Today, I’d like to welcome to Preternatura author Rio Youers, whose novel Westlake Soul was released this past spring by ChiZine Publications, an independent publisher that’s putting out some really interesting sci-fi and dark fantasy books. Rio is a multi-platform writer, working in books and comics, and is the British Fantasy Award-nominated author of End Times and Westlake Soul. His short fiction has been published by Cemetery Dance, St. Martin’s Griffin, and IDW, among others. You can learn more about Rio from his website.
ChiZine is offering one commenter his or her choice of an ebook (including Westlake Soul) from their catalog. This contest is international. Read on for entry details!
ABOUT WESTLAKE SOUL: “All superheroes get their powers from somewhere. A radioactive spider bite. A science experiment gone awry. I got mine from a surfing accident in Tofino. The ultimate wipeout. I woke up with the most powerful mind on the planet, but a body like a wet paper bag…” Meet Westlake Soul, a twenty-three-year-old former surfing champion. A loving son and brother. But if you think he’s just a regular dude, think again; Westlake is in a permanent vegetative state. He can’t move, has no response to stimuli, and can only communicate with Hub, the faithful family dog. And like all superheroes, Westlake has an archenemy: Dr. Quietus – a nightmarish embodiment of Death itself. Westlake dreams of a normal life – of surfing and loving again. But time is running out; Dr. Quietus is getting closer, and stronger. Can Westlake use his superbrain to recover… to slip his enemy’s cold embrace before it’s too late?
Now, let’s hear from Rio. Welcome!
Give us the “elevator pitch” for Westlake Soul.
Twenty-three-year-old surfer dude, Westlake Soul, is in a permanent vegetative state following a surfing accident. He can’t walk, can’t talk, and has no response to stimuli. While the outside world views him as a ‘vegetable,’ on the inside he has developed the mind of a super genius. The question is: can he use this new-found über intelligence to recover before his parents discontinue his life support?
Describe your favorite scene from the book–and why is it your favorite?
I’m fond of the opening few chapters because they introduce Westlake and help establish a bittersweet, yet lighthearted tone, which I felt was important, particularly when dealing with such dark subject matter. And there’s a chapter called “We Are Family,” midway through the novel, in which Westlake’s family really shines. I’m proud of the way that turned out.
What was the hardest scene to write?
Probably the final scene, because I didn’t know what was going to happen until I got there.
What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell.
Favorite book when you were a child.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl. I loved the Pan Books of Horror, too – had ’em all.
Book you’ve faked reading (Moby Dick is leading the votes on this question!):
David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens. But I will read it one day. I promise.
Book you’re an evangelist for:
It used to be a book called The Crosskiller by an author named Marcel Montecino, but it’s been out of print for a while now, and is hard to find. Now it’s probably Y: The Last Man – a comic book by Brian K. Vaughan. Or Boy’s Life, by Robert R. McCammon.
Book you’ve bought for the cover:
The only one that comes to mind is Tender, by Mark Childress, but I’m sure there have been others.
Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene. That was when I discovered that writing can be beautiful, as well as powerful.
Favorite line from a book:
“By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp.” – Cormac McCarthy, The Road.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding.
Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
Probably the Room 217 scene from The Shining.
Favorite book about books or writing:
I would imagine On Writing, by Stephen King is a popular answer to this question, right? (Suzanne: Definitely!) And so it should be; it’s essential reading for anyone serious about writing. I also think Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves will help keep your punctuation sharp.
This is a great chance to win Westlake Soulor another ebook from the ChiZine catalog. You can visit their website to see their catalog. I’m on the road today, heading to Naples, Florida, for the Southern Independent Booksellers Association trade show to talk about River Road and the Sentinels series. So it will be late before I can respond to comments. I’ll be keeping up via cell phone, though!
You know the drill. One entry for comment (what’s on the top of YOUR TBR pile?), another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Now…Go forth and comment!