Q: What led you to be interested in the Nephilim as a model for the afflicted people in your novel?
I’ve always thought the Nephilim were fascinating creatures. The two verses in Genesis six about them leave so much information to be desired, and there is so much we don’t know. I thought it would be fun to imagine what the world would look like if they were alive today. I enjoyed tracing them through history and using my imagination to bring them back from the dead, so to speak. I added the idea of these beings using a virus to try to take over the world to an idea I had for a long time about a blood virus that infects most of the world’s population, and the book grew from there. The Nephilim really drove the story for me by being such interesting characters.
Q: Aside from the Bible, what inspiration did you take from books or films like I am Legend?
That is a great association! I’m sure having seen quality movies such as I am Legend, 28 Days Later, and World War Z in the past influenced my writing process, but I tried to avoid watching or reading any similar works while I was writing because I wanted my story to be as original as possible.
With The Nephlim Virus I didn’t want to tell a “zombie” story because the undead have always seemed like weak characters to me. Instead I wanted to create a virus that makes people super-alive. I wanted to create a villain that was basically indestructible. That idea felt much scarier to me than villains that are subhuman.
Q: If your book was turned into a movie, what would your dream casting be for the lead characters you wrote about?
As an actor, as well as a writer, I would love to have a part in making the book into a film. I think every writer/actor at some point desires to cast themself in their own work. Every character I write is somehow a little version of me. In The Nephilim Virus, I especially relate to the protagonist, Nick, so if I were given full creative control of casting I would choose to play him.
I would also like to see Megan Fox in the movie. Megan loved the book and wrote a wonderful endorsement for me. She thinks the book would make a great movie and has shown some interest in making The Nephilim Virus into a film or Netflix series. I would love to see her play the part of Dr. Faith Richards on the big screen.
Q: Many apocalyptic scenarios based on the Bible paint a picture of oppressive and tyrannical government. Why did you choose to view your scenario from the point of view of anarchy and societal collapse?
I find it interesting that all major civilizations throughout history have fallen from the inside. So the idea that something or someone could take over the United States using a virus seemed very feasible to me.
I had fun writing villains not everyone would consider “bad.” I wanted the antagonists in my story to have a different value system than we have now, but one that some people may look at and decide they prefer. It was interesting for me to imagine how our world would look if you essentially removed God and then inserted a superhuman race with a different value system.
Q: What about our present times do you believe makes us interested in literature that speaks to our fears of anarchy and destruction?
I think humans have always been interested in post-apocalyptic literature and movies. Something about the idea of everything ending fascinates and intrigues us. Maybe because we know deep down that everything we’ve built cannot last forever, so we like to imagine how its destruction might look.
I would bet every generation that has ever lived has wondered if they might be the last one. I think at some point every generation has felt that things couldn’t get any worse. But God isn’t done with this world quite yet. No matter how bad things get, there is always hope to be found. And that is what The Nephilim Virus is about.