Interview with Brian Palmer and Jason Rowe, authors of XII: Genesis

Publish Date: December 12, 2012

Order From:  Amazon

Synopsis: A century after the world was predicted to end, it was indeed reborn. Under the leadership of the Overseer of New Earth, minds were united, diseases were cured, and the Earth was healed when population centers minimized mankind’s footprint, and the remainder of the planet was turned over to the will of nature. War was eradicated, the world embraced one religion, and the New Era began.

But darkness rises now, mistaken for a mere shadow cast by the bright light of human progress. It is the time of which the ancients foretold. It is the time when all things must end. …It is the time of The Twelve.

Six men and six women representing all creeds and colors are supernaturally gifted, but the unlikeliest of heroes. They are barely adults by the world’s standards, but still they are called.

Only they can stand against the growing darkness – but will they stand together?

XII: Genesis is the first installment of an eight-book series in the Young Adult / New Adult genres. If action excites you, if the supernatural intrigues you, and if love compels you - then you are invited to join The Twelve in their fight against the growing darkness that threatens New Earth!

Author Interview: Q. Please tell us about your current release.

Brian: XII: Genesis is set approximately 100 years in the future in a dystopian world that is being threatened by a growing-yet-unseen evil. The only ones who can stop this threat are twelve supernaturally gifted individuals from around the world, who couldn’t be more different from each other in terms of their life experiences, backgrounds, temperaments, beliefs and skills. Learning to work together will be hard enough, but then the task they have to achieve will result in them being viewed as terrorists by many, the most dangerous individuals in the world by the world’s most powerful man, and heroes by only a scant few. The question is: Even if they are up to the task and believe they are doing the thing, will they want to go through with it considering all the trouble it will bring them?

This supernatural action saga has loads of excitement in the form of high stakes drama, extended action sequences and battles, comic relief from unique characters and situations, romance and forbidden love. Plus there is a significant amount of world-building as well.

Jason: XII: Genesis is the first of eight books in a supernatural action saga set about a century from present day. As ancient legends foretold, an unlikely group of twelve young adults with supernatural talents are called to confront a growing darkness that threatens all of New Earth, but they must first overcome their own differences. Drama, tragedy, comedy, and love are major elements of this book and the series – in addition to conflict and epic battle sequences, of course!

Q. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Brian: Actually the genesis of this series came from Jason. He’d had the idea kicking around in his head for several years or so, but life and other things were preventing him from being able to really try his hand at it. Plus, he originally comes from a screenwriting background, so I think he had in mind to try and do it as a screenplay first, but that never exactly materialized.

Jason: I had the vision for this series for the better part of a decade before meeting Brian as a co-worker and sharing it with him. I actually started and shelved the idea a couple of times due to other releases (in print, television, and film) coming out that had similar elements. But it wasn’t until Brian and I decided to join creative forces and flesh out the daunting cast of characters and complex plot lines that it finally came to fruition – after three complete re-writes, I might add.

Q. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

Brian: While Jason and I were working for a non-profit called India Partners back in 2007, we became fast friends when we discovered we were kindred spirits in terms of our love for novels, movies and music. We talked a lot about creative endeavors and the like, and during the summer of 2008 he finally told me about the story behind XII and how it had been playing at the corners of his mind for years. I was hooked the moment he told me about it and I told him I wanted to help him make this story come to life. It was so unlike any of the other novels I had written before, and the sheer magnitude and scope of the story excited me greatly. I jumped at the chance to be a part of this story because I wanted to see how this epic thing was going to unfold!

Jason: The first thing that we had to do was learn to “dance” together as writing partners. Neither of us had ever had someone else equally capable of being the “hands” of a project so previous collaborations we had separately didn’t prepare us entirely for this partnership.

It’s taken four years of trial and error to arrive at the point that we were confident that this first book was all it needed to be to set the stage for the series while compelling readers to “Join the XII.”

Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about the book?

Brian: I don’t think so. We wrote four drafts of this novel over the course of four years, and it got tighter and more cohesive with each re-write and re-imagining of certain aspects of the story, so it really is what it is supposed to be now. Considering some of the changes we did make from draft to draft—one of our characters, for instance, named Mateo, is almost completely unrecognizable now compared to what his character was like in the first draft—I think we’ve effectively eliminated story arcs that didn’t work (or didn’t work as well as they could have worked), settings that were cumbersome and the like, so I am pleased with how it has turned out. I know it’s not going to look perfect to everybody, but it has been made into a nice, tight piece of storytelling.

Jason: LOL! We already did. Numerous times. If given the opportunity I’m sure we could continue picking at this and polishing it indefinitely – but we both knew it was time to present it to the public. Our characters actually began to complain about how long we were taking!

Q. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Brian: Ha! Well, there were several. One was the fact that I wasn’t the only one working on this. I always had to be aware of Jason and his sensibilities, ideas, etc., which was entirely new to me because I had always written novels on my own before this. So that was a big challenge.

Another was that we don’t live in the same area (we don’t even live in the same state anymore!), so we had to work hard to juggle schedules just to try and find time to write together. Thank God for Skype! But there were a number of bumps along the way, too, and life happened a handful of times to both of us, so this process took much longer than we had initially envisioned it taking.

Probably the most difficult aspect, though, was figuring out a system that worked for us in terms of producing content, brainstorming and the like. We tried dividing and conquering with regard to different aspects of the story, but that was problematic because we always had to come back to each other and edit what the other had done. It killed our momentum most of the time and just made it difficult to really build any steam. But once we figured out how to work through each section of the story online or on the phone or in person (on those rare occasions when we were able to get together), so we could be on the same page about what we were doing, the process really opened up and became much smoother.

Jason: I think it was a toss up between knowing how much information and backstory was enough in book one, and finding one voice for the book overall as Brian and I have distinctly different writing styles on many fronts.

Q. Do you have a musical playlist you listen to when writing? If so, what kind of music?

Brian: Jason and I have both been tossing bands’ songs back and forth to each other over the past few years while we’ve been writing this because, as he mentioned, this book screams MOVIE and so we want to have ideas in mind for the necessary soundtrack that will be matched with the film version! In addition to the bands he listed, bands like Flyleaf and Linkin Park were among the bands whose songs were in the mix.

I love loads of different styles of music and artists (good grief, just look at the number of bands I “Like” on my Facebook page!), but when it comes to listening to music while I’m writing, it has to be all music and no words or else I get off track in about two seconds. The film scores of Thomas Newman have been particularly helpful—The Shawshank Redemption, Road to Perdition and Meet Joe Black are among my favorites—and listening to the orchestral soundtracks of video games from the Final Fantasy series, particularly Final Fantasy VII, IX and X. Nobuo Uematsu composed most of the music for those titles—and indeed for most of the series’ first ten or eleven entries—and they are absolutely brilliant. He is solely responsible for making me believe over the years that scoring video games is no different and no less important than scoring a film.

Jason: Great question! Brian and I have actually been compiling a list of songs that we feel belong on the soundtrack when this is made into a film series (it really does scream MOVIE when reading it). We’ve named artists like P.O.D., Evanescence, Skillet among others. I can’t speak for Brian, but I don’t listen to music while I’m writing. I use it as inspiration between writing sessions.

Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Brian: I like to think I am a world-class point-and-pecker. I never learned how to type properly and just got used to clicking away as best I could over the years. I probably only use five of my fingers on a regular basis when I am typing. I used to think it was embarrassing, then I thought it was funny, now I hardly even notice it anymore.

Jason: Wanting to write all dialogue with as few syllables and flowery embellishments as possible.

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

Brian: Oh, you bet! XII: Genesis is the first of eight novels that will encompass this series. So this is only the beginning! There are seven villains whom the twelve will have to face over the course of the first seven novels, and then things are going to absolutely go crazy in the final book! We have an outline of the second book completed and we will begin working on that in the coming weeks.

Jason: We have mapped out eight books for this series and book two is already outlined and waiting for our undivided attention. There are seven adversaries confronted in the first seven books with the eighth book being the battle royal.

Q. Please tell us your latest news.

Jason: We’ve discovered that an emerging genre (New Adult) is more fitting of our series than the YA genre we had originally classified it as being – largely because this is about 18-30 year olds and was a hard R before we pared it down to a PG-13 for more accessibility.

The first book will be released on Amazon on 12-12-2012 with a goal of having book two ready for release by the end of 2013, God willing. Now that we have the dance down and know where our characters want to go next, the rest of the series will hopefully be completed in relatively rapid succession.

Brian: In terms of the novel, Jason covered just about everything. The only other point I would make is that we also plan to write twelve short stories next year which will act as a bridge between the first and second books. Each story will be focused on one of the twelve main characters in the series. People won’t have to read these stories in order for future entries in the series to make sense, but we want to keep fans engaged between books as well as give them a chance to learn more about their favorite characters, so we figured this would be a good way to do so!

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Jason: Each book in this series will be raising funds for a specific cause so while our goal was to create a compelling series for series hungry fans to latch on to, we also want to raise awareness and support for causes that correlate with the plotlines of each of the books. A win-win if you will.

Brian: Pretty much what Jason said. We’re stoked to be able to offer readers the chance to support our work and a good cause at the same time, because really, how often does an opportunity like that arise? So people can simultaneously be entertained by a story and help change the world for the better!


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