Friday, June 15, 2007

David Wellington

David Wellington, who applied the "page 69 test" to Monster Nation back in March, was interviewed last month at Murderati by Mike MacLean.

Part of the interview:

MM: What made you decide to serialize this work online rather than to take it to a publisher?

DW: A friend of mine, who is now my webmaster and chief online marketer, Alex Lencicki, had a website -- a blog to be exact. He came up with the idea of writing a web serial. I thought it might be an interesting experiment. I really wasn't thinking about publishing the story at all. I had an idea for a zombie book I wanted to try and he said it sounded great, so I asked him for six months to do research, to work up an outline, and so on. He said the web didn't work like that -- I would be starting the following monday. I had to write the book in real-time, basically, putting up a chapter every monday, wednesday and friday and doing all the research and editing in between posts. It was exhilarating -- and maddening.

MM: What other challenges did you face writing a serialized work?

DW: Well, I'd never done one before. There just weren't a lot of opportunities for serials before the web came along -- it was a lost art form, something Dickens and Conan Doyle used to do, a nineteenth century thing. I actually went back and read a lot of old pulp stuff trying to see how they worked. It's a very restrictive medium -- every chapter has to end in a cliffhanger, you can't expect people to remember subtle details when it'll be months between plot developments. Yet it also infused the book with a crazy anarchic energy I'd never seen in my writing before, and I think that's what really drew people to it.
Read the entire interview.

The Page 69 Test: Monster Nation.

--Marshal Zeringue