I recently had the privilege of interviewing author Steve Alten, whose latest book Meg: Hell's Aquarium hit bookstore shelves a few months ago. Steve is a science fiction author best known for his Meg series, which revolves around the survival of the Carcharadon Megalodon, an 18 million year old prehistoric shark that became extinct in the Pleistocene era.
- Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I hated my job and needed a new career. I always felt I could write.
- How did the idea come about to write a series based on Carcharodon Megalodon?
In the summer of 1995, I read a TIME magazine article on the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, and hydrothermal vents, which support an entire eco-system. I married that info to Megalodon, which I read about as a teen.
- How much research goes into writing for the Meg series and how much do you leave to your imagination?
Lots of research. The MEG info is all factual; the imagination uses these visuals to scare the reader.
- You've done four books in the Meg series so far, with Hell's Aquarium being the latest. How many more books will be in the series or do you know ahead of time?
One more: MEG: Night Stalkers
- In Hell's Aquarium you introduced a new ancient species of sea predator - the Liopleurodon. Do you plan on branching the series off with this new creature, continuing the adventures of Jonas Taylor and his son David?
Not branching off, but MEG 5 will be a hunt for the escaped Liopleurodon.
I've read there are plans to bring Meg to the big screen. How far away are fans from seeing their favorite killer shark in theaters? And will you be writing the screenplay?
I wrote a new script, and we are finalizing financing for $150 million budget. Once we select a director, there will be an announcement.
What is your writing process like? How long does it take to finish a novel
MEG novels take 6-8 months; the DOMAIN novels take 12-18 months.
Check out Steve Alten's writing tips at http://www.stevealten.com/writing_tips_intro.htm
Books in the Meg series include:
Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror (1997)
The Trench (1999)
Meg: Primal Waters (2004)Meg: Hell's Aquarium (2009)