Friday, December 4, 2009

Hank Schwaeble

Hank Schwaeble is a thriller writer and attorney in Houston, Texas. His first novel, Damnable, was released by Penguin/Putnam in September 2009 under their Jove imprint.

Schwaeble's first short story, "Mugwumps," appeared in the anthology Alone on the Darkside in 2006. In 2007, he won a Bram Stoker Award for the anthology Five Strokes to Midnight, which he co-edited with Gary Braunbeck and which included three of his short stories. The book was highly regarded, winning two Bram Stoker Awards and a World Fantasy Award nomination.

From a Q & A at his website:

Tell us about your first novel, Damnable.

It's a supernatural thriller about a disgraced special forces operator who uncovers a dark set of actors determined to fulfill an ancient prophecy that would carry grave consequences for every living soul, and some not living. Ultimately, he realizes he's got to figure out a way to stop them, because it becomes obvious no one else will.

I'm sure you've been asked this before, but where do you find your ideas?

Creativity is a process. You find something to work with, then you tease it and shape it and flesh it out. For Damnable, I started with the idea of a scene where someone is killed by a dead person while trying to rescue someone else, and imagined where such a story could go. Once you have a premise like that, it really becomes a matter of character creation more than anything else, because your characters are what drive the plot, or what should drive the plot.

And what was the inspiration for your main character Jake Hatcher?

The notion of a reluctant or unlikely hero has always intrigued me. The thought of someone having responsibility beyond anything he or she could anticipate, a charge he didn't ask for or want, goes back to Moses, and it's made for compelling fiction throughout the modern era. So I had the idea of a military asset who had been cast off by the government, a combat expert skilled in extracting information whose existence was now a source of embarrassment due to the ebb and flow of the political zeitgeist. Someone who had done things the chattering class finds unacceptable, and who was now a convenient scapegoat. I imagined what it would be like for a man who was already damned in such a way to then become...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue