After we previewed his upcoming book, Kronos Rising, author Max Hawthorne decided to come visit us at Krank Towers. Since the book features a prehistoric beastie, it is hardly surprising that Sean was full of questions:
Kronos Rising is a big departure from your last book, Memoirs of a Gym Rat, an at times shocking investigation into the secret world of fitness junkies. What brought about the dramatic change of genre?
Thanks, Sean. Most people don’t know that Kronos Rising was my first book. I wrote it nine years ago, but then ended up putting it on hold while I dealt with other matters. As you may be aware, during my early years as a writer, I worked in the fitness industry. When I left the health club scene to pursue writing full-time, I was so appalled by all the things I’d seen and experienced, I was compelled to write about it. I wanted to educate people, in the hopes of preventing them from falling victim to the debauchery, scams, and rip-offs I expose in Memoirs of a Gym Rat. That accomplished, my resuming bringing Kronos Rising to market was simply me returning to my “one true love,” i.e. crafting gripping marine terror novels.
Since the dawn of time there have been all sorts of scary ocean based beasties from giant squid to strange, buzz-saw faced shark-like creatures. What made you decide on Kronosaurus?
For the record, I never said that the “primeval protagonist” in Kronos Rising is a Kronosaurus queenslandicus. People are assuming that, understandably, because of the name. I will say that there are one or more huge, prehistoric reptiles in my story. Why use a “Kronosaurus?” I believe reptiles have more innate evilness than, say, a great white shark. It’s all about the eyes. Sharks have these blackish, depthless eyes – which are quite scary – but they’re expressionless. If you look into the eyes of a crocodile, however, you get a sense that something malevolent is staring back at you. And that’s what I want. I don’t want the monster(s) in my book to be just huge and scary, I want them to have personality, and I work very hard at giving them that.
Have you always been interested in prehistoric animals? If so, what draws you to the aquatic kind in particular?
I blame my love of prehistoric life on my father – a rock hound from way back. Put succinctly, I was definitely the only kid on my block that had a baby mammoth’s bones piled atop the family piano.
As to why I gravitate toward marine predators; the sea is a dark and deadly place to begin with. Add to it the possibility of some prehistoric horror returning to wreak havoc on us unsuspecting humans, and the lure becomes readily apparent. Then there are the creatures themselves. The great marine reptiles were the deadliest and most diverse predators the planet has ever seen. And with new discoveries constantly coming to light, who knows what gigantic denizens of the deep have yet to surface? Couple that with cloning and all the other scientific advances propelling us forward, and it’s a terrific time to be an author.
It has been a good 100 million years since Kronosaurus last terrorised the Earth’s seas and some 60 million years since the last of the giant marine reptiles (discounting certain turtles) died out. Where has it been hiding all this time and why is it only making its presence known now?
In an effort to avoid spoiling things for my readers, I’m going to steer around that question. I will say that I believe I have created the most plausible, and, to the best of my knowledge, unique explanation as to how creatures like pliosaurs and mosasaurs might still be alive today. And, I’ll take it a step further; if I’ve done my job right, by the time my readers are finished Kronos Rising, they will be convinced of it, too. Put another way: expect a sudden dip in swimsuit sales for the upcoming beach season!