1. The plot of the Everything Theory series is quite complex. What was the inspiration behind it?
I wanted to write a series that was a nice blend of those old sci-fi heavy Twilight Zone episodes with a nice dash of my love for The X-Files. I also wanted to craft a story around the idea that everything supernatural is somehow related and from the same origin. Of course, such a project would take up more than one book, so I started outlining the Everything Theory series. I knew right away that I might be on to something and spent about a year and a half writing the first book.
2. Agent Walthall reminded me a lot of other FBI agents I’ve read/watched, but he wasn’t a carbon copy of anyone. How did you manage to keep him from becoming a cardboard cutout?
As you’ll notice in the future installments, Walthall sort of evolves over time. We even see some of this in Cold Compass. I purposefully made him as being stand-offish at the start of the book because I knew he’d end up going through a huge change. I have always been of the opinion that for a character to be set up for monumental changes, they need to have an original base of either being very rigid or naive. Walthall is obviously the former.
3. Did you always intend for Cold Compass to have an overall horror-esque feel, or was that a feeling that came through as you wrote?
Absolutely. There is a fine line between sci-fi and horror; I wanted to take that line and make it into a zig-zagging hedge maze. There are, as of now, five books planned for the series. The first two are much closer to horror than sci-fi. With the villain of Cold Compass, I knew I had to rely more on a horrific approach than one based on science. It’s hard to do, though, when developing a series or mythology because you feel like you need to do some deep explaining, which is often not a big draw for horror audiences.
4. Garrison Sleet. What on earth is he??? At first, I thought maybe something vampiric, but I’m not sure. Care to provide some insight?
Not gonna tell. Although you will get more clues in the other books. We learn a great deal more about him in Everything Theory: Blood Routes. The only insight I can give without ruining anything is that, as we see in Cold Compass, his ability to take bullets and other violent attacks without much of a stumble makes him…well, not normal.
5. Can you give us any clue as to what the next installments hold for Gabe and co.?
Future installments will find Gabe in the deserts of the Southwestern US, on the grounds of a summer retreat that has a supernatural history, traveling the highways of the States, and in secret government facilities. He’s got a lot of growing up to do and as he delves deeper into his father’s work and this mysterious government entity that has hired him, he realizes that there is much more to the world than it seems. The path certainly won’t be easy or pleasant for him, but I think he’s up for the journey.
Thanks for the awesome interview, Barry! I am looking forward to reading the future installments of Everything Theory.