Please welcome Chase Novak to the blog! BROOD, the sequel to his 2012 shocker, BREED, just came out, and he kindly answered a few of my questions about it. Happy Halloween!
I couldn’t put BREED down and I’m very anxious to dive onto BROOD. Will you give us a bit of a teaser about the book?
Though Brood can stand alone, it continues the story of Alice and Adam, who were conceived when their parents (now deceased) submitted to a brutal and ultimately disastrous fertility treatment. The twins are now about to become teenagers, approaching the age when many of the children who were similarly conceived begin to show evidence of uncontrollable carnality. They are drawn to a pack of feral children and teens living in Central Park while their Aunt Cynthia, who has now adopted them, fights for their bodies and souls.
Breed and Brood are your first books under the Chase Novak pen name, and are a huge departure from your other (and very well known) titles as Scott Spencer. Why horror?
I’m not really sure why. I woke up one day with the desire to write something visceral and disturbing. Since I was already working on a novel more in keeping with the others I have written, I thought it would be interesting and amusing to put on a mask and do something completely different.
Adam and Alice are young people struggling with a terrifying situation, without the support of their parents. What kind of research did you do for the books? What challenges came with writing such young, unique characters?
I did research about Slovenia, where the parents undergo the fertility treatment. I did research of animals who eat their young. Much of the book is set in New York, and the landmarks and hordes of anxious parents are something I know quite well. It’s not all that difficult writing about young children, having been a young child myself. And the fear they feel and the wonder and dread they experience about their own identities are fairly universal, I think.
Breed and Brood are very, very scary, but what is something that truly terrifies you?
Many things. Though I am not religious, I am unnerved by the concept of Evil –and even by images of the devil .
What do you like to see in a good story? Is there anything that will make you put a book down, unfinished?
Bad writing is a turn-off. I can sometimes push past it in non-fiction if I have a strong interest in the subject matter, but bad writing comes from quick thinking and the uncritical consumption of received wisdom.
If you could experience one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
Great Expectations, of course.
What’s next for you, this year and beyond?
Writing and writing and writing…
Keep up with Chase/Scott: Mulholland author page
Two teenagers struggle with a horrific family legacy, and the woman who has adopted them fights for their lives–and her own.
Adam and Alice are reaching the age when some of the children created by the fertility treatment that spawned them begin to turn feral. Will they succumb to the same physiological horror that destroyed their parents? Every change brings on terror–the voice cracking as it changes, the swelling of the breasts, the coarsening of down into actual hair. Their aunt, Cynthia, oversees renovations to the Twisden family’s Manhattan residence–torn apart by the children’s parents at their most savage–and struggles to give her niece and nephew the unconditional love they never had. Meanwhile, in the world outside, the forces of good and evil collide as a troop of feral offspring threatens to invade the refuge Cynthia is so determined to construct behind the Twisdens’ walls.