Tuesday, September 17, 2013
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: James C. DeSantis
Reading new books gives me a chance to delve a little into someone's mind, but not all of it. Doing these interviews, I not only give you, reader, a look into an author's mind, but I give myself a peek as well.
Growing up I always wanted to know more about the person behind the book, and now I get the chance every week.
This week it's the author of the action/adventure/fantasy novel Exterminators: Infected, the first in a five part series: James C. DeSantis.
1. You published your first novel, Exterminators: Infected, recently. What made you want to be a writer and how old were you when you decided that wasthe case?
*I was 13, when I thought to myself, this is what I want to do. Now over a decade later I finally published a novel. It took some time to get to it, but I wanted to be a bit older before getting my name out there. I knew at the age though that this is what I wanted to do. To give people a world that's exciting, interesting, and a bit scary. Something people would remember forever. That was my goal when I first thought of the idea of Exterminators. *
2. What authors did you enjoy when you were younger? What authors inspire you today?
*I grew up reading a lot of different types of books. In the fantasy world, I enjoyed authors such as Darren Shan, Jonathan Stroud, and even J. K. Rowling. Moving more into the realistic zone I read books from Dave Pelzar, who wrote A Boy Called It. Also, stories from anonymous people such as GoAsk Aliace, Jay's Journal, and Lucy In The Sky. Nowadays I read works from Stephen King a lot, and try to spread the love to other upcoming writers. I have taste that varies, so I never really get bored.*
3. Does reviewing and playing videos games inspire your writing?
*In a way. I review so many games, so that means I go through too many stories to count. This helps me from a story that's original. Nothing like I've played or heard before. At least that's my goal. So reviewing a story,hundreds over the years, has help me become a better writer. *
4. Where did you get the idea for the novel: four teens battling monsters from another realm?
*It's a mix of things. One major goal was to have a group of people in my book. You ever read a book and decide you enjoy the side characters more than the main character? I didn't want that. I wanted you to like my main character. So I created four, very different, people to be the center of attention for the series. So having four personalities, fighting together, was the very first idea I had for the story. It changed a lot but my idea of good vs. evil isn't always simple. The basic idea of the first book is humans have to stop monsters. Monsters are always evil. Yet, I make sure certain characters questioned it. I want to make sure the reader also questions what is happening. If you aren't, I probably have to step up my writing! *
5. Each character in Infected has his/her own, unique personality. Were any of them based on people in real life or were they wholly imaginary?
*Some of their looks are based off of people I know. Some of the names are based off the people I've met or are friends with. However, each character is made up a certain way I envisioned them. Nobody is based off of anyone one hundred percent. I'd be lying, though, if I said I didn't take some people I knew and place their face in the story at least. *
6. Why did you decide to make this a 5-part series? Was it because you had too many ideas to fit it into one or two books or are you more fond of multi-book series in general?
*Actually, the original plan was to have six books! I only recently decided to have it five. The second to last book was almost entirely scratched for a more realistic take to a ending. I do like longer series though. You get attached to characters. You feel for them. They almost become part of your life. *
7. All of the monsters in your story are original, even the Cyclops, asyou gave it a new take. Where did you get the ideas for them?
*When I think of a monster I try to think of something that scares me. Something that makes me wanna throw up just by looking at it. Something deadly, that can kill you in real life. Monsters in fantasy stories are great, and I obviously take some ideas from general fantasy designs, but I decided to give them their own take. Make them live up to their title as monsters. *
8. Why did you decide to make the heroes be kids in high school instead of adults a bit older?
*When you're a kid or a teenager you believe more. You're willing to accept and trust people more when you are young. You also go through the hardest times. Love, betrayal, and figuring out what you want in life. I felt that would be a good age for the boys so that they grow into men. Of course I love to also write the older characters, since they are closer to my age and easier to relate. *
9. When you finished the first installment, did it end up anything like you had originally thought?
*My original ideas slipped into the story. I actually wrote the entire first book back when I was fifteen. I completed it, over fifty-five chapters, but got rid of almost all of it in the rewrite. I re-wrote the story maybe four times through my teens. I then rewrote the story in March of this year, and released it in May. I had a set mind path of where my story would end up this time. Re-reading the story around three times now, I like where it ended up. Sure, I had a few cliches I wanted to avoid but overall it set the blueprint for the next three books. Which makes me very excited to release the next one. *
10. What made you start getting into reviewing video games, as that isyour other niche?
*I was sitting in my room one day with a friend and we were very bored. I had just gotten a camera and I already owned a ton of video games. So we figured, why not try something with both? That's when I decided to review games. It is my other niche, along with other things. I'm always a big believer in do what makes you happy! *
11. The weapon you gave the characters, the Rod, can become anything they want if they believe hard enough. That is a variation of what people tell kids from the time they're young. Did you intentionally want to reinforce that statement--you can do anything if you believe--when you created the weapon?
*Yes! You are the first to pick up on this. In life, I've been taught that if you try hard enough you can achieve anything. I live by that now. I believe that if I tried hard enough I can get what I wanted. This is whatthe Rod represents. It can become anything you want. The stronger the weapon or item is, the harder it is to use or keep around. So you have to train, both physically and mentally, to gain what you want. In a world filled with people telling you that things are impossible, I thought this was a good answer. This world seems impossible, so why not give those naysayers a little of their own medicine!? *
12. Why did you create such unconventional monsters instead of sticking tothe usual route of werewolves (not hybrids!) and vampires?
*While some stories can use conventional type monsters well, I just couldn't. Why? I like to make my own rules up. To many rules in the old tales. I wanted to make my monsters unique and fun. Different than anythingyou've seen before. Even my take on a werewolf is different. A wolf hybrid shares ideas of a werewolf but it's very different in the end. So I like to create my monsters from scratch. *
13. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
*Probably focus on doing more video game reviews. However, while that'sfun, it isn't my dream. Writing is everything I could hope for. Creating aworld to get lost in. It's amazing. *
14. What can we expect to see from you in the future?
*Well Exterminators: Shadows is coming out in January of 2014. That willbe the second in the series, with the third following behind in somewherelate 2014. I also have a book in the making called Sparks and stars ayoung adult who has obtained two very unique things. The ability to useelectricity with his body. The other one is that he has cancer. It'll beboth a story about heroics and trials to try and survive against the cityhe lives in and the disease he faces. So those are my plans for the nextfew years. *
15. Thank you very much for participating in the interview! Can you pleaseleave the reader with three things that may surprise them about you?
*Thank you very much for giving me an interview! I had a blast answeringall these questions. To finish it off I'll list the three things that might surprise people.
1) I create music. Another hobby of mine since a kid. I write my ownlyrics, produce my own beats, and rap over them. It's a fun hobby of minethat I like to share with the world.
2) Sometimes when I write, I get so absorbed, that I feel like I'm livinginside my books. Almost as if I'm actually apart of that world. It's prettysvary!
3) Each character in the story represents my personality or stages in life.So all together they make me. Pretty crazy, huh? *
Purchase Exterminators: Infected via the following links:
Barnes & Noble
Find James online:
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