MIRA GRANT, Author - Interview

Mira Grant is the author of the NEWSFLESH trilogy (comprised of FEED, DEADLINE and the recently-released BLACKOUT). Per the bio from her website:

Mira Grant

Mira Grant

Mira Grant was born and raised in Northern California, where she has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the “Swamp Cannibals” scenario remains unchallenged. Currently, Mira lives in a crumbling farmhouse with an assortment of cats, horror movies, comics, and books about horrible diseases. When not writing, she splits her time between travel, auditing college virology courses, and watching more horror movies than is strictly good for you. Favorite vacation spots include Seattle, London, and a large haunted corn maze just outside of Huntsville, Alabama.

In her guise as mild-mannered urban fantasy authorSeanan McGuire, Mira was the recipient of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. You can find her works as both Mira and Seanan at her main bibliography page. Seanan’s website is the best place to find information on where both she and Mira will be appearing.

Both Feed and Deadline have been nominated for Hugo Awards, as has “Countdown,” the first novella in the Newsflesh universe.

ANTHONY: So, Mira, how does it feel to have the final book in the Newsflesh Trilogy finally in the hands of readers?

MIRA: It’s a huge relief.  It’s also terrifying, because the series is closed now: it’s over.  If everyone hated BLACKOUT, there would be nothing I could do.  Luckily, the book has been pretty well received so far, but it’s been a really nerve-wracking experience.

ANTHONY: In reviews, I’ve described FEED as “a political thriller set against the zombie apocalypse” and DEADLINE as “a medical thriller set against the zombie apocalypse.” I think BLACKOUT is going to get tagged as an “end of the world thriller set against the zombie apocalypse.” Did you intend each book to have a different genre feel, or am I imagining things?

MIRA: They were all very different stories–in fact, that’s why DEADLINE ended when it did.  It ended at the moment that the genre transitioned from medical thriller to fringe science/conspiracy thriller.  The fact that this came in the midst of a lot of stuff exploding was sort of secondary to pursuing the themes I wanted to pursue.

ANTHONY: Newsflesh was always intended as a tightly-written trilogy, correct?  Now that all is said and done, do you wish it was an open-ended series, or are you truly done with Shaun and Georgia Mason and their friends and foes?

MIRA: No, I don’t: I’m glad to have written a closed world, because now the survivors get to go off and lead their lives without me.  I’ll still do things in that universe, but unless something changes dramatically, I’m genuinely done with those people.  They’ve earned it.



ANTHONY: You’ve written several short stories linked to the trilogy. “Countdown” details the events leading up to the advent of the Kellis-Amberlee virus. I found that reading this story while already being aware of what the world is like post-KA only increased my sense of horror. Do you think that’s a prime part of effective horror, letting the reader know things the characters themselves don’t know?

MIRA: Yes, often.

ANTHONY: Even though the book trilogy is completed, you have plans to release further Newsflesh-related short stories, correct? When can we look forward to seeing those? And where can readers find the stories that have already been published?

MIRA: Well, “Everglades” was published in THE LIVING DEAD 2, and is available from Night Shade Books.  “Countdown” is available as an e-book from the Orbit Short Fiction Program, and will be available as a gorgeous limited edition hardcover from Subterranean Press this October.  “San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats” will be published electronically by the Orbit Short Fiction Program on July 11th, 2012.

ANTHONY: Outside of the world of Newsflesh, what else are you working on, and when can we look forward to seeing it?

MIRA: I’m working on two books under my real name, Seanan McGuire–CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, in the October Daye series, and HALF-OFF RAGNAROK, in the InCryptid series–and one book as Mira Grant, PARASITE, which kicks off the Forced Evolutions duology.  All three will be released over the course of the next two years.

ANTHONY: Some authors hate this question, but it seems appropriate in this context: if the Newflesh Trilogy were optioned for film (or better yet, for HBO), who do you picture filling the roles of Shaun, Georgia, Mahir, Buffy, and the rest?

MIRA: They have been optioned for film, and I can’t wait to see who gets cast!

ANTHONY: And my usual closing question: What is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?

MIRA: My favorite book in all the world is IT, by Stephen King.  I think it may be the best book about childhood, and adulthood, and growing up, that’s ever been written.  Also, much of what I say will make more sense if you read this book.  Seriously.