Greg Van Eekhout is a native Southern Californian currently living in Pacific Beach. He finds a lot of inspiration from walking on the beach, looking out across the vast, deep sea, and finding weird dead things on the shore. He once thought he found a human leg, but it turned out to be a bleached squid.
Henry: I had the pleasure of meeting Greg at San Diego Comic-Con, but he did not mention his penchant for body parts.
For what age audience do you write?
Tell us about your latest book.
My most recently written book is the second part of a fantasy trilogy, ostensibly for adults. It's about wizards in Los Angeles who get their powers from consuming the bones of extinct creatures, like mammoths, sabertooth tigers, griffins, and dragons, which they find in the La Brea Tar Pits, among other places. But my most recently published book is 'The Boy at the End of the World', a middle-grade science fiction nove labout a boy, Fisher, who was part of a program to save the human race from extinction. He wakes up in the far future inside an Ark, a facility where he and hundreds of other human specimens were frozen in hopes that, when the Earth became once more inhabitable, the human race could repopulate the Earth. But when the facility is attacked by drones, Fisher is the only survivor. Along with a broken robot named Click and a cloned pygmy mammoth named Protein, Fisher sets off on foot across the vast wilderness in search of a another Ark and more human survivors. It's an adventure/survival story with lots of strange creatures (giant parrots, piranha-crocs, weaponized prairie dogs) and killer robots.
Henry: I love the names Click the robot and Protein the mammoth. And piranha-crocs? That's like an armored Cuisinart.
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
Mostly, I hope readers get an entertaining ride, that they enjoy the jokes, the banter among the characters, the friendships, the action, and that they get a sense of what the world might look like after people have been gone for thousands of years.
Henry: You had me at weaponized prairie dogs.
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
At a certain point in the writing of any book, you become absolutely certain that it's terrible and is only getting more terrible with every word you write. This is normal. You just have to keep going, push your way through, and have faith that, through practice and experience and determination, you will get to the end. Then, either you'll find things aren't as terrible as you thought they were, or you'll square your shoulders and face the challenge of making the terrible words and sentences and chapters better.
What is a powerful lesson you've learned from being a writer?
There is no TEAM in CANNIBAL.
Henry: And there is no “I” in apocalypse.
Click to read the complete interview at Henry Herz's blog on fantasy and science fiction books for kids.