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Friday, January 25, 2008

The Odd Man Out

Like Justine, I missed the first round. It would've been on Christmas, so I hope you'll forgive me. Aside from the holidays, I was buried in various deadlines. (Still am, but can't let it slide by a second time.) Fortuitously, I'm currently revising the manuscript for my first novel for MTV Books--SOULLESS--and plan to deliver the new draft on Monday.

So, here I am...Odd Man Out. What am I talking about? Well, let me put it this way...SOULLESS is a dark, gruesome novel about the walking dead and the deterioration of human society. A superficial look at the array of talent and titles in the MTV Books lineup might make some people wonder what I'm doing here. But SOULLESS isn't just a zombie novel. It's also a story about 21st century teens making hard decisions, and the lines you might be willing to cross to save yourself and the people you love.

And I've never minded being the odd man out. In college, my group of friends were people who didn't have a group of their own. As an adult, I'm the answer to the old Sesame Street song "One of These Things is Not Like the Others." A curiosity. An oddity. Growing up, I was often one of the only guys (and often enough, the ONLY guy) in the mix. It's still common. I've never been that comfortable with the kind of back-thumping, beer-chugging "guyness" of certain guys, always gotten along better with women. Maybe that's because my parents were divorced when I was young and I was raised by my mother. Or maybe it's because, with my mother working 70 hours a week, my brother and I were often looked after by my older sister and all of her girlfriends.

I'm not the only guy in the MTV Books lineup, of course. (Hi Alex.) But SOULLESS is a departure for the line, I think. The Odd Book Out. On the other hand, anyone who has read my Jenna Blake (Body of Evidence) books, or the Prowlers quartet, probably already knows this, but SOULLESS might not be as big a departure as it appears at first glance. The situations are more extreme, but the dynamics remain, and are all too real.

I should probably have introduced myself earlier. :) My name is Christopher Golden. I've been a full-time writer for more than fifteen years, writing novels, short stories, comics, video games, non-fiction books, and now screenplays. (Well, not RIGHT now...the Writers Guild of America is on strike, and needs your support!) I read constantly, when I'm not watching movies or (way, way, way too much) television. I'm sure I'll talk later about what I'm watching and reading. Meanwhile, come visit: www.christophergolden.com or http://www.myspace.com/christophergoldenbooks

So there you go. A little about me, and a little about SOULLESS. Next time, I suspect I'll talk a little about the state of the world, the cult of celebrity, and the dread that lurks at the back of all of our minds in the 21st century--all themes that play a major role in the novel.


jennifer echols said...

state of the world, the cult of celebrity, and the dread that lurks at the back of all of our minds in the 21st century

Speaking of which, I've got a Q for you. I'm seeing a lot more zombie movies and zombie books coming out lately. There are always a few around (was anyone else extremely disappointed with From Dusk Till Dawn?) but lately there's been a surge. Do you think this is in response to the success of Sean of the Dead? OR, do you think there is something specific in the culture now that's fueling writers' imaginations in this way?

For instance, the last time I went to the movies (Beowulf--MISTAKE), I saw the trailer for I Am Legend and, immediately after that, the trailer for Cloverfield. Both are obviously 9/11 movies--New York attacked and thrown into chaos by something out of the blue. (I know that I Am Legend is based on a 1954 and has already been made a couple of times, but there's a reason it got made again now.)

I think a lot of us go through life feeling we're surrounded by zombies, or at least sheep who Don't Get It. This is a common feeling that transcends generations. So why all the zombie manifestations now?

Christopher Golden said...

Definitely something I want to get into in future blogs. A couple of thoughts, though. First, SOULLESS is sort of my reaction to the recent rise in popularity of zombie stories. I'm always troubled because so few of them have third acts. One of the initial goals of this book was to tell a zombie story that has a definite arc, including a third act, so it builds to something besides "everybody dies."

But you've hit on a major theme for the book, which is the way in which our cultural mindset has changed in a post 9/11 society. My children will never know what it felt like to live in a world where 9/11 had not yet happened. Anyway, more about all of that in a later blog.

Little Willow said...

Golden bodyguard, present and accounted for, so glad that you're here!

jennifer echols said...

to tell a zombie story that has a definite arc, including a third act, so it builds to something besides "everybody dies."

Now THAT is freaking BRILLIANT. I loved the absolutely hilarious beginning of Sean of the Dead, but the second half devolved into...well, what zombie stories usually devolve into. So I will be looking forward to yours. Go on with your bad self!

Kelly Parra said...

Hi Christopher, great to have you here! I'm looking forward to Soulless. Sounds awesome!

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

Hi, Odd Man Out—I'm Odd Girl Out (which I blogged about a few weeks back). But of course, you've got a way cooler reason for being odd. SOULLESS sounds dark, twisted, and intricate as only you can pull off. P

Whodathunk, however many years back it was that we first met, that we'd have books out under the same imprint? *g*

GeniusJen said...

OMG, Christopher Golden is here! Yay! I'm, like, the Number #2 CG fan (because LW is the first, of course!). I got hooked on your writing first with the BODY OF EVIDENCE series, and then with PROWLERS, which is absolutely my favorite series in the whole world.

And, you're writing about ZOMBIES!! Can things get any better? I mean seriously -- I have 2 DVD copies of SEAN OF THE DEAD, I loved the book WORLD WAR Z (a GREAT zombie novel if you haven't read it!), and am, all-around, a really weird chick who just happens to have a zombie obsession.

Christopher Golden + Zombies = My absolute favorite dream come true!!

Alex McAulay said...

hi christopher,
and i thought i was the "odd man out"! SOULLESS sounds great--i'm a big fan of your books, and i can't wait to read it. the plot sounds right up my alley!

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Wow, I can't wait to read SOULLESS especially now that you said it's a zombie story with a full arc. That is definitely something we need! Very psyched! And glad to have you on the blog!