Author: Daryl Gregory
Pub. Date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
From award winning author Daryl Gregory comes a thrilling and colorful Lovecraftian adventure of a teenage boy searching for his mother, and the macabre creatures he encounters.
Harrison Harrison—H2 to his mom—is a lonely teenager who’s been terrified of the water ever since he was a toddler in California, when a huge sea creature capsized their boat, and his father vanished. One of the “sensitives” who are attuned to the supernatural world, Harrison and his mother have just moved to the worst possible place for a boy like him: Dunnsmouth, a Lovecraftian town perched on rocks above the Atlantic, where strange things go on by night, monsters lurk under the waves, and creepy teachers run the local high school.
On Harrison’s first day at school, his mother, a marine biologist, disappears at sea. Harrison must attempt to solve the mystery of her accident, which puts him in conflict with a strange church, a knifewielding killer, and the Deep Ones, fish-human hybrids that live in the bay. It will take all his resources—and an unusual host of allies—to defeat the danger and find his mother.
Hi Daryl! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. We can't wait to hear what you have to say to our questions! Let's get started, shall we?
1) If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing as a teenager, what would it be?
Don’t trust time travelers, even if they claim to be you. Those guys always have a hidden agenda, and it usually involves preserving THEIR timeline at the expense of yours. So trust your own instincts. Of course, by telling Yester-Daryl this information, I’ve created a sort of paradox. But hey, paradoxes come with the territory when you’re dealing with time travelers.
But on the topic of trusting your own instincts, one reason I wrote Harrison Squared was to get back to the kinds of stories I loved as a kid, where a brilliant teenager solves the mysteries that adults have given up on. My first heroes were Encyclopedia Brown and the Hardy Boys. It’s just that my hero not only solves mysteries, he battles tentacled gods from other dimensions. Like ya do.
I also loved those choose-your-own-adventure games, where I got to call the shots. So after I wrote Harrison Squared the novel, I worked with visual artist David Hinnergardt to create a text-with-illustrations adventure game that’s a companion to the book. It’s called Harrison Squared Dies Early, and it’s available for free at darylgregory.com/harrisonsquared.
2) Do you have a fear that you'd like to overcome?
Wait, you’re asking me to pick just one? We can start with giant squids (see below). But a more daily fear is also related to suckers: fear of sucking. I write every day, and every day I think, you’d better make this good, Daryl, or you’ll be fired from literature for all time. It’s a ridiculous fear. Who is it, exactly, that’s going to read the day’s pages, call the Boss of All Books, and send me my pink slip?
So I try to manage that fear. But I think kids today are under a lot more pressure than I was in high school. The rates of depression among high school seniors is higher than it’s ever been. So, if I could time-travel back to answer question #1 again, it would be to tell teenage Daryl not to let that voice get to him.
3) Who was your inspiration to start writing?
The people who most inspired me were fictional. I would read a book about Doc Savage, or Sherlock Holmes, and I immediately wanted to write my own Doc Savage / Sherlock Holmes team-up novel. (I did that in fifth grade. It was terrible.)
I didn’t know any real person who was a writer. I just wanted to get INSIDE the book, and the only way I could figure out how to do that was write my own.
4) Your book is about a boy who fears the water, and yet he has to face it in order to solve the mystery. His fear stems from a giant sea creature he encountered as a boy. Do you believe such creatures exist?
I’ve always been a little freaked out by large things moving underwater. Maybe I saw Jaws at too early an age. But I certainly believe giant sea creatures exist -- because we keep finding them! The ultra-large squids are especially scary. I was in the St. Louis zoo a few months ago, and hanging from the ceiling of the visitors center was a life-size model of a giant squid -- and up close it’s terrifying! http://photos.zoochat.com/large/img_08672-117289.jpg
I based the sea monster in Harrison Squared on a mix between a whale shark and a colossal squid, also known as the giant cranch squid. It can grow to be 45 feet long, and its suckers are lined with swiveling hooks. That’s my kind of monster. As to whether the colossal squid is a tentacled god from another dimension... well, science is silent on the matter. (Oh, but they are. They are.)
5) Have you ever found yourself allied with someone unexpected? Who was it and what was the circumstance?
When I was a kid, my dog Princess was a maniac for chasing rabbits. Princess would escape from our fenced yard on a regular basis, and it was my job to run her down and bring her home, no matter how long it took and how many miles we covered. One day after an escape, I’d finally caught up with her-- and I saw the rabbit she was after. It ran inside a big ceramic pipe in the behind a neighbor’s garage, but Princess had lost the scent. I had my hand on Princess’s collar, and I could have done my duty and brought her home -- but suddenly I wanted to join in the hunt. I banged on the pipe until the rabbit jumped out the other side, and then we were off and running again. For all you rabbit lovers out there, I’m happy to report that Princess and I failed that day. But I think my dog respected me for breaking the rules.
6) If you could choose one famous person to meet (dead or alive) who would it be and what is the most important question you'd ask them?
I think I’d find the ghost of Carl Sagan and ask him, NOW do you believe in the supernatural?
Tea or coffee? Coffee. By the vat.
Favorite color? Flange. (Read “The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles” for a definition of flange.)
You can only eat one food for the rest of your life, what do you choose? The peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It has everything: protein, fruit, carbohydrates, and your recommended daily serving of nostalgia.
The one place you must visit before you die? Space Station Clarke, in orbit around Jupiter. I’m not allowed to die before they build it.
Thanks so much for being with us today it was great having you on the blog!
Many of his short stories are collected in Unpossible and Other Stories, which was named one of the best books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. His comics work includes the Planet of the Apes series, and Dracula: The Company of Monsters series (co-written with Kurt Busiek). He lives in State College, PA, where he writes programming code in the morning, prose in the afternoons, and comics at night.
Where you can find Daryl:
3/16/2015- - Interview
3/17/2015- - Review
3/18/2015- - Guest Post
3/19/2015- - Review
3/20/2015- - Interview
3/23/2015- - Review
3/24/2015- - Guest Post
3/25/2015- - Review
3/26/2015- - Interview
3/27/2015- - Review
3/30/2015- - Guest Post