Please welcome William C. Dietz to the Qwillery. Deadeye, the first novel in The Mutant Files, is published today by Ace.
Where Did The Mutants Come From?
Lately I’ve been writing two books a year. So at any given time 83.4 percent of my attention is focused on my current project, 6.7 percent is dedicated to research on the next book, and 3.8 percent is trying up with a new concept. Whatever’s left over is busy looking forward to happy hour.
Everybody has a great idea novel for a novel, or so they tell me at parties, but for the most part it isn’t true. Good, which is to say marketable concepts are hard to come by, and require considerable thought. A surprising amount of which is performed in the shower. Among other things the idea should be new, or if not new, then a fresh take on a well-established trope.
So there I was, letting the hot water pound my skin, as I sought divine inspiration. Or any kind of inspiration for that matter. How about an alien invasion? Nope, been there and done that in DEATHDAY and EARTHRISE. As for shape shifting aliens BONES OF EMPIRE is already sitting on the shelf. So, what to do?
Then the answer came to me. Or so I thought as I turned the water off. Zombies! I could write about zombies. They’re a hot commodity, right? Always shambling and gnawing on people’s throats. And that, I realized was the problem. Zombies are passé.
So what to do? Then it came to me: Mutants. Mutants are way cooler than zombies because
they can think, scheme, and experience a full range of emotions. That means a mutie can be good, bad, or ugly. And some are bound to be very ugly.
And don’t forget… While mutations can be harmful they can theoretically be beneficial as well. So a good mutant might have a beautiful singing voice—and a bad mutant might be able to see in the dark.
Now we’re getting somewhere I thought to myself… Mutants rule! Or they’d like to. But where the hell did they come from? What caused them to mutate?
In the stories I’ve read mutants are the result of radiation induced changes that occur during the aftermath of (A.) a nuclear war, (B.) travel on a poorly shielded space ship, or (C.) adverse conditions on an alien world. So I wanted to do something different. And more than that something that would have a great deal of resonance in 2015. The answer was a manmade plague developed by terrorists and delivered by human martyrs.
Of course the challenge was to figure out what sort of mutations people might experience, how that would affect society, and ways in which that would impact my heroine Cassandra Lee. She’s a cop, and while mutants are part of the world she lives in, she’s mainly focused on her main focus is on catching a very dangerous criminal. From my website: “Detective Cassandra Lee of LA’s Special Investigative Section has built a fierce reputation taking down some of the city’s most notorious criminals. But the serial cop killer known as Bonebreaker—who murdered Lee’s father—is still at large. Officially, she’s too personally involved to work on the Bonebreaker case. Unofficially, she’s determined to hunt him down, no matter what the cost."
In the meantime, duty calls when the daughter of Bishop Screed, head of the Church of Human Purity, is kidnapped by mutants and taken into the red zone to be used for breeding. In order to try and rescue her, Lee must find a way to trust her new partner—a mutant lawman named Deputy Ras Omo—who will try to guide her through a dangerous land where women like her are bought are sold.”
The point being that mutants (good and bad) appear as full blown characters in the book rather than raggedy assed targets. And that my friends, is where the mutants came from, and how The Mutant Files came into being.
There will be three books in The Mutant Files trilogy, including Deadeye, Redzone, and Graveyard.
The Mutant Files 1
Ace, January 27, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
The national bestselling author of the Legion of the Damned novels, "a must-read for any fan of Mil Fic," (Archaeologist’s Guide to the Galaxy) begins a brand new science fiction police procedural series...
In the year 2038, an act of bioengineered terrorism decimated humanity. Those who survived were either completely unaffected or developed horrible mutations. Across the globe, nations are now divided between areas populated by “norms” and lands run by “mutants”…
Detective Cassandra Lee of Los Angeles’s Special Investigative Section has built a fierce reputation taking down some of the city’s most notorious criminals. But the serial cop killer known as Bonebreaker—who murdered Lee’s father—is still at large. Officially, she’s too personally involved to work on the Bonebreaker case. Unofficially, she’s going to hunt him to the ends of the earth.
In the meantime, duty calls when the daughter of Bishop Screed, head of the Church of Human Purity, is kidnapped by mutants and taken into the red zone to be used for breeding. Assigned to rescue her, Lee must trust her new partner—mutant lawman Deputy Ras Omo—to guide her not only through the unfamiliar territory but through the prejudicial divisions between mutants and norms…
The Mutant Files 2
Ace, July 28, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
The national bestselling author of the Legion of the Damned novels returns to his dark mutant world, where Police Detective Cassandra Lee is on the trail of a brutal murderer…
The year is 2065, almost thirty years since a bioterrorist attack decimated the population. The world has been divided, and new nations have formed. Those mutated from exposure inhabit the red zones, while “norms” live in the green zones.
In the nation of Pacifica, Los Angeles detective Cassandra Lee is in charge of investigating a disturbing case, tracking a cop killer dubbed the Bonebreaker. But strange new murders have occurred, falling outside the normal pattern and leaving Lee and her team wondering if the serial killer has become unpredictable—or if he’s no longer acting alone…
To make matters worse, Lee’s attention is diverted after she receives a letter from her long-lost mother. Now she must venture into the red zone, a lawless land where might makes right—and where the biggest danger may be her own family.