Previously, we talked to Scott Andrews about his inspirations for his Afterblight books and his uniquely self-aware young protagonist. In Part 2, we touch on a few of his future projects, including Children's Crusade (released in May). (A few exclusive scoops below the jump!)
He's accomplished a lot for something that can't even get his driving license yet. How will he top this in Children's Crusade?
The first book was very interior and personal, kind of like a horror movie; the second was a big, widescreen war movie. Book three, which will probably be Lee and Jane's last outing for the time being, is hopefully a blend of the two. But it's more Jane's story than Lee's this time around.
Jane has some serious stuff from her past to deal with, so it's an extremely personal mission for her, but there's also a really nasty and powerful enemy to fight, albeit not one quite as OTT as the entire US Army! The bad guys in book one were cannibals, in book two they were warriors, in some ways the villians of book three are the worst of the bunch in that they don't kill you or eat you, but they'll treat you as if you were cattle, totally dehumanising you.
And speaking of growing up... In Operation Motherland, I started to see the first inklings of a little something between Lee and "Matron". I suspect the Daily Mail would have a fit. Or is this just my sordid imagination?
No, they're a couple by the time book three begins. I hope the Daily Mail does have a fit. That would be mission accomplished!
In Operation Motherland, you cheekily added a nod to Paul Kane's French mercenaries from Arrowhead. Was this a one-off, or can readers expect to see more "cross-overs" coming? Did he know you were doing this? Are there Blighterbrunches where you all sip tea and chart the post-Apocalyptic landscape?
Paul and I have swopped notes extensively. I love his books. I was really pleased to be able to have a new short story at the back of his last one and - first exclusive scoop! - I'm pleased to announce that he's returning the favour by doing an original story for the back of Children's Crusade. It's quite the love-in! [Editor's note: Scott Andrew's "The Man Who Would Not Be King" is also available as a free download from Abaddon.]
In fact, Lee takes a little trip to Nottingham in book three, so the crossover is far more explicit this time. It's a bit tricky in that our timeline doesn't match the publication schedule - Operation Motherland is set before Arrowhead, but was published after. And Children's Crusade is set before Broken Arrow, which is already out. So we're leapfrogging each other. In fact I was able to tease the villain for Broken Arrow in Operation Motherland, though because it wasn't out yet, no-one noticed!
Also, Children's Crusade takes place concurrently with The Culled, the book that kicked it all off, and if things go according to plan we'll see certain events from that first book in a slightly different light.
School's Out, Operation Motherland, Children's Crusade and... The Unofficial Guide to Dawson's Creek? Somewhere in a drawer, is there the first draft of the Cull hitting Capeside, Massachusetts? Who starts the crucifixions first: Dawson or Pacey?
Pacey is Lee, obviously, because of his affair with his teacher in season one. I reckon Dawson would be the first to snap. It'd be snuff movies and all sorts with him. And now I'm picturing Michelle Williams in combats with a gun... sigh...
What's planned after Children's Crusade? When will we get to start reading your fiction outside of the Afterblight series?
I wrote a Stargate Atlantis audio play for Big Finish last year and I've got three audio plays coming out from them later this year. And here's your second scoop, coz they've not been announced officially yet but my boss says I can spill some beans - they're all for the second season of their Highlander series.
I've been trying to write Highlander since I pitched for the comic book way back in '95, so it's a dream come true. Can't tell you any more about them, but they're pretty damn dark and I think they may surprise a few people, hopefully in a good way. I'm very excited about that.
After Children's Crusade, I have two other projects on the go which I intend to finish, although I've no buyer for them yet. One's a screenplay and the other's a young adult sci-fi novel. And beyond that I have plans for at least three other series of books, so I fully expect to be as busy as I can be.
Plus, I have spoken informally to Abaddon about doing other books for other series, and who knows, maybe Lee and Jane will return to fight again one day... if they survive book three!
"Red Dawn" or "Battle Royale"?
Red Dawn, dude, every time. Lea Thompson with an M16? Hell yeah!
Completely agree. Thank you very much!
School's Out and Operation Motherland are available for purchase through your local bookstore. "The Man Who Would Not Be King" is available as a FREE download from Abaddon.
Children's Crusade, the third and final adventure of Lee & Jane, will be released from Abaddon Books on May 19, and is already available for pre-order.