Last thing that made you cry:
Wow, we’re really going to start off on a tough one, huh? Well, I had to put one of my dogs to sleep pretty recently. He was old and had had a tumultuous life—he was a shelter dog, he got very seriously attacked once by another dog, and was always edgy around other living creatures. But he sure liked his people! There’s something particularly poignant about being so utterly in control of another being’s life—they’re really counting on you to do what’s right, no matter how hard it is. He was immortalized, though, in my book Scowler—he’s an actual character in the book—so I’m hoping he’s a minor celebrity in Doggie Heaven.
Last trip you took:
It was a trip up the California coast, from L.A. to San Francisco, and what was cool about this trip is that I got to follow the footsteps of Zebulon Finch in the last section of At the Edge of Empire. If you haven’t read the book yet, Zebulon gets involved with a famous actress named Bridey Valentine in 1930s-40s Hollywood. One example: Zebulon meets Bridey at the famous Hearst Castle, and I finally got to visit the castle and was hugely relieved to find out that I had gotten all of the details right—except a candlestick that Zebulon picks up as a weapon that ended up being HUGE in person. I’m not sure he’d be able to lift it in real life!
I also got to see various space craft at the California Science Center in L.A., and the legendary hippie enclave of Haight-Ashbury in San Fran… but that’s Vol. 2. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
“A foraging wild creature, intent above all upon survival, is as strong as the grass.” –Richard Adams, Watership Down.
I’m obsessed with Watership Down. An entire wall of my house is filled with strange artwork based on the book.
Best moment as an author:
Honestly, it was finishing Vol. 2 of Zebulon Finch. It’s the one project I always wanted to finish before I was dead—I know that sounds grim, but it’s true—and for a long time I doubted it would ever actually happen. Well, it did, and there is a good amount of inner peace to be taken from that. I guess now I can start partaking in all sorts of dangerous activities now. Everest, here I come.
Favorite place in the world:
Home. I know, boring, right? But I also see it as a kind of success: it’s where I’m happiest, most hopeful, most productive, and surrounded by people and things that make me feel good. You know, all the deer antlers my dad gave me, my vintage Creepshow poster, my original Rod Serling art, my collection of obscure board games, and whatnot.
ABOUT THE DEATH AND LIFE OF ZEBULON FINCH, VOL. 1:May 7, 1896. Dusk. A swaggering seventeen-year-old gangster named Zebulon Finch is gunned down on the shores of Lake Michigan. But after mere minutes in the void, he is mysteriously resurrected.
His second life will be nothing like his first.
Zebulon’s new existence begins as a sideshow attraction in a traveling medicine show. From there, he will be poked and prodded by a scientist obsessed with mastering the secrets of death. He will fight in the trenches of World War I. He will run from his nightmares—and from poverty—in Depression-era New York City. And he will become the companion of the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.
Love, hate, hope, and horror—Zebulon finds them. But will he ever find redemption?
Ambitious and heartbreaking, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire is the epic saga of what it means to be human in a world so often lacking in humanity.
ABOUT DANIEL KRAUS:
Daniel Kraus is the acclaimed author of The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire;The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume Two: Empire Decayed; The Monster Variations; Rotter; and Scowler. With filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, he wrote Trollhunters. A writer, an editor, and a filmmaker, Daniel lives with his wife in Chicago. Visit him at DanielKraus.com.
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3 Finished Copies of ZEBULON FINCH, VOL. 1 (US Only)