In the fantasy/science fiction read, "Antioch (The Circle # 1)" a plague is raising the dead and the end of the world is imminent. It is up to an ancient order of mystics to save humanity, but are they willing to give up their secrets to do it? In my interview with the author William Harlan on January 12, 2013 we discussed "Antioch", the first installment in "The Circle" series, and what went into writing it.
Q: In “Antioch (The Circle #1)” the world is about to end. Why do you think books about Armageddon are so popular right now; and what sets “Antioch” apart from books with a similar theme?
A: I think stories about the end of the world have always been popular. They are some of the oldest stories I can think of. They simplify life and allow you to imagine what you would do in those final hours.
I varied Antioch from the traditional "Zombie Apocalypse" theme with its medieval/steampunk setting and by introducing a supernatural ability that has been kept secret from humanity by a group called The Circle.
Q: Is there one particular character in this book that you relate to more than the others?
A: Most of my characters are a combination of something that I like about myself and some failing that I have. They're all little bits and pieces of me. For instance, I'm closest to Michael as far as religion is concerned. When it comes to fighting zombies, I'd probably be a Margot.
Q: What was your favorite thing about writing “Antioch”?
A: The idea that people will enjoy it. When I'm hopeful about that, I have a good day.
Q: Describe your typical fan.
A: With my book being so new, my typical fans are close friends and family who are proud of me for writing a book. I'm guessing that World of Warcraft players and fans of other fantasy/steam punk works will enjoy Antioch, though.
Q: Do you think it takes more imagination to write a fantasy novel like “Antioch” than something in the literary fiction genre?
A: No. I couldn't quantify imagination to begin with, but I'm sure any sort of artistic expression is going to require a lot of it.
Q: What can you tell us about the second installment of “The Circle” series?
A: The Circle, Part Two is "Golgotha." I'll use a lot of Christian metaphor and reference throughout this series, though not as a witness. According to gospel, Golgotha was the place of Jesus' crucifixion, but in "The Circle," it is the city John and Daniel try to save from the plague. If Antioch is Star Wars plus zombies, Golgotha will be Batman plus vampires.