I’m running a small blog on my UK publisher’s website, www.the-b-word.co.uk, and rather than repeat the information I’m going to just mirror them here. This one’s a few days late, but expect the rest of them to surface on Fridays.
20 Feb 2009
Hi! My name is Dan Wells, and I’m the author of the new book I Am Not a Serial Killer, which comes out in a few weeks. It’s the story of a boy named John who has a very dark side that he keeps tightly bottled up, and then a monster comes to town and he has to let his dark side out in order to stop it. In other words, it’s the kind of book where the hero is maybe a little scarier than the villain—and it’s got a pretty scary villain, so that’s saying a lot.
I’ve always been fascinated with villains. I love the darkness, the sense of fear, and the tragic mix of power and damnation. A great villain usually thinks he’s the good guy—he has a good reason for being bad, even if that reason is flawed or outright false. I don’t necessarily want the bad guys to win, but I love to watch them try, and when they finally fall I find myself identifying with them even more. As John tells his mother in one of the early chapters of the book: “It’s not weird to be fascinated by that. It’s weird not to be.” Playing with that idea, I Am Not a Serial Killer blurs the lines between hero and villain in some pretty cool ways. John is a good kid, and he desperately wants to be the hero, but sometimes the only way to be a hero is to become a monster yourself.
I’ll talk more about heroes and monsters in the coming weeks, but first let me tell you a little more about myself. I was born in the US, in the state of Utah, where I’ve lived most of my life (plus two years I spent living in Mexico, which I loved). I am the oldest of three children, and at the young age of 31—yes, that’s still considered young—I have four children of my own. I love to read, write, eat, and play games; I have an entire room of my house stuffed to the gills with tabletop miniatures, roleplaying games, trading cards, and an ever-growing collection of board games. My five-year-old son already shows strong signs of growing to be just like me: his favorite games are all the ones with monsters on the cover.
Next week: I spent my childhood reading everything I could get my hands on. Find out what I read, and why, and which were my favorites.