Thursday, November 3, 2011
Author Interview: Estevan Vega
If you found out your son was going to be born like Arson, burning from the inside, how would you react?
Um...freaked out. I think most of us...no, all of us would be freaked in a way. I mean, how messed up is that, to have your child, whom you view as this beautiful new creation of life, what is supposed to be, in essence, you, coming out of your wife or girlfriend as a monster on fire. It's pretty crazy. And creepy. And terrifying, and that's the effect I was aiming for when I wrote chapter 1 of ASHES. You see pregnancy scenes so often in movies. You've seen the frantic ones and the somewhat calm ones, and I remember wanting to write the birth scene of Arson long before I even started writing the sequel, but I thought it would have more potency opening the sequel with it. I remember seeing the birth scene in Orphan a few years ago, and I'm like, "I gotta top that."
What was the hardest part about writing ASHES, versus writing ARSON?
I think a lot of people think writing a sequel is easy, because you know the characters already and how they'd react and whatever, but I was terrified going into this writing process. First off, I'd never written a sequel before. Second, I wasn't sure if I could. And C...how was I supposed to follow up what I, and a lot of readers, considered my best work? I got this pressure that I wasn't used to now swimming in my veins. I wasn't sure where the story would go. I had ideas, sure, but not a definitive ending, and I even wrestled with a lot of the plot lines. But eventually, I was able to just focus on telling the story and upping the ante...which, you know, is kinda one of the rules. If I were to identify the most challenging process of all, after facing my fear of screwing up my favorite character, I'd have to say writing Joel and Aimee. I knew I wanted them in the story, but they were becoming this mammoth complication. I was writing chapter after chapter and for some reason, it just wasn't going anywhere or it just didn't come off "real" enough to me. And if I wasn't buying it, my audience wouldn't buy it either. So I ended up scrapping about 40 or so pages of Joel and Aimee scenes and rewriting them all, going in an entirely new direction. Thankfully, that new direction was found, because it allowed me to discover, with the suggestion of my dad, Kyro, one of the most unique characters in ASHES.
If you could pair Arson and Emery with any character from any book, who would you pick for each?
My publisher is also an author, and he's written a book called AIREL. It's about a teenager who hasn't found out she's an angel yet, and a sick group of other fallen creatures who are after her. Story line is pretty tight. I think Emery would be a cool side character in that book. She'd be that cool chick in the corner nobody pays attention to except to stare at her creepy mask. Fits with the whole theme of AIREL also, of feeling like you don't belong. For Arson, I'd put him in I am Legend. For those who haven't read it, it's much better than the Will Smith version, and it's actually about vamps. Creepy, gross vamps. Robert Neville is this vampire hunter, and I think he could use a sidekick, one who could create fire. I mean, how much easier would it be to nuke a bunch of vampires instead of having to stake em or constantly be using garlic? It'd be so sick.
It's just you and Arson, and a room full of Death Eaters. What happens?
A lot of violence. Probably some name-calling. A minor flesh wound would most likely occur as well. The second the outbreak starts and the weird, British baddies arrive, I'm, of course, looking for the nearest machine gun, praying, or rummaging through my pockets searching for Harry Potter's cell phone number. (Why am I always misplacing that frickin' thing?) Arson, on the contrary, is telling me to chill out while raging up for a lot of butt-whooping. Wands or no wands, those pansies, and that weirdo without a nose, are going down.
What kind of dinosaur would you describe yourself as?
Pachycephalosaurus. Google that ish.
Posted by Kari Olson at 7:42 PM