I am a huge fan of Andrew P. Weston, so imagine my joy when he agreed to be grilled on my blog today! If you’ve missed the previous posts about Heroes in Hell series and have no idea who Andrew is, here’s a quick reminder…
An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestseller, The IX, and also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.
When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.
Hell Bound is the latest addition to the Heroes in Hell Universe created by Janet Morris.
For those of you who don’t already know, Heroes in Hell is a series of shared world fantasy books, within the genre Bangsian fantasy, created and edited by Janet Morris and written by her, Chris Morris, C. J. Cherryh and others. The first 12 books in the series were published by Baen Books between 1986 and 1989, and stories from the series include both Hugo Award winners and Nebula nominees.
Janet continued the series through her own publishing company – Perseid Press – from 2011 onward with, Lawyers in Hell, followed by five more anthologies and a novel since then. Basically, the shared world premise of Heroes in Hell (also called The Damned Saga) is that all the dead wind up together in Hell, where they can pick up where they left off when still alive, except that now they’re undead, their existence becomes a no-holds-barred, merry-go-round of murderous misadventure. Anything goes – and usually does…
Hell Bound follows the adventures of Daemon Grim – The Reaper of our nightmares – and Satan’s chief bounty hunter. He’s the person the devil turns to when anything threatens the already chaotic instability that riddles his many-layered underworld (And when you think of the nature of the scumbags filling hell, you can appreciate just how busy Grim is). Tracking rebels or those fomenting treason, bringing fugitives and offenders to injustice. He’s judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one, and yet, someone who appears to be something of a paradox, for while he’s drop dead gorgeous and possesses a fantastic sense of humor, he’s fiercely loyal to Satan). He will kill you as soon as look at you. To him, mercy is a swearword, for he doesn’t feel pity or remorse. Basically, if you end up on his list there’s nothing you can do to prevent your untimely demise. As other denizens of hell say – he’s your ‘worst nightmare attired in kick-ass gothic ensemble.’
Can you imagine the despicable fun he’s going to have?
Oh, yes, I can! Many of your books are on my TBR list…my dark TBR list to be exact. Have you ever thought about writing something lighter or…even a nonfiction story? If no, why? If yes, what would it be about?
I’ve never had any real motivation to write something lighter, my mind doesn’t work that way as I usually like to concentrate on things that fill my thoughts and dreams. Don’t get me wrong, I love comedy and humorous books, but my sense of humor was forged in a highly intensive military environment. Its kinda blunt and best described as wicked. (And there’s me, a big softy around animals). The only nonfiction I’d be inclined to write is something about my life. But I’ve been through the mill a bit. Living in a haunted house as a child, the loss of siblings growing up, the further loss of my eldest child and parents in less than a year.
Even if I chose to concentrate on my working life, you’d still end up with an honest-to-god, blood n’ guts action adventure (Nothing light about it really). I don’t say a lot about what I used to do, but life serving in Special Forces and then as a cop means you run across situations that others only read about in books or watch in movies…or on the news.
Mind you, I wouldn’t mind writing a children’s story about Gizzy the Wonder Cat. He’s my special boy and follows me everywhere I go.
What is your next project?
At this current moment in time, I’m entering the final stages of the sequel to Hell Bound. That’s due to be completed sometime during December. Once that’s finished, I go straight into the subsequent plot for the next Heroes in Hell anthology (One of the great ideas Janet Morris and I came up with in discussing the character of Daemon Grim is that it would be fun to integrate his adventures into the HIH universe by evolving his story ‘real-time’ along with the anthologies).
So, the Reaper was introduced in Doctors in Hell in the short story Grim. Hell Bound carries on from that tale, and described what happens when he gets back to the underworld. At the end of Hell Bound, the stage is set for Grim’s continuing exploits in the next HIH anthology – which in turn leads into the next novel – and so forth and so on.
I only ever work on one project at a time…Although I keep notebooks for other projects and ideas that bubble away in the background…even years ahead of their time (Just wait until I get the opportunity to bring the Panácean Knights out to play)…you’ll see.
Lucky you! I wish I had only one WIP but it’s so crowded in my head that I have three…Do you ever dream about your characters? What is the weirdest dream you’ve had?
My best characters have been born in dreams. I’m fortunate in that I not only have a vivid imagination, but since I was a child I’ve been able to exercise a great deal of control over my dreams. Nine times out of ten, I know I’m asleep and can steer what I’m thinking about into a lucid experience. It’s great fun acting out various scenes in your head, although I sometimes get distracted when I start flying. I love to fly in my dreams, the sense of release and freedom is amazing.
As to the weirdest dream? There were two in particular I used to have virtually every night when I was small (And living in the haunted house I mentioned) until I learned to control my dreams properly.
In the first one, I would be floating along a narrow underground corridor, at night and in the dark. I knew that as long as I didn’t look back I’d be alright, because hundreds and hundreds of glowing eyes would illuminate as I went past and I could feel fingertips trying to pull me back. The passage went on and on and on, and whatever lived down there wanted me to panic. One day, I got fed up of simply doing nothing, so I started to take control and would turn and fight. That went on for several more years until I got big enough to make the eyes run away or blink out entirely.
Then, when I got a little older, I think about eight or nine, I started being chased by what I called the disc cutter (Three armored legs in the shape of a triskelion covered in spinning razor-sharp blades). No matter how fast I ran, jumped or flew in and out of trees and rooftops, the cutter would be right behind me. As with my other dream, I got fed up with that after a few years and turned round to fight it (A lot of ducking and diving there – I can tell you).
Any psychiatrists available? Pick the bones out of that! J Then I might discus the ones where the world and heavens burn crimson and spacetime turns inside out…hee hee.
To be honest, not a lot scares me. Life experience has made me inquisitive, and I learned very early on that if you face your fears they tend to run from you. That philosophy only got stronger as I grew up and experienced the things I did. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not reckless, but I just don’t let the things that cause anxiety take root.
What is the one question you’ve always hoped someone would ask you? And why?
What was it like the day you realized your books were being made into a series of major Hollywood films?
And the answer?
I want to give my wife and family the very best in my twilight years, and knowing I can make their lives more secure is very important to me. The day someone asks me that question, I’ll know I’ll have made that happen 🙂
Thanks very much for inviting me here,
Must dash, I have a nightmare to enjoy….
Thank you! It’s been a pleasure, as always!
Oh, and readers! Don’t forget to pre-order Andrew’s new story! You can do it here!