So le met get this straight. The U.S. Congress passes a 700 billion dollar financial rescue bill today and the Dow Jones responds by DROPPING 157 points? That‘s…annoying. Although, at the end of the day, it’s neither here nor there for me since, several years ago, I followed the advice of dream shaman and moved my money out of the markets and into Victorian curios and collector 8-track cassettes. Still, it’s a sad state of affairs. Here’s hoping the economy bounces back soon so that, once again, homeless people everywhere will be able to afford their own homes.
But enough of this gloomy discussion. Let’s, instead, turn to more upbeat subject matter: airborne viruses, cannibalistic plague victims, and a town’s struggle for survival. I refer, of course, to The Missing which was September’s horror Book of the Month Club selection. If you haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, I hear your local bookstore may still have a copy or two available. So head on down and pick it up.
Today, I turn this blog over to author Sarah Langan who has taken the time to answer your questions about her book, her writing process, and her plans for a remote island getaway. Check out Sarah’s Q&A, her website (http://www.sarahlangan.com/) and then finish up by sneaking a peek at a familiar set we made use of for our series finale.
Over to Sarah…
Antisocialbutterflie writes: “My questions for Sarah Langan.
1) As a scientist I have to appreciate a feasible scientific explanation for
what was going on. Where did you get the idea for a sentient virus carried
through sulfur-fixing bacteria?
2) This may be a bit obtuse of me, but I was a little unsure as to who was
talking in the prologue. Was it Meg Wintrob? Who was the daughter slipping
into the waves? Is it some sort of allegory that I am missing?
Thanks again for a wonderful book.”
Iamza writes: “Questions for Sarah Langan:
1) Corpus Christi and Bedford are very well realized little towns. Are they
based on real places?
2) What do you like best about writing horror? And what do you find hardest?
3) Any chance there’ll be more books set in the Missing universe, exploring
the fall-out of this book in greater detail?
Um, yeah, sorry the questions aren’t more interesting. And thank you for an
entertaining read – I look forward to reading more of your books in the
Terry writes: “My questions for Ms. Langan:
Why is Maddie able to protect Meg? Why does she do so?
What authors do you enjoy reading?”
Tera writes: “Some questions for Sarah Langan: You’re characters are very
detailed and very realistic. What I find especially interesting about them
is the way you present them, warts and all. As a matter of fact, I don’t
think there’s one character in the book that doesn’t have at least one flaw
or shortcoming. So my question is how do you build your characters? Do you
base them on people you know and or do they completely reside in your
imagination? And when it comes time to creating them, do you come up with
character breakdowns that you flesh out before starting to write, or do the
characters take on lives of their own as the story progresses?
And keeping with that line of thought – how do you approach the
novel-writing process. Do you know where you’re going to end up before you
start? Do you start off with some sort of road map like an outline? Or do
you discover the story as you go along?”
KellyK writes: “It seems that a lot of the readers to this blog don’t read
much horror. Well, I do (King and Straub are my two favorite writers) and as
someone who reads a lot of horror, I have to take my hat off to Sarah Langan
for the incredible job she did with The Missing. Many of the books I read
creep me out. This one actually went a step further and actually scared me.
So my questions for the author:
– What scares you?
– Is there a specific approach you take to writing horror? For instance, I’ve
always felt that “less is more” when it comes to horror and imagining the
worst is always more frightening than having it described to you in loving
– You’re about to be exiled to a deserted island. What 3 books and 3 dvds
are you bringing with you?
– Do you see yourself as strictly a horror writer or might we see you branch
out to other genres?”
TimC writes: “Just finished The Missing. Hope I’m not too late to get in
some questions –
1. How did Sanguine’s mouthwash cocktail allow him to fend off the effects
of the virus? Was it the chemical composition or the alcohol content? If the
latter, then wouldn’t other town drunks have been resistant to the virus as
2. Canada is mentioned numerous times as a possible safe haven but it was
mentioned numerous times that the virus was potentially airborne. So how
likely would it have been for Canada to have remained a safe haven? I’m
thinking very unlikely.
3. I agree with some of the others who were confused by Maddie’s willingness
and ability to protect her mother. I was also confused by what prompts Meg
to kill her husband. Are we to believe that at this point in the story her
mind has been affected as well and she isn’t thinking straight? By killing
him, she is pretty much signing her own death sentence, no?
No, Meg isn’t infected. She’s protecting her daughter, disease or no disease. Her maternal instinct versus her common sense, and her instincts win out.
4. And – any plans for a sequel?”