On April 8, 2008, Ryan Gibson Stewart conducted a phone interview with graphic novel writer R.D. Hall. R.D. wrote Hana and Drucker's Plot Discovered, The End of Hana and Drucker, Bounty Hunter, and Moonlight Serenade. The interview was transcribed by Baldbobbo and MiamiVolts.
Ryan Stewart: How did you come about working for Heroes?
R.D. Hall: I came about working for Heroes in November, I believe. I got the call from Greg Porretta who animates the graphic novel videos. He's based out of New York, and he went to art school with another artist I met at NYCC 2006, Judah Dobin. He's a phenomenal artist. Well, I guess the guys at NBC told Greg to find some more writers to work on the scripts during the WGA strike. He contacted me in November or December, and he wanted me to get on it as soon as possible.
RS: So how did Greg hear of you?
RH: It turns out that I had done a couple of issues of American Wasteland at Arcana Comics. I was lucky that all this stuff was available on the web while I had American Wasteland out, I also had an issue of Frankenstein that I had done with Dead Dog Comics in 2005. They found all this online and they were able to read it instantly and get a feel for my work. I got the call right around Christmas--what a great Christmas present! It was actually a little before Christmas--probably around December 7--because we had everything done before Christmas.
RS: Were you following the show up to that point?
RH: I was a really big fan of the show.
RS: And what about the graphic novels?
RH: Oh, yes. I actually bought the hardcover. I was actually reading it right before they called the first time.
RH: Yes. I thought the whole deal with Drucker and the Hindi religion of Samkhya was so interesting. I started scouring the net for all the info I could find on it.
RS: What did you come up with?
RH: I think of Samkhya as more of a coda to live by for Drucker. He looked at it and he saw this idea of your inner soul--your life force--being eternal in some way. But he didn't know how to fit it together, and he started looking into the science of it. I think that's when he got his communication from this sentient thing we call cyberspace. Then I found out a lot about the purushas, or what they call the soul.
RS: Where did you do your research?
RH: I went to Wikipedia and I talked to some friends who are Hindi. Another thing that I found that was really interesting was a concept called noosphere. This philosopher Chardin came up with this idea where it's this big ball of human thought, this big space where all human thought went to. What if later on, this thing became sentient because as our communication becomes modernized, and we communicate with each other on such a lightning pace (as we are right now on the internet), then all of the communication comes to one place, the internet? Now, this is before the internet that he came up with this idea, around the early 1900s. Well, that's exactly how a body works! All these different cells communicating to run your body, your mind. So if all these things come together in an Omega Point, they become one being, not little pieces, but one being.
You know, a lot of the ideas of noosphere have to do with those drawings Drucker made as a child. He saw all this stuff above him. That made me think about the noosphere, because I'd done some reading on it before. Everything is above his head. When he was a child, he wanted to grasp that. I think that's what drove him to discover this sort of thing.
RS: Would the Omega Point be the "one" of everything, like a supreme being? I ask because Christ said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega", and many believe that God is everything, and that since he is omniscient, he would be sort of like a collected consciousness. The Omega Point sounds a bit like a supreme being to me.
RH: You could call it that. It's a point where all these things become one. You could call it a god-like being. When all these things come together, they lose their individual consciosness and develop a supreme consciousness of one. But even in the Bible, it's interesting. You've got the body of Christ, and God is the head of Christ. So you've got the whole idea of everything coming together in an Omega Point, even from a Christian view. However, I really wanted to stay away from subscribing to just one religion in the Heroes universe. But I thought this would be a good way to incorporate this "all is one" concept.
RS: Well, and in the Heroes world, I don't think there's been a major religion that has been skipped over! Maya goes to a Catholic convent, Hana has a strong Jewish background, the Haitian practices the Vodou religion, Hiro is Buddhist, and even Mohinder references Hinduism. And part of the reason I personally love Heroes is that it's not purported to be just an American phenomenon, but the evolution of these abilities is a global event.
RH: Exactly. I definitely agree.
RH: The producers gave me some background on Matt, and I talked with them about how with all the information in his brain, he's not right. There's too much information in there for a human personality to survive. He has a personality, but it's tilted wrong. There's something wrong. He was a good kid, but there was just something that was "off". He was obsessive from gathering so much memory. He needed something to latch on to, and from Bob's [point of view], why not use his own daughter? That's sort of how Bob operates. (He's not the nicest guy in the world.)
RS: He's a real gray character.
RH: He really is. The viewers don't know what his motives are. [laughs]
RS: He reminds me of Noah, because he was pretty ruthless. He will kill someone point blank if he needs to, and I think Bob's the same way.
RH: And there's a great moment in the second season, when West talks about all the things Mr. Bennet did to him. That brings you back, because we're all thinking, "Noah's a great guy" ... but then you have a flashback of all the things he did. I love how they can do that and use [his fierceness] for him to protect Claire. Though sometimes he uses it a bit for himself, like in the copy shop with that manager! [laughs]
RS: And Bob's the exact same way. He may have that nice demeanor and seem like an unassuming, bald, middle-aged man, but you hear about the things he's done to his daughter and in his past with the Company. In one of the graphic novels, he turns a man into gold.
RH: I love what O'Hara did with that!
RS: Yeah, what a nice way to see his power, since we hadn't seen it since the first episode. And what a unique way to see it used--as a weapon. It just reminded you that this guy is dangerous.
RH: I wasn't tasked for writing that novel, but I had never thought of that, but it's just a really great idea.
RS: So when NBC talked to you about the novel, did they just say, "kill Hana and Drucker" or did they tell you to use Matt? What direction did they give you?
RH: From what Joe told me, they had a meeting about what to do with Drucker, and they said, "Who can we get to kill Hana and Drucker?" Quite a few people came up and said, "R.D. Hall can kill him!". [laughs] I'm sort of flattered.
RS: Can you say definitively that Hana and Drucker are dead?
RH: As far as I know, they are, but Hana did say "Phir Milengay" which means "we will meet again", so whether they are a part of the new system or if they're in cyberspace, I don't know.
RS: You talked about Matt and he had those cool goggles that Elle gave him. That's from Tron, right?
RH: Haha, no. [laughs] He's a visual learner, so there's only one way to get the information in. I read the blogs, I saw people were thinking Chuck. No, that's not what I was thinking when I wrote it. [laughs] He's a visual learner, so visually is the only way he can do it.
RS: Would you say Matt is a different learner than Charlie?
RH: I would. I'd say hers is more just her remembering anything--whatever she reads, whatever she sees. Matt's is all visual. If you sang her a song, she'd know it instantly. If you taught it to her, she'd know it instantly. Matt is more like a card reader. You put in an SD card, he'll read it.
RS: I know you did some research on mind uploading. Can you tell me what you learned about that and how it applies to Matt. They attached something to his forehead, the machine went "beep", and he's dead. So it was very quickly told, it got the point across. I know there's some people who liked Matt, he's a young guy who they can identify with as an outcast. Some people want him to be alive, but he's gone.
RH: Yeah, he's gone. He didn't get uploaded with the information or anything like that. Hana and Drucker already were purushas, Matt isn't. As for uploading, there's this futurist, Raymond Kurzweil. He's an inventor and a futurist. It's probably someone else's concept, but he talks about a concept called singularity. Depending on who you ask, a lot of it has to do with transhumanism. When you die, you can upload your brain into a computer so it can live forever. Some people think in fifty years, it can be done. What he's saying is within twenty years, we can map the human brain and figure out how it works. When they get past that hurdle, they can figure out how it works and apply it to a computer system. Now I'm not here to say it's right or not, I'm just here to tell a story. But the idea that once we're at this singularity point where we're all in this database after we die, we would mesh with computers.
He thinks that for about $1000, you can buy a computer that's--get this, Ryan--as powerful as the human mind. You're looking for Skynet at this point. He says it'll reach this singularity when the computers will be so smart that they'll make their own computers, like in Terminator. And the day that this happens when Skynet takes over is the same day that this singularity will happen, according to Kurzweil. That's when they'll be smart enough to reproduce. From this point on, there can be planet-sized computers that will figure out how to bend the laws of physics.
RS: Wow. That reminds me a little of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but the idea of bending the laws of physics is fascinating. Maybe that has something to do with what Hana and Drucker were doing inside the Company mainframe.
RH: Who's to say that what Drucker was doing was completely magnanimous. [laughs]
RS: Yeah, I would buy into that theory. So, is there anything else about Hana and Drucker that you want to share?
RH: With Drucker, I saw him as a Renaissance Man, like our time's Leonardo da Vinci. Kudos to all the guys who worked on the Global News Interactive piece they did for Drucker. That gave me a lot of information to go by. It really drove my idea of who Richard Drucker was.
RH: Yeah. And Hana's was "K. Apila", named for Kapila, a great Samkhya philosopher. I just think that with the kind of life Drucker led, he must be at least a little bit of a prankster. [laughs] The Hana story was very much planned out for me. I just had to follow the character. But Drucker was fun--I really loved Drucker! I hate that he's gone.
RH: I started writing mine after. They gave me the other chapter as reference to get me started.
RS: Isn't he awesome? He actually goes into quite a bit of detail on his blog if you ever wanted to learn more about his process.
RH: I was just reading that before we started talking, actually!
RS: So what did you think of his interpretation of your writing?
RH: I thought he got it. I was really excited to see just how much he got it. It was as if I was drawing it myself (if I could do so well).
RS: Linda Tavara is a name that actually comes from Chandra's list. It was nice to see them resurrect some of those old names and flesh out those stories...even though she's dead now.
RH: I can't believe they didn't let me kill her! [laughs]
RS: You started with a death and ended with an origin! How much of the Linda story was mapped out for you?
RH: It was a bit mapped out for me. They always send us the points that they want to get across--the beats. They say, "We need to tell this story in a certain way." Then they expect me to embellish it and add little bits and pieces, like the private detective Rondo Ferguson. I actually got his name from a 1940's horror actor named Rondo Hatton. There's actually a horror award they give away each year called the Rondo Hatton Award. He actually had a pituitary gland disease called acromegaly which gave him a rather brutish face. Anyway, I like the actor, and I thought that would be a good way to pay homage to him.
RS: And Ferguson?
RH: Ferguson comes from the gentleman who brought up the name Rondo Hatton to me the day I was writing this. He's a friend. We were having lunch and he brought up the name. I said, "You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to name a character Rondo Ferguson just for you!"
RS: That's very cool! You also mentioned in an email that you used the nickname "keyboard samurai" to describe Matt Neuenberg, but that it was to honor a somebody.
RH: I like doing that. They're personal Easter Eggs for friends, other artists, other writers. I let them know what's going on and I put a little Easter Egg in for them.
RS: Yeah, that's very cool. It makes it very personal and it tells a good story too. Are there any others like that that you would like to share? You told me about Rondo Ferguson and the keyboard samurai. The keyboard samurai--that was a friend of yours?
RH: Yeah, that was a friend of mine. Yeah.
RS: That's just his nickname or...?
RH: Yeah. That's the only two I've done so far. But I'll keep an eye out for them and I'll let you know when I do another one.
RS: They're fun. And usually you can pick them out. With "Rondo", you wonder where that name came from. And "keyboard samurai" sort of sticks out as well. I think I saw that on your MySpace page, and I mistook that as your nickname.
RH: You see, I put it up the day that came out, actually--the keyboard samurai.
RS: So let's go back to the Linda story, you were talking about Rondo, and you said he is named after Rondo Hatton.
RH: Yes, yeah.
RS: You said that was one of the things you added in there yourself? They gave you certain beats and then, of course, there were things you were going to add in there yourself.
RH: Well, they did want her working for a private detective, and I had this whole idea of him firing her. Some people have asked a little about why Linda looked so upset. I saw that as one of the questions. He's just a regular private detective. He works in morally gray areas, just like some of them do, but he didn't want any heat on him. So he tells her and the minute she heard "cops" she understood. So she killed people. The people they can't find, they're dead.
RS: So Linda was killing all these other people, right?
RH: Yes. So Linda didn't want any heat on her as well.
RS: And why was she killing them? Was Linda just going after their auras, driven to kill? Or was there some other personal gain from it?
RH: The way I saw her is that it is a little of both. I think she needed it. It was something she fed on. I think that at some point in her childhood, she changed. I don't know if she even desired food any more. I don't know if that was what she needed to survive, what with killing all the animals. She's a psychopath. Something just makes you this way.
RS: Well, her parents knew that. She was killing animals like the cool, little squirrel.
RH: Yeah, I love Jason's squirrel. That looks really good.
RS: Did you see that on his blog? He says, "I don't know how often people get to draw a withered squirrel, but certainly not often enough." He's so entertaining in his commentaries. So you think that Linda didn't even desire food anymore?
RH: Yeah, and I'll tell you a little bit about the novel I was supposed to write after this one. I found that Robert put me on the spot for that one. In the next one, it was Linda as a little kid on Christmas. This was going to be the beginning story, and I think they thought I tied it up so well in the second chapter that they didn't feel a need to do this. Anyways, she's a little kid on Christmas and she gets a puppy. Okay, she gets a puppy. You know where this is going...
RS: I'm really sad about it already.
RH: Yeah. She gets a puppy and she sees colors around it just like she sees around her mom and dad. So she grabs the puppy, and it withers up and dies in her arms. They wanted me to write this but I really didn't want to do it.
RS: She kills a puppy on Christmas?!
RH: Yes. And this is her, not realizing what she does. So they go back and complain to dog guy. You know what he does? He gives them another puppy. She gets another one and kills it again.
RS: Oh no...
RH: So they feel really bad for her. I'm now supposed to flash forward to kindergarten. She makes a friend and hugs him on the playground. You know what happens?
RS: Oh gosh. Murder at the school.
RH: This is what they wanted me to write. This is what was going to be the next one in the series, but I don't think there is going to be now. They are restructuring everything and there's going to be a whole new set of graphic novels. It should be really cool from what I understand. But, yeah, they wanted me to kill the puppies, and then her new best friend. And that was what would bring on her home schooling. She had to be home-schooled from that point on so she wouldn't kill any more of her little friends.
RS: And she was going to kill more at home school.
RH: Well, no. At home school she would be by herself.
RS: Yeah. She was home-schooled by her parents who wouldn't even go into her room anymore.
RH: I imagined they just got the school books and just threw them down under the door, and told her to slide them back when she's done with them.
RS: And I actually really appreciated that. It was pretty vague. I thought they were just scared of her. Because at the beginning of the novel, you get the idea that she's odd, and a little more odd than in the last novel, but you never really know why. It helps that we see that her parents wouldn't even come in the room, but you never really say why and I like that. I like that it was kind of vague like that.
RH: Yeah, and that was leading up to the whole story I was supposed to tell after that about the puppies. You get some jobs like that as a writer, and just decide you don't want to kill the puppies. It probably looks pretty bad on my horror credibility as a horror writer, out killing vampires and such but not the puppy.
RS: If only there were a little pink bunny afterwards, that would be perfect.
RH: Maybe it comes from having children. As soon as I was assigned that, I thinking of my little kids on Christmas, getting a puppy and having it dying in their hands.
RS: Oh gosh. Then, that would be my first thought too. My kids may have to read this one day.
RS: And that came from NBC?
RH: Yeah. After that, I wrote it up and that's why she may have appeared to talk like Angela would be if she were younger. Did you notice that?
RS: I did. I had the theory that she might have been Angela's mom. She's in her 40's and Angela would probably be in her 20's at the time. So I kind of thought she might be Angela's mom. Who knows?
RH: Yeah. I saw her whole "catch your death" scene [on page five]. She's one of my favorite characters, and I thought of her in the novel as a young Jackie O. By that time, she would have been married to Arthur a few years. Arthur's already built his wealth by that time, obviously. I just saw her as that kind of vibrant [personality]--carefree as far as the way she looked, but very determined. She had a plan. That's the way I saw her.
RS: That's kind of funny, because Cristine Rose mentioned in a couple interviews that she always pictured all these people from the Company getting together at Woodstock, sharing these powers and getting high on free love--which is very different from the idea of young Angela as a kind of Jackie O. But either one works, she's such a multifaceted character that I could see either back-story working for her.
RH: I figure that she could be doing the hippie thing before she got married. She's doing the hippie thing. They're out and having a good time. They've got nice tie-dye auras.
RS: Very nice, by the way. Did you add that in there or was that Annette Kwok who added that in?
RH: Yeah, I threw that in there and I was so glad that she kept it. I'm glad she appreciated my sense of humor. Then, I think once she got married, Angela thought this is the way I need to be. I feel that she's a chameleon, and that she can fit into almost any situation she's going to be in.
RS: And especially if she gets a little bit of money from Arthur and his probably corrupt law firm. Who knows who she became?
RS: And I am dying for an Angela back-story one day.
RH: You see, I thought you were going to get your wish. I really did, but at the last minute they told me this could not be Angela. So this must mean there's something else going to go on.
RS: So now they told you she's going to be Angela, you wrote it up as Angela, and then they took that back?
RH: Yeah. That's why she was named the mystery woman in the novel. I was editing when I learned this, and I like to edit as fast as possible because I know the artist wants to get started, and I don't want to hold up the process.
RS: Right. I just talked to Robert Atkins and he said it was a marathon getting all the drawings done. He said had like eight days to do six pages, and on top of that he was working on another project. It's good that you had him in mind.
RH: That's what I like to do with anything I write. I know I've got to turn it over, and they've got to turn it over to someone else, so if I'm slow that's going to screw up the whole process. So I always try to be as fast as possible. We sent the edits back and forth, and I edited the stuff in probably a day.
RS: So what kind of changes did you make so the mystery lady wasn't Angela anymore?
RH: When she was first in the story, she was in a limousine. I changed her appearance from being like Jackie O. to be older, and I gave her a car of her own--a Plymouth Belvedere. Little law enforcement around the early 70's was using Plymouth Belvederes. She was a CIA, a spook. The changes from the original idea were a lot more cloak and dagger. Which is great, though. I think it added a lot to it, meeting in the rain and such.
RS: Yeah, that was very cool. Too bad she's dead.
RH: Yeah, yeah.
RS: So was Linda stealing all these powers from other people or was she just killing people and taking their auras?
RH: She could do it to anyone, powers or not, like she says in the last of the second novel, Bounty Hunter. So if they had powers, she could take them and make them her own like Sylar. But it was an aura; she just sucked the life out of them. She wasn't in the whole brain thing.
RS: So when she takes the powers, does she hold onto them? Tell me more about her power.
RH: Her power is two-fold. She can see these auras, since if that's what you hunger for you have to be able to see it. And you have to be able to see quality, that this is better than this. If you look in the novel, there's the poor bum that's on the park bench that has been so beaten down by life that his aura is very, very light, very thin, very weak. And you have the hippie, and his aura is psychedelic, very colorful. Then there is Ida May Walker, and she's a very good example. Her aura is very bright and vibrant. It just sparkles off of her because she has something special. In Bounty Hunter, we didn't get to see all these auras because I didn't want to foreshadow too much. For the next chapter, I wanted to let you to discover more about what her powers were.
RS: I liked that you let us learn a little more about her each time. In War Buddies, her hand turns blue and we think maybe she can take powers, but who knows really what she was doing because she never got to use her ability.
RH: It was fun to tell this type of story in reverse.
RS: Yeah, which is amazing, because you'd think it would be the other way around.
RH: It works either way as well. You can read them in either order.
RS: Yes, and they tell a great story. It was a great idea for NBC to decide to tell them backwards. I thought it was very fun.
RH: Yeah, I thought it was very fun too.
RS: And I still would like to see the dead puppies, so maybe someone else can write that.
RH: Oh no, I'll write it if they let me.
RH: Yeah, that's really the only one I wanted to show because that was the big reveal. I didn't want to show all these previous powers because this was the moment when you learn the extent of her ability. It's sort of the ah-ha moment.
RS: So she could conceivably have a bunch of other powers in her stash.
RS: She is dead, though.
RH: Yeah. I lean towards the idea that she probably just took the powers one at a time. That might explain why Linderman took her out so quickly.
RS: Okay. Going back to the mystery woman, she had hired Linda to do all this detective work, sort of like a CIA agent. Do we know what her motives were for having Linda do this?
RH: It's not to be known right now what her motives were. I don't know myself but I do know that they do plan on using that at a later point.
RS: Well yeah, but she's not alive...
RH: I think it may have something to do with them being out there or something--that there's this other entity looking into the abilities and wanting to know about them. That's why I was careful to say "evaluators". That way, you don't know where they are going. This could be a whole other government group that wants to get in on this thing the Company deals with.
RH: No, but that was cool. If they let me, I'd like to bring some of that back.
RS: Yeah, it would be fun to find out why she wanted them. Also, there is a lot of people speculation fueling from the only other person named Pam or Pamela on Heroes being somebody from the List. So a lot of people think that Pamela must be Pam Green, but you know, who knows?
RH: I just named the little girl, Pamela. So if they use it, great. If they don't, that's okay.
RS: And did Jason Welkes have any origin to it or is it just a name?
RH: It's just a name. I like that guy, though. He's kind of funny.
RS: I was digging his big 70's hair and sideburns.
RH: I think Robert knocked that one out of the park. I love his look on that. Especially when he says, "Only every time I look in the mirror." I can just see this guy with these muttonchops looking in the mirror and smiling at himself. It's like he's the greatest thing in the world. He's looking in the mirror, and going yeah...
RS: I'm God's gift to women. [laughs]. Okay. The other power I wanted to talk to you about was Ida May Walker's. So she can see dead people, right?
RH: Yes. Mediumship.
RS: So is that something she's always had? She's an old lady.
RH: I think that's part of her fate. I think that she could see all these things, but she just thought they were angels. That was because they never interacted. These ghosts were just doing the things they normally did. It's kind of like in Romero's Dawn of the Dead. The zombies went back to the places they always were and felt common in their life, such as the mall. The ghosts are just kind of doing that same thing. They died in that retirement home, so they are just sort of walking around.
RS: I was so sad when she died. She's this old lady, and she was so sweet. She kept calling them angels. That was so sweet.
RH: Yeah, I liked her character. By the way, the name Ida Walker came from NBC. I may have added the middle name, I don't remember. I know the speculation is that she has something to do with Molly. I don't know.
RS: That's very interesting. Ida's the right age to be her grandmother. And they've done this before. In The Ten Brides of Takezo Kensei, they threw out that one of Adam's aliases was Richard Sanders, and there's a really popular character in Heroes named Sanders on the show. I like that it piques interest. I think the thing the drives Heroes is all the speculation and all the theories. They throw things out there like that just for fun, and it's just great.
RH: And I try to do that in my own work. I try to leave some speculation. That's why a lot people get a little angry, I think, when they read some of my work, because they don't understand why I didn't explain everything.
RS: You just have to understand, then, that the anger that people feel is just showing more love for the work. It's not real anger. It's a righteous frustration.
RH: Oh, I know. I feel the same way on many parts of the show, and some things that are not NBC too. You watch Lost?
RS: How can you not? I love that they don't just answer the question, and it's going to keep me watching. Okay, let's talk about the novel names. Where did the name, Moonlight Serenade, come from?
RH: It came from NBC actually.
RH: In my original script, there's a band playing outside the retirement community.
RS: Ah, there's a man with a saxophone playing outside by the "Retirement Villa" sign.
RH: So that's the "serenade" part. That's where that comes from.
RS: Okay. I just wondered why they wanted that name. It's an interesting choice of name. Did they name Bounty Hunter too, or was that your choice?
RH: That was there's as well. They always send me the name, so I just go with their name.
RS: It was interesting that the Linda novels, such as Bounty Hunter and Moonlight Serenade, had names referencing part of the story. However, the Hana and Drucker novels... they were mainly elaborations of the plot, such as Hana and Drucker's Plot Discovered. It's kind of obvious what is going to happen in that novel.
RH: I don't know if they expected me to come up with another name or not, or if that's the name they wanted.
RS: Or if that was just the description and they ended up using it as a name. [laughs]
RH: Yeah, I probably could have edited that. I don't know.
RS: I think they are the most boring names in all the novels, but they are exciting stories.
RH: Heh. I remember looking at my wife and saying, "But I didn't name them!" [laughs] because I saw her complaining about [the names].
RS: So, in Moonlight Serenade, Linda is supposed to be about a sixteen-year-old girl? So, 1951 she was born?
RH: Yes, that's right. She's about sixteen in Moonlight Serenade. If she were alive today, she'd be in her 60's.
RS: I know you didn't do the drawing, but I just love her look, how 60's and 70's she appears.
RH: Yes, that was a lot of research too. I looked a lot into the styles and tried to suggest a lot of weird styles and as many pop culture fads of the 70's as I could think of. Also, I did enjoy the shoeboxes. They were fun and gave the story a sort of Psycho feel.
RS: Yeah, we had the squirrel, a rat, a bird. It's something I'd never seen before.
RH: Yeah, that drove the point home about what little Linda was like. [laughs]
RS: The beginning of the serial killer.
RH: Right. That's what it was, the genesis of something really, really evil.
RS: Is there anything else you would like to add about the novels you have written for Heroes or your other works?
RH: I think we're pretty good with those. I gave a lot of information. Is there anything else you would like to know?
RS: Yeah, what color would your aura be?
RH: [laughs] Tie-dye. I'm not much of a hippie, but I just feel mine would be tie-dye.
RS: [laughs] And I just know mine would be plaid. Or it would be pure black.
RH: Black as my soul. [laughs] That's something you would say if you were a horror writer. One of my favorite quotes is from Stephen King. Someone asks King, "Why do you write the things you write?" Mr. King replies, "It's because I have the heart of a small boy." And as everyone goes "Aww", Stephen adds, "and I keep it in a jar on my desk."
RS: [laughs] Yeah, he has a great sense of humor. He writes the end columns for Entertainment Weekly once a month or so. Those are fantastic, sometimes cranky and crotchety, and sometimes really cool and hip. I love him and think he's a fantastic writer no matter what he's writing.
RH: Yeah, the column is great. Anytime, anywhere I can read Stephen King I try to do so. He's just so conversational. He writes the way you would want someone to talk to you. I love the way he writes as well. He's a big influence on my work, actually.
RS: Who would you say is your biggest influence?
RH: I have a lot of influences. I'm a big fan of J. D. Salinger. My son is named Holden after Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. And I love James Joyce, which I guess comes from being an English major. My youngest son is named Finnegan. A lot of novel writers; but as far as comics writers, you can't beat Alan Moore. He's just amazing along with Morrison. When you read the Hana and Drucker novels, you probably see me wanting to be Grant Morrison. I kind of was really feeling the Grant Morrison vibe when I wrote those.
RS: There's nothing wrong with aspirations. That's very cool, and best of luck to you in the near future. You were sort of a breath of fresh air when your first Heroes novel came out, and your novels have a nice twist to them. Not necessarily a literary twist, but they are unique.
RH: I try to put a little of my own personality into anything I do. I have learned early on that you can't be anyone else than yourself. When I said earlier that I tried to be Grant Morrison, I knew I couldn't be Grant Morrison. I can only be the best R.D. Hall that I can be. And hopefully people like it.
RS: Exactly right. I truly believe that it doesn't matter who you are as long as you're true to yourself. It's more about your sincerity and your authenticity that comes across than who you are as a person. That's what people are drawn to. I think people like you because you're authentic and sincere, and it comes across in your novels so I hope you keep writing.
RH: I appreciate that. Thank you.
RS: Thank you.
|Graphic Novel Crew|
Blackout • Dark Matters: directors / writer • Destiny • Evs Dropper • Golden Handshake • Into the Wild • iStory (follow up) • Nowhere Man: directors / writers • The Recruit • Root and Branch • Slow Burn
|See Also: Links • Interviews|