RW: Tallos-Episode One (Season One) has some details very much set in the South here in the United States, is that from personal experience having lived in the area, why that area specifically, or will that give too much away of the future episodes?
GRANSER: I spent quite a bit of time there, actually. I wanted to begin the series in a familiar setting so to give it a sense of authenticity. The story as a whole will span the entire country and possibly other parts of the world. But I felt the southern states would be a good place for me to begin.
RW: What genre would you categorize Tallos?
GRANSER: I consider it Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction. It’s also categorized in Action/Adventure, but that’s way too broad and vague, in my opinion.
RW: Where did the idea come from?
GRANSER: I was approached through a friend a while back to be part of a collaborative effort based on preset story guidelines. The rules for the world were already in place and all I had to do was come up with the particulars for my installment. It actually reminded me of writing fan fiction (not something I do).
Unfortunately, about the time I had the plot more or less mapped out, I had to withdraw due to other obligations. Later, once life calmed down a bit, I decided to revisit the story. I never did like the original world in which it was set, so I made some adjustments and brainstormed for a week or so. Once I had the basic concept in my head, the rest was easy.
RW: For a post-apocalyptic story I think this is something that gives a different feel. Not that it’s my particular genre, but I am familiar enough with it to know what’s what. Did you set out to intentionally be different or did the story sort of lead itself in that direction? Were you the director or the guy typing what they characters told you to say?
GRANSER: It wasn’t intentional. Like you, I’m not what one would consider an expert in the Post-Apocalyptic genre. In fact, this is my first go at it. I think that in itself may lend to a more original feel, being that I’m not following any pre-prescribed guidelines.
Regarding my approach – I’m both. I try to be the character at times, but that’s not always practical, or even preferable, when you need to move a story along. You want to develop your cast of characters in a way that is believable, but you can’t allow it to bog you down and slow the progression of the plot.
RW: Tell us about Jim Tallos? Who is he?
GRANSER: He’s an interesting mix of a selfish asshole and a brave hero. I didn’t want a “super soldier” protagonist with high morals and flawless character who can get out of any situation due to his Rambo-like kickassyness (yes, that’s a word) and MacGyver-like intelligence. But I needed him to be likeable too. I decided to use other characters to help me build his personality and develop him from situation to situation.
I can’t really say who he is exactly, as that is a major plot point.
RW: You somewhat touch on some social issues of today and how they are in the after-math. Again, was that something intentional?
GRANSER: Yes. Absolutely intentional. I loathe bigotry. Whether it’s homophobia, sexism, racism, or any other ism. I don’t intend to beat people over the head with my politics, but I do want to include that particular point in this story. I think that’s evident from the onset.
RW: Are there plans for, how can I put this, spinoffs? You’ve set it up in the first Episode where there could be other storylines pay out.
GRANSER: I haven’t thought about it. When I started Tallos, I decided to model it after a television series format. This is why I’ve divided it into seasons and episodes. Each episode leads into the next, but I try to leave out the cliffhanger aspect one might find in full-length novels. It also allows for episodes which focus on the characters rather than the plot. In other words, I can have a cool idea for an episode which doesn’t necessarily move the plot along very far, yet still fits into the story.
RW: Reading the book I can tell what Tallos likes to drink to relax but what does Granser Kelly like to drink when facing demons?
GRANSER: Love me some Jack Daniel. Oh, yes I do. My wife hates it – the Jack, not me drinking it – so I rarely run out.
RW: What do you say to people who read books like this with some of the scenes you write and say “Are you completely freakin’ messed up in the head to think of this stuff?”
GRANSER: I’d say they’re right. But who isn’t? The difference is that I’ve learned to express my psychosis in words and use it to tell stories.
RW: One thing I like about the story you’ve created is we have no idea what the problem is. Do you know the end of it all or are you along for the ride as much as we are for the moment?
GRANSER: I know the story to the end – a least to an extent. That is to say I know the main plot points – the major twists and so forth. But I allow for new ideas to take things in different directions. It’s actually one of the advantages to the format I’ve adopted.
RW: What authors influenced you in this particular area of storytelling? I guess it would be horror and some psychological influences.
GRANSER: None really. Post-Apocalyptic Fiction wasn’t a genre in which I had much interest until recently. I’ve always enjoyed Science Fiction, however. Asimov was a favorite as a teen – though his approach is far more optimistic than mine. I also love Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, Ray Bradbury, and on the more whimsical side Douglas Adams. This is naturally only a few names on a long list of great writers.
RW: How many seasons can we expect from Tallos?
GRANSER: I’m thinking three for now. But that may change should the need arise. I wouldn’t want to end the story prematurely. And as the story will become increasingly complex as time passes, I’ll need to allow enough space to tie up loose ends without it seeming rushed.
RW: Are any of the people in the story based on any of your friends and if so do they know it?
GRANSER: Not specifically, no. Though like any writer, I draw from my own experience. My characters are a combination of personalities I’ve encountered over the years. Occasionally, I will write someone I know in. But it’s almost always an insularly character with little bearing on the over-all plot.
RW: What scares Granser Kelly?
GRANSER: Lots of things. I’m more or less a walking heap of character flaws, psychiatric neuroses, and phobias. I fear success, failure, clowns, baby pigeons, alligators, purple socks, aluminum foil, bats, things that aren’t bats, crowds, isolation, public speaking, public nudity, private nudity, sex (both the act and not getting enough), change, stagnation, and people taller than six feet. That’s the short list.
RW: How good are you with a gun and if you are good what is your choice?
GRANSER: I love to shoot rifles, handguns…whatever. Sadly, there is nothing safer than what I’m trying to hit.
RW: Tell me you write these things in broad daylight, because if I wrote some of these scenes at night I would have some serious issues sleeping? Not that they were gory or anything. In fact they were much more psychological in nature to me.
GRANSER: I don’t mind it. I had night terrors as a child, so I learned to pull myself back into a semi-conscious state when it gets too bad. Besides, my various phobias don’t differentiate between day and night.
RW: What does your wife think of the mind that produces something like this and does it concern her at times?
GRANSER: Let me explain something about crazy. A person’s crazy is like water inside a big barrel. When they meet, some people choose to just kick it over and spill their crazy all over everything – including the other person. The advantage to this is that there are few surprises down the road. You know what you’re getting into. Of course, if your barrel of crazy is too big you can wash the other person away and be left there alone with nothing but you and your crazy.
The other option is to take a ladle, dip it in the barrel, and show the other person your crazy a little at a time. The upshot is that you might not scare the hell out of a potential mate, and possibly have a miniscule chance of getting them to have sex with you. If you’re lucky, they might mistake your crazy for quirkiness and depth. This turns some people on – especially if they think you’re an artist of some sort. The downside is that should you take it to the next level, that person begins to realize just how much crazy has yet to be discovered. Hopefully by then you would have tricked them into loving you, and forced them to overlook the big barrel of crazy that seems to have no bottom. That’s me and my wife.
And there you have, folks. As far as I know, the very first interview with Granser Kelly. I do encourage you to read the book. I enjoyed the story and the idea a lot. You get a familiar feel about it but originality as well. Comfort with creativity combined. Can’t complain about that, right?
Click http://amzn.to/1B8GGPZ and get it now. Read my Review there and click the it was helpful button for me. That is, if it was helpful.
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