DAK: Wow! Well, I’m a devout “Dr. Who” and “Star Trek” (TOS) fan. Each time I seem to inform girls of this, they give me the “Nice guy…stay away from” look. Don’t know why. Vulcans and T.A.R.D.I.S’ are cool! I cannot stay away from a bag of potato chips. LOL! They’re my kryptonite. And…I love classic horror movies.
Not too weird…I hope.
BBB: What actors would you choose to play some of your characters if your book were made into a movie or a TV show?
DAK: Good question! For the part of Captain Meyer, I would like to see Jason Statham (aged a few years by make up, of course) The First Officer, Jordan Starger…Chris Pine. Father Donavon…David Tennant (Aged a lot more by make up). Kate Donavon…Scarlett Johansson. Hitler…? Hmmmm. Ben Cross would do an excellent job as “The Monster.”
BBB: How do you keep track of your world building?
DAK: When I write, I take notes. Sometimes, I end up with a story outline that is larger than the novel. After everything is done, I read the finished book and envision myself as a child sitting in a movie theatre. There is nothing in this universe more critical than the eyes of a child. If the child within me isn’t entertained, or smiling at the end of the process, I do a rewrite.
BBB: Please tell us more about Reich and the storyline that drives it.
DAK: Reich takes place a few weeks after the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler’s life. The Third Reich is starting to crumble, the Allies have started their invasion of Europe, and the end is within sight. However, there’s one little factoid Adolf Hitler has kept to himself. The reason he survived the bomb blast, wasn’t because his guardian angel was working overtime. It’s because he’s a member of the undead.
The Captain of a u-boat is ordered to transport Hitler to one of the only remaining Gestapo bases in Norway, and his secret is learned. The Captain, a dedicated soldier from the “Old Germany” and not a Nazi, decides to “kill the beast.”
“Reich” is a good old-fashioned “Monster movie” story.
BBB: I’ve noticed that in some of your books you refer to a somewhat obscure historical fact at the end. Do you find the fact first and build the story around it, or find a fact that fits the story? And how do you find them?
DAK: I love to start with facts and branch out from there. Nothing helps out a writer more than history. Even when writing a fantasy, with elves and dragons, one can always turn to an example in history for a little inspiration.
“Reich” was partly based on an episode, that took place a few years after the Second World War. Someone discovered a “message in a bottle” which had stated that the leader of the Third Reich did not perish in the underground bunker, in the manner sold to us by the Soviets. He was killed in the hull of a German u-boat. I took that, and the amazing fact of his surviving a bomb blast from six feet away… added the occult…and created a horror novel.
BBB: Your books have a wonderful ‘film noir’ feel to them – atmospheric, full of tension and mystery. Have you written suspense?
DAK: Any good story should have suspense in it. Life is layered with the stuff. Thank you, for the wonderful complement though! My fingers are making my mouth smile as I type this!
BBB: Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters lives / lifestyles?
DAK: Somewhat. Needed to know a little about u-boats, their crews, and how they were hunted down by the Allies. Other than that, I prefer to place myself in the character’s shoes, and see what I would do if I were them. Imagination and logic takes you far in the world of fiction. Fiction can be fun, as long as the outcome makes some kind of “wibbly wobbly timey whimey” sense. You know what I mean?
I had fun with the vampire world, just a little. I took most of Hitler’s personal characteristics and added them to the universe of the undead. Thereby making him “fit” as a vampire. Tooting my own horn, though, the “vegetarian” angle was a good one. Then there’s the factoid about water…
BBB: All of your characters are really complex and individualistic. Do you have a favorite character (and who)?
DAK: My favorite character in this story is Captain John Meyer. He’s an honorable man, who cares nothing about the politics of the war. He is a good person. He loves literature, is educated, and cares for his crew. Like most of us, in the course of our lives, he just wants to seek that moment of “peace.” Unfortunately, for him, he’s right in the middle of one of the worse wars in human history. I am a firm believer in the fact that there are good people, even in the face of our enemy. There were Germans, and then there were Nazis. Captain Meyer was a “good German.”
BBB: Would it be fair to call your books “Historic Horror”?
DAK: That’s the way I try to sell them. When I write horror, it is usually fact-based. A good example is my novel “Still Waters.” I based that on a 1922 British newspaper article. That the sinking of the Titanic was not because it hit an iceberg, but because of a mummy’s curse. Add a little imagination, knowledge of the disaster, and you got one hell of a story!
Horror and history work well together. What is more horrifying than “cause and effect?” That is what history is all about. That is horror as well. I mean, what would “The Monster’s” cause be, if Doctor Frankenstein hadn’t created the “effect?”
BBB: Are you a plotser or a panster? or a Planster (a combo of both – lol)
DAK: I am a Planster! All the way…
BBB: What types of creatures can readers expect in your world?
DAK: Anything I can create. I never try to follow dogma – life is more fun that way! However, there are certain rules one must follow. The hero should always be believable. The lover should always be cautiously hungry. And…the monster should be evil. Other than that…I’m game.
BBB: What’s coming up for you in 2012 and 2013?
DAK: Well…currently, I am collaborating with a fellow “creator,” John Raab, on an episodic novel called “Green Lake.” It takes place in a small Northern California town, that has a rather dark history. Think “American Horror Story” meets “Twin Peaks.” It’s available on Smashwords and B & N, and is updated every time we add another scene to it…and…it’s free! So far, it’s been great fun!
My first “historical” novel will be coming out quite soon. No monsters! It’s entitled “Selznick’s Folly,” and it’s a fictional account on the making of “Gone With the Wind.” In 1938, when the movie was made, the average film cost about $25,000. “Gone With the Wind” cost $3,000,000! The newspapers at the time labeled the project “Selznick’s Folly” because they all thought that the film’s producer, David O. Selznick, was a mad man. They predicted that the film would never make any money. Well…they were wrong! I invite you all to read the story and find out how they made it work.
In fantasy, the third novel in my “Nown World Chronicles” will be released at the end of the year. BBB readers can take a look at the first book “The Misadventures of Ka-Ron the Knight” here…you did a great review on it. The second book “The Lurker War” was released earlier this year, and the last book “The Return of Ka-Ron the Knight” will be out soon!
As for horror: I am working on a grisly “monster” story for the mystery lover. I’m still in the creative stage, but…looks interesting!
Note for Bitten by Books readers.
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Learn more about Donald Allan Kirch here:
Read reviews of the author’s work go here.
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