Ezekiel Boone: “Hatches” a Frightening Experience
Interview by Suspense Magazine
We love getting emails from publicists saying, “You have to read this book, it’s incredible.” Yes, we get them every day, and sometimes they’re right, which is what we found in this case. Author Ezekiel Boone penned a book guaranteed to do to you what “Jaws” did to millions of people. His latest book, “The Hatching,” puts spiders in a whole new light. You might be scratching an itch right now just thinking about the notion of a spider crawling on your skin. You know the saying…you are never more than ten feet away from a spider.
What New York Times bestselling author Michael Koryta said: It’s been too long since someone reminded us that spiders are not just to be feared, but also may well spell doom for mankind. Fortunately, Ezekiel Boone has upped the ante on arachnophobia. This is a fresh take on classic horror, thoroughly enjoyable and guaranteed to leave your skin crawling.
In his own words, Ezekiel Boone says:
I live in upstate New York with my wife and kids. Whenever I travel and say I’m from New York, people think I mean NYC, but we live about three hours north of New York City. Our house is five minutes outside of a university town. We’re far enough out of town that, at night, it’s dark.
Darker than that.
Dark enough that, if you’re not careful, you might fall off the small cliff at the edge of my property. If you’re lucky, the water will be up enough to break your fall. If you’re not lucky, please sign a waiver before you come to visit.
I’ve got two unruly dogs who are mostly friendly. Well, that’s not true. The part about them being unruly is true, but one of them is the most friendly dog you’ve ever met, and the other dog…isn’t. They are good writing partners, though they spend a lot of their day curled up in front of the wood burning stove and ignoring me. Unless I’m making lunch. They pay attention to me then.
We were able to interview Ezekiel about this book and you can check that out below. First, let’s take a look inside the book.
Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. Something wants out.
The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.
Suspense Magazine (S. MAG.): “The Hatching” is your latest book, give us the inside scoop into what you have going on.
Ezekiel Boone (E.B.): The second book in The Hatching series, “Skitter,” is in copyedits for publication in May, 2017, which is good, because I started getting “when is the next book out?” emails about five months before “The Hatching” even went on sale. The series is sold in eleven territories and nine languages so far, which is exciting. Right now, I’m just getting ready for the launch of the first book and finishing up new work.
S.MAG.: Spiders are scary enough to most people, why did you decide to scare us more by having them as the backdrop for the book?
E.B.: I sincerely apologize. I’m terrified of spiders, which is making me miserable, because a side-effect of “The Hatching” is that I now get a constant stream of spider stories, gifs, and videos. My nightmare scenario is that the series does well enough so that I end up having to do some sort of a photoshoot or video with spiders crawling on me.
S.MAG.: You take the reader to many parts of the world, how much research did you have to do to bring all this together?
E.B.: I think the trick to research is to do just enough that you aren’t boring the reader by presenting her with every single thing you’ve ever learned. But it’s truly important to get the details right or your reader can get thrown out of a story by things that she knows aren’t true. You want the reader to be sucked into the story and the characters, not wondering why they are sitting through a lecture on the history of toothpicks or getting annoyed because they know that a shotgun doesn’t fire bullets. Generally, I write until I come to a spot where I realize I don’t know the information, and then I do the research to get me through it (for example, what the heck are those hairs on a spider called, and why on earth would a spider be hairy in the first place?).
S.MAG.: Did you have a bad experience with spiders at one time, which is why you decided to scare all of us?
E.B.: I thought, there must be a reason why a fear of spiders is so common, because mostly, spiders aren’t dangerous. So what is that fear? Why is that fear? And then I started having nightmares. As in, waking up screaming, swatting at myself to smash the spiders burrowing into my flesh kind of nightmares. I figured writing the book might make that go away.
S.MAG.: What does scare Ezekiel Boone?
E.B.: Spiders, for one. And the dark. Demons. Ghosts. Haunted houses. Insects of all kinds. Walking in the woods at night, when you know you are alone, and hearing the sharp crack of a stick breaking behind you. Oh, and going by the amount of screaming I was doing as they flew around my house, I’m evidently also afraid of bats.
S.MAG.: Who in “The Hatching” was your favorite character to explore?
E.B.: I’m going to cheat and go plural. My favorite characters were probably the survivalists. What a dilemma. Spend all of this time and energy planning for something that you hope doesn’t happen. If the end of the world doesn’t occur, what a waste; but if it does, uh, well, it’s the end of the world. But I like that I made them fun and sort of off-beat, not what you’d necessarily expect. Honestly, I loved all of the characters, partially because I tried to make all of them fun and complete.
S.MAG.: Do you secretly hope readers will email you, cursing you for keeping them up all night and having to check their shoes every morning before putting them on?
E.B.: Being a writer means spending a lot of time sitting alone in a room, so it’s wonderful when a reader tells you they couldn’t put a book down. I am sorry for scaring people, but only in that fake sort of way when people say they are sorry but don’t really mean it. What I secretly hope is that readers, instead of emailing me, will tell all of their friends that “The Hatching” is a book that was so much fun that they have to rush out and buy it right this darn second.
S. MAG.: This is your debut book in a new series. How much can you tell us about how the series will progress in the future?
E.B.: The second book, “Skitter,” starts up about ten days after the end of “The Hatching.” And what I can tell you is that the scariest thing is “The Hatching” was only the beginning. If you thought the spiders in the first book were terrifying, you better buckle up.
S.MAG.: What is one thing you hope readers take away from the book, besides a higher heart rate?
E.B.: More than anything, I think “The Hatching” is fun as hell. Yes, it’s about spiders, and yes, in some ways it’s scary, but it’s really an edge-of-your-seat thriller that you won’t want to put down because it’s such a great ride. So I hope that readers have such a blast that when they finish, after thinking, I can’t wait to read the next one, they think, man, where did the last few hours go?
S.MAG.: What can fans expect to see from you in the future?
E.B.: Well, I’ve got this series going full-throttle, of course, but I’m also finishing up a new novel. It’s unrelated to spiders in any way but has its own scary goodness.