Derek Gunn Interview
Posted by Michelle on May 28, 2008
Although I’ve read quite a few vampire books, Derek takes a different approach, and his first book was a little different to what I used to. It proved, however, to be a thrilling read.
Derek tells us a little more..
Q. Can you start by telling a little about your first novel, Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder?
A. Well, imagine a world where our most precious resources have dried up and communities are left to fend for themselves. Add to this the fact that these communities only take those who will contribure most to their community and the rest are left to struggle. Oh, and add in the fact that vampires have taken this opportunity to become dominant. And that’s all in the Prologue.
Q. Did the story develop from wanting to write about vampires.. or did the idea of a war come first?
A. The idea had been mulling around my mind for some time. I would think through whole scenes, and write them only to put them away. Then one day I decided that I should start to put it all together and see where it led. I needed a protaganist that was all powerful but I needed a good enough reason for them waiting until now to make their move. The world’s dwindling resources is topical at the moment so it fits in nicely.
Q. Did you always intend for it to be a series, or did that come after the first book was written?
A. To be honest I wondered if I could get to the end of the book, let alone a series. The scope is huge, of course, but I was concentrating on a small area within a larger world. The first book was centred around one community and one cabal of vampires. The second one expands that a little but including the surrounding States and the third …well that would be telling.
Q. What can we expect to see in the next books.. where are you taking the story?
A. Descent into Chaos kicks the story into high gear. The rebels pull themselves from the wreckage of their base only to find that defeating one vampire Lord is only the beginning.
They have resource problems, food problems and internal political problems as their community grows with the sudden influx of Nero’s prisoners. They are surrounded by States where the Vampire political situation is far from stable. They discover another problem with the serum that throws all their plans into the air and sets the spark that threatens to ignite the whole area into War.
This book is bigger than the last one, it has more action and the characters start to reveal many of the details that were only touched upon in the first book. Trust me, if you liked the first one you will love this one.
The third book will expand even further on these themes, at least for those characters still left…
The second book, Descent into Chaos is already available for pre-order and I would expect to see it shipping early September. The third book, Fallout, will be early 2009 I imagine.
Q. What made you decide to make your vampires so different from the ones that seem so popular in books today?
A. Basically I got sick of reading about charming and sensual dead creatures. In my mind vampires are ferocious creatures with no remorse. In their very essence they are dead, or undead, so a huge change has taken place. How can passion effect a creature whose blood merely ambles through their bodies? Their very values are different as well, we are food to them. They are so powerful that we are beneath their consideration. They just happen to have this fatal flaw that inhibits their ability to rule. They cannot protect themsleves during the hours of daylight. This is a pretty big flaw and one which has forced them to remian in the shadows.
Q. I understand that we may see you story on the big screen? What’s the latest on that?
A. Things seem to be progressing really well. The script, penned by two very talented filmmakers, Richard Finney and Franklin Guerrero, is written and ready to go. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had an opportunity to read it and I’m delighted with their adaptation of VA Recently, producer Robert Lawrence (Die Hard with a Vengence, Clueless, The Last Castle) has come on board.
Q. So, who do you want to see playing your main characters?
A. I don’t care to be honest. There’s a lot to be said for using unknown actors as they can grow into the role but if Brad Pitt’s available then I have no problem with that.
Q. Have you always enjoyed writing, and what else have you done?
A. Yes I have, though there are few outlets in Ireland for the kind of fiction I like. I have written three other novels at this point. ‘Who wants to Live Forever’ is a mystery/end of the world storyline, ‘The Island’ is a zombie novel with a difference and ‘The HMS Swift Adventures’ which cover stories set in the time of the Napoleonic wars, with a supernatural element thrown in.
Q. Do you get any time to read for pleasure? Who are some of your favourite authors?
A. I am always reading. I love Graham Masterton, James Herbert and early Stephen King. Of the newer authors I particularly like Jonathon Mayberry.
Q. Apart from the Vampire Apocalypse series, do you have anything else planned.. what can we expect next?
A. Well, that depends. I have a few ideas for another Vampire Apocalypse novel but I would love to do another HMS Swift story. I have another idea for a new series but it’s too early to say anything at this point. It really depends on how the sales go and whether the other books are taken up or not. One thing is certain though, there will be another book.
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