Quil Carter Interview and Giveaway
Today we have a relative newcomer to the published author world, Quil Carter. Quil is an exciting young author who writes the intensely interesting dystopian Fallocaust series, and its companion books. It is a pleasure to welcome him for our 2 year blog anniversary.
**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER. CONGRATULATIONS TO GREGG**
Kazza: This year a friend of mine emailed me to ask if I had read Fallocaust. They were reading it and finding the writing different and something I might be into. It is interesting, it is different, and it is something that I have been into. Tell me how you were able to come up with this intense dystopia? The world-building is excellent, how did the Greywastes come to be?
Quil: I remember the exact moment that the greywastes started to form in my head. I was walking home from the corner store and Superbeast by Rob Zombie came on my music player. I had listened to the song many times before but oddly this time I just started seeing this world in my head. A post-apocalyptic world more fucked up than anyone could fathom. Where rape, murder, and cannibalism are just a way of life, and your entire world was just this lawless landscape of grey nothing. At first that’s all I knew of the story, just that I wanted it to take place in this world and that was that. I sat on the vision of the greywastes for about three or four months working on a different book before I got an idea as to what the characters would be about. But eventually I started to form characters and my sadistic Reaver was created. With Reaver I just wanted someone completely off the rails. I remember as soon as I got to the scene where Reaver finds the legionaries after Killian was kidnapped, I said to myself, “I will never be able to publish this or show anyone, so I might as well write it exactly how I want to write it.” And I think after I came to that conclusion, the book really started to form in my head. Obviously though, I did eventually publish it.
Kazza: I have to admit that Rob Zombie will take you to dark places 🙂
Kazza: I have seen Fallocaust garnering more interest and some devoted followers. When I think of Fallocaust I think cult series, maybe? It’s not a bad term, not a bad idea – Mad Max, Brazil, The Heathers etc. What do you think about that description – cult – for your series?
Quil: I would be more than flattered for Fallocaust to become a cult series! The interest that Fallocaust has gotten has blown my mind, I really never expected any of this to happen. If it ever became a cult series it would make my life.
Kazza: Reaver and Killian make the most fascinating pair. Reaver – always cold, always detached, except when it comes to Killian. His interest and love for Killian obsessive. Killian – quite soft and naïve, compassionate in his own uniquely dark and twisted way – obsession returned. They really aren’t the stock-standard couple. How did this pair come about?
Quil: I really love getting into my characters minds, picking them apart and finding the methods behind their madness. I wanted to create two characters that were not only the products of the world they live in as a whole, but also the products of their individual environments. Reaver has been raised in the greywastes, constantly surrounded by death and danger. So I mentally looked at his childhood, and just what I knew of him so far, and used that to help shape what I believed his personality would be.
When I was developing Killian’s persona, I really wanted to have a lot of the standard personality traits for the submissive, cute blond kid-type. But then I wanted to torture that little blond kid, have him put through the wringer, exposed to horrible, mind-destroying terrors and have to endure things that none of us would fathom in our worst nightmares.
Then I took those two, put them side by side, crossed my arms and said, “Now what would happen if this sociopathic greywaster started falling for this damaged, depressed kid? What would this guy, with zero social skills, and no idea what he’s feeling, do? And what would the kid do in response?” And after that… it just wrote itself.
Kazza: Then there is Breaking Jade. It is called a companion guide but you do need to read it to follow (some of) the machinations that have gone on, have a further insight into Chimeras, and what is to come in future book. This is another pair of deliciously dark and twisted characters. What was the impetus for them? Where did these kinky-twisted- arses come from?
Quil: In the beginning I held onto some hope that though Breaking Jade should be read with The Fallocaust Series, it didn’t have to be. As the series has gone on, though, it’s become more apparent that you really gotta read them all together. I wrote Book 2 with the idea in mind that the reader has read Breaking Jade, and I’m planning on writing future books in the series the same way. It might be a pain in the ass for some, especially because Book 1 was a cruel cliff-hanger, but this way you get a better idea of the world they’re living in, and certain characters motivations. Plus you’re introduced to Elish and Jade, Sanguine, Jack, a hell of a lot of people that play major roles in Book 2 and in future books as well.
Elish and Jade are two of my favourite characters. Elish has more motivation in the series than anyone, and in Breaking Jade and the companion book for Book 2, you really learn just what brought him to the point he is now. Elish didn’t wake up one day and decide, “I’m going to kill that smart-ass ….” (not adding who, it’s a spoiler 🙂 ) The companion books are a great way for you to see his side, without the restrictions that just adding it as a dull flashback in the series would bring. I always wanted to read a book where you really got the other side of the story, not just a chapter or two, or a flashback, but an entire separate string of books that explains just what made certain characters turn, snap, or just become fed up.
Kazza: I do love Reaver and Killian but I also have a HUGE I–adore-his-sadistic-arse softspot for Elish Dekker. Will there be much more of him in coming books because, forget everyone else, I need to know?
Quil: Oh – hell – yes. I love Elish, I love that man so much. Not only does he have a huge role in Book 2, but also in Book 2’s companion book. Elish is this dynamic, sadistic, cold-blooded monster who would rather stick a skewer through his eye than give up an ounce of control, or worse: show affection to Jade with other people watching. I have such a fun time writing about Elish, he definitely isn’t going anywhere. He’s going to be tested in Book 2 though, especially in volume 2, and the reader is going to see him start to slowly go through some changes… but not a lot obviously, I mean, it is Elish.
Kazza: One more crazy I adore. Perish. He is a sick puppy, but there is this weird dynamic between him and Killian and he’s, simply put, cracked. Is there much room left for him in coming books?
Quil: Lots of room! Like Elish, Perish also plays a big role in Book 2. Perish is this enigma in himself, he’s different from the other characters and has his own unique quirks that I have an interesting time developing. He might be one of the most complex characters I have ever written because I have to constantly make sure I write him the right way, especially as Book 2 goes on. Perish was the first chimera I ever created inside my head, so he holds a special place in my heart. I always get a bit sad when someone comments that they hate Perish for what he did in Book 1, maybe I’m just bias but that man could do anything to anyone and I would still love and understand him. He’s a complex little cookie, but like all of my characters he wasn’t born bad, he has a reason for being the person he is. Just like all of my characters, especially King Silas.
Kazza: Yes, well..it says a lot about me that I feel the same way. Love him. He is complex. Such a dichotomy within one individual.
Kazza: Obviously series can’t go on forever, but do you have a finite number of books set out for this series? If so, what number are we looking at? If not, is it more a gut-feel thing – you’ll just know when it is ready to close the final chapter on the characters and the Greywastes?
Quil: I have issues with loss I admit. I still never watched the series finale of House, or Fringe, I can’t even watch the ending of Avatar: The Last Airbender a second time, and I will never again read the ending to Harry Potter. I hate it when my favourite things end and I have to leave that world, so even thinking about leaving the Fallocaust world fills my stomach with nauseas butterflies. Now that also sucks because I have a few half-finished books plus a series I started years ago that I would love to complete, but Fallocaust has me in its clutches right now.
Though in my head, I am leaning towards 6 books in the main series, but that might change as the series progresses. I would also love 6 companion books at the same time, so I guess 12 in total. Which is… daunting to say the least! But definitely count on it not ending any time soon, Quil has issues letting things go, so most likely Im going to hug the series to death until its pried from my cold, dead, fingers.
Kazza: Okay, let’s talk serious shiz. Two part question. Part one, what music/bands are faves? Also, give us a couple of songs you listened to on-loop when you wrote Fallocaust, Breaking Jade and the two parts of Ghost and the Darkness?
Quil: Okay, part one! I integrated a lot of my favourite bands into the books, shamelessly. My favourite bands are probably Metallica, Korn, Linkin Park, Matthew Good Band, and Apocalyptica, which really helped put me into the right mood while I was writing. Though that being said I also love lighter music: The Bloodhound Gang, Blink 182, Fatboy Slim, you know, bouncy stuff like that.
Music played a HUGE role in writing my books. Even when I didn’t feel like writing that day, or I felt like crap, as soon as I would put my current ‘writing’ song on, the words would just flow from my fingers.
During the last half of Fallocaust I was listening to Lamb of God by Marilyn Manson on repeat, for Breaking Jade it was anything by Adele, Behind Blue Eyes by Limp Bizkit, and also Don’t go off Wandering by Limp Bizkit (music you listened to as a teen always seems to resonate with you, even years on, it seems). For Book 2 it was one of my all time favourite songs: The Preacher by Jamie N Commons, and for Severing Sanguine, Book 2’s companion book: Death Is The Road to Awe from The Fountain soundtrack. Though I also want to mention my three standard writing soundtracks, ones I have listened to for all of my books. The Inception Soundtrack, The Fountain Soundtrack, and The Requiem for a Dream soundtrack. Those albums on repeat have floated me through some difficult writing times, and I highly recommend them.
Kazza: Part two. What song, for you, perfectly represents these characters –
Quil: Oh wow, that’s a tough one since all the characters change so much during the books!
Quil: I think Reaver would be a cross between Welcome Home (Sanitarium) by Metallica and So Long by Everlast. So Long reminds me of what Reaver was like in the first Fallocaust book, and Welcome Home the Reaver we start to see after the events that led to him leaving Aras.
Quil: Running for Home by Matthew Good Band would be a good song for Killian in the beginning, but I think at the end of Book 1 and in Book 2, it would be The Bird and the Worm by The Used.
Quil: I don’t think a song for Elish could ever have lyrics, because I don’t know one that could do that demigod of a chimera justice. So I think Elish’s song would be Requiem for a Dream by Clint Mansell.
Quil: This Night by Blacklab and A Pain That I’m Used To by Depeche Mode would definitely be his Breaking Jade songs. Though in Book 2: The Animal I’ve Become by Three Days Grace.
Kazza: So, King Silas is sociopathic, psychopathic and plain narcissistic…but… cats, eh? He really likes cats – counts them in the census, from memory, and likes them looked after and accounted for. Luca, from Breaking Jade, wants a cat every Skyday. Let me ask, you a major cat lover yourself, Quil? If so, tell us about your cat(s), and why cats?
Quil: There are like at least twenty of my Facebook followers going ‘YES, OH GOD YES, HE NEVER STOPS TELLING STORIES ABOUT HIS FUCKING CATS!’ Alright, I do love my cats. Silas’s cat fancying is completely and shamelessly ripped off of my own love of cats. I love those funny little things. I think they’re one of the best creatures on the planet, and if you have the time to form a bond with them they will give you the love back in spades. Plus they’re okay with having time to themselves, and you never feel like you’re being smothered (unless they’re trying to kill you of course.) Cats are the introvert’s best friend, and we just seem to get along.
I have four of them myself, but I’ve owned cats ever since my first landlord gave me the okay to adopt one when I was only 17 years old. They’ve been my constant companions and a great source of entertainment. I think they fit in well in the Fallocaust world also, Silas is quiet but dangerous, and from appearances he looks innocent, though underneath that adorable exterior lays the heart of a cold, heartless, sadistic, serial killer –just like a cat!
Kazza: Mandatory interview question – if you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
Quil: I would go to New Zealand in a second. I love The Lord of the Rings movies, they’re what inspired the first series I wrote (well, the first book anyways). The landscape is so beautiful, and everyone seems so relaxed, doing things at their own pace. I was raised an island boy and I love anything rural. If I could get away with it I’d move there and just write for the rest of my life.
Kazza: I love New Zealand. Had to use this poster from Flight of the Conchords ———–>
Kazza: The 31st of October sees your latest book in the Fallocaust series released, The Ghost and the Darkness. There are two parts, part two is released two weeks later. Tell us a little bit more about these latest releases that we can’t get from the blurb. Also, why do you think people should read Fallocaust?
Quil: The Ghost and the Darkness completely throws the main characters into a whole new environment. Aras has been Reaver’s entire world since he was brought there as a toddler, and for the first time in his life he isn’t surrounded by four protective walls, or a reinforced basement. You’re not only going to see Reaver adjust to not being top dog anymore, but you’re going to see what happens when someone comes along with the sole intention of dominating and breaking him.
And why should people read Fallocaust? You’re never going to find a book like this. I wrote Fallocaust and Breaking Jade for me, because I never thought it would be published. I had no idea how to publish something, and I couldn’t afford an editor, so I always said ‘one day, not today,’ and I kept writing because I fucking loved it and I loved my characters. They belonged to me and I could keep them locked up in a little room and never let them out, except on Christmas. I didn’t write it thinking ‘what are people going to think of me?’ and at that time, I did care what people thought, so if I wrote it with the intentions of publishing it I would have completely censored a lot of it. But now, thankfully, I realize you’re all a bunch of sick fucks just like me and since you love it as much as I do… I am writing it no different than I was before. This book really doesn’t fit into any specific genre because I didn’t write it for one, just like I didn’t write it specifically for gay men, or women, moms, dads, or young adults. I wrote it for me because I love to write and I love to watch my characters play out in my head without censors, and without the fear of pissing someone off.
And that’s why you should read it.
Kazza: I’ll add this. LGBT writers have yet to really discover the benefits of true New Adult books in the marketplace. Fallocaust certainly falls into a perfect New Adult read. That just means it gives it a target audience of 17 and up, in the standard publishing world, but it is for more… mature readers *ahem, me* and for the more mature younger reader as well. I definitely admit that it is hard to truly define and it is original. If you like a brutal dystopian world, it’s worth the read to find out what you think as a reader.
Kazza: Apart from this series, is there anything else that you envisage/are writing/have a concept for in the near future?
Quil: Oh completely, I have an entirely different series inside of my head. This series I started writing 12 years ago when I was about 14 years old and has been re-written twice already. It’s a fantasy book about a drug addict gay guy who gets kidnapped and taken to this different world, only to find out his thought-dead brother came to the same world 3 years previous and overthrew the king with the help of two renegade gods. The world has its own gods, kingdoms, continents, cultures, and species. It’s huge, even bigger than the Fallocaust world. It’s like Lord of the Rings meets Game of Thrones but, obviously, all the best characters are gay (50% chance of being gay in that world, woohoo). I finished Book 1 a couple years ago, right before starting Fallocaust, but since I’m better at writing now than I was then, I want to re-write some of it and fancy it up enough to publish. It will be called The Gods’ Games (unless I come up with a better title), and I promise it’s a lot better than that horrible synopsis I just gave. After I’m done with Severing Sanguine, Book 2’s companion book, which should be around December, I’ll be taking a couple months off before I start Book 3 to try and bring it up to snuff.
I also have another book I started, and half-completed, around 6 years ago. Though I ended up using the power that character had in Fallocaust (Silas’s weird mental powers), so I’m either going to just outright say, “This dude can do what Silas does, deal with it” or I might try and tie it somehow to Fallocaust. Either way, I eventually want to re-write that book as well and release it.
Kazza: Thank you to Quil Carter for taking part in our 2nd year blog anniversary celebrations. The Ghost and the Darkness is released on October 31st and is available for pre-order
Quil is probably too friendly for his own good, so he welcomes anyone who wants to say hi. Especially since chances are he’s in front of his laptop either writing or doing what authors do best: wasting time to avoid writing.
As for personal info, Quil is 25 years old, gay, introverted and loves cats. Besides writing he also enjoys cooking, neurotically cleaning everything, and playing video games. He also loves music and has a grooveshark playlist he uses while writing Fallocaust seen here. It also contains music mentioned in Fallocaust.
To make it even more interesting, Quil Carter is giving away an e-copy of the book where it all began, Fallocaust (Fallocaust #1). I advise reading my review before entering as it hits on very dark/potential trigger themes. To be in the running for an e-copy, simply leave your name below in the comments section before midnight October 31st, US Eastern Standard Time. (**If you receive a spam notice don’t worry, we will see your comment and add it.)