For my second post as part of the Book of Apex Volume 4 Blog Tour (the first being my review posted yesterday) I have an interview with one of the authors featured in the book, Adam-Troy Castro. Adam has written many books of different genres and for different ages, just a small selection of which is shown below. If you’d like to learn more about the tour, then please click the banner above.
Rinn: Firstly, thank you for letting me interview you! When I read your short story, During the Pause, in the Book of Apex Vol 4, I was surprised by the style as I haven’t read much (or anything!) written in second person plural. What inspired you to write this particular piece?
Adam-Troy: I’m afraid certain stories have no brilliantly informative genesis myths, and this is one of them. I seem to recall working my way back from the final line, and trying to come up with something that would render it horrific beyond measure. I have actually done a number of prior second-person stories in my career, including my first fiction publication, “Clearance to Land” and my zombie story “Dead Like Me,” but I kind of think that this will be the only second-person to all of humanity I’ll ever do.
Rinn: It certainly was horrific, I had chills down my spine whilst reading it! What I particularly liked about it was that the reader might immediately assume it was an alien race, talking down to humans. But who’s to say it wasn’t us, addressing an alien race in the future? There was a lot of ambiguity that left it open, which I thought was very clever.
Adam-Troy: It’s clever of you. That never occurred to me. But now that I think about it, I realize your theory doesn’t work. The species speaking say at one point that they have no concept of religion, and that the species they’re addressing do.
Rinn: I did think that, but I also thought that perhaps if it was the human race very far into the future, maybe there is no concept of religion any more? Very far-fetched I know… But moving on. How would you react if aliens invaded and relayed a similar message to the human race? I feel that it would be all my nightmares from science fiction at once…
Adam-Troy: Oh, I would freak out, certainly. I suspect that there would be a lot of yelling during that five seconds.
Rinn: Will you be working on any more short stories linked to this one, or does it link to any of your current or upcoming works?
Adam-Troy: Nope, this is a stand-alone.
Rinn: Have you got any particular favourite stories in the Book of Apex Vol 4?
Adam-Troy: I am particularly fond of Christopher Barzak’s “The Twenty-Four Hour Brother.”
Rinn: Have you always been a big fan of science fiction?
Adam-Troy: Since being ruined forever by Asimov, Clarke, and Ellison pre-10. (And Godzilla.)
Rinn: Who, or what, are your inspirations?
Adam-Troy: I think the last answer covers some of it, but there are always new voices, new discoveries. Every new gem by someone I never heard of, is an occasion for gritted teeth and a determined, “Well? Oh Yeah?”
Rinn: One of my favourite things is discovering a brilliant new author or series. So exciting! Do you often use the online book community as a resource for your work ie. reading reviews of your books, interacting with readers. It’s always interesting as a blogger to see how our reviews and comments are used.
Adam-Troy: I am told that the time I spend on social media, bitching about one thing or another, really needs to be applied to a blog. Sooner or later, I suppose I shall.
Rinn: Haha, social media is the worst thing ever for procrastination. I note that you are a movie buff! What are your recent favourites? I’m hoping to go and see American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street some time soon.
Adam-Troy: Most recent theatrical film to blow me away was All Is Lost, with Robert Redford. I watch an awful lot of Korean and other Asian films these days: they really do have a sensibility we’ve lost in our stampede toward formula, that stories need to play for keeps, and that anything can happen.
Rinn: And finally – who would be at your fantasy dinner party? And what would you serve?
Adam-Troy: My biggest problem with most of these fantasy dinner parties is that many of the great figures of history didn’t smell all that nice, by our standards. Shakespeare’s funk would clear a modern-day restaurant, and Twain would insist on lighting up a cigar, afterward. I wouldn’t mind meeting some of these people, but I would have to turn off my sense of scent first. One thing I would like to do, really, is take the Donner Party out for pizza.