Take Five with Peter Clines, Author, ‘Ex-Communication’


Peter Clines is the contributor of this week’s Take Five, a regular series where we ask author and editors to share five facts about their most recent books. Clines is the author of Ex-Communication, the third volume in his “Ex” series.

In the years since the wave of living death swept the globe, St George and his fellow heroes haven’t just kept Los Angeles’ last humans alive—they’ve created a real community, a bustling town that’s spreading beyond its original walls and swelling with new refugees.

But now one of the heroes, perhaps the most powerful among them, seems to be losing his mind. The implacable enemy known as Legion has found terrifying new ways of using zombies as pawns in his attacks. And outside the Mount, something ancient and monstrous is hell-bent on revenge.

As Peter Clines weaves these elements together in yet another masterful, shocking climax, St. George, Stealth, Captain Freedom, and the rest of the heroes find that even in a city overrun by millions of ex-humans…

…there’s more than one way to come back from the dead.

Peter Clines:

1. Because I knew I was going to get a third book, I was able to set up lots of things for this one in the second book.  Most people probably don’t even realize some things were set-ups.  Page 87 of Ex-Communication is going to make a lot of people gasp, but page 89 is going to make them put it down and go grab Ex-Patriots again.   I’ve never seen the books as a contained trilogy or quartet or what have you, but I’m a big believer in continuity, set-ups, and reveals.

2. This was the second novel I wrote as a full time fiction writer. The first was my mystery-horror-sci-fi-adventure novel, 14.

3. When this book begins, the survivors of Los Angeles have finished the wall surrounding their entire complex.  I spent a day hiking along the path the Big Wall would follow through Hollywood to familiarize my self with the streets and nearby buildings, and also few some other parts of Los Angeles that feature into the book.  This also made me realize some issues I was going to have as I tried to remember what was in some areas back “when the world ended” as opposed to what’s there now.  This is becoming more and more difficult as the series continues.  I can’t reference anything from after the summer of 2009.

4. To help publicize the book, we’re doing a cosplay contest at the San Diego Comic-Con this year.  Come dressed as a character from the series and get a free copy of the Ex book of your choice.  I’ll even be there to scribble in them, if you want.  Or even if you don’t.

5. When I went over the manuscript with Julian, my editor from Broadway, I now knew I was getting a fourth book.  So a few things were tweaked and adjusted to create a few more set-ups.  And, if I did them right, most folks won’t even realize they’re set-ups…