Today’s interview is with S. A. McKernan, author of The Apex Predator: The Chain
When Reaper Demonweaver meets a Deity, all of his questions regarding the mythology of life and death as well as the Apocalyptic war that demolished most of his planet, are answered. Not long after, the prophesied siege begins and the mythical demons return to ravish his beloved city, Echo Sublimity. As Reaper finds himself caught in the chaos he is left questioning his convictions, his life, his Deity, and himself.
What gave you the idea for your book The Apex Predator: The Chain and how close are you to releasing the sequel?
The Apex Predator: The Chain is inspired by my obsession with death and the afterlife. When I was a child I remember encountering the corpse of a wild bunny. I was alone, had been out riding my horse so no one was with me. Without anyone telling me I just knew the soul had left the rabbit, but I didn’t know where the soul had gone or why the body had been left behind. I pondered the possibilities and finally concluded that the soul did exist at one point but upon the death of the rabbit had either vanished into nonexistence or ventured into another place—another realm.
This would eventually become the basis for the lore of Apex Predator. And when I suffered tragedies such as friends passing away my intrigue arose again and this time I studied death/afterlife more devotedly and began writing The Apex Predator.
All I can say for Apex 2 is that it’ll definitely be released sometime this year and with a different titled similar to the first…hopefully.
What got you into writing horror?
My writing style and subject matter got me into horror writing. Being a horror writer wasn’t and still isn’t my intention with writing, but what I find beautiful another person finds grotesque. My goal with writing is to be as honest as possible without excluding certain details. I want my stories to feel real, even if it makes the reader uncomfortable. Sometimes reality is uncomfortable. The awful things that happen to my characters happen in reality as well.
What else have you written?
I will have a short story published in JEA’s Suburban Secrets 2: Ghosts and Graveyards. That will be my first traditionally published story. I’m pretty excited about that. I have a couple of Eroticas I’m working on. I’ve recently begun a Dream Journal. Of course there’s always the Apex Predator Journals. There’s always something being written for that series. It’s my main priority.
What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like?
The writing process for me is like piecing a puzzle together. I start with an idea and start writing. I jump around topics a lot. Until I reach the wretched long stretch of editing the final drafts of a novel or story I’ll hop around and write what I’m passionate about at the time. Developing a story is so tough because I start with a handful of ideas that flourish and evolve as I write so I never really know where the story ends, which is frustrating. The writing process is definitely NOT linear for me and probably not for anyone.
My writing day is mostly a writing night. That’s when I get most of my work done. I don’t always write a lot either. Sometimes it’s just a sentence or a paragraph. There’s days where I write thousands of words and make amazing progress and there’s other days where I wanna hit my head against a brick wall because the writer’s block is so BAD. I find peace in knowing that even if I write a sentence or just jot down an idea or two, my time was not wasted and whatever I wrote is important. There’s been times where I’ve cut out pages of work only to keep a paragraph or sentence. One word or many, they’re all important.
What is your favorite book (other than your own book, of course) and why?
Right now my favorite book is The Big Book of Pain: Torture & Punishment through History by Mark P. Donnelly & Daniel Diehl. This book is brutal, but fascinating. For anyone who wants to read about the darker side of history, check this book out. I’m reading it because some of the subject matter in Apex 2 and even throughout the entire series is related to the subject of torture. There are certain characters who consider themselves torture artists, experts on pain.
Another novel that I love is The Golden Boy by Abigail Tartellin. I connected with this novel. It’s the only novel that made me truly love the protagonist and made my heart pound. It has such an amazing moral and lesson about love and identity. Abigail Tartellin is an amazing writer, definitely a writer I aspire to be. She writes with honest detail, making the characters real and easy to imagine.
What are you doing next?
Apex 2, some short stories, some erotica, & my dream journal. \o/
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Read & write. You learn how to write and develop stories from other writers. Read everything from good writing to bad writing. There’s a lesson even in reading poor writing, like what not to do. Ignore critics and if you can’t do that be positive and try and learn something from their criticism. Write what you love and write for yourself. And beat the life out of that self-doubt. Kill it dead.
Find the author and her book at the following links: