Daniel H. Wilson
Six Sharp Questions
1. Congratulations, you have a new book. What is it about and what does it mean to you?
Amped tells the story of a guy swept up in a near future civil rights movement. The furore is caused when people with disabilities start using neural implants that make them smarter than “regular” people. I believe that technology is moving from our purses and back pockets into our bodies. How our society deals with this migration will be interesting, although hopefully not as violent as in my novel.
Getting the phone call that Robopocalypse had made the New York Times bestseller list was definitely a high point. As an adult, you don’t get many “call your mom immediately” opportunities besides marriage and child birth. This was one of them.
This has been such a great year and I’m very thankful for it. The worst moments have probably been waking up with terrible hang-overs after too much partying over good news. I suppose you’ve got to party while the news is good.
3. Do you have a favourite quote or passage you would be happy to share with us? It doesn’t need to be deep but it would be great if it meant something to you.
I put a quote from Jim Morrison into my latest book, Amped: “My mind and body are so out of tune. I hope they run into each other real soon.” I love when music lyrics sync up with what you happen to be writing!
Writers can certainly be neurotic, but luckily I’m an engineer who happens to write for a living. I do a couple hours real writing in the morning and move onto slacker stuff in the afternoon. Then I play with my daughter until my wife gets home. It’s actually a pretty relaxed situation.
5. Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Would you please describe how the marketplace affects your writing (come on, tell the truth!).
The themes of my writing revolve around humankind’s relationship with technology because that’s what I love to think about. If nobody wanted to read about that, then I’d be in a lab somewhere building it. But honestly it doesn’t surprise me that people are interested in technology. Imagine, every human being – from the very first, to the very last – has this one thing in common: we depend on tools to survive.
I would, of course, want to use the threat of a horrible outcome to instill the children with a love and appreciation of technology and civilization:
Daniel, thank you for playing.
Here’s the publisher’s take on Amped:
Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. Enter a stunning world where technology and humanity clash in terrifying and surprising ways.
Some people are implanted with upgrades that make them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities – and rights – of ‘amplified’ humans.
On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, 29-year-old Owen Gray discovers that his seizure-supressing medical implant is actually a powerful upgrade. Owen joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as ‘amps’ and is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumoured, a group of the most enhanced amps are about to change the world – or destroy it.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection.