Now that I've decided to finally self-publish S3, I thought I'd take a moment to just sit down and talk about the book for those wondering stuff like, "What is an S3?", "What is the book about?", "Why should I care?", "How many fingers am I holding up?", "Whose nose did I just pick?"... and of course, the most important question of all-- "Wait--wait--wait a minute... you're still alive? Then where the heck is the next sequel to--"
(No, no, no... we are not even going to go there.)
So anyway, back on topic... since I'm self-publishing the book, I figured I might as well self-interview too (yeah, the situation is that sad) :) !
There will probably be a few light SPOILERS, so just a heads up.
With that said, here we go!
Me: Before I begin, on behalf of everyone here, I'd just like to--
I: Just skip to the important stuff please. You're just talking to yourself, you know.
Me: Oh. Okay then. Uh...let's see here.... I guess I'll go with... um...What is an S3?
I: Really? You're opening with that question? Isn't there something better--well, I suppose it's not too bad of a question. The title doesn't say much about the book. S3 is the code name of the main character.
Me: Code name? So what you're saying is that this book is like a spy novel?
I: Yes and no. I'd prefer to call it more of a parody of a spy novel... for kids. The main character--his name is Stanley Stanley Stanley, by the way; that's where we get the S3 from--is a very unremarkable individual. Yet from the beginning of the story, he's been marked as... THE CHOSEN ONE.
Me: The chosen one? Like we haven't heard that one before. Isn't that a bit...cliche?
I: Exactly! Like I said, it's a parody. I want to make that clear. Don't go in expecting anything serious. In fact, the actual concept behind the book is completely silly. For most adventure/fantasy/action stories (even most of the ones I write), it's always been about saving the world. One of Stanley's opening lines is, "The world always ends. Not almost. Not sometimes. Always." Even the title of the first chapter is, "The World Always Ends." I tried my best to make it clear that this book isn't going to run away from the cliches. No, my hope was to run them to the ground in fun ways. The book is just one huge joke about how the world always has to be on the verge of ending and how the heroes always have to be unexpected.
Me: You keep emphasizing the whole the-world-always-ends thing. Did you ever consider that for the title of the book?
I: Of course. As you probably guessed, that was the original title.
Me: Why did you change it? "The World Always Ends" sounds fitting.
I: I didn't intend to change it at first. The thought never crossed my mind until this one time--when I told someone the name of the book--I got a response I never expected. He told me something along the lines of: "Oh, so it's a depressing story?" That really made me reconsider the title. While it's nice to have a title that accurately summarizes the general idea, I think it's better to have a title that also fits the tone. Silly book. Silly, nonsensical title.
Me: Okay. So it's a wacky story about teenage spies saving a world that always ends?
I: Basically. Throw in some time-travel, special abilities/powers, other dimensions, government conspiracies, and genuinely improbable scenarios... and you've packed it in a nutshell.
Me: Wait. Did you say special powers? What kind of special powers are we talking about here?
I: I don't want to spoil it as it's kind of vital to the plot. But I will say that it's nothing as over the top as Coranite Chronicles. S3 has some action, but it takes a back seat to the fun, silliness and the story.
Me: Since S3 is a parody of spy stories, I take it this means you're a fan of the genre?
I: I'm actually not particularly fond of it. I like to watch James Bond films, but wouldn't consider myself a fan of the genre.
Me: Then why did you choose to write S3?
I: All I wanted to do was write a fun book about saving the world. That's it. I think the concept of a time-traveling secret agent just felt like the easiest way to do it. I chose this design because of the freedom. In the story it talks about how the world can end every single week, but a band of time-traveling heroes prevents thousands of disasters from occurring without anyone else knowing. With the story set up the way it is, it allows for endless possibilities of world-ending scenarios. That freedom of the design is what I love most about the story and that's why S3 turned out the way it did. Even after I finished the book, which is meant to be a standalone story, my mind automatically came up with a concept for a sequel (which I doubt will happen). That freedom drove me to it.
Me: That's a definite no for a sequel?
I: Nothing is ever definite. But I have other projects to work on, and the commitment to write a novel from start to finish (especially a lengthy one) is so great that I can't put myself to it without motivation. And that motivation comes from the readers. Anything that is created is created for a purpose. Even if you were to create something that has no purpose to prove a point that something could be created without a purpose, that would be a purpose in and of itself (I apologize. That was...terribly worded). Books were meant to be read, not written. If there's no demand for a sequel, there's no motivation because I write to entertain.
Me: Well, I guess that about wraps it up. Any additional words?
I: I do have a little something more to say. When I was preparing the novel for submission to agents and the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest, I had to cut out as many words as possible to lower the word count. I cut out a few chapters entirely and had to rewrite a couple of sections. Some spots of the story might seem a bit... odd because I couldn't figure out how to perfectly revise it in a way that would feel natural with the lack of certain chapters. I do apologize for that, but I assure all you readers that it doesn't affect the story at all.
And that's all I have to say. Boy, am I tired of talking to myself.
Me: Me too. Let's shut up now.