How did you come up with the title?
M – We changed the name of the book a few months before release. Harry Dewulf commented that the original title didn’t make sense. We came up with ‘Activation’ then he added the ‘First’ to it.
D – Our original title, which wasn’t set in stone was ‘Mutual Armageddon’. Harry Dewulf said to me, “I’ve only got two problems with you title…. Mutual and Armageddon.” We changed the title within three days.
Can you tell us about your main character?
M – The main character has a conscience and tries to make sense of what is going on around him. He is fallible and makes mistakes but is generally acting in a logical manner.
D – I like to think that Harry is just like what a normal person would be like in an Apocalyptic scenario, confused but slowly learning and adapting as the story goes along.
How did you develop your plot and characters?
M – Lots of conversations on the phone and in the pub.
D – Once we decided on the personalities of the characters, we tried to get into their heads and analyse every decision or statement they would make to see if it fitted.
Who designed the cover?
M – We had a few cover designs before we settled on the current one. It was designed by Littera Designs.
D – Rachel from Littera Designs was excellent and I would highly recommend her to anyone who wants a great cover at a very reasonable price.
Who is your publisher?
M – We are self-published.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
M – Nothing is ever as it seems.
D – Learn by your mistakes.
How much of the book is realistic?
M – Locations are mostly real, characters are developed from people we know or have met.
D – I would say it’s all realistic, apart from a couple of key elements which were needed to make the story complete. The technology is close to existing in the next twenty years, which is quite a scary thought.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot?
M – It’s difficult with this plot to add real life experience but everything is drawn from people and places we know.
D – Some of the characters decision making process is drawn from real life experiences, but the characters actions are led by events around them.
How important do you think villains are in a story?
M – Duality is essential to make the book balanced. The subsequent books will explain more on both sides.
D – One of my favourite parts of fiction is the villain, if they are done well, it can make the whole thing.
What are your goals as a writer?
M – To write a story that people will enjoy reading.
D – To create a book that will still be read in twenty years, by anyone.
What books have most influenced your life?
M – I read Jonathan Seagull 10-15 years ago and think of it from time to time. It’s about daring to be different.
D – I’ve read a lot of memoirs from the First World War. Seeing the hardship and suffering that those soldiers had to go through puts things into perspective.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
M – Hopefully with a back catalogue of work and thinking up a new exciting plot.
D – I really have no idea. I’d love to be writing full time, but who wouldn’t? I will probably still be working full time and trying to create a new story.
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Genre – Horror/Science Fiction
Rating – R