I sometimes get ideas for stories from watching films. Not just inspiration for settings and characters, but of how to present them.
When I wrote Z. Rex, which was chosen as one of the Booked Up titles for last year, I knew from the start that it would be the first in a trilogy of Z. Adventures…
For that, you can blame Star Wars.
Star Wars: A New Hope was the first film I ever saw at the cinema. I was 7, and I loved it – and I still do at 39. It tells a great and epic story – and although a major menace is defeated, you know the baddies are still out there.
I couldn’t wait to watch more!
The Empire Strikes Back is a direct sequel, but very different. Everything feels a bit darker and more dangerous. By the end of it, you’re dying to see Return of the Jedi to see how things work out.
I was thinking of all this when I planned out the Z. Trilogy. Each story stands on its own – you don’t need to have read Z. Rex to enjoy Z. Raptor – but there is a bigger story in the background that ties them together. And because sequels need to be bigger and better than the stories they spring from – or else what’s the point? – I worked hard to make Z. Raptor even more dramatic, a little darker and far more dangerous.
In the first book Adam is caught up with a giant super-evolved T. Rex in a busy city. In the second, he finds himself hunted on a remote island by two tribes of vicious hyper-evolved raptors. It’s a desperate battle to keep alive – and to find answers to a deadly mystery…
Now I’m coming to write the third book, Z. Apocalypse. The true villains’ plans will be exposed… the stakes will raise even higher… the Z. Rex from book one will return…
And I will have a stack of sleepless nights trying to get it all right.
Some of them I will spend watching Star Wars.