I’m happy to welcome Paul Rudd, author of the exciting thriller, SHARC. Paul has done to Aquariums what “Jaws” did to the beach.
Can I start by saying a huge thank you for agreeing to the interview and I am very grateful for the chance to promote my novel. Now I’m all yours, Deb, so fire away.
Which came first – your passion for sharks/Megalodons or the idea to write a book about these massive prehistoric creatures?
That’s a nice easy start for me. Sharks have been a passion ever since I was a child. I remember watching Jaws when I was about 7 or 8, at a friend’s house after school. We used to pretend his dogs were the sharks and we used to jump across the living-room chairs to avoid them. And before I get hauled before the PC brigade, the gore didn’t bother me back then. I’ve never been squeamish when it comes to horror films. And I’m perfectly normal, even if the missus does get a bit freaked out when I put on my William Shatner Halloween mask.
I just remember the shark being magnificent. The real footage they used hooked me straightaway. And that scene with the cage!!! Bruce, the mechanical shark, looks dated now but the ruler of the ocean had me, I hate to be cliché, but afraid to go into the water.
As for the Megalodons, you need look no further than the great man himself, Steve Alten. In 1997 I bought Meg from Waterstones in Fleet Street and I read it within a few days and about ten times since. Plus the sequels, it’s a wonder I had time to write my own story.
So who wouldn’t be fascinated by a shark that allegedly grew to 70-80 feet in length and weighed in at 30 tons, and don’t forget the teeth of a fully grown adult that would have been bigger than your hand and as sharp as a butcher’s blade! Awesome, and yet frightening as hell.
What forms of research did you use to ensure factual information when writing about Megalodons?
I had a basic knowledge of sharks already but the Megalodon I only knew about from Steve Alten’s books and a few dodgy SCI-FI channel movies.
When I was growing up there wasn’t much about Megs that I could find, but in 2006, the World Wide Web grew to such an extent I studied the net for months for anything I could find on Megs. Basically I trawled through hundreds of pages of information and highlighted anything I found that was useful. Fossil remains, exerts dating back a few hundred years, plus I purchased prehistoric shark books, watched documentaries galore and anything else I could lay my hands on. Not just on Megs though. The ARC in the story houses all sea-life, like a giant aquarium, so I needed to know about those too, like jellyfish, Orcas and whales. I got so involved and I wanted to be spot on, so I gathered all the information and then I began to write.
If you were asked to create a question for a trivia game about the Megalodon, what would it be? (And please provide the answer.)
To make it interesting I would ask “does the Megalodon still exist?”
The answer would be “no”.
Only who knows for sure? Now that is the big question.
Tell us a little bit about future projects, and what you’re working on now.
I’ve recently finished working on a Western horror story called The Wild Wild Dead. It’s a run of the mill infected human and survivor story but I’ve added a huge twist which I a hope will work. If not, so be it. I didn’t want to do a man versus zombie story without throwing something a little different into the mix. I’ve also managed a huge scoop. A UK girl band named the Courtesans, gave me permission to use one of their songs as the backing track to the book trailer. I’m so grateful. Plus they are awesome babes too, even though I haven’t met them.
I’ve also finished The London Warriors. I call it my homage to the 80’s action movie era that I grew up watching. The basic premise is a band of muscle-bound antiheroes bash seven shades out of demons and warriors while attempting to escape from a walled off London. It’s a cross between Escape from New York and The Warriors but with a slice of Manga pie thrown in for good luck. It’s a big story, with a possibility of a trilogy. It’s all laid out in my head.
I am also working on a horror anthology of short stories based on World War I and II with my good friend, Reggie Jones, who is another Taylor Street author. We are mixing soldiers with zombies, sea creatures and fantasy. It should rock, I say should but it WILL rock.
I’ve got dozens more from different genres all locked away inside my brain and I can’t wait to get started. Oh and the sequel to Sharc which my publisher wants me to draft. It’s going to be Die Hard but with sharks!
I’ve been told you love to watch movies. Name three movies you would watch more than once, and what attracts you to them?
Now that is a tough one. I could easily say Jaws, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars but that is not challenging enough.
First I’d have to say the Terminator, my favorite movie of all time and I just purchased it on Blu-Ray and can’t wait to see the upgrade. The scene where Arnie walks into Tech-Noir and pulls out the laser-sighted gun and aims it at Sarah Connor. It is an iconic moment and one where you shout at the television “run you daft cow”. The dancing is a bit dated but still better than any shapes I pull now. This movie is probably the reason why Arnie has a bit part in Sharc (not sure he knows about that though!).
Second is Brotherhood of the Wolf. A superb period/horror movie starring Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel and Mark Dacascos. If you haven’t seen it, do so, just for the Dacascos fight scenes. A huge party of hunters assembles to track a beast and Dacascos fight pretty much all of them, it’s great. And the scenery, oh and did I mention Monica Bellucci was in it!
And Pitch Black with Vin Diesel or The Crow with Brandon Lee.
Wait, isn’t that four?
You’re a self-described geek. Other than writing, what are your favorite “geeky” things to do?
I play video games. I love video games. Always have. My friend’s wife said to me one ‘once you have kids you’ll never get to play your games!’ After two kids, I’m afraid to say she was right; although that hasn’t stopped me from completing every Call of Duty and Unchartered game out thus far. I mean to continue too…fingers crossed!
Cartoons or should I say Anime! I’ve seen the new Tron: Uprising Anime on the kids channels on Sky (god I’m a product placement guru here!) whilst surfing for some shows for my daughter. It looks great. I love how the cartoons have changed since I used to watch them. I still remember the old Transformers, now there is about ten different shows! We used to get one.
I love reading graphic novels. I’ve got loads. I’ve just read Crossed by Garth Ennis and my latest purchase Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters is waiting in the wings. Now if that isn’t a geek, then I don’t know what is. Now I wonder if Godzooky will be in the book?
On your website, you listed two aquariums that were influential in aiding with your visualization of ARC. One is in Okinawa, the other in North Carolina. What’s the best aquarium you’ve visited to date?
Nothing as spectacular as those but I holidayed in Vilamoura in Portugal about six years ago and we visited one near there. I think that is the best one thus far. It had a seal show and lots of other marine life that I hadn’t seen before. It sounds silly but most of them in this country are the same. Although there is one in Chester, where you can swim with the sharks, which looks pretty cool.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? What would you like to accomplish?
Does it have to be ten years? I would like to be out of the office environment and able to sit at my PC and write. I feel that my ideas need to be out there, even if just for a piece of mind. Maybe I will write SHARC part 5; The Sharc bites again (as long as he’s not too old for this s*** – Lethal Weapon, quality). There might even be a cameo for Michael Caine (wait, didn’t he already star in a shark movie?).
Seriously though, apart from being the best dad for my kids and husband for my missus I would like to be able to say I have a best seller or able to point at a movie in the supermarket and I say to myself, I wrote the story for that. That would make me happy.
If you found a magic stone that allowed you to travel back in time to any era, any location, where would you go and why?
I would travel to the time the real kings and queens of the earth roamed our lands. I’d visit the dinosaurs and sea beasts. I’d be a bit like Nigel Marvin but with curly hair and a bulletproof tank, oh and maybe a spare pair of pants. No, better make that two!
Paul, it’s been a delight. Your wit and style really showed through. I know my readers will be anxious to pick up a copy of “Sharc”!
Thanks for having me, Deb, and thanks so much for letting me ramble on and plug my book!
by Paul Rudd
Genre: Romance, Adventure, Great Whites
Publisher: Taylor Street Books
ISBN: 1479209899 / 978-1479209897
Number of pages: 285
Word Count: 101,000
Cover Artist: Tim Roux
It’s massive, it’s intelligent, it’s relentless and it’s always looking for its next meal or its next challenge.
Maxwell Baxter is intent on fulfilling his greatest ambition yet, and he is an ambitious man. He wants to build the largest floating aquarium in the world, an aquarium city, and fill it with all manner of monsters from the depths, the first being a presumed extinct Megalodon he has captured, a prehistoric monster shark currently only thirty-five feet long but destined to grow up to one hundred feet of raw, razor-toothed ravenous greed with extraordinary abilities to detect anything edible or threatening in the water for miles around.
In the midst of international financial negotiations to raise the rest of the money to complete his ARC, and with the Governor of California being entertained on his private yacht on his way to review the facility, the Megalodon escapes and begins to terrorize everything in the Pacific, ships and other sea creatures alike, no matter what their size.
Maxwell Baxter’s future rests on a knife-edge, and the Megalodon has a gigantic mouthful of them, each five feet long and giving it the capability to bite a small whale in half with one snap of its jaws.
With a Megalodon about, if you are thinking of getting back into the water, don’t flatter yourself – you’ll barely be a snack.
Book Trailer http://youtu.be/NZ9e5u6TDV8
Ask a multi-award winning thespian if they would prefer a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame or have the chance to write about a prehistoric shark and they’d take the easy option every time. Me? Sharks are a passion, they always have been. Not to say I have actually met any face to face or relied on a shark cage to keep me out of harm’s way; cos that’s just dumb!
So say hello to the real Paul Rudd. I’m a geek, pure and simple and a far throw from celebrity. I write lots. I’ve watched movies since birth, which probably makes a lot of sense to those who know me well.
My brain is a minefield of ideas just waiting to detonate and making them available has always been a dream. Now, with thanks to Taylor Street, I have managed to take my first step into the unknown.
So now starts the latest saga of my life and a little like the original Lord of the Rings cartoon, the outcome remains up in the air. If only the late Ralph Bakshi was here to conclude it… alas for now I will carry on chasing my own Moby Dick; the great white tooth of a Megalodon, so if anyone has a spare?
This is Paul Rudd of the Nostromo signing off…….