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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Interview with Blake Crouch (Interviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Official Blake Crouch Website
Order “WaywardHERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Pines" by Blake Crouch
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of “Eerie” by Blake and Jordan Crouch
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of “Run” by Blake Crouch
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of “Serial Killers Uncut” by Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Wayward" by Blake Crouch
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s Interview with Blake Crouch (2011)

Blake Crouch started out as a traditionally published author however over the last few years, has carved out a name for himself by self-publishing his newer books. It was his book "RUN" that captivated me and made me into a fan of his. His most recent books; the Wayward Pines series have been a trendsetter and now are being made into a TV miniseries by M. N. Shyamalan and FOX. So here Blake was very kind to answer a few questions about these wonderful books, the upcoming TV series and his recent turn as a producer and writer, read on and enjoy...

Q] Welcome back to Fantasy Book Critic, with your release of Wayward earlier last month, you are back in the thick of another series and one that is vastly different from all your previous ones. How has the overall reader reception been so far to this series and how has your fan base reacted to it? 

BC: Thankfully, reader reception has been tremendously positive, and my fan base seems satisfied too, although I still get a lot of email asking me to go back to my characters from Desert Places and the Serial Series.

Q] Your last couple of books including this series as well as your collaboration with your brother has been an interesting amalgamation of genres. What lead to this shift? 

BC: I’m not sure. I think lately the kinds of stories I’ve wanted to tell just haven’t fit neatly into any single genre. I certainly didn’t set out to write a horror/mystery/thriller/sci-fi/fantasy with the Wayward Pines series. I just set out to tell that particular story.

Q] Let’s talk a bit more about Pines and this series, could you tell us as to how the inception for it occurred and whether it was a standalone book in which you saw potential for further stories or was it always meant to be a series? 

BC: When I first started writing Pines, I only imagined it as one book, but as I neared the end of Pines, it occurred to me that in reality, I had only sketched the outline of this incredibly interesting (well, to me) and haunting world.

As far as the inception of Pines, it started one night when I was staying in Ouray, Colorado on vacation. That town looks exactly like how I imagine Wayward Pines in my head. Quaint mountain town, enclosed by towering cliffs. A little question popped up that night as I strolled the streets of Ouray. What if one man owned every piece of property in town? What if I kept trying to leave town, but there was no road out, and all the residents actively tried to stop me? With those initial questions, I was off and running.

Q] After your announcement earlier this year that Pines was being picked up for a miniseries, the excitement of all your fans was at a fever pitch. Please elaborate on how this all came to be? 

BC: A screenwriter named Chad Hodge wrote the pilot script last fall and we sold it to FOX. They greenlit the series (10 episodes) in May and we went into production this August after assembling an amazing cast including Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, and Juliette Lewis.

Q] What is your role in the production of the miniseries? How actively are you involved (Is it similar to George R.R. Martin with Game of Thrones or less/more)?

BC: I’m producing and writing some of the episodes and spending some time up here in Canada as the  filming occurs.

Q] Now a question about the Wayward Pines series, how many books are being planned for it in total? What could you tell us about book III and the series beyond (perhaps its title and a tiny bit of what happens next)?

BC: Right now, it’s planned as a trilogy. I’m about 10,000 words away from finishing the last book, which is called THE LAST TOWN. It picks up right where WAYWARD left off. Abbies are on the verge of invading the town, and we’ll get to find out what that Nomad discovered on his mission beyond the fence.

Q] Now when it comes to most TV or film adaptations, there are always going to be changes with regards to plot, characters and themes. How strong will this adaptation be in terms of your involvement and vis-à-vis the actual story in the books?

BC: It’s going to be a very strong adaptation. Of course, there are changes, which are necessary in the context of trying to tell the story of these books as essentially a 10-hour movie. But fans of the books won’t feel like they’re watching a completely different story. It is remarkably faithful but with some very cool, new surprises.

Q] Can you tell us as to how the story is being adapted? Will the TV series be focusing on just the first book or the entire trilogy?

BC: It pulls from the entire series which consists of PINES, WAYWARD and THE LAST TOWN.

Q] Earlier this year Amazon came out with Kindle Worlds, a new program for legitimized fan fiction. Among the 8 works that are set up for this new exciting experiment is your Wayward Pines series. What led you to submit your world to this fascinating concept? Also what you think of writers such F. Paul Wilson, Jordan Crouch, Brett Battles writing in your fantastic creation?

BC: Amazon approached me to be one of the first writers to participate in their Kindle Worlds program. I thought it was experimental, cutting edge, and a very cool way to allow fans to play in my Wayward Pines world without the usual entanglements that result from unauthorized fan fiction. It is surreal and hugely flattering to have my brother (Jordan Crouch), Brett Battles, Stephen Romano, Robert Swartwood, and of the great F. Paul Wilson writing in the Pines universe. Much more to come!

Q] What’s next for you in terms of new projects? Any further collaborative ventures with Joe or your brother? Can you tell us anything about your solo stories?

BC: I don’t know yet. Still too deeply entrenched in the world of Wayward Pines!

Q] Lastly, how do you feel about your growth as a writer with the amount of different books that you have written? What can readers look forward to now?

BC: I think I’m still growing as a writer (and I never want to stop learning). I have a feeling that the experience of developing and writing this TV series will have a profound effect on my next standalone book project.

Readers anxious for something, now can read CONFIDENCE GIRL, the collection of Letty Dobesh novellas which has been recently released.

NOTE: Author picture by Paul Pennington and courtesy of the author. 



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