Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “laugh in the face of danger,” K.S. Merbeth’s upcoming debut, BITE, will make you chuckle, it will make you cry — but most importantly, it is going to make you fear our very possible and not so distant future.
To find out a little bit more about the brains behind this epic debut, we’ve asked Merbeth to stop by and answer a few of our burning questions:
Where did the idea for BITE come from?
In post-apocalyptic stories, there are always groups of gun-toting psychos looting and killing their way through life. They’re usually presented as mindless villains, by-products of the craziness of the world, without backstories or motivations or anything that makes them seem human. And yet, they are human. So I started to wonder – who are these people? How’d they end up this way? What are their lives like behind the scenes? And those questions spawned the idea of a story with typical “bad guys,” a crew of raiders, as the protagonists.
How did you create such an unusual cast of characters?
Well, to be honest, I’ve never really been a fan of “normal” characters and standard heroes. Instead, I tend to fall in love with fascinating villains and weird side-characters – so those are the types of characters I end up creating, but in my case they’re the main cast. I started with some basic concepts and traits, but discovered a lot about the characters through writing the first draft. Many of them – especially Kid, my main character – really seemed to develop on their own.
Which character was your favorite to write?
That’s a tough one! Kid, of course, was super fun because of her tendency to magnificently screw things up, and the crew’s leader, Wolf, is full of one-liners that I thoroughly enjoyed writing. However, I think my favorite overall was Dolly. She’s a blue-haired markswoman who kicks some serious ass, and her odd personality creates a lot of awkward, interesting interactions with the other characters.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Haruki Murakami, Neil Gaiman, Brandon Sanderson… there are plenty more, but those are some of my favorites!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Aside from reading, my main hobby is playing video games, which I probably spend way too much time doing. I also enjoy board games, binge-watching a variety of TV shows, cooking (badly), and laughing at horror movies. As for things that actually force me to get out of my pajamas and leave the house, I love to travel! I really like experiencing new places, new food, and new beer.
What are some of your favorite dystopian films or video games?
First of all, the latest Mad Max may be new, but it’s already secured a special place in my heart. Some of my other favorites are The Road, Zombieland, and The Matrix. Games-wise, I’m a big fan of the Left 4 Dead and Fallout series!
BITE will hitting bookshelves next summer. To find out more about the novel, check out the acquisition announcement.