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Author Interview: Ian Thomas Healy


1. Tell us a bit about yourself. What kind of books do you write? When did you start? Where are you from etc

I write primarily speculative fiction with an emphasis on superhero novels, although I’ve experimented with Western/epic fantasy (The Pariah of Verigoseries), urban fantasy (Blood on the Ice and Rooftops), pure science fiction and space opera (STARF*CKER, The Milkman,Troubleshooters,andAssassin). I’ve written some mainstream Young Adult novels for my agent (The Guitarist and the forthcoming Making the Cut).

I wrote my first story at age 7 or 8, using my thumb, my dad’s inkpad, and a pencil. It was called “The Happy Days Gang Goes to the Disco” and was about a group of little cartoon characters having a dance party. Not exactly high literature, but you can find it scanned on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/authorianthomashealy). Ever since then, I’ve been finding ways to tell stories.

I grew up and still live in Colorado, and that’s given me a real love for Westerns in either the actual genre or as a feel to incorporate into my other works.

2. Most authors also read a lot in addition to their writing. What kind of books to you prefer to read? Who are some of your favorite authors?

My favorite authors in no particular order are Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Karl Schroeder, Alan Dean Foster, Mike Resnick, Aaron Allston, Carrie Vaughn, Genevieve Valentine, and the collected authors of the Wild Cards series of novels edited by George R.R. Martin. I tend to jump around a lot in what I read. I was on a real steampunk kick for awhile. Now I’m reading more fantasy. Before then I was reading superheroes and space opera. I’m sure I’ll come back around to any of those at some point in the future.

3. Tell us about your book.

Deep Six is the fourth book in the Just Cause Universe series. It broadens the storytelling universe by introducing the employees and residents of the most secure prison facility in the world, used to contain those convicted criminals for whom a normal prison will not suffice.Nobody has ever escaped from the underground prison, so naturally, that’s exactly what happens. The story deals with two underpowered guards who have to try to stop the inmates from reaching their freedom. They’re outmanned and outgunned and the ringleader, a vicious killer named Misrule, seems to outwit them at every turn. Think of it like Die Hard, but with superpowers.

4. Do you have a favorite character in your book? Do fans gravitate towards one character more than others and why do you think that is?

My favorite character in Deep Six is Katie Malone, the corrections officer who has to try to stop the mass breakout. She’s tough, smart, and a creative problem solver. Although Deep Six explores some other characters’ perspectives, the story is definitely hers.

I think a lot of my fans enjoy reading about Mustang Sally, which is good, because I enjoy writing about her. She’s a well-developed character, with real goals and dreams, and the same kinds of real problems that lots of early-twenties women have. She’s grown through every story I’ve written about her, and I’m eager to tell more tales about her as she moves into the next stage of her life.

5. Do you listen to music when writing? What kind of music would best suit your novels?

Music is my inspiration. I create Pandora radio stations to fit whatever book I’m working upon. When I wrote The Guitarist (mainstream YA), I listened to a lot of blues guitar. My humorous space opera STARF*CKER was written to a funkadelic porn-soundtrack station. Pariah’s War was written to Western soundtracks, and the next Just Cause Universe novel Champion (November 2014) was written to Big Beat electronic music.

6. If your book were made into a movie, who would play your characters in your dream cast?

Oh gosh, I’m really bad with picking actors and actresses, because I don’t even know who most of them are. Let’s go with Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2) as Misrule, Stana Katic (Castle) as Katie Malone, Chris Pine (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Tim, Willem DaFoe (Spider-Man) as The Etched Man, and Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13) as Crackerjack.

7. If you had a chance to collaborate with any author, indie or mainstream, who would it be and why?

I would love to write another book with Allison M. Dickson, who is my dearest friend. She and I wrote a book together already, but we haven’t yet released it.

8. What’s next on your agenda?

In November, I’ll take on a send-up of epic fantasy tropes for my tenth consecutive NaNoWriMo challenge in a book called Horde. Once that’s done, I owe my agent a new YA project, which will be a heist/caper novel called The Scene Stealers. Then I’ll tackle a new JCU project which could be any of several ideas I have kicking around.


Deep Six releases worldwide in print and ebook formats on November 29, 2013. Preorders are available at http://localheropress.ianthealy.com/pre-order-deep-six-today/. Check out the book trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKchUGjSN2c. Ian is on Twitter as @ianthealy (www.twitter.com/ianthealy)and on Facebook as Author Ian Thomas Healy(www.facebook.com/authorianthomashealy). Be sure to visit scenicwww.ianthealy.com for more information!


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