Middletown 2 The Interview: Brent Abell

What makes the apocalyptic genre so appealing to you?

I believe the main thing that draws me to reading and writing apocalyptic fiction is the notion of hope. When the entire world and society have crashed down around us, something within humanity always finds a way to fight and to survive. How do the survivors go on? What drives them to shape a new world in the ashes of the old? These are the questions I’m interested in and I want to answer when I write.

What about this project was uniquely challenging to you?

Hands down it was making it a part of the narrative I started with my story in the first book. Trying to go back and build on something I thought I was finished with was very challenging. I hope I managed to keep the story new and still have the voice be a continuation of the tale. This time, I wrote some points in and left some things open in case I need to add another chapter to the story of the Phoenix virus.

What draws you to projects like this?

Money. No, I kid. Really, I like these kind of projects as a writer and as a reader. When you have a few set rules you have to follow, but each person brings their own style and voice to their story makes for an overall fun experience. This type of book challenges me to think broader and try to do some stuff with my work I might not have tried in my own solo works. I also like seeing the different ways and paths the writers took in the final book.

If there was one thing key to your writing style, what would that be?

The longer I write, I find myself doing quick cuts for the scenes. I figure I do this because when I write, I think theatrically. In the end, I will picture what the words would look like translated onto the screen and it shapes a lot of how I break up the action and switch between characters. I also don’t want to get caught doing long sections of nothing. By breaking down the story the way I do, I can keep everything moving quickly and not have a lot of dragging sections.

If someone were to write you into an apocalyptic story, what would be the plot?

A beer-borne virus is unleashed by an accident during someone making a home-brew batch of an IPA. I seem to be immune and fight off the zombie hordes while I defend the local pub and or comic shop. Sounds legit…