Friday, 23 November 2012

An Interview With Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon, Authors of the Novel 'Deck Z'

 
'Deck Z' is a new novel by Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon placing the classic creature the zombie aboard the tragic liner the Titanic.  When a plague is released and the passengers start to turn one by one, only a select few can stop the plague getting to America but who will survive? 
 
Now Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon have very kindly taken the time to join us here today to talk about their debut novel entitled 'Deck Z', which is available from all good book stockists now.
 
PC: 'Deck Z' is your debut novel, which must have been daunting for both of you. What made you decide to jump in the novel world? 
 
CP: I had written a thriller previously that still is sitting in the broiler waiting for a rewrite so I already had a toe in the water, so to speak.
MS: Both of us have lots of experience in other forms of creative writing, including screenwriting and comedy writing.  That probably made the experience a little easier than if we'd gone in with no professional experience at all.
 
PC: Did you have any quirks or habits during the writing to psych yourself up for the long writing process? 
 
CP: I listen to a lot of heavy instrumental rock as a habit and fear my house getting foreclosed upon as a motivation.
MS: Green tea and 70s funk.
 
PC: Setting a zombie tale aboard the Titanic is a new and unique addition to the genre. How did the idea for the novel come about? 
 
CP: Our editor, Sarah Malarkey, came up with the idea.
MS: From there, it was fun to flesh it out and see what new wrinkles we could bring to the genre.
 
PC: The thing that strikes the reader when reading the novel is the sheer amount of detail about the liner and the characters themselves. How long did you spend researching the tale? 
 
CP: Months, probably, if you take all the time in aggregate. Just figuring out where to set the story aboard the ship was a series of misfires for sure.
MS: Because we're dealing with lots of real people, we felt an obligation to do right by them.  Lots of research was the price of admission.
 
PC: Did either of you have a favorite character while you were writing 'Deck Z'? 
 
CP: For me it's the Agent. He's a very morally ambiguous character, but that didn't come about in a vacuum.
MS:  Lou was my favorite.  I've got a daughter about the same age, so she was fun to write.
 
PC: Without giving anything away to the readers, is there a scene that you are most proud of? 
 
CP: I'm a big fan of the prologue, which occurs on the Titanic wreck site.
MS: There were a lot of dogs on Titanic - I enjoyed the scene where we found a way to let them have their moment in the zombie-fighting spotlight.
 
PC: Were there any authors that influenced either of you during your lives? 
 
CP: Over here it's a lot of John Steinbeck, Raymond Chandler, Alan Moore, and Hunter S. Thompson.
MS:  I'm not sure you'd see it in my writing, but I'll echo Chandler and throw in Haruki Murakami and Neil Gaiman.
 
PC: How would you describe your novel to a newcomer? 
 
CP: It's a fast-paced, historically influenced story where characters on the Titanic must decide how to best confront a monumental threat.
MS:  I'll go with one of Chris's original pitches:  Alien on a boat.  
 
PC: If either of you could collaborate with any author living or dead, is there anyone specific you would choose? 
 
CP: Honestly, I really like where Matt and I are going as a team. 
MS:  I'd take Gaiman, but only if Chris was traveling.
 
PC: After setting zombies loose on the legendary Titanic, what's next? 
 
CP: We're writing a novel (planned trilogy) about a Frank Lloyd Wright building that houses something extraordinary.
 
PC: Thank you to both of you for taking the time to talk to me. 
 
CP: Anytime!
MS: Our pleasure.

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