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Nick Cutter on 'The Troop'

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Interview with Nick Cutter on The Troop.

Brought to you by Scribner.

1. This is your first book correct? Could you go into your experience of finally being published and how it felt?

Uhhh ... yes, yes it is my first book. It feels rather marvelous, I must say. Seeing your name on the cover and all that. Sort of the culmination of a lifelong march towards publication, you could say. It's gratifying.

2. I see Stephen King left a blurb for your book which was, “The Troop scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t put it down. This is old-school horror at its best.” That has to pretty cool. Care to share any thoughts on that?

Well, I was staggered by his generousity—but he's really that way with a great many writers, very generous and open with his praise. But he has been an idol of mine since childhood, so it was some of the best news I've ever received, career-wise.

3. What can you tell us about Scout Master Tim Riggs and his group of boy scouts?

Well, they're the primary focus of the book. Five boys with very different, often clashing personalities, who end up marooned on an island with Tim, their adult leader. On the first night on the island, a skeletally thin man staggers up to their cabin. From there, it's a race for survival.

4. Would you tell us a bit about the evil aka the villain in your book and what its agenda is when it comes to the main characters of the book?

The evil is really just primal hunger. A creature that lives only to eat and to make more of itself, and then they all keep eating together. It's agenda when it comes to the main characters of this book? Hmm. Well, see Point 1.

5. It is said your book is a mix of part Lord of the Flies, and part 28 Days Later. Care to elaborate?

I think there are some of the boyhood dymanics you see in play in that first novel, and there's an infection narrative that would feel familiar to fans of the second movie. So yes, kind of a mashup of an adventure book and a rampant-disease book.

6. What advice would you give struggling writers who are on the path of writing horror?

Probably just to keep hammering away at it. Success at writing, as at most things, probably has more to do with the continual application to that task at hand, hours and hours of practice, than it does with huge natural talent. So just keep working, working, working.

7. Can you shed any light or dark that is on what your next upcoming book is and when we can possibly expect it? Also any links you'd like to share? Thanks for this interview.

The next novel is called The Deep. It takes place at the very bottom of the Marianas Trench, eight miles underwater. Interested readers could check out www.thetroopbook.com

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