AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Jonathan Maberry, Author of “We All Make Sacrifices”

What were your thoughts when you first encountered the concept behind this anthology?

My first thought was, what the #@&%? No, seriously. The title alone sounded crazy. But I like crazy, so I was pretty much in at that point. As for the deeper theme, it was fun because it didn’t make me keep to a tight little genre box. That’s always a major plus for writers, and definitely for me because I’ve built a career out of shifting, blending and jumping genres. So, this was really seasoned to my tastes.

With the theme in question, you could have taken your story in any number of different directions.  How did you come up with your particular idea?

Because the framework seemed a little wacky (in a good way) it immediately felt like a ‘Sam Hunter’ story. Sam is a private eye with a fearsome secret who slouches his way through several of my recent short stories. The Sam Hunter stories are blend of noir mystery, snarky humor and supernatural horror. I had wanted to do a story set on the fringes of the organized crime world, but which focused on the children of criminals. One of my working titles was ‘Offspring’, but as the story evolved in the telling I changed it to the much more appropriate ‘We All Make Sacrifices’. Like all of the Sam Hunter stories there is a bit of moral outrage here, and some very nasty comeuppance.

What challenges if any did it pose having to incorporate a particular phrase into the flow of your story and making it seem perfectly natural?  

I’m pretty sure Sam Hunter says something like that in a lot of his stories. I put him in those kinds of situations. If he was a real person he’d want to beat the crap out of me, I have no doubt. So, there wasn’t any kind of difficulty in putting that phrase in Sam’s mouth.

What kind of research did you have to do for your story?

I’m always doing some poking around in the minds and practices of criminals, but I’m particularly fascinated by their day-to-day lives, and the lives of the people in their families. I did some reading but mostly drew on conversations I’ve had with people on both sides of the law. It fascinated me how willing cops and crooks are to talk about their lives –especially to writers. Maybe they think that because we do fiction we don’t take their stuff seriously. Yeah. We do.

What else are you working on right now?  Anything you have coming out that you’d like to talk about?

This is the busiest phase of my career. I have a slew of books just out and coming out, including Kill Switch (the 8th Joe Ledger novel), “Dark of Night” (a novella featuring Joe Ledger and Dez Fox), Vault of Shadows (the 2nd book in my middle grade science fiction/horror mash-up series, The Nightsiders), Mars One (a YA novel about the first colonists going to Mars); and a slew of anthologies I’ve edited, including The X-Files: The Truth is Out There, V-Wars Vol. IV: Shockwaves, Out of Tune Vol. II, Scary Out There, and Alternate Sherlocks. Plus, I’m out in support of my first board game, V-Wars: A Game of Blood and Betrayal. At the same time I’m writing several novels this year including the 9th Joe Ledger novel (Dogs of War), a novel about teenage Dana Scully (X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate), a standalone horror novel for adults (Glimpse), and a YA novel about a teen bodyguard (Watch Over Me).