Friday, June 3, 2011

ISAAC MARION (INTERVIEW)


ISAAC MARION AUTHOR OF "WARM BODIES" (INTERVIEW)


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(1) You just released "WARM BODIES" a few weeks ago, when the thought of those copies piling up on the shelves hit you what was your first reaction?

The process of getting to this point was so long--over a year since I signed the book deal--that much of the astonishment had faded, but it was still pretty surreal. Friends kept sending me pictures of the book in displays at Barnes & Noble, etc. It always brought a bemused smile to my face.

(2) The book is a bit different from anything a lot of people have ever read before. Zombie love is a very new venture, was there ever a moment during the process of writing that you thought... what if they think the thought of a human girl and Zombie is too gruesome?

Oh definitely. The whole time I was writing it, I was extremely conscious of how much of a long-shot it was that I could make anyone believe this relationship. It was a very delicate balancing act, trying to make it conceivable that Julie could fall for R given the outrageous circumstances, without compromising too much and turning R into some kind of sexy good-hearted ghoul. I knew it couldn't be anything remotely close to "love at first sight". The romance in this book had to be an extremely slow boil, bringing them closer together so gradually that by the time it actually happens, the readers have gotten over their initial disgust and started to root for it.


(3) I absolutely loved the story and I know a lot of others have reviewed it as phenomenal as well. When you see those reviews does it ever feel almost surreal to you the success you've accomplished?

I've been very surprised how good the reviews have been. Before it came out, I was bracing myself to endure a flood of bile from the literary establishment. I wasn't optimistic that many critics would be able to wrap their minds around the weird mixture of highbrow and lowbrow, satirical and sincere. But the response has been amazing. I just hope enough people still pay attention to critics that the book will gain some traction from all the critical praise.


(4) What was your draw to this story? Have you always been a Zombie fan?

It started as a very short story that I wrote kind of just for the hell of it. My only thought at first was that it would be interesting to put myself into the head of this classical monster and imagine what a day in its life would be like. I have a thing for writing from strange perspectives. I have stories narrated by a cat, a dinosaur, a stoplight, etc. But I surprised myself with how deeply I was able to get into this zombie character. I started feeling a lot of parallels to my own life and issues that had been on my mind lately, and the story just wrote itself.


(5) Do you have plans to continue 'R' and 'Julie's' story in the near future?

I'm not planning to write any sequels. I don't see this as a series, as shocking as that must be to the industry these days, when it seems like any book that ever gets any attention has to become a franchise. I did write a prequel novella about the early lives and deaths of a few of the characters shortly after the apocalypse finalized itself, which will be included in a short story collection I'm hoping to publish soon, but that'll probably be the last word on that world. I never intended to build my career on the backs of zombies, and I'm ready to move on to other things.


(6) I hear the book is already in works to become a movie, when do you anticipate the beginning of shooting and when will it be out?

The last I heard, Summit is still on schedule to start filming this summer. No idea how long it takes to make and then promote a movie, but I'm sure they'll want to fast-track it, due to the unfortunate onslaught of other zombie movies coming our way.


(7) What is your one hope that you have for the success you wish to gain as a writer?

I'd like to earn a level of prestige that would allow me to write anything I want and know that it would be published by someone somewhere, no matter how non-commercial it might be. I suspect Warm Bodies might be the most commercial thing I'll ever write, so my hope is that its success will give me the freedom to cut loose and get weird.


(8) Now this is an off the wall question, if there was one thing in the world you could do that was completely over the top what would it be?

Wow, that's a pretty broad question. So many options there. I don't know, buy the Space Shuttle and cruise around the South Pacific picking up chicks? Build a floating island out of milk cartons and live on it? Blow up the moon?

(9) Tell us a little about your life now, what is a day in the life of Isaac like?

At the moment, my life is pretty dull. I live in a small northern Washington town in my girlfriend's filthy bedroom in a decrepit old house that's slowly sinking into the earth, along with 6 insane twenty-something room-mates. I wake up, go to a coffee shop, answer emails, do interviews via phone or email, then hopefully write for a while. When "work" is done, I go running or work out at the gym, then I might sit on the porch and read a book, watch a movie or something. Or if I'm feeling more social I go to shows, have beers with friends, etc. This idleness is going to change soon though. This summer is going to be off the proverbial hook.


(10) Is there any advice you'd be willing to give other aspiring authors?


Definitely! Floss every day. Wear sunblock of at least 15 spf. Check MacRumors.com before buying a new Apple product to make sure the next gen isn't about to drop. And read a lot of diverse authors but read analytically--study the techniques they use to achieve the effects they're going for, remember these techniques, and apply them in your own work. All the information you need to be a good writer is right there on the pages of other good writer's books. All you have to do is pay attention.

Awesome interview with Mr. Marion! To learn more about him and his works go to:http://burningbuilding.blogspot.com/
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