What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Ben Mariner is the author of Apocalypse Wow as well as The Many Lives of Zane Montgomery, which definitely sold some copies to some people. He currently lives in Denver with his wife and animals. He enjoys mozzarella sticks, dunk tanks at carnivals, and solving crime with his psychic powers and best friend/sidekick.
Today Ben Mariner will be talking about what sparked the idea for the story.
* Well the short answer to that is: I don’t really know. Actually, I don’t really remember.
* The long answer:
* I came up with the idea for this story in high school, which was, I’m sad to say, over ten years ago. It was one of the first things I ever typed on the first household computer my family ever owned. That makes me sound incredibly old, but it was roughly 2003. Like I said, I don’t really remember where the idea came from. I just remember sitting down at that old secondhand desktop computer and typing up the first page of the first chapter. It was less than stellar and I never got past the first page at the time. The idea however, never really left my head. That idea of a person somehow managing to sleep through the apocalypse.
* Over the next few years after the initial concept came to mind, I kept going back to it. Trying time after time to start writing the story, but never really getting past the first page. That darned first page. At any given time I had a start of the story saved on floppy disk – that’s right, floppy disk – a local drive on a computer, or a handwritten notebook. They only thing that really persisted was the idea itself. I gave up on it at some point, but eventually I finally pushed past the first page and actually finished the whole book after a lot of work. The finished product then was wildly different than what it is now, but we’ll get there.
* So, I had a finished rough draft. Honestly, it was terrible. It was the first full manuscript I had ever finished so what do you really expect? I sat on it. Tucked it away for a rainy day, waiting for the right spark to go off that would tell me how to improve. Over half a decade later, it finally came. My closest friends and I are always discussing pop culture and making references to shows and movies. I thought it would be a lot of fun to write a book that really incorporated a lot of those things that we always joked about. Further than that, I thought it would be fun to direct it to one specific decade: the 90’s. It was, after all, a major part of my childhood and one of the greatest decades ever.
* But I didn’t have an idea for the story. Or did I? I remembered good ol’ Apocalypse Wow. I basically scrapped the whole thing and started from scratch. The bones of the story were still there, but it was different. It was better. It just made more sense. It flowed out of me so much easier. The pop culture references found their way easily into the dialogue. In less than a month, the new version of Apocalypse Wow was finished.
* So, while the full story took over ten years to come to fruition and went from first person to third person back to first person and through several different permutations, the idea remained. Even though the inspiration for the idea itself is well lost to time, the idea remained. The moral of the story, everyone? The good ideas never go away. If you think of an idea and you forget it, it was probably never that good of an idea in the first place.
* I grabbed the milk from the top shelf, filled the bowl with a generous amount, and put the jug back into the fridge. The clock on the microwave was telling me I had just over twenty minutes to get to work on time, if I cared to do so. Luckily, I didn’t, so I ate slowly, enjoying every last crunch berry and washing it all down with the remaining milk that now tasted fruity and wonderful. I rinsed the bowl out in the sink and left it there for later. I walked around the kitchen counter and into the main room of my apartment.
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