I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Hal Johnson for more than a dozen years. I believe I first met him in Hoboken, of all places, when the Columbia University Science Fiction Society (mine) started hanging out with the NYU Science Fiction Society (his). He’s one of the people I most looked forward to seeing at the parties of mutual friends, and he also sold me many a comic book at Midtown Comics in New York. It was always nice to run into him and chat for a little while, usually about whatever he was reading, but I also faced these moments with a bit of panic because while talking to Hal, I often felt like I needed to read more books, better books, different books from what I was reading at the time. I imagined him silently judging my pathetic comic book selections and worried that at any moment, he would expose me as a fraud and send me packing to a library to straighten my life out.
I also knew that Hal wrote, because his D&D campaigns were legendary. By all accounts, he put more research and imagination into his epic quests than many authors apply to their multi-tome fantasy series, which was almost enough to convince me to start gaming. I’d heard rumors that he had a novel long before I started writing books of my own, and I was surprised and thrilled to find out last year that he had sold a middle grade book to Clarion Books. I’m very excited that we can all read it very soon now; Immortal Lycanthropes comes out this September–in only two short weeks! Hal was gracious enough to share some details about him and his work with my legions of readers. (Hey, mom.)
ETA: Check out the two giveaways for copies of Immortal Lycanthropes after the interview!
Hi, Hal. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. So first of all: Explain yourself! Who are you, and what is this book about?
Thanks, Eugene! I’m Hal, and I wrote a book called Immortal Lycanthropes that Eugene is kind enough to talk to me about. I don’t really have an elevator pitch for this book, in part because I live in a walk up, and have no place to practice it, but it’s an adventure novel with people who turn into animals, and secret societies, and nihilistic agony. I sometimes pitch it as Highlander meets The Da Vinci Code with werewolves. I hope that sounds enticing.
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