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Tech Noir Tales: An Interview with Bryan McBee, author of Afterworld

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Bryan McBee is the author of Vector Zero, also from Atmosphere press. After serving in the U.S. Army, he attended Boise State University, graduating in 2018 with a degree in writing and communication. He is an avid bookworm, movie nut, and gamer. He lives in Idaho with his wife and daughter.

You can buy Afterworld here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

I went through several titles while writing Afterworld. Originally, the book was going to be a trilogy, and so went through a few different titles and subtitles. When I was nearly finished with what I thought was going to be the first installment of the series, I came to the realization that I didn’t have enough story to pad out two more books. Having reached this conclusion, I combined everything into a single volume and ditched the subtitle, which now survives as the title of Chapter 4.

The title Afterworld itself came to me as I was lying in bed, thinking about the story and how best to combine the completed volume with the next one I had started. It appeared as a flash of inspiration that just felt right for the book.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

When I saw the new cover developed by the Atmosphere Press graphic design team, I was floored by how good it looked. Holding the book in my hands made me feel proud of all the work I had put into the book. But it also overwhelmed me a bit, because I knew how much work there still was to do in getting the book in people’s hands.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I’ve enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had a very vivid and active imagination. Several teachers complimented pieces I’d written. The actual process of writing has always felt very natural. Not effortless, or even easy, just natural. I’ve always enjoyed putting pen to paper and creating.

Very early, my mom introduced me to some of her favorite writers: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Robert McCammon. Much of their writing served to influence my taste in reading material as well as my own writing.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I’ve worked a wide variety of jobs. I served in the military, tested printers, and worked in food service while in school. I’ve manufactured fencing materials and semiconductors, and worked in a warehouse.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

The most rewarding thing for me about publishing my fiction is when I can hear back from people who’ve read my work and enjoyed it.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I hope that readers are entertained by my work. I love losing myself in the world of a good book, and I hope that I can provide that feeling for others.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I just finished the first round of edits/revision with my editor at Atmosphere Press. This new project is a cyberpunk serial killer novel called Abnormal Ends. The novel takes place in the near future, in which people have smartphone technology sewn into their bodies and there is a serial killer who uses this synergy of people and technology to find, stalk, and kill their victims.

You can buy Afterworld here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.