Mark de Jager

The banker be­hind In­fer­nal, an epic fan­tasy Thriller with an in­hu­man An­ti­hero

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Can you de­scribe the world of In­fer­nal?

War has en­gulfed the two great­est king­doms, a war that’s grown more ter­ri­ble with each pass­ing year. Ci­ties are be­ing burned to the ground, their en­tire pop­u­la­tions van­ish­ing, and sto­ries of un­speak­able crea­tures are spread­ing too fast to be ru­mours...

What is your pro­tag­o­nist Stra­tus like?

Bru­tal. In modern terms we’d prob­a­bly la­bel him as some vari­ant of a para­noid schiz­o­phrenic, save for the fact that he’s ab­so­lutely cor­rect in assert­ing that he’s not hu­man and is be­ing hunted. He’ll do what­ever it takes to find the an­swers that will si­lence his in­ner de­mon, even if it means killing his way across the king­dom.

What was the ini­tial idea that sparked the novel?

I was watch­ing ran­dom clips on YouTube. One was of a tiger in a zoo. The vis­i­tors were muck­ing about and treat­ing it with com­plete in­dif­fer­ence, but you could see that the tiger was watch­ing them very closely. Wait­ing. I started won­der­ing what it was think­ing about, and it snow­balled from there.

You spent time in the South African army – has that in­flu­enced your writ­ing at all?

The thing I took away from it was the bond that can form be­tween strangers in ex­treme con­di­tions, no mat­ter how dif­fer­ent their back­ground was. It changed the way I looked at things.

In­fer­nal is pub­lished by Del Rey on 11 Au­gust.

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