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Michael Grant

El Templo #35 (agosto 2013) por Javier Ruescas

Where did you get the idea for the GONE series?

I was enjoying the TV show Lost and re-reading Stephen King’s The Stand. But the truth is I don’t really know where the idea came from. Ideas just happen.

How do you manage to organize such a long story with so many main characters and plots linked between each other? In which way was the creating process of these books different from other books you have written?

I actually do not plan. I write spontaneously. I get up, go out onto my deck, settle into my chair, open my laptop and write. Somehow it all comes together in the end, so that it seems as if it is all carefully planned. I spend very little time thinking ahead, but in the end we have a six book, 3000 page series that looks as if it had all been carefully planned. It’s a mystery to me how it works.

One of the things your readers love the most about your books is the way you bring characters to life in such a real way. How do you get inside the mind of your characters?

I have the feeling that this will be an unsatisfying answer, but I don’t really know how I do it. I don’t spend a lot of time analyzing how I work. It just happens. As you may know I have very little formal education and none in writing, so I have no basis in theory. I literally sit down and type.

How do you come up with your characters? Do they emerge from a need within the story or do you have them in mind from the beginning and the plot originates from them?

Both. Some are what I think of as “positional” characters, in other words positions I need to fill. I need a hero or heroine. Okay: Sam. I need Sam to be able to talk to someone. Okay: Astrid and Edilio. I need opposition: Caine. Caine, too, needs characters to talk to: Drake and Diana.

Beyond that, though, are all the secondary characters. Some of those I “need” in order to accomplish certain things. Others I simply stumble across. The character of Dekka, to take one example, came from a photograph of an African-American girl with a real sense of gravity about her. I thought, “I don’t know who you are, but you’re hired.” I often think of characters that way, as my employees. Some I know I need, some I hire just because I see something in them, something I don’t know for certain I’ll need, but that I sense will be useful.

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