I recently had a chance to sit down with author Peter Clines. Peter has written several short stories and novels, including the Ex-Heroes series, Paradox Bound, and his latest novel, Dead Moon. Over the years, Peter has written novels covering all types of geeky topics, from zombies and superheroes to time travel and alternate dimensions. Peter and I had a great conversation about his career, his novels, and some advice he had for aspiring writers. Take a read to learn about this fantastic author and his interesting career

Scott (GNN): Well, I’m here with author Peter Clines, whose work I was introduced to a few years back when I picked up his novel, Ex-Heroes. Speaking of heroes, every hero has a backstory…what’s your backstory?  Did you start writing at an early age?

Peter Clines (PC): Very early, yeah. I know this will sound super egotistical and artistic, but I honestly cannot remember a point in my life when I wasn’t telling stories. I remember at one point when I was a little kid, I think I was maybe six, I had sprained my ankle and I had this weird half cast on my leg. And it was the summer. And we were at the beach and all the kids were off in the water and I’m stuck with a friend’s dad sitting here, so I’m telling him G.I. Joe stories, where I’m making up all these stories about G.I. Joe and, “This happened and this happened. And this guy came in and then this guy. And this did this.” And he is just very calmly listening and pointing out huge holes in my stories as we go along.

And then for a while, I was setting up all my Star Wars figures in little dioramas, but advancing the plot every day. And then, and I can’t remember exactly how I figured out I could do this, but at some point, I figured out that some of these weird words in comic books were addresses, and if you sent stuff to the address they would print your story in comic books. And so when I was 11 I sent my first comic book “script” to Jim Shooter who was editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics at the time. And I actually got back a personal letter from Jim Shooter. It said something like, “Well, this isn’t bad. It’s got some problems. Not quite up to our level yet.” I’ve heard a lot of people say awful stuff about Jim Shooter again and again and again, but at the end of the day, this was the first rejection letter I ever got, and it was a guy encouraging me to keep going and try again. He obviously knew…there’s no doubt it was from a little kid. Nothing about this submission was remotely professional, but yeah. That was where it started and kept going and kept going from there.

GNN: So that was when you were 11. As you went through school did you continue to write? Did you enter contests or continue to submit stories to Marvel? Was there a natural progression as you went?

PC: I actually never did any writing contests. I did keep submitting more and more. I did comics for Marvel and DC. I got a big binder, like a Trapper Keeper. I think it’s a Garfield trapper filled with rejection letters, and half of them were from Marvel. And you can also sort of track how popular Marvel was becoming because first, it’s a personalized letter from Jim Shooter, then a personalized letter from Jim Shooter, then a personalized letter from Tom DeFalco, and then a colder letter from the next guy, and then a form letter, form letter, form letter, Xeroxed form letter, and then third-degree Xeroxed copy form letter. Then it hit the point where you’re getting form letters that have signatures on it to prove that it’s real. Eventually, I’m getting the form letter copied, where even the signature is just Xeroxed onto it. But by that point, I was also sending out short stories to a hundred places. I might’ve benefited from the point that was sending stuff to people I had no business sending stuff to. I was aiming so high, so far out of my league, but I got a lot of letters, and they just kept encouraging me, and I just kept going. I think I tried on and off again to write novels. I tried to write a novel in high school. I tried to write a novel in college. I tried to write my “after college move to California” novel, and what finally, actually happened was that I was on this TV show, The Chronicle, and had to buy a new computer, and I was migrating everything over from the old computer to the new one, I looked at that after college, or the move to California novel, and realized I hadn’t touched it in almost five years. And I just decided the show I was on at the time was on hiatus, and I said, “Screw it. I am going to finish this book during this hiatus.” And I did. And I shopped it around and it got some attention, some people were interested. I got a couple of calls from agents about it, stuff like that. But at that point, that was when I was like, “Okay. I’ve got to get back into doing fiction.” I sold a couple of short stories, sold my first novel to a small press, and I think three years after that, was when I got, basically, a call from Random House, saying, “Hey. We like your stuff.” And the rest was history, as they say. I was an overnight success! (Laughs)

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GNN:  So, speaking of college, what type of writing classes did you take?

PC: When I was in college, I took two writing classes: one that was phenomenal, with a guy, John Edgar Wideman, who was amazing and very inspirational and great to work with. The other one was a guy I won’t name, who was not as inspirational, and actually, gave me crap, publicly, in the class, in front of the other students about the fact that I was trying to write fun stories. It really stuck with me, and while I was taking this class, I actually read It by Stephen King, the original. And I remember there’s a bit in it when Bill Denbrough is talking about taking writing classes in college. So I was in this weird position of, I am taking writing classes in college dealing with an a**hole professor…while reading a book about a guy dealing with an unpleasant professor who is giving him crap over the exact same thing. I mean, I had this professor told me that if I wasn’t writing to change the world or to alter the way everybody looked at things when they read my words, I was wasting everybody’s time. And all I could that it’s like so Ray Bradbury was wasting everybody’s time? Arthur C. Clarke is wasting everybody’s time? Isaac Asimov is wasting everybody’s time? Is Stephen King wasting everybody’s time? I’m going to go out on a limb; I think Stephen King’s probably had a lot more effect on people’s lives than, not too sound harsh, but Jean Paul Sartre or name your philosopher. They’re definitely great people. They’ve done great writings. They’ve done amazing things. I would never put that down, but at the same time, don’t discount entertainment. You know?

GNN: Absolutely.

PC: I mean, how many little kids out there are growing up with Chris Evans as a role model, as Captain America? That’s sheer entertainment, but can you think of a better role model for a little kid to have? So, anyway, I have always been a huge fan of entertainment and that has always sort of been my approach with stuff, that obviously, I want to write cool artistic stuff; it’s beautiful and exciting and appeals to people on that level, but ultimately, I think if you’re not having fun, then why would you bother?

GNN:  I agree 100 percent.  Now, let’s go back to when you were talking about getting those rejection letters from Jim Shooter and others. I know for me, and others, the fear of rejection is why a lot of people don’t submit their writing, or even get started. Was there ever a point where you’re like, “Oh, man, maybe storytelling isn’t the track I should be on, and so I should be doing something else.”? Or did you just keep pressing on?

PC: Again, and this is gonna’ sound super-pretentious. (Laughs) It never occurred to me that I would be doing anything else. It’s funny, because for a brief time I had a single mom, and we were very poor for a while. So, when I was growing up, when I was going to high school, when I was in college, my mom was very focused on, “You have to get a job that’ll let you make a living.” And honestly, my math and science scores were really high and I technically went to college for aerospace engineering. And when I say that, I mean, when I headed off to college, in theory, that’s what I was going to do. And in my first year in college, I realized I had no interest in this whatsoever. I’m really good at the math, the numbers…all of it. I’m good at them; it’s just not what I want to do. And I remember my mom so heartbroken because, even though we weren’t poor anymore, she’d gotten married and we were doing well, but she still didn’t want to see me and my brother go through what she went through. So I’m telling her, “Oh, I think I may just try and be a schoolteacher or something, and then write on the side,” and she was like, “Oh, you know school teachers don’t make much money, right?” (Laughs) And I was just like, “Good. I don’t care.” So, I kind of have this immunization that when I was a little kid…to be terribly honest, I was just too dumb. I didn’t know. (Laughs)

GNN: So, the rejection didn’t have a negative effect on you?

PC: I just kept looking at it like, “Oh, they must not have seen the illustrations I added!” (Laughs) I was a little kid. I was sending this stuff off. I was sending in handwritten scripts, and I would also draw my own covers for it, “And this is what the cover should look like.” It was professional because I use colored pencils, not crayons.

GNN:  Very professional, those colored pencils!

PC:  The sign of a true professional! But, yeah, by the time I started to learn that rejection was this huge thing and how crippling it could be for some people, I had been doing it for so long, I had just gotten past it. And I still have the day-to-day frustration of, “Wow, this is a really fun short story. Aaargh, I really thought they were going to take it.” But I think I had the double luck of…first, like I said, starting out stupid and not realizing it was a bad thing, but then, second, I kept getting so many near right, that it was a very regular thing for me. Yeah. I was just talking about how I got the pile of Xeroxes from Marvel, but once I started submitting to magazines and anthologies, I was getting back personalized letters from editors all the time tell me I was really close. “We almost took this one, but please keep us in mind for your next thing.” So, really, I lucked out in that I was at least seeing it as constant encouragement to keep going forward and because of that I think, in retrospect, I started to see the truth about rejection and what rejection really is; rejection is an encouragement to get better. Yeah, there’s always going to be that d*** who’s like, “Oh my God. This is the worst thing I’ve ever read and I can’t believe you submitted it to me.” (Laughs) But the majority of the time rejections aren’t harsh, cold things. It’s, “You know, we want to like this, but for whatever reason it’s not right for our magazine.” Overall, I think most rejections are…weird as it sounds… positive things or you can at least take them as a positive thing.

GNN: Sure. Sure. Do you ever bounce stuff off of anybody else before you submit it or not?

PC: Well, nowadays I’m in the position that it’s really rare for me to be submitting blind. Usually, I’ll end up emailing or messaging an editor back or forth once or twice. Somebody I know will be putting together an anthology and saying, “Hey. I’m thinking about putting together an anthology about this. Would you be interested in being a part of it?” Sure. Done. So for me, now it’s not as much about that sort of blind rejection. That said, I still tend to go for at least one or two people looking at my stuff before I send it out just because we all have our own personal blind spots. I just want to make sure this comes across okay. Is the tone of this right? So I’m really looking to my partner. She is also a writer. She’s been a screenwriter for many years and now she does mystery novels. I’ve got friends who are former editors. Friends who are also professional writers themselves so I can almost always find someone I can ask to take a look at what I’ve written and convinced me I’m not crazy.

GNN: How about back when you were a kid? Were you showing people what you wrote? Your mom or your friends or…

PC: No. Because at the time, this is early 80s, I was a geek and geek was not a good thing back then. I was a little nerd kid and who would I show it to? What’s sad is, since then, hooking up with old friends over social media, stuff like that, catching up with them realizing that they were into the same things. They knew! Obviously, by the time I got to high school, I knew it. We’re like, “Oh, you’re also geeks. We have found our tribe!” But, at that time just as a little kid I was just scared to talk about any of this stuff. It was barely acceptable to say you liked Star Wars, so…

GNN: So you had a case of the George McFlys?

PC: Big time. Big George McFlys. (Laughs) Waiting for my Calvin Klein to show up and tell me it was okay.

GNN: Yes. That would be your density. So, I hopped on your Wikipedia page to do a little research and according to your page, after you graduated college you spent a little over a year selling men’s suits. Is that true?

PC: Yes, I did. I needed a job. At the time, when I graduated from college, there was all across the east coast a gigantic glut of high school teachers and I got out and I didn’t have anything else I could do. So, I walked around. I remember going to a couple of job fairs. There were a bunch of schools there and all of them were just sort of there like, well, you know we’re sort of contractually obliged to show up at the UMASS job fair. We have no openings. So honestly, the most promising thing I had was I ended up talking to the CIA recruitment guy who was there and I talked to him for half an hour. Just because at the time I had wanted to study a language at college that wasn’t a romance language, a dramatic, a European language and by a weird coincidence I had studied Arabic and what do you know? By the early 90s suddenly Arabic was a hot language for somebody to know. The CIA guy was like, “Yes, we’d be very interested in talking to you. Your test scores are good.” That’s fantastic. He even directed me to a website and I got stuff in the mail from them and I was like, “I’m not going to work for the CIA.” What the hell? But there’s still probably a file on me somewhere now. But yeah, and I was just desperate for a job and the buddy I was living with, he and I were at the local mall and we were just like, damn it, we just need to get jobs and so he ended up at Arby’s in the food court and I ended up right across from the food court at Jonathan Reid Menswear, where I spent a year selling men’s suits to overweight bankers and stuff. Every day at lunch my buddy and I just sort of wandered out to the food court, sat down, and looked at each other like…good thing we went to college, huh? (Laughs)

GNN:  But, you went from working at the mall to being a successful author and having your own Wikipedia page.  By the way, how cool is it to have a Wikipedia page?

PC: It’s weird. It really is. A fan of mine got in touch with me, and she really wanted to get it together, and so she basically asked me tons of questions, but then pointing out that she couldn’t use anything that she couldn’t verify somewhere else, so I was trying to toss her links, like, “Okay, well, here’s a bunch of interviews I’ve done, here’s this.” And she put it up and it was so ridiculously huge in detail and complete. I just felt really weird about it, like, “Okay. I know much bigger, more popular, better writers than me that don’t have such a complete Wikipedia page.”

GNN:  That’s awesome.  So, we’re back at the mall, what was your next step?  I think I read that you headed to San Diego from there…

PC:  Yeah. What happened was another school friend was also working in the mall, and one day she and I were having lunch, and I was just bitching about how much I hated my job; it was crushing my soul going in there every day. I mean, there were good people that I was working with and all that, but just the job itself and everything was just not for me. And my friend Julie, basically she just sat there politely and listened to me complain for a while, and then she was like, “Well, I’m moving to California in two weeks, you want to come?” And I still remember this. I could even go to the mall now, and if it’s all still there, point out the exact seat in the food court we were sitting at, and going, “Yes. Yes I do.” And I walked back to the store, from lunch, and gave my two-week notice right there. I went home that night, because I was still living in Amherst,  where I’d gone to school, and called my folks and said, “I’m moving to California.” And they’re like, “What? When?” “Two weeks.” Then I spent the two weeks terrified that I had made a horrible mistake. And then we just packed up and Julie and I, it took us about 10 days to drive across the country, I ended up in San Diego. Through a whole weird thing, like help from Julie and everything and connections, I basically worked as an au pair for about a year and took care of four kids, just getting them to school, getting them to after-school activities, making sure they ate, making sure the house was clean, that sort of thing. And in between that, I was doing little jobs and trying to build connections. The only real jobs that I had at the time, that applied, was my school had a concert promotion company, that we would actually hold concerts at schools and students would put on concerts, in sense of like… we would hire bands, we’d do everything, so my college students put on U2 and the Beastie Boys and Queen Latifah. So, when I got out to California, within two months, I worked on a Pink Floyd concert and then did U2 and then just started to get other jobs. And one day I was actually at a theater, the San Diego Rep, we were finishing up the play we were working on and a guy that works there was like, “Well, actually guys, I’m going to go work on a movie in two weeks. Do you want to come?” And me and the other two guys in the scene shop were like, “Work on a movie? Yeah!” And that was the next 15 years.

GNN: And the whole time you’re doing all the au pair work and putting on concerts, you’re still writing?

PC: Yeah. During all that, like I said, that was when I got out here and did the move-to-college novel. And what also happened during that time was a bunch of people in the industry were in California now telling me, “You should be writing screenplays.” And so I actually had scribbled up an idea based off this, of, “Oh, okay. I’m going to write a Next Generation screenplay for Star Trek.” And I wrote it and it’s kind of, eh. I think this happened in ’93 was when this finally happened, that I decided… Star Trek: Deep Space Nine came out and I saw it. After watching a couple of episodes, I realized, “Well, that Next Generation script I wrote was kind of like, “eh,” but it would make a very cool Deep Space Nine script.” And so I rewrote the whole thing off my basic understanding of what a screenplay was. I was working in the industry at that point. I did a movie and I worked on a TV show, so I sent in a passable screenplay. Because, at the time, you could actually just send scripts to Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

GNN: Really?

PC: Yeah. They had a little release form that basically said you understand that they toss a lot of ideas around in the writers’ room. So, if in two years you see your story up on screen, that doesn’t mean they stole your script. So, I just found all the stuff I needed and signed everything, dotted all the I’s, crossed all the T’s and sent it in. I figured, “Hah. Isn’t that great?” At some point, I got home and hit my answering machine and there was a message from Ron Moore’s secretary telling me Ron Moore wanted to meet me up at Deep Space Nine. Could I schedule a time to come in and talk to him? So that’s what I was doing at the same time.

GNN: So, you were still writing. Speaking of writing, another stop along the way, and this one’s intriguing for me; you were a writer and interviewer for Creative Screenwriting magazine.

PC: That was actually much later. What happened was, I had been in the industry for about– man, I think that started around 2003, 2004? Yeah, I’d been in the industry for a while and I actually went to a Christmas party which is not that special thing. Lots of people go to Christmas parties. But I went to a Christmas party in Hollywood and actually met a guy who was the editor at Creative Screenwriting and they were starting up a weekly newsletter and basically just needed people who could write, and he and I talked a little bit. They needed content, basically. It was the start of the content age. How much can we put out? They asked if I could do DVD reviews. And I was like, “Well, yeah, sure. I can.” And so I think it was a week later this package showed up at my door with like 50 DVDs in it. So, I’m just watching DVDs nonstop and writing up reviews for them, but it was a fun time. And building off that, I ended up doing interviews with screenwriters, more and more interviews with screenwriters and with directors. And when I finally got out of the film industry, the job I was on had ended. Basically, I had a gentleman’s disagreement with my boss and ended up leaving the show, which is really what it was. So, my partner said, “Well, you keep saying you want to write full time, and you’ve got some money saved up right now. Why don’t you try it?” And I talked to the people at Creative Screenwriting, and they basically said, “Yeah. If you’re free, we can give you this extra article and this piece and this piece. So, for the next two and a half years, I basically just wrote for Creative Screenwriting and interviewed tons of people around town. I interviewed Seth Rogen. I interviewed George Romero. I interviewed Sylvester Stallone. Yeah. I mean, just tons of people about writing. And I got to interview Shane Black which is still, to this day, one of the favorite interviews I ever got to do.

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GNN: So now we’re getting into 2000, late 2000s and now we’re getting closer to Ex-Heroes. I’ve always wondered, so first of all, what was the process for getting that published?  Was that the college novel or no?

PC: No. There was the college novel and then there was another novel after that and what happened was I had actually sold a couple of short stories to a small press called Permuted for different anthologies and some other short stories in other places too. At the time, Permuted was so small that the guy who owned it and ran it, Jacob Kier, would honestly just do a weekly chat. You could just show up and there’d just be a chat room of him and however many other authors just all hanging out and talking, and anybody could show up. Just a random guy wandering in could come in, whatever. And he and I just started talking one night about zombie books in general, because Permuted, at the time, was mostly a zombie press. This would’ve been probably early 2009 at this point. And what happened was, I had recently just read a superhero zombie comic from a major comic company and it wasn’t bad, but it just felt like so much wasted potential to me. It was not remotely the story I wanted to read. And it did well for them financially, sales, everything, so, obviously, they’re not going to complain. But, again, it just seemed like a big wasted opportunity to me. And I had, at the time, written out all these notes of how I would have done it with this character and that character. Just at about this time, my partner and I had finally moved in together and I had an actual writing office now. And I also got to unpack a bunch of boxes I had been lugging around with me since I moved to California, basically, things I just never unpacked, and one of them was a bunch of old sketchbooks from when I was a little kid making up comic book characters for comic stories and stuff. And there were all of these “original” comic book characters in it, like Zzzap and Cerberus and the Dragon and Stealth and Bonzai. And it suddenly hit me that most of these were kind of basic archetypal superheroes that I could drop into that story I always wanted to tell. And so when Jacob and I were talking about superheroes versus zombies, and I was like, “Oh, I would have done this and this and this,” and he said, “Well, I would love to see something like that if you ever felt like doing it.” And so I spent that entire summer desperately trying to get this book written. I was basically doing stuff for the magazine and every time I had downtime I would think, “Okay. I finished transcribing this interview, now I’m going to flip over and try and write five pages of Ex-Heroes. And now I’ve got to turn that interview into an article. Now I’ve got to do this DVD review. Now I’ve got to process this article.” And as I’m going through doing these, I’d go back and do another five pages of Ex-Heroes here, 10 pages of Ex-Heroes there. And in the end, I sent it off to him. And I found out later– he and I were talking about it at a panel once. And he remembered it also because he had just taken this– he, himself, was like, “Well, superheroes and zombies is a concept that’s never really going to work in any way that satisfies everybody.” And he also didn’t think I’d ever do anything with it because he’s like, “I have dozens of people every week walk up to me and say, ‘Oh. I want to do a book about this. I want to do a book about this.'” So, A, he wasn’t expecting I would actually do it; B, he wasn’t expecting it would be that good. And then he got it and he really liked it. And I came back, I remember, from a Christmas party…I was living in LA at the time. I came back from a Christmas party in San Diego and found the letter that I had sold my first novel, so.

GNN: That’s funny. It’s almost as if you’d read my interview script because that was my next question. When you hit a big milestone like that, when you get that first novel published, was it as amazing as someone who hasn’t had a novel published would think, or are you just thinking, “This is just the next natural step. I’ve been submitting stories I’ve written and the next step is to get published. That’s done.”?

PC:  It’s 50/50. Obviously, it was a huge rush. My partner and I danced around the apartment like an hour after. (Laughs) But the reality of it was, I was a first-time author with a small press. It took a little over a year for the book to come out. I don’t think the book actually came out until February of 2010 if I remember right. So, 2009, nothing happened for the whole year. I wrote another book altogether before the first book came out. And then, yeah, when it came out, I mean, it was a small-press book. It also came out at a time when the industry was kind of floundering a little bit because e-publishing was just getting big. So, just everything was kind of just vibration on this weird pitch. I had a really cool time. I got to go to my local Borders. Those of you reading, Borders was a bookstore back in the day. (Laughs) But I got to go to Borders and see my book on the shelf, which was really cool, to see three copies of it in a row. I would’ve taken a picture of it, but smartphones didn’t have cameras then…well, not the one I could afford! (Laughs) But, really, nothing actually happened past that. The fact was, I did not suddenly… my money woes did not go away overnight.

GNN: Not having champagne and caviar Bruce Wayne-style?

PC: Exactly. I mean, I think our huge splurge when the book came out was, we went to the Thai place up the street and bought $20 of Thai food, and that was our gigantic, crazy, wild splurge. And then the second book came out and did even slightly worse, and then the second Ex-Heroes book came out, and once people realized it was a series, it got a little more attention. I think it also helped that, at the time, the summer of 2011, Audible did a “Summer of Zombies” thing, and so I got a lot of promotion through Audible for the audiobook copy of it. But then just between all of these things, it picked up enough and it got attention. To be terribly honest, my first two years as a published author, like short stories and two novels, actually, we were still dirt poor and just constantly stressed, constantly living paycheck to paycheck to royalty check to paycheck, trying to make things work. So, that’s where it was. It was thrilling in the sense of getting it done, but it wasn’t life-changing, I mean, at least not yet. So, that would my lesson to everyone, is, “Don’t expect that your first sale is going to rewrite everything for you.”

GNN: Wait, you’re saying Hunger Games was probably not Suzanne Collins’s first shot at writing?

PC: Well, honestly, most authors you look at, their “first” novel usually isn’t their first novel, and then on top of that, I mean, most books probably…I don’t know what the exact numbers are these days, but I know for a long time, a lot of books barely broke even at best. I’m just kind of pulling numbers out of my butt, and I’m sure somebody will get angry and post down in the comments about, “No, that’s not true at all.” Maybe, let’s say, one out of four books actually earns out and starts making more money beyond the advance, and then even out of those, it probably shrinks even smaller down to, if you’re lucky, 1 out of 20 probably becomes any kind of hit.

GNN:  So, back to the Ex-Heroes books, which, for the uninitiated, Ex-Heroes is the first book in the Ex-Heroes series, and it basically tells the story of a zombie apocalypse in a world where superheroes exist, and a group of heroes and survivors are living in an old movie studio in California, trying to kind of live and eke out a living. One of the cool things about the five Ex-Heroes books is that you’ve created some cool superheroes with some unique backstories. You said you created some of these characters as a kid. Did you do any research to make sure you weren’t creating a character that already existed, or did you just kind of go with it?

PC: Well, obviously, as a kid, no. I was just throwing stuff out and thinking, “Look how original I am.” One of the big things was when I found all these little things. I was looking at them and was looking at them and thinking about this was realizing that all these characters needed to be updated one way or another. Not just in the sense of okay, some of this stuff has been done before but also, just in the more general sense of okay, I would like to think I’ve matured a little bit as a writer since I was 11. Not much, but a little bit, and so there were things I started looking at. For example, in my original oeuvre, none of these superheroes were female; every single one of them was a man.

GNN: Oh, wow.

PC: Because as a little kid…and, again, a little kid at a time when you couldn’t talk to anyone about this sort of stuff when geekery was not popular. It was just you all on your own and being 11, it was beyond me. Why would anybody want to read about a woman in skin-tight spandex? That’s just silly. So one of the first things I did was update everything in my original stories if stories, pictures, loose outlines, or whatever you wanted to call them back then, Stealth was a man in the original stories. Cerberus was a man. Banzai was a man. It was an updated thing to turn these people into a more diverse cast of characters. Past that though? No, I didn’t really do much and I still think that they actually are kind of archetypes. Like you said that we’ve got Stealth is pretty much Batman. I mean, honestly, that was my rule for it. I didn’t want to go crazy, but it’s not ridiculous to picture Batman doing this, then she should be able to do it. St. George is pretty much our Superman. Cerberus is pretty much our Iron Man. Zzzap is more or less our Human Torch, energy character or whatever. So yeah, I think it’s still out of archetypes but like any archetypes what you do with the characters in that archetype; we can always have the wounded soldier who’s come home from the war but we can do it a lot of different ways.

GNN: That’s a good point. Another great thing about the Ex-Heroes series, and a minor spoiler for those who haven’t read it, you actually explain how the zombies were created. One of my pet peeves, for example, in the Walking Dead, which feels like it’s in its 84th season, is that they never really explain how it happened, and it’s driving me crazy. In your series, you have a really clever origin for the zombie outbreak. Is that something that you were like, “You know what? I don’t like it in books when they don’t explain how a zombie apocalypse happens.” Or, did the story just kind of take you there?

PC: I hate to tell you this. I had no plan to say how it happened.

GNN: Really?  No!

PC: Yeah. When I was first writing it, I had no idea how it was going to work. And then I actually sort of wrote myself into a corner. And this isn’t really spoiler-ish, but there’s a guy who calls himself PZ, patient zero, and we come to find out that PZ is sort of his own corruption, except I had written all this out. I had written our first big encounter with him and all that, and then I thought, “Wait a minute. This doesn’t make sense, because I actually had already written the story of him getting attacked and bitten. So, it’s like, “Well if he got bitten, he can’t be patient zero.” And so I sort of worked backwards. So, it’s like, “Okay, who was this person who bit him?” And, weirdly enough, everything else in the story was already there. And I know I’m being a little bit vague about this, but if you’ve read the book, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you don’t. I suddenly realized, “Oh my God. Oh my God, I know where the zombie plague came from!” And I do remember this. I was actually out. My partner used to live by a park and we could go off with these big walks every day. And I just remember we’re walking on the path and having this hit me and I actually came to a stop. Because I was like, “Oh my God, I think this is going to be a really good book.” It had been like a zombie book. As soon as I had that story point, I was like, “Oh my God, this is going to be good. This is just elevated this whole book quite a bit.”

GNN: So, the next question’s pretty simple.  Will there be a sixth Ex-Heroes book?

PC: Probably not.

GNN: So many hearts breaking, including mine!

PC: I mean, it depends. Every book, like we were saying earlier, is going to make money or not. When you’re talking about a series, there’s essentially an expected drop-off in every series; the number of people who read book one is going to be higher than the people who read book two. That people are going to read book one, and for one reason or another they’re going to say, “It’s not for me.” And the number of people who read book two is always going to be higher than the number of people who read book three. It’s always going to be higher. And it’s not necessarily a super-steep slope, it might be a very shallow slope, but the fact is the majority of people are going to start at the beginning, so book one is always going to be your best seller. I bet even if you looked at the Harry Potter books, first Harry Potter: The Sorcerer’s Stone is going to be the highest-selling book.

So, the Ex-Heroes books, they’ve always made money. Every single one of them has made back their advance, and they’ve been great. The people at Crown Publishing are very happy. I’m very happy. But, that said, we can look at that sloping line and see that, well, if it keeps going like this, the next book is going to be under, right? It’ll be under that happy line that we all like them being at. We talked about a couple of different options for it, and part of it just comes down to, I mean, this is my job. It’s a career. It’s how I pay all my bills. So, I’ve got this idea for Ex-Heroes, and another idea for something else, and they’re like, “Well, all right. I guess with all this considered, we would pay you X if you wanted to do another Ex-Heroes book or we’ll pay you seven times X to do the other book.”

So, when it comes down to it, no matter who you are, for the next six months you can do two jobs you like, and one of them is going to pay you $10 an hour, and one is going to pay you $70 an hour. Which job are you going to do? I loved both projects. I didn’t do this just for the money. I wanted to do this no matter what. I wanted the Ex-Heroes book. But you know, ugly truth, I make a living at this so I have to consider the financial stuff. And I’m still hoping that I will get to go back. I actually had Ex-Tension, the next book, mostly plotted out because I had just assumed it was a given, and then when it came down to everyone talking about it, they were like, “Oh actually,” but I mean, who knows? We might finish this interview and I’ll check my email and find out Steven Spielberg wants to make the Ex-Heroes movies, and suddenly they’ll be a lot more interested in the books.

GNN: Yeah. That would be awesome!  I’ll give Steven a ring!

PC: It’s there. It’s waiting. It’s got lots of new characters. It would be fun.

peter clines

GNN: It would be fun. I would buy it in six seconds flat. So, moving on, in addition to Ex-Heroes, you’ve written other novels, such as 14 and The Fold. However, being a Back to the Future fan, I really liked Paradox Bound. Can you tell the readers a little bit about that story, how it came to be and what it’s about?

PC: Paradox Bound…I first pitched it to my editor at Comic Con. He asked me what kind of stuff I wanted to work on next, and I said, “Well, I have this really weird kind of road trip idea.” And he was like, “Well, tell me about it.” And I’m like, “Well, it’s kind of like Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere meets Cannonball Run.” And he kind of laughs, and he’s like, “Okay. Tell me more.” It really came out of, I had actually just re-read Neverwhere, and this would have been in like 2010 maybe. I just picked up Neverwhere off the shelf and said, “I haven’t read this in a while.” And I read it and enjoyed it because it’s a great book. And it struck me as weird. I was like, “Wow. Why has nobody tried to do the American version of this?” That Neverwhere is such an amazing tale of London, and London below. And I thought, “Why has no one ever tried to do like the New York story, the Boston story?” So, I started paying around a little bit, and one of the first things I realized was we don’t have any cities in North America that have that kind of history behind them. I mean really, London stretches back to Roman times. And really like before Roman times. So, at best, you figure you can look at Boston as probably…I’m sure I’ll get in some little argument of the fight over it, but one of the oldest European cities in North America, and Boston only goes back to like the 1600s.

We’re 400 to something that’s like literally four or five times that with London. I kept poking at it, and it just didn’t work because could never get the idea to gel in my head. And I can’t remember exactly what set it off, but then one day I realized, the problem is, is that the American story has never been about staying in one place. The American story has been about expansion, it’s been about stretching out across the continent. And then it finally hit me that the American story is the road trip that in the same way. Once I realized that, I realized that the American story is a road trip, it’s about cars, it’s about traveling across the country. After I pitched it to him, I went home. He shot me an email and said, “Hey. Tell me a little more about it. What do you think this would be like?” And I wrote the first four chapters of the book, probably in a week, and sent them into him, like, “This is what I think it’s about.” And honestly, the first four chapters as they appear in the finished novel, they’re not perfectly identical but they’re 90% what I sent him on that very first of, “This is what I think it’s about.” And he saw that, and I send them in this little extra thing and like, “And here’s what’s going on. Here’s what we got happening.” And they bought it off that and said, “Yeah, we want this.” That’s where Paradox Bound came from.

GNN: Do you think there will be any more Paradox Bound books?

PC: No. I think the thing we’ve all gotten very caught up in the idea of the ongoing story, the series. I think sometimes it’s just nice to tell this one little story, that this is all it is. And if you want to imagine things about where it goes from here, cool, but I don’t have any huge plans to revisit. I have a couple of thoughts of spin-off stories sort of, so to speak. At one point in the book, as they’re going on, Harry is telling Eli about the town she grew up in at one point, and that is actually a reference to a whole other story I’ve been meaning to sell for ages, and maybe some time I’ll get to tell that, so we’ll kind of see some things there. I know a couple of sharp-eyed people have already pointed out there are things in Paradox Bound that tie back to other books I have written, so again you can put it down that I’m writing some big, beautiful, Stephen King, unified world, whatever, or I’m a hacker who just recycles a lot of stuff and can’t complete anything original. But I think, for now, probably Paradox Bound is just going to be that one nice little tight story, and we can all have fun just imagining on our own where it goes from there.

GNN: You know, as you explain that, I find that I’m being sort of a hypocrite. I’m always complaining about sequels and reboots and nothing being original and now I’m asking you if you’re going to write a sequel. I guess as entertainment consumers we like what’s familiar, but on the other hand, we’re always clamoring for something new.

PC: I think we can probably sit down and analyze the reason for exactly what had happened, but I think we all got very into this whole idea of knowing officially what happens next. And that’s it. We see characters, and we want to know what happened. And we don’t want to kind of know, we don’t want to guess. We don’t want to infer. We want to know what happens next. So, I think that’s part of the reason we’ve all enjoyed sequels and these spin-offs and all that sort of stuff. While at the same time, yeah, we do want something new. It’s the dichotomy of storytelling from both sides: as a storyteller and as the consumer. That we want original stuff, we want that, but when we get original stuff, we immediately want to know what happens next with it.

You know? Like I was saying before, there are only so many hours in the day. If I’m going to spend the next year working on a project, which one am I going to work on? You know? Am I going to spend time working on a thing a lot of fans would want, that might not pay as well? Am I going to work on this creative thing, which may not pay at all? You know? That it then becomes this weird juggling thing, and of course Hollywood’s there deciding, “How much money will this one make?” Let’s talk to our psychic bean counters, who predict the future!

peter clines

GNN: Speaking of the future…well, I guess it’s not the future anymore, it’s the present. You have a new book, Dead Moon, which we mentioned earlier, and now we’re going to talk about. That is only available as an e-book, correct?

PC: Yes, and an audiobook.

GNN: So, no physical copy. What goes behind something like that decision?

PC: Well, okay. Dead Moon, and a new book I’ve got coming out at the start of next year called Terminus, were basically a deal with Audible.com, because I had a couple stories I wanted to tell. Audible was interested, and there was a fair argument being made that a large chunk of my fan base is actually audiobook listeners. So, Audible knows this, and they made a very generous offer, “Hey, look. We’re willing to pick things up if you want them exclusively like this.” And my agent and I actually talked about a lot about, “Wow, do we really want to do an Audible-exclusive only? Do we want to walk away from Random House and Crown?” You know, honestly, we probably spent two, three weeks going back and forth, debating this. In the end, I decided I wanted to go for it because there are stories I wanted to tell, and this was probably going to be the only way I could tell them on a large scale, and I was getting paid to tell them, which is really the dream. If I want to tell these stories and if someone wants to pay me to tell these stories, why would I not do it at the end of the day? So the Audible deals were six months exclusive, once it’s done, I have the right to do whatever I want with it. We shopped around, like to see, did Random House want to grab it for the e-book and the print and all that, but it puts them in the weird position, and I don’t fault anyone for that. It puts them in this weird position that they now have a book that they can’t edit; like I’m basically telling an editor, “Buy this book and don’t touch it.” Not only that, but a book that mostly got publicized six months ago. So even if you do a really fast turnaround on it, you’re going to certainly be seven months behind the curve at best with this. So, I’m not terribly shocked that nobody snatched that up.

So, I’m basically just putting it up myself as an e-book. The reason it’s not on paper…and this is something I’m still studying and trying to work on because, to be totally honest, this is my first step into self-publishing. To be really honest, I have nothing against self-publishing. The whole reason this is my first foray into it is really because, at heart, I’m very lazy. And this is something I’ve really been willing to think about. Being a self-publisher means I’m the publisher. So all the marketing, all of the publicity, all the art, everything is on you now. And it’s a lot of stuff! It’s stuff I have no interest in doing. I want to tell stories. So, it also puts me in the weird position of, unfortunately, I’m a huge supporter of small bookstores. But as a self-publisher, the biggest market is Amazon. So, at the moment, like I said, I’m still researching it, and who knows when this comes out, I might get 100 messages from people exclaiming, “Just do this.” I don’t want to put out a paper book that then is also through Amazon. And it would just be completely undercutting small bookstores.

GNN: I guess the next thing we should talk about is Dead Moon. Give us a quick synopsis.

PC: Dead Moon is about a woman named Cali who, essentially, is running away. She’s trying to start her life over. And at this point in the future, we have space elevators, we have spaceships, and we have a good-sized colony on the moon. And it turns out that the big industry on the moon is burying people. As the population has exploded on Earth, we need room for graveyards because there are… now actually, you notice there are lots of religions that still insist on burial no matter what, that you can get away with cremation here, you can whatever. But a lot of religions say, “Put the body in the ground.” So, the whole idea is at this point in the future, the funeral business is the huge industry on the moon. And Cali becomes what they call a Caretaker who is one of these dozens of teams spread out all over the moon who just manage gigantic miles across cemeteries where millions of people are buried. And then a mysterious meteor crashes on the moon and it starts spitting off weird radiation, and all the millions and millions of clients on the moon get up and start walking, with the added problem that, of course, they’re not hampered by a lack of air or a lack of pressure or the temperature and all that, but everybody else said this. So, it’s the 300 or so living people on the moon versus the three million or so dead people.

GNN: I’ll tell you, I thought it was a fantastic book. Again, quick read, entertaining. One question I had, and it was kind of funny, as I’m reading through, it kind of seemed like we were getting towards the end of the story, but I’m like, “Man, there’s a lot of this book left.” And then at one particular point, again, very minor spoilers, at some point in the book, there’s a point where it almost changes genres. Was that something that happened organically as you were writing, or was that planned from the beginning?

PC: Okay. What happened there is, as I mentioned earlier, I had actually come up with this story… the infected moon, I actually came up back in, like early 2011, when I finished writing Ex-Patriots. I did the zombies on the moon book, had gotten into it, and we just picked up another zombies in space book. So, it sat on the back burner for a while, and I think in like 2012, 2013 I picked it up, maybe even 2014, I picked it up and started poking at it again, to figure out, “Hey, could I do this? Maybe this would be good?” And hit a bunch of problems with it. One of these being, I hadn’t, at that point as a writer, I had never really outlined anything. I knew cool things I wanted to happen in the book, but I hadn’t really planned out the ending to the book.

So, I guess at this point it would be three years ago now, I was going through things in my head and my agent was trying to come up with a good, new, high-concept idea I could work on. I pitched a bunch of new stuff to them, and for one reason or another, they weren’t sure about this one, and they weren’t sure about that one, and finally, at some point, I realized, “Okay, it’s been six months since I’ve actually written anything.” And so I just said to my guys, “Look I just got to do something. So, I want to write this zombies on the moon book, and go back to that.” So, I just pulled it out and started plotting it out a little more, thinking, “Okay. How should I fill this in? How should I do this? What is actually happening here? What’s going on?” And the more I started thinking about it I realized, “Ooh. Oh, this could be fun. I could add some of this.” And like you said, it’s the genre change thing.

I love it when you can watch, read a book, watch a movie, whatever, and suddenly realize, this is a very different story than you thought it was. I know it sounds kind of goofy, but one of my favorite film moments from this sort of thing is Pirates of the Caribbean, when Geoffrey Rush has basically been telling her this whole story of, “Oh no, it’s cursed gold and all this.” And we’re all kind of like, “Okay. Yeah. Cursed gold.” And then suddenly you walk out on deck and you realize everybody is just undead zombies. And he walks out after, and has that great line about how, “You better start believing in ghost stories because you’re in one.”

I think, as a writer I strive to be able to give people that moment where, suddenly, they’re looking back at the last 100 pages, 200 pages and having this whole new appreciation for what has been going on. Yeah. I’m a big fan of…if I’ve done things right, I like to think that anyone of my books can be written twice or read twice. Hopefully, only written once! But, it can be read twice because you can read it once with the surprise, the exploration, discovery aspect of it and then read it again and realize how much stuff was going on. I got a great compliment from Seanan McGuire when she and I met that she’s actually an Ex-Heroes fan. She had read Ex-Patriots, and when it got to that big twist moment, she was like, “No.” And she told me that she finished the book and then immediately started again to see if I had cheated! She was like, “It’s so tight as you go through, and suddenly, we realize ‘Oh my god, this whole thing has been set up almost from not quite page one but pretty close’.”

GNN: Very cool. So, you mentioned Terminus. What’s that about?  And what else is on Peter Cline’s checklist? What’s coming up?

PC: Terminus is the next thing everyone’s going to see. I believe we actually just had a delay with it that’s my fault. I actually spent a long time on edits for part of it that my editor went over it. He sent it back to me. I sent it back to him. He sent it back to Ken. And I suddenly realized a couple of things. He had pointed out a couple bits and it got me thinking about how that goes together, this goes together, and so I spent a lot of time going over that revision, changing some stuff, tweaking some stuff, adjusting some stuff, but then it also became, with any good book, you’re really doing this gigantic domino-style. So, now that I’ve changed this one thing, I have to sort of spread out and look at “Okay, so it’s okay that I change that, right, as long as I tweak this and this and that and I think that’s everything so I think the book has been vastly improved through the editing process but, at the same time, it took time and it pushed enough that we sort of had that little nudge of– it had to get delayed and then, unfortunately, it got delayed at a time when it was going to come out in the middle of the holidays. So that delay ended up being a little bigger delay than we wanted. So now it’s basically going to come out right after the holidays in January, I think. Possibly very, very early February, but I think we’re shooting for January. Basically put, it is a story of a guy named Murdock who is dealing with his family, capital F, and his old girlfriend coming back into his life. It’s about a guy named Chase who is running away from something and traveling the world trying to do it. And it’s about a woman named Anne, who actually appears in both 14 and The Fold, who has finally decided to embrace her destiny and basically, she’s going to be the one to achieve what her family’s always been trying to do. And there’s a bunch of other people in it, as well, obviously, but it’s about the three of these people meeting on a very weird, mysterious island on the other side of the world, so, I think if someone is a fan of 14 or The Fold, they’re going to be very, very, very happy reading this book.

GNN: And that’s also only going to be e-reader and audiobook?

PC: When it comes out, it’s going to be Audible exclusive. Audible gets it for six months. That was the deal I made with them. So, Dead Moon actually came out on Valentine’s Day this year. I didn’t get to put it out as an e-book until August. It’s the same thing; Terminus is going to come out as an audiobook. I will not be able to do anything with it until July, August next year, as far as an e-book or anything like that, but we’ll see. I mean, hopefully, it’ll do well. I’m very excited about it so, hopefully, everybody else gets excited, too. After that, I actually just started… I’d been working on another book and I wasn’t really happy with the ending…my editor at Random House actually looked at it, and he expressed some issues with it, and I was like, “You don’t know what you’re talking about and I’ll tell you where the good ending is.” And then, over the course of a couple of weeks working, I’m, “He’s right. This isn’t a great ending.” So, I kept poking at it and kept poking at it and then, actually, ended up getting inspired.

GNN:  I can’t wait to read it. Now, I have a few more general questions about you and your writing. Let’s start by doing some wish fulfillment. Let’s say you could have one project greenlit right now. Radio show, book deal, TV, a movie made from one of your books, a chance to write a movie, an Ex-Heroes video game. What would be the one project you’d like to have greenlit right now?

PC: Honestly, I’d love to see Paradox Bound as a movie.

GNN: As a movie? That’s pretty cool.

PC:  Well, I mean, they could try and do something else with it, but like I said, I don’t think a TV show would work because, like I said, it was written very much to be a single standalone thing and I just think it’s got the most fun to it. I think it would be visually very fun. I think for characters, for actors, it would be fun. I think a director could have a lot of fun with it. I think the effects people could have fun with it. I think the transport department would probably have fun with it.

GNN: Okay, next, at the beginning of the interview we talked about the writers out there who don’t want to get rejected or don’t think they can handle it. Do you have maybe one do and one don’t for someone who wants to get started writing and just doesn’t know where to begin?

PC: Honestly, the “do” is just to start writing. Look at it this way, you know that you’re going to have to do edits, you know you’re going to have to change things, and you know you’re going to have to tweak, but you can’t do any of that until you have something to edit.

GNN: Good point. Now, what’s the thing they shouldn’t do?

PC:  Just don’t worry about getting started. Because the simple truth is, no one’s ever going to see the first draft. Worrying about your first draft, and, “Oh my god, how are editors going to think about this? What are agents going to think when they see this?” That is like saying, “Wow, should I have a band or a DJ at my wedding?” when you’re not dating anybody! You haven’t even started that base part of the relationship yet, but you’re worried about what’s happening there. So don’t worry about a first draft. A friend of mine, Scott Sigler, another author, one of the things he talks about is when you write a first draft, just go for it. And the key thing is to just keep writing, even if it makes no sense, even if like, “And then the Frankenstein monster got out of the car and attacked everybody,” so what? Do it because it’s your first draft. It doesn’t matter.

That’s my two-piece advice: do write; don’t worry about it. Because we can put up so many obstacles of why we shouldn’t do this, what about this, or what about that, what about that, and the biggest thing to remember is for a first draft, it doesn’t matter. So many of those worries are fourth-draft, fifth-draft, submission things that this has nothing to do with.

GNN: Fantastic advice. Now, since this is an interview for Geek News Network, what are you geeking out on right now? TV, movies, music, books? What are you geeking out on?

PC: Let’s see. I just got to read the new Kristi Charish book. She writes these urban fantasy novels about a voodoo sorcerer, a voodoo practitioner named Kincaid Strange. It’s basically just very fun.

I think like probably every other geek on Earth, I am just biting my nails waiting for Crisis on Infinite Earths to happen. So, excited as more and more and more news comes out about who they’ve got guest starring, who they’ve got showing up on this. I’ll probably just die afterward because I’ll have absolutely nothing left to live for.

I’ve also been reading some good stuff, like Sarah Gailey’s Magic for Liars, which is amazing. If you haven’t checked that out, strongly recommend it. I’ve got Greg van Eekhout’s Cog sitting on my shelf to read. I’m also going to say this because this doesn’t get enough love, and it is, actually, another urban fantasy series, and I feel bad now that I left it out. Stephen Blackmoore has a phenomenal series of books about a necromancer named Eric Carter. And it’s a whole series; they all have different titles. He just came out with a fourth book a couple months ago. It is amazing that he has ramped these books up, the world of these books, again and again and again. They’ve all been fun up until now, and book four is where you suddenly realize how many things were set up and have started paying off in just, “Oh, my God; oh, my God,” ways all through it. They’re just fantastic. Stephen Blackmoore, just like it sounds. I can’t say enough good things about them, and just more people should be reading them because they are super intense, super dark. It’s kind of like an American John Constantine, set in Los Angeles. And one of the things that’s really cool about it is that when Stephen was writing them, he’s like, “Well, okay. If I’m setting this story in Los Angeles, what would be the mythology of Southern California and it’s not going to be European mythology. It’s Mexican mythology. It’s Aztec mythology is what’s dominant in Los Angeles. So when you run into gods, spirits, demons in Los Angeles they tend to be Aztec creatures.

GNN: Some cool stuff for people to check out.  So, I guess I just have two more questions. First, we talked about Dead Moon, which is available on Amazon as an e-book and as an audiobook. Your other novels are all also on Amazon, the Ex-Heroes books, correct?

PC: My other books are everywhere. Go to your friendly local bookstore. Check it out. Coming up on the holidays, I actually do a thing with one of my local bookstores, Dark Delicacies, that I will sign books there for them. So, yeah, you can get in touch with them, and I will do personalized signing copies that they will mail out. So that’s that.

GNN: Sweet. Now, if people want to learn more about you on the interwebs, where can they go?

PC: The two best places are Twitter and Instagram. I’m just @PeterClines on both of them. On Saturdays, I drink and watch bad movies. So you might want to mute me on Saturdays or follow along, depending. Instagram, it’s just me being super geeky that it’s Lego pictures, little toy soldiers, cats. That’s 90% of my Instagram feed there. I don’t tend to talk that much about books if I don’t have something immediately coming out. So, that’s one of the things. If you’re following these things expecting to just get day-by-day insights into what I’m writing, you’re probably not going to, but I’ll mention when I put up something. I have a ranty writing blog, and I put something up every week there, generally, and I talk about that on Twitter. And sometimes, like I said, I’ll just randomly talk with other writers because there are lots of cool people on Twitter. If you curate carefully, you won’t have to deal with a lot of the garbage fire stuff out there.

GNN: Gotcha. And you do have a website.

PC: I have peterclines.com, yeah. It’s out there. The site actually has links to help you find me anywhere else, so.

GNN: Any other places they can find you? Events? Conventions?

PC: Next year, I am trying to have a big convention year because I did pretty much nothing this year. Last year, 2018, it was really big. I went around a lot. This year, 2019, I really didn’t do much of anything. I did WonderCon and San Diego Comic-Con because they’re both driving distance from me, and that’s kind of it. And so next year, I’ve been trying to set up Emerald City Comic Con, Phoenix, Denver, Dragon Con again, and yeah, if somebody else gets me to something, I would love to do it. I’m doing a thing two weeks from now in Texas. I’m actually going down to Texas to talk to people about NaNoWriMo.

GNN: What is that?

PC: NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. The whole idea is, for the month of November, you try to write an entire first draft in the 30 days in November. It’s been going on for many years now, you get absolutely nothing for it, there’s really no rules to it past just write it in November, and it’s basically a big group encouragement thing. You can go on Twitter and see lots of #NaNoWriMo.

GNN:  Okay. So, if folks want to check that out, they can on Twitter or Google it.  Well, that wraps it up.  Good luck with your new book and thanks for your time!

PC: No problem at all. Thanks.

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