Friday, December 21, 2012

Interview: Author Meg Whitlock (The Dark Man's Son)

Author Meg Whitlock stops by to chat with me about her novel, The Dark Man's Son. She opens up about the inspiration behind her characters, some of her favorite mythological stories and which characters from her book she would have dinner with.

Bridget: What I liked about Jason was that he really didn't take any crap from anyone. What was your inspiration behind him?

Meg Whitlock: The first scene I wrote from this book was the one where Jason meets Alex. He was immediately sarcastic, because I tried to imagine how I might react in his situation. I toned his sarcasm down some and then I started watching Supernatural. Jason ended up being a weird combination of Sam (his height), Dean (his attitude), Castiel (his looks), and, strangely, Jesse from Breaking Bad. He turned out even more sarcastic than I initially meant for him to be, but I like it. I like that he’s in such a crazy situation and still being a smart ass.

Bridget: You use a lot of different myths and historical events in this book. What was the plotting process like for you?

Meg Whitlock: I initially didn’t intend to have the flashback bits. It was going to all take place in the present. Then I stumbled upon the scene where Alex rescues Luc from his home when he was a little boy. I wrote it years ago, as a totally different story, and it was written to take place in the present. There were things I liked about it so much that I had to use it, but obviously the boy in it couldn’t be Jason. I had another scene from yet another story I wrote a while ago that introduced Rorik, and there was a character named Luc in it. Thus, Luc and flashbacks were born.

In other words — haphazardly, with a lot of switching bits around and taking bits out and putting them back in again. I must have changed the order of the flashback chapters about 5 times.

When I say this book took me 15 years to write, I’m talking about the mythology. It took me a long time to finalize the Guardian mythos and to decide what their world looked like, myth-wise.

Bridget: What are some of your favorite mythological stories?

Meg Whitlock: I’ve always liked mythology, but I really fell in eternal love with it in 9th grade Latin. We used to translate Greek and Roman myths from Latin to English and vice versa. I love the Iliad, which, like Jason, I read in college, and I really love stories about the underworld. I like the story of Orpheus, something I specifically mention in the book. I don’t know. I can’t pick just one!

Bridget: Cassius made one heck of a sacrifice for his son. Tell us what was going through his head as he saw Jason reach for Lucifer's hand.

Meg Whitlock: The thing about Cassius . . . he’s evil, but I think the years have mellowed him a little bit. He fell in love with a human, and he has fond memories of her. When he finds out he has a son, it changes something in him. There is part of him, I’m sure, that made the sacrifice just to piss Lucifer off. I mean, obviously that would thrill Cassius to death! And if you asked him I’m sure that’s the reason he’d give you.  :)  But I think Jason’s mother made Cassius want to be more than just mindless evil and through Jason Cassius can see hope. That’s weird and confusing for him, but I think ultimately he does what he does to give Jason a chance.

Bridget: I have a feeling that big things are in store for Jason. Can you give a little insight on how he's handling his new role as Guardian of Dark?

Meg Whitlock: At this point he’s still pretty freaked out. Events are unfolding very quickly, so it might be a while before he has a chance to sit down and really think about what it all means.

The real question is what’s Lucifer going to do now that he’s free? And what’s gonna happen to Cassius?!
Just for fun!

Bridget: What is your writing method like? Do you need a certain food or music or environment for inspiration?

Meg Whitlock: I need as few distractions as possible. Stephen King says you should write with the door closed, but I have a demanding and spoiled cat who won’t let me do that. Instead I put my headphones in—sometimes with music, sometimes with a white noise app I have on my iPad—turn the internet off on my computer, and try to focus on what I’m doing. I have to hear the dialogue in my head as I write it, and if I’m too distracted or listening to the wrong kind of music, I can’t do that.

Bridget: I found and read The Space Between on Wattpad and I demand more! What is going on with that story? Are you planning on writing more of it?

Meg Whitlock: Ha! I’m so glad you read that! I wrote that a long time ago just as a one-off. I really like it, though. I might one day go back to it and flesh out the characters and try to make a thing of it.

Bridget: If you could have dinner with any of the characters in your book, who would they be and what are some of the things you would talk about?

Meg Whitlock: Oh geez. All of them! Honestly, I’d love to meet any of these people, except maybe the Princes. Jason and I have the same sense of humor, I’d love to talk to Alex about her life, and Cassius . . . well, come on, he might be evil.

Bridget: Thank you very much to Meg Whitlock for the fun chat! If you're interested in finding out more info on her book and on her as an author, check out her blog. You can also find Meg on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also add the book to your Goodreads Shelf.

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