Author Joe Hill Talks 'The Fireman' & Taking Cues From 'The Stand' & 'Harry Potter': Interview

FUSE TV - Author Joe Hill Talks 'The Fireman' & Taking Cues From 'The Stand' & 'Harry Potter': Interview

The Fireman, the fourth novel by Joe Hill, is a beast. The 752-pager follows a book of similar heft, 2013's NOS4A2, and once again pushes the borders of the 43-year-old Maine native's horror-steeped, exceptionally human work. This time the supernatural takes a backseat while a fictional disease, Dragonscale, steps in to ravage humanity. The contagious spore causes its carriers to eventually spontaneously combust—a simple concept, until heroine Harper Grayson discovers there's a way to control it, and a community dedicated to learning how.

Fuse interviewed Joe Hill about the second attempt to make a TV series out of comic book opus Locke & Key, the important lesson he learned from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how his father, Stephen King, influenced the new novel. The Fireman is available now.

Every time I get an advance of one of your books, it's covered in blurbs. It must be good to get a handful of early opinions before you send the thing out into the wider world.
At one point my dad sent me an email and said it would be really nice if he could get an advance reader's copy of his son's book since every motherfucking person on the planet seemed to have a copy. I wrote him back and said, "I don't know what to tell you! I'd send you one of my copies, but I've only got two."

You're a writer of very large books now. Did you anticipate that?
My next book is gonna be a collection of short novels, a book of four novellas, that will be out in fall of next year, and that's called Strange Weather. I like to work at different lengths. I've loved the luxury of exploring situations at length the way I was able to in NOS4A2 and The Fireman. But there's also a lot to recommend economy, and the skills that come with telling a very compact, straight-line short story or novella or short novel. That's something I'm looking to do more of in the next couple years. I think in some ways having written two long novels was a reaction to having written a lot of comics. Comic books are like writing sonnets: they're very small, very rigid in terms of form. You've got 22 pages, and the events in the comic have to flow a certain way. It's a real question of timing, of beats, of pacing. And I think after spending six years in the tight containment of that form, it was exciting to turn around and do a pair of novels that were huge and sprawled and had lots of characters, that played around with the Dickensian idea of what a story could be.

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