In The Shadow Of Extinction: Kendall Reviews talks to author Kyle Warner.

I’m delighted to welcome Kyle Warner to Kendall Reviews he loves fiction & film and has always been attracted to darker, weirder stories. Stuff like comic books, Godzilla movies, brooding anti-heroes, and monsters of every shape and size. His own creative work has been greatly influenced by these types of books and movies.

KR: Coffee?

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KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

Sure thing. I appreciate the opportunity, Gavin. My name is Kyle Warner and I write dark genre fiction. I’ve always had an interest in telling stories and creating weird monsters. While fiction is my main focus right now, I remain interested in trying out other art forms like painting and film in the years ahead. In addition to fiction, I also write for the film website www.cityonfire.com and the genre writing advice site www.scriptophobic.ca. I live in Illinois, where it seems like it’s always either too hot or too cold and very rarely just right. My books include the dark fantasy Death’s Good Intentions, the horror novella Rakasa, and the apocalyptic sci-fi novel In the Shadow of Extinction: A Kaiju Epic.

KR: What do you like to do when not writing?

Film is my first love, so I watch a lot of movies. I have a special interest in classic Japanese cinema. But really I’m just into movies of all sorts, from the arthouse to superhero spectacles. I enjoy football (go Bears). I’m an animal lover and enjoy spending time with my dog. I have also been known to rant about political issues to anybody that is willing (or unwilling) to listen.

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

Hmm! Okay, it’s not a kid’s book but I read it when I was a kid, so here goes… My childhood love for dinosaurs was like a gateway to books for me. There’s this sense of wonder about monsters that actually used to live on this earth that really appealed to me, I think. Jurassic Park remains a favorite film of mine since I first watched it through fingers covering my eyes as a little kid. When I found out it was based on a book, I read the Michael Crichton novel. I think I read Crichton’s Jurassic Park at age 8.

That might be a bit too young to understand the genetics and Chaos Theory stuff – not to mention the book is considerably darker and more violent than the movie. But that’s the book that sticks out in my head now as a favorite of my childhood, despite it not being a kid’s book. I didn’t really ‘get it’ at that age, or at least not all of it, but I loved it just the same and I became more interested in reading adventure novels afterward.

KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?

I love Nine Inch Nails’ Year Zero, Tool’s Lateralus, and David Bowie’s Scary Monsters. I find it difficult to write to music with lyrics in it, though. It can go well for a while but then I mute the music when I get on a roll.

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While writing, I prefer instrumental stuff, and I tend to pick a certain composer for a certain story and mostly stick with them until the book is done. Chu Ishikawa is the sound of my dark fantasy novels, John Carpenter usually plays when I write horror, and classic Godzilla composer Akira Ifukube was my go-to when writing my kaiju novel, In the Shadow of Extinction.

KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?

John Carpenter is THE MAN. Carpenter’s The Thing is one of my Top 5 films of all time. I think a bit of The Thing creeps into everything I write, whether it be just a little throwaway line that I consider a nod to the film or something more obvious like a paranoia or contagion subplot.

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KR: What are you reading now?

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. It was recommended to me by a friend who says the Malazan series is his favorite piece of fantasy fiction maybe ever. I’m enjoying it so far. I’m also reading a biography about Godzilla director Ishiro Honda written by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski.

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KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

It all started with Michael Crichton and Jurassic Park. I even wrote some Jurassic Park fanfiction back in the day. From there I got into horror by the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Thomas Harris, and Peter Benchley. I’d say those are the authors that initially inspired me to try my hand at writing my own stories.

KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

I think it depends on the story. For my kaiju epic In the Shadow of Extinction, I outlined that thing the whole way. It’s 800 pages long and features characters from all over. It would’ve been madness to try to make that up as I went. Now, sure, the outline changed dramatically as I wrote the book. I find that if you don’t allow the book to change, then the outline is dictating to you what the story is, and that’s not right. If the outline is in charge, your characters will simply do or say things to achieve what it says the outline requires. The outline, I think, should be seen as fluid and ever-changing, not some sort of religious text that must always be obeyed. I also enjoy winging it, too, if it’s the right kind of story for such an approach. I think horror lends itself better to making it up as you go, but that’s just my experience.

KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I research what I feel I need to know first and then rarely return to research while I’m working on the first draft. The rest of the research comes on rewrites to make sure I got it right (or close to it). I don’t want to slow down the momentum of my first draft by researching how such-and-such works. If I know it’s something I’ll need to research, I’ll leave a note in the text and return to it later. With In the Shadow of Extinction, I researched Yellowstone, earthquakes, nuclear weapons, environmental decay, NATO, and so on. It took a long time and I’m sure I didn’t get it all right. But it’s a science fiction novel about giant monsters; it’s not exactly 100% based in reality anyway.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

I try to write at least 5 days a week. A routine helps productivity. But nowadays I feel I gotta open Twitter when I first sit down at the computer to see if the world blew up since I last checked. Siiiigh. So the routine hasn’t been a reliable one for a while now. But I like to try to write for a couple hours in the afternoon, then get a break in for dinner and a movie or something, and get back to writing a little bit more after midnight. Sometimes the best words come in the day, sometimes they come at night.

KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?

My new one! It’s always the new one, isn’t it? No? Well, anyway, that’s how I feel. Currently my favorite is In the Shadow of Extinction: A Kaiju Epic. But I think it goes beyond the fact that it’s my newest book. I’ve been working on this thing for four years. It’s been a true labor of love (and frustration. But mostly love). When I write the next book, chances are that’ll become my new favorite. So it goes (for me).

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KR: Do you read your book reviews?

Yes. I can’t resist the temptation. Plus, I think an author who’s striving to improve their craft can learn a thing or two from a constructive, well thought out critical review. But even if they didn’t like it and offer little reason why not, I wouldn’t hold that against the reviewer. We all want different things from the stuff we read. If everybody enjoyed the same stuff, that’d be pretty boring.

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

Rewrite, rewrite, REWRITE. I didn’t fully understand the importance of the rewriting phase when I first started out. I wish I knew then what I know now. The first draft is an ugly, misshapen piece of art that probably shouldn’t be shown to anyone. I’m sure it’s full of passion, but passion can be messy. Let it sit for a few months. Then, take a day or two to read it, keeping notes on the side as you go. Don’t worry about taking notes regarding poor grammar or typos, leave that stuff for later. After the first draft, it’s all about understanding how the story works and doesn’t work, what you mean to say with your story, and how you can improve any of it. Then, hopefully with a stack of notes in hand, begin work on the rewrite. And then rewrite and rewrite some more until you get it right. In my experience, the chapter that’ll be rewritten the most is Chapter 1.

KR: What scares you?

Unstoppable things beyond one’s control like a tornado, unknown things lurking just out of sight like the venomous spider, and unconscionable things like the rise of fascism in the modern world. I am terrified by proud, willful ignorance.

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

Ebooks are cool and cheap and they’re great for attracting new readers to books. But me, personally, I spend so much time looking at electronic screens that I prefer to read my books on paper. I like hardcovers most of all.

KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?

In the Shadow of Extinction: A Kaiju Epic is an apocalyptic sci-fi novel about the fall of civilization and the rise of giant monsters… Volcanic activity unleashes kaiju across the globe and mankind’s weapons prove unable to push them back. Governments disband, countries are left decimated, and our once great cities are reduced to ruins ruled over by massive predators. But there are survivors. In the age of monsters, humanity must learn to survive in the shadows.

I love the kaiju genre. At the end of almost every kaiju film, the monster is either defeated or returns to its lair. One of the ideas that sparked my novel was what if the monsters can’t be defeated and what if they never leave? What if our world becomes their world? At the start of the book, it’s about the war against the kaiju and as it progresses it becomes about surviving the kaiju occupation.

In the Shadow of Extinction has an 8/14 release date. It’s an 800-page epic and I split it into three separate volumes so as not to make it too intimidating for readers. There will also be an Omnibus available that collects Parts 1-3 into one big book.

KR: What are you working on now?

So many things! I’m working on a samurai vs. monsters horror/fantasy novel. It’s like a mash-up of Seven Samurai and Jaws, two favorite films from a couple of my favorite directors. The first draft is complete and I’ll begin rewrites on it soon now that In the Shadow of Extinction is finished. I’m co-writing a horror screenplay with Scriptophobic’s Zack Long, which should be cool because I really want to get into screenwriting more over the next couple years. I’m working on some Horror Western short stories that I’d like to make into a collection. And I’m keeping notes on where I’d like to take things in a sequel to In the Shadow of Extinction.

KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?

You can choose…

a) One fictional character from your writing.

Maybe I’d pick the unnamed pirate narrator from my horror novella Rakasa. He was doing pretty well on that deserted island he washed up on until the creatures crawled out of their holes.

b) One fictional character from any other book.

Hmm. Oh, I know! Mark Watney from Andy Weir’s The Martian. Dude knew how to survive on Mars and make poop potatoes (no, thank you, I’m full). I’m sure he’d have some good ideas for deserted island survival.

c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.

I’m going to fight the urge to name the person I’d like (to leave behind) on a deserted island and instead say David Lynch. That guy’s a hoot. He’d probably try to save us by communicating with the moon to open a portal. And I have no doubt that he would succeed.

KR: Thank you very much Kyle.

To find out more about Kyle, please visit his official website www.kyle-warner.com

Kyle’s author page can be visited here

You can follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleWarner3000

The end of the world began with sudden volcanic eruptions along the Ring of Fire, killing thousands and displacing millions. These natural disasters soon give rise to the kaiju; hulking leviathans seemingly immune to modern weaponry. Mankind’s final wars last only weeks. Governments are quickly disbanded, entire countries are left decimated, and our once great cities are now dangerous ruins ruled by giant predators.

In the Shadow of Extinction is a science fiction epic spanning 15 years as humanity shifts gears from fighting the kaiju apocalypse to merely surviving it. 

Part I: The Ring of Fire takes place during the final moments of civilization before the world welcomed the Age of Monsters…

You can buy In The Shadow Of Extinction: Part 1 from Amazon UK & Amazon US

The end of the world began with sudden volcanic eruptions along the Ring of Fire, killing thousands and displacing millions. These natural disasters soon give rise to the kaiju; hulking leviathans seemingly immune to modern weaponry. Mankind’s final wars last only weeks. Governments are quickly disbanded, entire countries are left decimated, and our once great cities are now dangerous ruins ruled by giant predators.

In the Shadow of Extinction is a science fiction epic spanning 15 years as humanity shifts gears from fighting the kaiju apocalypse to merely surviving it.

Part II: The New World picks up years after the end of Part I as our characters must come to terms with living in the shadows of giants…

You can buy In The Shadow Of Extinction: Part 2 from Amazon UK & Amazon US

The end of the world began with sudden volcanic eruptions along the Ring of Fire, killing thousands and displacing millions. These natural disasters soon give rise to the kaiju; hulking leviathans seemingly immune to modern weaponry. Mankind’s final wars last only weeks. Governments are quickly disbanded, entire countries are left decimated, and our once great cities are now dangerous ruins ruled by giant predators.

In the Shadow of Extinction is a science fiction epic spanning 15 years as humanity shifts gears from fighting the kaiju apocalypse to merely surviving it.

The fate of the world will be decided in Part III: Humanity’s Last Stand.

You can buy In The Shadow Of Extinction: Part 3 from Amazon UK & Amazon US

The end of the world begins with sudden volcanic eruptions along the Ring of Fire, killing thousands and displacing millions. These tragedies serve only as the precursor to the epic eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano, which annihilates all life for hundreds of miles around. Ash spreads across the United States, choking the population, smothering the crops, and grinding the country to a halt.

Then the beasts begin to emerge from the new fissures in the earth.

An armored bipedal burrower crawls out of Mt. Fuji and reduces Tokyo to dust and rubble. Eel-like sea monsters terrorize ships in the busy Pacific shipping lanes. Swarms of insectoid creatures lay their eggs in a flooded California and quickly overrun the entire state. And somewhere in the dark, ashen landscape walks a predatory behemoth with a hunger that only other giants can hope to satisfy.

Weakened by both the volcanic activity and the monsters, humanity turns to the nuclear solution as a means of fighting back. Cities are destroyed beneath mushroom clouds all around the world in an attempt to kill the monsters. But this mass destruction is in vain. Mankind’s final war lasts only weeks.

Governments are disbanded. Entire countries are decimated. Our once great cities are deemed potential danger zones. But there are survivors. . .

Word is spoken of a great city capable of holding off any monster’s attacks. Pilgrims from around the world make their way over the burnt landscape, walking in the shadows of great monsters, hopeful to find this safe haven in the west… They call it New Detroit.

You can buy In The Shadow Of Extinction: The Complete Omnibus from Amazon UK & Amazon US

The pirate ship Nightwave was adrift and her crew was sick and dying. The doomed quest ends with fire, leaving only two survivors. Expecting to die of dehydration on their lifeboat, the two pirates are surprised when they reach a small island. The little piece of land in the middle of nowhere appears just like any other island… but upon further inspection, large holes are discovered in the brittle dirt, holes that travel deep beyond the sun’s light. Unbeknownst to the pirates, their arrival has not gone unnoticed. Lurking in the dark beneath the island, creatures with voracious appetites have long awaited visitors. And now the time has come for the monsters below to rise above…

You can buy Rakasa from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Fate has chosen Trey Decarr to become Death, the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse. Disgusted by his new role in the coming end, Decarr decides to resist rather than serve, making himself an enemy of Hell and an unpredictable nuisance for Heaven. Decarr finds himself in a losing battle against both angels and demons while he scours the globe hunting the other Horsemen in a desperate attempt to stave off Armageddon.

Meanwhile, a secret order of the church called the Gatekeepers is tasked with killing Decarr, likening him to a rabid dog that needs to be put down. Leading the team that hunts Decarr is young April Frausini. Her orders are simple: kill Death. But April is conflicted, sensing purpose in Decarr’s wild actions, and believes he could become a valuable ally in the fight to save the world from annihilation…

You can buy Death’s Good Intentions from Amazon UK & Amazon US

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