Christopher Golden is the New York Times bestselling author of novels in various genres from Teen/YA to adult fiction & horror. An author of many talents, Christopher also writes Graphic novels and in particular the Hellboy and Buffy series. Also the novel Sons Of Anarchy Bratva. His novel Ararat is due for release in the UK 18th April. I would describe Ararat as the horror genre but it has so many layers of depth. Here is the synopsis so that you may decide:
New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden’s supernatural thriller about a mountain adventure that quickly turns into a horrific nightmare of biblical proportions. Fans of Dan Simmons’ The Terror will love Ararat, the thrilling tale of an adventure that goes awry. When a newly engaged couple climbs Mount Ararat in Turkey, an avalanche forces them to seek shelter inside a massive cave uncovered by the snow fall. The cave is actually an ancient, buried ship that many quickly come to believe is really Noah’s Ark. When a team of scholars, archaeologists, and filmmakers make it inside the ark for the first time, they discover an elaborate coffin in its recesses. The artefact tempts their professional curiosity; so they break it open. Inside, they find an ugly, misshapen cadaver—not the holy man that they expected, a hideous creature with horns. A massive blizzard blows in, trapping them in that cave thousands of meters up the side of a remote mountain…but they are not alone.
I rated Ararat 5* Genius!
Q) I originally came across your novel, from a fb post from British author Sarah Pinborough. I absolutely love it when authors recommend each other’s work. I think it is super cool and usually as a reader you get some of the best recommendations. Who are your favourite authors? And favourite novels?
CG: Too many! Obviously Sarah herself is a favourite of mine. She’s really hit her stride in the past few years. BEHIND HER EYES and THE DEATH HOUSE are both fantastic reads. Other favourites include Stephen King, John Irving, Larry McMurtry, Walter Mosley, James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane, Don Winslow, Joe Lansdale, Tim Lebbon, Robert Shearman, and, of course, so many of my good friends who are also incredible writers, like Charlaine Harris, Amber Benson, Tom Sniegoski, Rio Youers, Joe Hill, and a ton more. I’m sure I’ll get crap from people, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of authors. Some of the individual books I’ve read in the past few years that I’ve loved have included BIRD BOX by Josh Malerman, THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern, and SAVE YOURSELF by Kelly Braffett.
Q) Ararat centres around mountaineering, something I have never read about in fiction or non-fiction before. What was the inspiration behind this unique idea?
CG: Honestly, the Ark. I’m agnostic myself, and I certainly don’t believe the details of the story, or that anyone will ever find an actual “Noah’s Ark,” but I’m fascinated by the idea that Arkology is a whole field of study and that even now there are people still looking. A lot of them. I had an article sitting on my desk for years, knowing I wanted to do something with it, and when I finally sat down to scribble some notes, I fondly recalled the Clint Eastwood film THE EIGER SANCTION, and that was a big influence as well.
Q) Is mountaineering a hobby of yours? Did you have to undertake much research for its part Ararat?
CG: I do enjoy the outdoors and a bit of hiking, but no, I’ve never climbed a mountain. I researched Ararat itself, and everything to do with climbing it, as well as mountaineering in general. I spoke to a guide who takes tourists up the mountain and learned a great deal from him.
Q) One thing I commented on in my review was the diversity of the specialists that form the group at Ararat. I felt this added depth to the writing and made it very realistic. As specialists on such an endeavour would be from various faiths. Did you consult any specialists? Was the idea always to make the group diverse?
CG: The only specialist I spoke to was the guide I mentioned, but yes, absolutely. The low undercurrent of conflict that simmers beneath the first portion of the book is necessary to what comes later in the story, and the best way to achieve that was to consider the ark itself (and the…other thing they find inside it). People are going to believe different things, depending on their particular faith or lack thereof, and their superstitions or frustrations are going to feed into their emotions—paranoia, animosity, and other things.
Q) As I have mentioned above, you also write graphic novels. How does the writing/planning differ?
CG: It’s a completely different medium and discipline. Most of what I’ve done in graphic novels consists of individual issues of a comic book series. Usually those issues compose arcs of a certain length and later they’re collected as graphic novels. The planning is not that different, actually, but the writing is totally different and really requires learning the medium.
Q) As the mother of a 10 years old son, who is a self-confessed comic book addict. My son is also autistic and Comic books/Graphic novels have a huge appeal to him. They are almost another world for him to enter. Had it not been for Graphic Novel/Comics, I am not sure I would have ever gotten my son to read. With the growth of events such as Comic Con and the argument of ‘it’s not real reading’ slowly dying a bleak death. What are your thoughts on their huge peak in success?
CG: I think it’s wonderful that your son has that outlet and that source of entertainment and imagination. I’ve always been frustrated with some parents, teachers, and librarians who try to differentiate between one sort of reading and another. Literary vs. genre fiction. Original novels vs. media tie-in books. Prose novels vs. comics. In my mind, anything that intrigues children—or adults—enough to get them reading is a positive thing.
Ararat is out now and also available on Kindle Ebook 🙂
*Don’t read it alone, in the dark!