Today is the official release date of Voss Foster’s The Mall the sequel to The Park. Both of which, I’ve been bragging about for the past few days. Voss Foster let me ask him a few questions about The Mall and The Park. Here it goes:
What inspired The Park?
I had this dream, and that was the first snippet of a dream. It wasn’t a reality show, like The Park is. I just remember being in this old single-wide from the seventies, and there were people out there (I never saw them) who wanted to kill the people in there. That was me, this woman with a very alt-punk style (who turned in Rita Needles), and this hunky blond dude (Blake). But we had this special medallion that gave us a big advantage, because it would shoot out this huge, golden ball of energy, and it was supposed to be the most powerful ‘weapon’ in this fight. That’s where the CESUs came from. It was originally supposed to be a contemporary fantasy, but as I was working on it, sci-fi just made more sense.
I know I felt super bad when a few of the characters died. Did you get emotionally attached to any of the characters? Did you cry when they died because I almost did?
I was really upset by some of the deaths, absolutely. Between getting used to the format, moving to a new city, and actually writing/editing the book, it took me about 8 months before I reached the final product that made it out the door. It gave me a long time to interact with the characters. I can’t remember for certain if I cried during this book (I know for a fact I did while working on the second book.), but there were some deaths that particularly affected me.
Of the twelve players, who did you most identify with?
I would say probably Craig. He’s gay and tech savvy and he’s generally a pacifist. He just seemed like the kind of guy I could hang around with, and the idea was so appealing that I ended up using him in probably three times as many scenes as I had him down for in my original outline.
Did you mean to write a series, or was it a coincidence?
I wouldn’t call it a coincidence so much as something that made sense after the fact. I wasn’t initially intending to write anything beyond The Park. I had the book about the dream down on paper, so I was ready to move on. But I got such a strong reaction from people reading The Park, I decided to keep on going. It was a bit of a struggle at first, coming up with an idea to go with something that I’d decided was done for. But I think it worked out well in the end.
Did you have a winner chosen from the beginning, or was the winner a surprise to you?
A bit of both? When I sat down to write the book, I didn’t know who was going to win. But by the time I’d gotten through the first chapter and gotten to know the characters a little bit, I knew exactly who was going to win the competition.
What can we expect from The Mall?
Well, obviously this one’s set in a mall rather than a trailer park. It’s still twelve contestants, still a twenty-million dollar prize at the end, and still lots of murder. But in The Mall, I explored a bit of a different aspect of the world. The game is still there, but the background plot that deals with people outside of the arena (the bloggers, the families, the Evenstad Corporation, et cetera) has at least as much weight as the gameplay does this time around.
Will there be a third book?
Absolutely! At current, I have a plan to write at least seven Evenstad Media Presents books. There’s definitely an end game I’m working toward, and it requires a certain amount of groundwork before I can get to that final point. While I don’t want to reveal too much about the plans for book three (partially for spoilers, partially because it’s completely possible I’ll change something before it gets written), I will say that we’re going to be seeing people in some much tighter quarters in the (relatively) near future.
Fan Girl Squeal: There will be at least five more books!!!! Fan Girl Squeal Over.