Overnight, the world has transformed: an alien menace is possessing everyone over the age of eighteen. The Rains brothers’ fight to survive began in The Rains and continues in Last Chance. We caught up with Gregg Hurwitz to ask about his furry muses, writing kryptonite, and a Hunger Games crossover. Get started reading the first chapter of Last Chance here!
Tell us about your wonderful dogs and how they might have inspired The Rains and Last Chance?
My muses are my two Rhodesian ridgebacks, Simba and Cairo. They’re big brutal beasts – 100 and 125 pounds – who still think they’re lap dogs. They’re very lovey and very loyal and very dignified. When I was thinking about who I wanted to populate my fictional world with, I thought a pack of ridgies who Chance helped raise would be an unbeatable “sidekick.” So they’re in there when Chance, Patrick, and Alexandra most need them, saving the day.
Do you ever find yourself writing people you know into the characters in your stories?
Not directly but I use tics and habits and mannerisms from people I know all the time. I’m a collector of telling human details. One thing that’s nice with fiction is your friends and family only recognize themselves as the good characters (even when they have nothing to do with them). No one ever emails me to say, “I see myself in that small-minded, petty, mouth-breathing reprobate.”
Having written across several mediums (comic books, novels for all ages, and screenplays) how does each format compare to the others?
They’re all so much fun. Of course, I have much more room in a novel. Room to explore characters’ thoughts, to go internal, to take meaningful digressions. With screenplays, everything must be visual—seen or heard. With comics, there’s even less room so it comes down to taking four to seven “snapshots” a page. You can’t show Batman punch someone; I can either show him winding up, the moment of impact, or the aftermath. So I have to choose my moments carefully.
If the Rains brothers could show up in another universe, where would they thrive the most?
I think the Rains boys (and Alexandra) could kick some serious ass in The Hunger Games!
Battling an enemy not of this earth is really hard work! What would Chance’s and Patrick’s go-to snack be if they ever had a second to relax? Even those saving humanity deserve a 5 minute snack break.
Smokehouse almonds. Doritos. And Bubble Up.
Who would win in a battle to the death, an alien or a zombie? Or an alien-like zombie?!
Aliens. Zombies just don’t have the same know-how.
If you were trying to survive an alien invasion, who is the one person you’d want to be by your side and why?
Patrick, Chance, and Alexandra. They’ve got the most experience. And the best weapons! I mean, a shotgun, baling hooks, and a hockey stick?
The most important question of all: chocolate, vanilla, or _______ ice cream?
Bookish elevator pitch! Describe Last Chance in a single tweet.
The Rains boys and Alexandra are back fighting to save humanity — and they’re about to encounter a whole new world of trouble.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
What advice would you tell your teenage self?
Don’t be afraid to reexamine your world view. All the time. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice habits that no longer serve you.
Would your teenage self have survived an attack like The Rains brothers have? What would your role have been in the group of survivors?
It depends at what age. When I was 13, I was 5’2” and 90 pounds soaking wet so I’d have to take a JoJo “big power comes in small packages” approach. By senior I’d filled out a bit and I was a pole-vaulter, which strikes me as a handy skill when fleeing from Hosts and Harvesters, so maybe I could’ve eaked by then.
Whose body/life (living or dead) do you wish you could take over for a day?
What item would you make sure you had in an apocalyptic situation?
A Dummy’s Guide to Surviving an Apocalypse.
What’s scarier, dealing with predatory aliens taking over the earth, or dealing with puberty/teenhood?
Oh, God. The latter. I mean, is anyone good at that?