Today we have Suki Michelle joining us on today on Urban Fantasy Reviews. And I have to admit I was pretty excited about this book because I enjoyed the movie Contagion way to much, and Suki Michelle’s book Apocalypse Gene sounds like a fantastic paranormal twist on a great concept. I hope you enjoy reading the interview as I did! Stay tuned for review of her book later on today!
UFR: If you were picking a theme song for this book what would it be and why?
SM: First Kate, thanks so much for interviewing me. I’ll answer on behalf of Carlyle as well.
The best theme song for our book would be Knights of Cydonia by Muse. Because our book has a sort of electronic Rock & Roll feel since it is set in the near-future and mid-apocalyptic and it also it has the long steady build, with some ups and downs, and finished with a powerful crescendo.
UFR: If Olivya was in a book club what book would she be reading and why?
SM: She would be reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series: characters you can root for, long and complex adventure spanning thirteen books that she could spend in a world other than her own dystopic one, and a sense that everything will ultimately be all right in the end.
UFR: Are there any characters in the book (and if so who and how so) that share personality traits with you?
SM: Olivya would be the one I have something in common with. Lack of impulse control and a mouth that, under pressure, tends to have a will of its own . . .
UFR: What was the hardest scene for you to write and why?
SM: The first scene with Olivya in the ward with her patients was a tough one. It’s very challenging to portray a character in an empathetic way while still showing the emotional “calluses” they would have had to develop to handle such an ongoing and tragic situation.
UFR: Part of what I found so interesting about your book is the parallels between a disease with supernatural origins and how similar themes are showing up in today’s real world (think movies like Contagion), was this an intentional parallel/did you draw some of your inspiration from that?
SM: Sort of, in that I was doing medical transcription for Sloan-Kettering, which is a huge cancer treatment center so as I was doing report after report, it began to seep into my subconscious just how insidious the disease was and how it was far more horrifying then “horror” stories, so it seemed a natural fit for a mid-apocalyptic story.
UFR: Both Mikah and Olivya are under a lot of pressure to find a cure for a disease (both for different reasons), was it difficult to keep the book from being too heavy/intense?
SM: In a way it was. Fortunately, Carlyle and I both tend to find humor even in the worst of situations. As we were writing, when it really got dark, we unintentionally, started to write bits of funny in and we felt that kept reader from want to slit their wrists before they finished.
UFR: What are some of your favorite authors to read? Do you stick with the paranormal/urban fantasy genre or do you read a wider mix of books?
SM: We both read all kinds of books though my favorite author is Stephen King, I enjoy Dean Koontz, and my favorite novel was Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible. Carlyle is a huge fan of Epic Fantasy, particularly Joe Abercrombie and Erikson and Esslemont’s Malazan saga, but he also reads crime novels, literary fiction, and historical fiction.
UFR: Is there any advice that you would give to aspiring writers?
SM: You have to write even when you don’t feel like, even when you can’t stand the thought of it. Becoming a writer is like going to night school to become a lawyer or a doctor. It takes a long time and you can’t just go to class, study, and take test and write papers only when you’re in the mood. Also, be happy with all your great reviews, but still – you have to toughen up. Not everyone will love what you write. Deal with it and move on.
UFR: Do you have any new books in the works? And if so would you like to tell our readers a little bit about it?
SM: Yes, we’re very excited about a new project. We will be releasing the first two books of in the coming months called The Redemption Revelations. The novels will center around a the magical town of Redemption Arkansas circa the Great Depression, a town at the nexus of never and forever, and the crossroads of science-fiction, horror, fantasy, and magical realism.
UFR: Finally, is there anything you want your potential readers to know about you or the book?
SM: Well, what I would like to tell them is this is not a de-activate your brain type of read like some of the angsty teen types of books out there. It’s complex, but we think, ultimately, that makes for a fuller experience. Hopefully, you’ll decide for yourself and let us know.
Once again I want to thank Suki Michelle for joining us here today and don’t forget to stay tuned for the review later on today!