honest in the middle of this s***storm.’