1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?
I don’t know if I can pinpoint one specific author. Chuck Palahniuk had a lot of impact on my writing for a while, as did Laurence Sterne’s novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Even screenwriters like Aaron Sorkin and Diablo Cody shaped my writing style quite a bit. In terms of Kit’s voice in the Warped series, I’d have to say that Dean Koontz, especially in his Odd Thomas books, is particularly influential.
2. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
Oh, man. I have no idea. I honestly don’t read very many “funny” books. OH, I KNOW: Annette Marie. All the Guild Codex series are hilarious.
3. What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?
I understood Inception on my very first viewing. (As much as anyone can truly understand Inception.)
4. Do you have an unusual hobby? Is it related to the books you write? Or is it for relaxation? Is it dangerous/ adventurous/ requires travel?
I am a very mediocre rock climber. I don’t think that qualifies as “unusual” because I live in Vancouver and everyone here climbs. I really want to write a rock-climbing scene in a Warped book but I have yet to convince Annette that it’s a good idea.
5. Which is your favourite place to visit? Do you incorporate it into your books?
For the last few summers, I have spent at least a couple of weeks in Kananaskis, which is in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. There is a beautiful campground there by a lake, almost completely cut off from the world. There is no wi-fi, no cell phone reception, no TV. It is the perfect place to reset your brain and eat a lot of fire-cooked food.
6. If you could be any fictional character, which would you be? And why?
It’s tempting to pick Dracula because he’s rich and immortal and talks with a cool accent. But then I remembered that he can’t eat garlic, which is an automatic deal-breaker. So I’m going to go with Captain Jack Sparrow. A life of adventure? Sign me up. Be half-drunk ALL THE TIME? Yes, please. Have an incredible fashion sense and eyeliner that never streaks? …why are we still having this conversation?
7. If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?
Oh, god. I so badly want to travel more. I can’t pick a single location because I haven’t experienced enough places yet! I spent a couple of weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico last year for a film festival and I could see myself living there. The city was stunning, the people were amazing, and the food…sweet mother of taste bud bliss…the food was yumtastic.
8. What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?
I’m going to go ahead and assume I’m gonna be on this desert island for a while and that I don’t require “How to Survive in the Middle of Godforsaken Nowhere” manual…
Does The Lord of the Rings trilogy count as a single book? Let’s say yes. That’s gotta be in there. A good collection of short stories, like The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury or Nine Stories by JD Salinger, would be on the list. I’d have to finish it off with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Not only is it a long (which is important on a desert island) and beautiful novel, but it is essentially six vastly different stories nested inside one another. They range from a 19th century drama to a 1960s thriller to a post-apocalyptic sci-fi; that kind of variety would hopefully keep me sane while I forage for coconuts, befriend scorpions, and make a man-kini out of banana leaves.
9. What music – if any – do you think inspires you to write? Is it different for each novel or the same?
My writing playlist varies from scene to scene. For action scenes, I love listening to heavy music: Rob Zombie, Underoath, Static-X, Lamb of God, Bring Me the Horizon, and even some Skrillex. When I need something moodier, I’ll listen to Carrollhood, Holy Fawn, a bit of Billie Eilish, or the entire Gone Girl soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. For more general work, I have hours of Odesza and The Glitch Mob to keep me in the zone. While I’m writing this, I’ve got some Missy Elliot going in my headphones.
10. Has the pandemic inspired you with any new stories to write? If so, what is the story premise?
Totally! In order to prevent going stir crazy during isolation, my wife and I created a web series called Max and Mousee. It’s about a woman (Max) who is so lonely during quarantine that her imaginary best friend from her childhood reemerges to keep her company. Hijinks ensue. We made the whole thing with just two people acting as the cast and crew. It was a lot of fun, although there were some challenges. For example, after filming the first two episodes, I realized that I hadn’t changed the batteries in my microphone for like…seven years? So the sound quality is a little gross early on. But we also threw in a couple of Guild Codex easter eggs and references for any readers who come across it.
11. What about turning your best seller into a film or TV series – would you want to write the script or be on the production team? Why? Why not?
Hard YES. Filmmaking is my first love. I’ve done some acting and made some of my own films. One of my dreams is to be a television showrunner. If I got the opportunity be involved in the film/TV adaption of my book, I’d be on that like Jack Sparrow on a fresh bottle of rum.
12. Is it easy to write humour?
I often find it easier to write humour than to be super-duper serious. It’s probably a coping mechanism. Maybe I should see someone about that…
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
Rob is a Canadian writer, actor, and director, who has been in a few TV shows you might watch, had a few films in festivals you might have attended, and authored some stories you might have come across. He’s hoping to accomplish plenty more by the time he inevitably dies surrounded by cats while watching reruns of Mr. Robot.
Currently, he is the Creative Director of Cave Puppet Films, as well as the co-author of the upcoming Guild Codex: Warped book series with Annette Marie.