What goes on behind the curtains?
How do the authors feel about the game and the writing process?
As we are progressing with the Act 1 plotlines we thought you might enjoy a mini interview of one of our main authors. At the same time, this is a great way for us be very outspoken and share some light on the persona of our development team.
We are starting this mini interview series with Glen Johnson, who is a forty-one year old English author. His bestselling apocalyptic series, The Sixth Extinction has reached #1 in America and England on Amazon, and reached the top ten in another eleven countries, as well as on iTunes and Barnes & Noble.
You are a productive post-apocalyptic author. How do you keep yourself inspired?
Glen: Honestly, I like to be able to eat! Just joking, although, in a sense, it’s the truth. I only have two sources of income. Firstly, from my own writing; I have self-published thirty-three of my books through an on-line publisher I own called Sinuous Mind Books. Secondly, through another on-line publisher I own called Red Skull Publishing, I have published another forty-two modern-classic books. Both are on Facebook if you want to check them out.
Any quirky writing habits?
Glen: None whatsoever. I hear people like to listen to a particular kind of music, or have certain scented candles, or sit by running water. To be honest I can write anywhere. For the last seven months, I have been backpacking around Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, and I am about to head to Cambodia, and in that time, regardless of where I am – in a hut on an island, or a guesthouse above a noisy bar, or a hotel in China Town – I have managed to write and publish ten books of my own, and edit, format, create the covers for, and publish another eleven modern classics.
What is so appealing about the post-apocalyptic theme and setting?
Glen: I like the fact that the human race is so resilient. That given a world ending situation, we can pick up the pieces and continue surviving. It brings out the best and the worst in people, and I like creating a mixture of both in my writing style. I also like the fact it is a completely unknown area; it has never happened, so it’s all speculations on our part, and the fact that in every scenario, regardless of how bad the world gets, there are always humans around to perpetuate the race. Forget cockroaches, humans just never die off.
What got you interested in The Seed project?
Glen: It is unique – a new format – a novel based computer game. As a child, I like the paperbacks where you determined where the story led. Kind of, turn to page 121 to fight the dragon, or page 56 to scuttle into the woods. I have fond memories of roll-playing books, and The Seed is the evolutionary equivalent for the next generation of roll-players, and I am excited to be part of it.
Which writers inspire you?
Glen: Cormac McCarthy and Alden Bell. The Road by Cormac McCarthy was an inspiration. Then a few weeks later I read The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell and within a few days, I sat down and started my own mixture of the two: The Sixth Extinction Series, which is now on its seventeenth book. Up until that Eureka moment, I was writing mainly horror, with some fantasy and Sci-Fi (even some erotica). Even though I enjoyed my style, I was ready for a change, and I liked the idea of a post-apocalyptic world, and the suffering and struggle that came along with it, but also the extra fact of tossing in another problem – zombies! However, unlike the slow lumbering, brain eating undead of most in the genre; I went for a completely new twist and delivery system, and gave it an ancient historical background. You’ll just have to read them to find out what I’m talking about.
What motivates you to write dark and gritty fiction? Doesn't it influence your mood in a negative way?
Glen: It just seems my best style of writing. I like the way it affects the reader. I like to provoke a reader into feeling something. If you read a book and simply put it down and carry on, it hasn’t done the job of making you react. When I get 5 star reviews about The Sixth Extinction on Amazon like: “One of the best of its genre.” Or, for Lamb Chops & Chainsaws: “Curiously written, leaving the reader to ponder on the horror for hours to come. Phenomenal!” Then it’s all worth while. However, writing such disturbing things doesn’t affect me on a personal level. I don’t wear all black, and dye my hair raven, or paint my nails and sulk in dark corners, afraid of the sun, my writing is just an expression – an art form – and everyone who meets me has no idea what I do for a living – I’m quiet a happy fella.
Is humor an obligatory aspect to be featured in any good novel?
Glen: Of course, everything needs a lighter side, depending on the storyline, sometimes it has to be very subtle. Everything can’t be all doom and gloom; you want the readers to come back, not hang themselves. I have three books out, called, Lamb Chops & Chainsaws, Lobsters & Landmine, and French Fries & Flamethrowers, and each book has nine short horror stories, but each story has a subtly funny, ironic – tongue-in-cheek – twist.
Do you believe in fate or coincidence?
Glen: I’m a strong believer in Karma – you get back (in one sense or another) what you put into this world. One of my favourite sayings is: Everything Happens for a Reason. Mainly because of all the things that have ever happened to me, along the way I can always look back and think, ah, so that’s why that happened.
Are you a spiritual man?
Glen: I have dabbled with a few religions in my life; none have worked out. I believe we all need something to look up to, so we don’t feel alone in the universe, whether that’s a God or a cause, it’s up to the individual to choose what works best for them. I’d like to think that when we die, a switch isn’t flicked off, that there’s more to this existence than a few years meandering around on this spinning ball or dirt, but I suppose I will have to wait until I snuff it to find out what that is.
The Seed has multiple possible endings. What sort of impact does this have on your normal approach to writing?
Glen: I like it. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing for the game. It changes the whole approach when I set out to write a chapter. Of course, it also makes it more difficult, because there are more variables to consider. I always have to juggle ten things at once – nothings linear – everything has multiple outcomes. Of course, also remembering everything can give me a bit of a headache.
How do you feel about working in a team as opposed to writing as a solo author?
Glen: I have to consider everyone else’s style – we have to make a coherent story, which simply wouldn’t work if you could tell two, three, or four different writers contributed, so everything has to gel. There are certain ticks, references, and subtleties that need to stay fixed throughout. It would be no good, say, if we couldn’t even agree on what colour hair the main character has!
Do you feel there is a certain symbolism or something a bit more in the title of the game "The Seed"?
Glen: It brings to mind something that can spread, continue to grow – forever changing. Something deep down, an unconscious part of us, reacts to particular words. The word 'seed' is something, when mixed with a dark subtext, provokes a primordial stirring.