Hypable Exclusive Author Interview: Dan Krokos

3:00 pm EDT, November 19, 2012

Dan Krokos is the author of False Memory, a young adult science fiction trilogy, and The Planet Thieves, an upcoming middle grade duology. Dan put himself through college by pumping gas for nine years, and now writes full time. When he isn’t writing, Dan enjoys watching TV, playing MMORPGs, and drinking coffee.

Could you tell us 5 random facts about yourself?

1. I was Oliver in Oliver Twist, and I stepped on a thumbtack with my bare foot in the middle of a song.

2. My favorite romantic drama is Random Hearts.

3. I really only learned the rules of football this year. Now I really love it.

4. My first name is really Constantine. Dan isn’t a pen name, I go by Dan. Constantine is for legal purposes only.

5. I am an extremely slow reader. It can take me months to finish a book.

Dan Krokos
Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer.

Chronologically:

I read a ton of books. I got a job at a gas station. I stopped reading to play video games. I became obsessed with video games. I rediscovered my love of reading. I read hundreds of books. I worked at a gas station for almost ten years. I began to write my own stories, because I was so obsessed with stories in general, and I wanted to live in my own worlds. I put every waking hour behind writing. I sent my query in to QueryShark.

I have to credit my friend Adam, who I dedicated False Memory to. If he hadn’t given me a book called Dragons of Autumn Twilight one autumn afternoon, I would probably still be at the gas station.

What has surprised you about writing and publishing?

How it always stays hard. There will always be good days and bad days. As for publishing, it surprised me how much it’s like high school – at least the YA side. TRUST NO ONE, QUESTION EVERYTHING.

Why do you feel drawn to the stories you write?

I daydream constantly. Writers are bored with real life. Real life is not enough. So to explore worlds and then share those worlds with other people is such a privilege it still hasn’t really hit me yet, even though I’ve been doing this for a while.

I have ideas, and taking those ideas from concept to completion is simply the most fulfilling thing I can think of. I write about things that interest me.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

Immediately. I don’t move forward with an idea unless I can make it into a novel or a screenplay. I can’t do short stories very well (though I’ve tried).

That doesn’t mean I don’t have hundreds of ideas in my Idea Graveyard. I do.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Early on I got a lot of notes asking for more emotion from the characters. It’s hard to put emotion into words for me. Think about the last time you were angry, or sad. It’s just a feeling, right? You can’t describe a feeling without taking away from the feeling itself. Feelings are beyond words. It’s a work in progress—as writing should be.

What has been the best compliment you’ve received?

That I write good action. It’s important to me that things aren’t vague, so I do a little dance when people say the action was like watching a movie.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

Behind my desk. Writing in cafes and stuff can be cool, but I like to be mega comfortable. Pajama pants and coffee from my Keurig are necessities.

Now, my ideal place would be in an actual office with an amazing desk/chair and a huge monitor. With a killer view. One day.

Do you most relate to your main characters, or to secondary characters?

It depends. I have something in common with all of my main characters. It comes simply from being in their head more.

How do you approach writing villains or antagonists?

It really depends on the project. Is it a book where I want a “fun” villain? If it’s adult, the villain is going to look substantially different, simply because I can get away with more. I try not to think about it too much, and just feel the person out.

I definitely like when a villain is similar to the hero in some way. I don’t really buy the whole “every villain is the hero of their own story” idea. The world is filled with people who do wrong and simply don’t care. Sure they might try to justify it, but deep down I would say most people know the difference between right and wrong.

What is your favorite chapter or scene you’ve written recently?

I normally really enjoy the action stuff, but recently I wrote a make out scene between two characters that haven’t seen each other in a very long time. It takes place in a very dangerous place and almost has that feeling of, “What are you guys doing! You’re in danger.” But it was fun to write and released a lot of tension that was building up in the story.

Which is easier to write: The first line or the last line?

The first, maybe. During the writing process, I get a better and better picture of how it’s all going to end. Once that’s in place I usually know my last line ahead of time.

Which one YA novel do you wish you had when you were a teen?

I would say Harry Potter, but that was around when I was a teen, I just wasn’t into Harry Potter (I know, crazy). So probably the Hunger Games. It’s one of my favorites of all time.

Do you have things you need in order to write? (i.e. coffee, cupcakes, music?)

Music is good for breaks, but I try not to listen to it while writing. I need coffee for sure, and water. No food. I don’t like getting food grease on any of my electronics, especially my keyboard. I’m weird about it.

False Memory has been optioned for television by RKO. What was it like to find out that your book has been optioned? What do you hope for in the adaptation?

It was extremely cool, and didn’t feel real. It still doesn’t. I still feel like the guy at the gas station. That said, I think there’s a lot of misconception about what it means to have a book optioned. It doesn’t mean anything is actually going to get made. Production companies snatch up rights all the time to various projects they hope will hit big. Out of all the YA books being optioned right now, an extremely small percentage will actually be made into films/TV shows. I try to not think about it at all, until there is some kind of news.

The Planet Thieves, which comes out in May, is currently at Warner Bros with Benderspink and the producer of Harry Potter (David Heyman) attached. For both projects, I would be beyond excited to see whatever they come up with. I believe in new interpretations. I don’t understand when fans explode over casting news, or when a movie changes something from the book. Of course it’s not going to be exactly like your imagination! So yeah, no matter what happens, I’d be thrilled. Unless they use muppets or something.

What are you working on now?

I’m finishing up the first draft of the third False Memory book, and also working on the sequel to The Planet Thieves.

For more about Dan Krokos:

You can follow Dan on Facebook and find him on Twitter as @DanKrokos. Also check out his Tumblr and website at DanKrokos.com

False Memory is available for purchase from Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and other booksellers.

It. Is. Here. The long-awaited first trailer for Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast starring Dan Stevens and Emma Watson is available to watch now!

Disney invites us to be their guest in this first tantalizing teaser for Beauty and the Beast, one of the most highly anticipated live-action remakes on their slate:

Anticipation has been high for Disney’s live-action retelling of their animated classic, and by all accounts the trailer suggests that the new Beauty and the Beast, hitting theaters in 2017, won’t disappoint.

The trailer does a lot to up the excitement factor, playing on our existing knowledge of the classic story, and teasing the arrival of Emma Watson’s Belle (damn you Disney, you know what we want!).

It opens with the castle (very Hogwarts-looking, no?), as we see iconic imagery from the Disney movie. We hear the voices of Ian McKellen and Ewan McGregor (Cogsworth and Lumiere), see the portrait of the prince, and finally, the rose — and Belle, barely visible, watching it in nervous anticipation. It looks like it still has all its petals, so we’d guess that this might be the first time she sees it.

We imagine the full reveal of Belle in the dress will be huge — we’ll keep you posted, as we’re sure that bombshell is dropping soon.

Beauty and the Beast opens March 2017 and stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou, Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Audra McDonald as the Wardrobe, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, and Sir Ian McKellen as Cogsworth.

What did you think about our first look at the Beauty and the Beast live-action movie? Did it live up to your expectations?! Or was there just not enough Belle? Share your thoughts in the comments!

‘Adventures of Supergirl’ #9: The Facet mystery deepens

And Kara hates mysteries.

2:00 pm EDT, May 22, 2016

Adventures of Supergirl #9 gives us our first look at Facet but inspires more questions than gives answers.

Adventures of Supergirl #9 keeps its creative team and picks up where the previous issue left off, with Kara and Alex underground and facing off against bots from Fort Rozz. While the sisters fight off attacks, Kara muses about hating mysteries. She reflects that Clark likes them because they taught him to reveal the hidden truths about others while Kara doesn’t like them because she wants things — and people — to be straightforward.

The mystery is, of course, who is behind everything that has led Kara to this moment. The mastermind? Facet. While Kara and Alex are fighting, Alex is grabbed to serve as bait, bringing Kara face to face with Facet. Though Facet speaks a language Kara doesn’t understand, she does recognize Facet’s uniform as belonging to a guard on Fort Rozz.

Adventures of Supergirl #9 page 1

Kara attacks Facet but breaks her hand. Uh oh. She tries to use her heat vision, but Facet deflects it. Kara is overwhelmed by Facet’s counterattacks, and Facet has the bots grab Kara. When Facet removes her mask, she reveals a reflective silver face and says she wants to begin Kara’s training to make her Krypton’s finest, like Facet herself. Facet tells Kara to ask her mother about her, but the conversation is interrupted when Alex sets off an explosion.

In the chaos, Kara grabs Alex and flees. They reach the surface, mostly still in tact, and Kara says they should go speak to Alura, so I assume she’s going to speak to the Alura AI at the DEO. The mystery that Kara hates has come around to not only encompass Facet but also her mother, which frustrates Kara to no end.

A good portion of this issue is action, as Kara and Alex fight the Fort Rozz robots and Kara faces off against Facet. Both Kara and Alex are left the worse for wear after the encounter. While we know there won’t be anything too serious happening to our main characters since the comic ties into the television series, the action sequences were still quite engaging, particularly in terms of the art.

Adventures of Supergirl #9 page 2

As with the previous issue, we see a fair amount of Kryptonian as the Fort Rozz robots and Facet speak. However, Facet also speaks a language that Kara didn’t recognize that was represented by squiggly lines. This only enhances Kara’s frustration with the mystery that underlies the entire issue — and the comic as a whole, as we learn that everything ties together after all.

With four issues left, I assume Kara will get some answers from the Alura AI about Facet. This new villain tying into the life of Alura makes a lot of sense considering the television series spent quite a lot of time exploring the consequences of Alura’s actions on Krypton. As her daughter, Kara has had to face many who held grudges against Alura for sentencing them to Fort Rozz so thematically, this issue of Adventures of Supergirl ties in nicely with the series in that way.

Reading Adventures of Supergirl every other week is like catching up with a good friend you only see every now and then — especially now that Supergirl is on break for the summer. I look forward to seeing where the story goes from here and finding out just who Facet is and why she’s taken such an interest in Kara.

Adventures of Supergirl #10 will be released on Monday, May 30.

Fred Armisen hosted the season 41 finale of SNL with musical guest Courtney Barnett. He also brought along a couple of familiar friends as well.

SNL kicked off its season finale with a bang using Kate McKinnon and Larry David as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. In what was maybe the best cold open of the season, Hillary and Bernie bickered back and forth about Hillary’s insurmountable delegate lead in the Democratic primary race. The sketch was particularly enjoyable as the two of them danced through the halls of Studio 8H before throwing to the credits with the entire cast.

Fred Armisen’s opening monologue was also one of the best opening monologues of the season. Fred performed a part of his fictional one-man show, and exaggerated just about every single thing you could imagine. The monologue was not only hilarious but one of the most unique monologues ever given on SNL.

The first sketch of the night featured a couple of breaks of character as Cecily Strong, Fred Armisen and Kyle Mooney played Native American explorers who take things a little bit too far.

To the delight of the audience, SNL brought back a Digital Sketch with none other than Andy Samberg himself. Samberg is set to star in the new movie Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.

Maya Rudolph, who has an upcoming variety show with Martin Short, stopped by Weekend Update to play the recent ousted President of Brazil. Maya can do no wrong, and this sketch was yet another example of her many hilarious accents.

The funniest sketch of the night had to go to Fred Armisen’s character Regine. Regine and her boyfriend played by SNL alum Jason Sudeikis are outlandish, rude and inconsiderate: the perfect recipe for tons of character breaks. This is a must-see sketch!

SNL will return for its 42nd season this fall. There is no word yet as of which cast members may be leaving the show. Details around casting usually happens throughout the summer months as the show gears up for its fall premiere.

What did you think of Fred Armisen hosting SNL?