1. Did the title come first to you or the plot of the story?
For many of my ideas, whether a book or a short story, the title always comes last. However, for Sharkantula, the title came first. However, as I sat down to outline the final book, the plot came pretty easy.
2. What was your inspiration for writing Sharkantula?
Sharkantula was born from a discussion between various authors in a chat on Facebook. We were all joking around claiming we ‘owned’ certain genres of writing. All in all, it was sort of a brain storming exercise to inspire us to write something a bit outside of our norm. I think earlier in the conversation, we were talking about the newest Sharknado movie, so I blurted out that I owned Sharkantula, since Lavalantula was just released as well. I had no intention of writing it at the time. However, the more I thought if it, I decided to just go for it.
3. Did you have any writer’s block with Sharkantula and how did you overcome it?
While I wrote Sharkantula, I can say that writer’s block never came into play. I think that is because I outlined it first, with an overall vision of the final product in my head. Now that I think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever really suffered from writer’s block. However, there are times that I become frustrated with the direction a story is going and need to step away. In those cases, I recommend taking a week off from that project. In the meantime, I usually start another one, or take some time to read some stuff from my backlogged reading pile. I might even binge watch a television series or veg out and watch movies. That tends to reset my thought process and reenergize me.
4. If (or perhaps, when) Sharkantula becomes a movie, what scene would you like to see on the movie screen or television screen?
I much like the thought of ‘when’ than ‘if’, but I am just happy the book has released. I think the scene I would like to see the best is sort of a tie. The first scene where Sharkantula emerges from her performing tank as a spider/shark hybrid is full of energy and has some great one-liners in it. The next scene is toward the end when Dee and Snyder, two dolphins in the book, intervene with Sharkantula’s reign of terror.
5. Which famous celebrity would you like to see in the movie-adaptation of Sharkantula?
The main characters in the book are all based on my daughters and their friends. Of course, they have all ‘volunteered’ to play their roles in the movie. However, I’d love to see Nat Zang play Sy, Lily-Rose Depp play Peyton, Billie Lourd play Stephanie, Harley Quinn Smith play Cassie Ann, and Calum Worthy play Harvey. For Dr. Fisher, Peyton’s dad, Nicholas Cage may fit the role.
6. Which character from Sharkantula gave you the hardest time during the writing process? And why?
The hardest character was Peyton, because she is based off of my oldest daughter. The two characters mirror one another so closely, it was hard to keep the Peyton in the book as her own person, rather than simply copy her every intricacy. However, in the end, I think I was successful.
7. What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation? And why?
I may be reaching far back, but my favorite book-to-movie adaptation is To Kill a Mockingbird. The final result is so spot on to the book and matches every detail I imagined while reading it. In some manners, I think it may have instigated more emotion than just the words on the page. A close second is Lord of the Flies.
8. What was your favorite book as a teenager?
Other than To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies, I’d have to refer to the entire series of the Chronicles of Narnia. Although my writing is mostly horror, I delve into fantasy and science fiction. My first novel, Final Reverie, was a fantasy adventure book. To me, horror is an extreme on the fantasy spectrum. The Chronicles of Narnia intertwine horror into the books fantastically. I’ve always said, if Clive Barker and C.S. Lewis were to collaborate on a book, it would be a masterpiece that no one could touch.
9. What are your thoughts about this particular hybrid-shark sub-genre?
I have to say, I wanted to hate it when it started to become popular. However, my wife enjoys the movies so I was forced to watch them. After a couple, they began to grow on me and I was soon anxious for the next one. I’m quite surprised that Sharkantula wasn’t a thing before I wrote the book. My impression of the hybrid-shark sub-genre is that they are just meant to enjoy. They are fun to watch and there are often references to other movies snuck in that make me want to watch with a detective’s eye.
10. What is your all-time favorite horror and fantasy movie?
This would be a tie between the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Both intertwine horror and fantasy seamlessly. The puppets within jump from the screen and seem alive. So much so, you don’t view them as being inanimate at all while watching, their expressions and actions are just as lively as any person in a live action movie.
11. Last question, which book (excluding yours) do you recommend everyone to read before he or she dies?
There are so many great books out there that this question is probably the toughest of them all. So, I’ll give you my top three. The first would be To Kill a Mocking bird (Followed immediately by To Set a Watchman). Next, Lord of the Flies is on the list. Then, the third would be Alas, Babylon.
I thank Mr. Essel Pratt for such a very revealing interview. You can currently purchase Sharkantula at Amazon. If you want to know more about him and his other works go to his website: esselpratt.wixsite.com/darknessbreaks/books. You can follow him on facebook(www.facebook.com/EsselPrattWriting) or twitter (@EsselPratt ).
To my readers, thanks a ton for checking out this interview and I hope you all have a great day.