I’m Glad You’re Dead (The Preternatural Chronicles Book 1) (Author Interview)

I’m Glad You’re Dead looks like a great urban fantasy book.  What was your inspiration for your series, the Preternatural Chronicles?   

The books are dedicated to, and starring, my best friend and doppelgänger, John. He always enjoyed my writing and one day made me promise to write a book about him. We grew up reading authors like Anne Rice, so when asked what he wanted to be, he told me he wanted to be a vampire. I promised — then he pulled a party foul and died, leaving me with no choice but to honor his memory, so I wrote I’m Glad You’re Dead.

After I finished book one, my brain raced and was already coming up with ideas for its follow up. I had no choice but to continue.

Why is your first book titled I’m Glad You’re Dead?    

This is the question I get the most when I tell people the story behind the series. Seems kind of odd to dedicate a book titled I’m Glad You’re Dead to your dead best friend, doesn’t it?

I’m Glad You’re Dead plays on a few levels. First: it’s a direct quote from the 1989 Batman from the man, the myth, the legend: Jack Nicholson. Batman is my — and was John’s — favorite movie of all time. We used to say it all the time to each other at random times. Honestly, our entire friendship was built on the foundation of movie quotes; and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Well, except…you know… the being dead part. I’d probably change that.

And B: John is a vampire in the series and he had to die to become immortal. But mostly that first thing I said.

How is your take on vampires different than what we have seen before?

Being urban fantasy, I wanted to do a different take on vampires. I was tired of the “hiss hiss bite bite” theatrics that have been played out. Instead, I gave John the ability to infuse his blood with his preternatural energy and create blood manifestations, like weapons and even armor. For example; instead of him biting someone’s neck for every kill, he can will a blood-dagger into his hand and stab the bad guy in their blood soaked liver to exsanguinate them. I also try to explain most supernatural abilities in a scientific way for the reader, to make it more believable. Why do vampires need blood to survive? What’s the difference between supernatural and preternatural? Did I leave the oven on? All this will be explained, and more, if you exchange your paper with words on it for my paper with words on it.

How many books do you plan for the series?    

There will be 13 novels in the series with a novella or two thrown in for good measure. I have all the books planned out, which is seriously a lot of fun because it allows me to sprinkle in breadcrumbs here and there. That seemingly inconspicuous action that happened several books ago surely won’t have consequences later in the series…right?

When did you decide to become a writer?

One does not just “decide” to be a writer. The Ghost of Halloween Past chooses you from one of those rotating cages that bingo players use — the name escapes me. You perform a series of quests with increasing difficulty, only to face your final task. Write a book. Then bam! You’re a writer.

When writing I’m Glad You’re Dead did anything stand out as particularly challenging?   

I suck at editing, and I’ve had terrible luck with editors; but enough is enough. I recently hired five editors to tear my novella, Deliverance, apart. I paid their fees and told them they will be competing for my love. I’m calling it the Editor Games. Five enter; only one leaves. The rest will be executed by firing squad…or never used again. Definitely one or the other.

How did you come up with the story in I’m Glad You’re Dead?   

I have listened to over 200 books on Audible from amazing authors like Stephen King, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Dennis E. Taylor, Richard Kadrey, Neil Gaiman, Keith C. Blackmore, and Craig Alanson. I pay attention to story structure and dissect things that make me go “holy sh*t! I loved that!” I’ve also watched hours of YouTube and Masterclass videos from authors who describe their entire process from story ideas to publishing. Over the past few years, I have tried several different methods before finding what works for me.

Before writing I’m Glad You’re Dead, I planned out every chapter in an outline. But as I put John in the scenarios and began typing, he would go off and do his own thing, despite what I had planned. I swear it was out of defiance on his part. So now, I use the Stephen King method of writing: All you need to know is the beginning, middle, and end. As I write the story, John and his friends fill in the blanks for me. It is truly as exciting to write the series as it is to read something from another author. I can’t wait to see what that witty jackass will do next! He is the perfect anti-hero and he has made me burst out laughing countless times while writing. Despite what my wife says, I’m actually pretty funny.

What do you like to do when not writing?

I own a nutrition store called Empire Nutrition, which is the best place to buy sports supplements in the galaxy. We sell protein, pre-workouts, creatine, and custom Empire apparel you can only get at the Empire. Join The Empire, won’t you?

I also enjoy spending time with my amazing wife and two dogs, one of which is a rescue (cue bonus points for saving a pit bull from certain death). Most Saturday’s, we load up into the SUV and go to the drive-in to watch movies. It’s funny that my puppies know when it is Saturday. They freak out and demand that we hurry up and get out the door. On a side note, I narrate my dogs using distinct voices, and damn it, they are hilarious.

If you want to #JoinTheEmpire, do so at www.EmpireNutrition.com. You can also download the Empire Nutrition app on both the Google Play store and Apple. After you do that, go to www.HunterBlain.com to follow my writing antics, and even get a FREE novella (once it’s edited by the winner of the Editor Games).