This is kool: Kwik Krimes, a new kollection of 81 very, very short krime stories by some kanny kraftsman, including Joe R. Lansdale, Ken Bruen and me.
Oh, and while you’re buying stuff, remember my next young adult novel, Nightmare City, is due out in November and still on pre-order sale as an e-book for $3.99. A good deal at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-book outlets.
Two of Andrew’s young adult thrillers continue to be on sale as e-books for a limited time. Nightmare City will not be published until November, but you can pre-order the e-book in most formats now for only $3.99. And the e-book of the first volume of the bestselling Homelanders series, The Last Thing I Remember, will be on sale for $1.99 until August 26th as part of a back-to-school promotion.
YWJ: Is there a common thread/theme that runs through your novels?
Klavan: I’ve always been interested in that place inside a person where moral decisions are made, that part of your mind that just somehow knows right from wrong. A lot of people say it’s cultural or psychological, that what’s right for one person might be wrong for another, and sure, there are occasional areas where that can be true; but at the core of human life, at the heart of individuals, I think there’s something different and mysterious: a place that is capable of making decisions for the good, even when your country or your church or your mom gets it wrong. How do you know when that’s real? How do you know when you’re being misled by your heart and when your heart is hearing the voices of the angels? Very tough question sometimes—it makes for great drama!
YWJ: Why is it important to you that faith be an integral part of the books you write?
Klavan: Really only one reason: because I’m a realist. I came to faith late, so I had a lot of time to think it over. In the end, I don’t think you can make any sense of the human experience without a belief in that mysterious moral heart in all of us—which, in turn, implies a loving Creator in whose image we’re made. Two philosophers sitting in an ivory tower can talk themselves out of it, but I’m a novelist. I have to create characters who live and breathe in something akin to the real world, and I can’t do that without putting them in a moral universe—our universe—a universe that faith understands better than atheism.
The full thing is here.
It’s very rare I get to do an interview on writing technique: most people just don’t know the right questions to ask. But Sean Hood at the website Genre Hacks grilled me very intelligently on the writing of Haunting Melissa: how producing a ghost story script for a unique app might be different from other genres that had gone before and so on. I thought the result was a different kind of interview, and one of particular interest to aspiring screenwriters.
Here’s a sample:
You have written novels, screenplays and teleplays. How was writing a serialized story for an app different?It was very different. For one thing, it used elements from all those forms, but was identical to none of them, which was pretty interesting right there. So, for instance, you had the time for character development you get in television but, because the story was more compact and had a definitive ending, you also had the coherent character arc that’s more common in a novel or a film. Because the episodes were sometimes relatively short, you had the kind of story density you get in movies, but the overall story was again more novel-like in length. Then, of course, you had those fragments and what Neal calls “dynamic story elements,” things that actually changed within the story. That wasn’t like anything else I can think of, but I tried to incorporate them into the plot so they’d have story-integrity, and not just feel like add-ons.
There are elements in your screenplay for Haunting Melissa that one would never find in traditional TV or movies…the recorded phone messages and web-chats in particular. Why did you decide to include these?
The intimacy of the medium mostly. You have someone sitting there with his iPad or iPhone – it’s a very intimate experience. It’s still something you watch, like TV, but it’s just more like the experience of reading, just you and the story one on one. It sometimes made me nervous to do things that weren’t strictly visual or film-like, but under the nervousness, I was pretty sure it would work because of the close relationship between the viewer and his device. Plus it gave us new ways of scaring people, scares no one had ever really used before. You know, a haunted social media feed – that’s pretty cool. You can’t really do that as well anywhere else.
I know — I can’t get this to fit at a reasonably readable size, but at least you can get a glimpse of what Thomas Nelson is working on for the full cover of my upcoming YA novel Nightmare City. It’s not due out till November, but if you pre-order the e-book now in any format, you can get it for a bargain $3.99.
If you can’t read the cover copy, here it is:
As a reporter for his high school newspaper, Tom is always on the lookout for an offbeat story. But from the moment he woke up this morning, his own life has been more bizarre than any headline could ever tell.
The streets of his town are suddenly empty and silent. A strange fog has drifted in from the sea and hangs over everything. And something is moving in that fog. Something evil. Something hungry. Closing in on Tom.
Tom’s terrified girlfriend Marie says the answers lie at the Santa Maria monastery, a haunted ruin standing amidst a forest blackened by wildfire. But can he trust her? A voice that seems to be coming from beyond the grave is telling him that nothing is what it seems.
One thing is certain: with his world collapsing around him, Tom has only a few hours to recover the life he knew — before he, too, is lost forever in this nightmare city.