I had the chance to interview Steven dos Santos for the Debut Author Bash which is hosted by YAReads. Here are the questions I asked, and his answers.
1. What made you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
2. Where did you get your inspiration for The Culling?
The idea for THE CULLING actually has its roots in childhood, where I used to imagine the scenario of having to choose which one of my relatives I would save if I could only choose one. Yes, I know, I was a strange kid ;-) Since then, stories with moral dilemmas have always fascinated me, and THE CULLING is a combination of this theme, with my love for science-fiction.
3. Do you have any other shelved manuscripts that you wrote before The Culling?
Actually yes, I do! The first novel I wrote was called Darius Devine and the Necromancer’s Curse, a middle grade fantasy about a young boy determined to do anything to bring back his beloved mother from the dead. This was a very emotional experience for me because I lost my own mother after I started writing the book.
The next novel I wrote was called Dagger, a Young Adult, paranormal/espionage story about a gay teenager who moonlights as a secret agent that combats supernatural terrorism.
4. How long did it take you to write your first draft of The Culling?
My first draft of THE CULLING took about a year and a half and clocked in at 130K words. The final edited version ended up around 90K words, so a lot got left on the cutting room floor.
5. Do you have a favorite of the Recruits?
Hmmm. That’s a really tough question! I really feel for all of them and the predicament they’re in. That being said, I do have a soft spot for Lucian, because on top of having to endure the horrors of The Culling, he’s also dealing with betrayal from someone he loved and trusted, as well as potentially finding true love that may end before it’s had a chance to thrive.
6. How do you feel when you kill off one of your characters? I felt sad when some of the Recruits died as a reader, so I feel like it would be even harder to write their deaths.
This was the most emotionally draining aspect of the novel for me. I felt like I knew all these characters so well, and I hated having them suffer and ultimately dying. Many times I found myself depressed because it was like losing a close friend/loved one, as though a part of me had been “culled.”
7. Are you able to give any non-spoilery hints about what will be going on in The Sowing?
Without giving away too much, I would say that in THE SOWING, readers will find out a lot more about how the world in THE CULLING came to be the way it is. And remember those creepy Fleshers? Let’s just say, you haven’t seen the last of them! ;-) THE SOWING will be released on March 8, 2014.
Thanks Steven for sharing all your advice. You can find Steven at: