Author John Passarella has a second Supernatural tie-in, Rite of Passage, coming out August 14, and Gather.com had the chance to interview him about his writing, tie-in novels, and what he has coming up next.
“By way of drawing and a need to tell stories. When I was nine, I started drawing monsters. At ten, I started drawing stories in a typing tablet. I would adapt stories from Star Trek and the Planet of the Apes TV series, and create my own stories in those worlds. These were an early training ground for writing media tie-in novels! Eventually, I became frustrated with the pace of drawing stories and I started writing one page monster and SF stories on my sister’s hand-me-down manual typewriter. I’d finish a story before the bottom of the blank music sheet I used for typewriting paper. The long stories used both sides of the page. By high school I was writing short novels and then longer novels into college.”
“I experimented with mystery, science fiction and fantasy after those early one-page monster stories. I had a humorous mystery and a straight fiction piece published in my college alumni magazine. When I decided to collaborate on a novel, we started with an SF idea, then switched to a horror idea which became the co-authored WITHER, my first published novel, which had a movie rights sale before it sold as a book. Once I had published that supernatural thriller, which eventually won the Bram Stoker Award for best first novel, it seemed like a good idea to stick with a genre where I had that initial success. I describe my novels supernatural thrillers because I’m focused more on generating suspense rather than writing horror for the sake of horror. I want to write stories that keep readers turning the pages.”
Have you seen every episode of Supernatural to date?
“Yes. I’ve been a fan since the first episode of season one. I have all the DVD sets, so I’m ready for the day when I want to go through a complete re-watch. I just finished a re-watch of all 88 episodes and the concluding movie of Farscape, along with a re-watch of the first four seasons of Breaking Bad to prime myself for season five. So that’s something I will do.”
Do you think you’ll write another Supernatural tie-in novel in the future? If so, would you end up setting in within a future season (say, eight) or would you be interested in exploring something from earlier seasons?
“I’d definitely be interested in writing a third Supernatural novel, but it’s not solely up to me. Titan Books would have to invite me back again. As far as when it would be set, that is not a choice I make. Both times, I’ve been told to set the book in the currently airing season, and then as close to the then-airing episodes as possible. I wouldn’t expect them to want a new novel set in a past season, but maybe something set pre-series could happen. Back when I wrote Buffy and Angel tie-ins, it worked in a similar manner. But the editor would pick a temporarily fixed point in the continuity for a few novels, before bumping that continuity point forward for the next batch. However, those fixed points weren’t as close to the airing episodes as the Supernatural book specs are, so that’s been invigorating.”
This is your second tie-in novel for the show. How did you get into writing Supernatural tie-ins?
“Cath Trechman, my UK editor for Night Terror, contacted me after reviewing my credentials on my website, passarella.com. She saw I had that Buffy and Angel tie-in experience and that I wrote supernatural thrillers, thought I’d be a good fit for the Supernatural line and asked if I would be interested. I told her I was a day-one fan of the show and that I was definitely interested and she explained the pitching process.”
What do you have coming up next? Any more original novels?
“Currently, I’m bouncing back and forth between a few ideas for original novels. I’m leaning toward a new urban fantasy series, but I’m still working out the details of the world. To give my readers something to read in the meantime, before I plunged into the writing process of Rite of Passage, I released my first fiction collection, Exit Strategy & Others, at the beginning of the year. I’d like to have a new original novel out within the next year. And there’s always the possibility I’ll be asked to write a third Supernatural novel.”
Stay tuned for the second part of this interview, which covers Supernatural: Rite of Passage, out Tuesday. Will you be picking up a copy of John Passarella’s latest tie-in novel?
Â© Meredith Jacobs 2012