Exclusive: Christa Faust Discusses Fringe - The Zodiac Paradox, What Fans Can Expect Next and Much More - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Christa Faust Discusses Fringe – The Zodiac Paradox, What Fans Can Expect Next and Much More

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Exclusive: Christa Faust Discusses Fringe - The Zodiac Paradox, What Fans Can Expect Next and Much MoreTitan Books just released Fringe – The Zodiac Paradox, which is a prequel novel to the “Fringe” television show focusing on the characters William Bell and Walter Bishop as they face off against the Zodiac Killer.

Now check out the finer details of the book in our interview with author Christa Faust.

AMANDA DYAR: Tell us about yourself and how your writing career got started.

CHRISTA FAUST: I’m an ex-pat New Yorker living in the strange land of Los Angeles with my Boston Terrier Butch and way too many vintage paperbacks. I’m primarily a crime fiction writer with a hardboiled pulp sensibility, but I got my start in horror back in the early 90s. I’ve published a dozen novels, both original and tied into a variety of television shows and movies, including the award winning novelization of Snakes on a Plane. I love my job. To tell the truth, I’m really not fit to do anything else.

AMANDA: What led you to write Fringe – The Zodiac Paradox (review) and what were some of your inspirations for it?

CHRISTA: As with all my media tie in gigs, I was hired for the job based on the strength of my previous work. One of the things that fans may not know about professional tie-in writing is that you don’t get to pick the properties you’ll be hired to work on. You can always turn down a project if you really don’t like the show, but other than that, you don’t get a say. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been invited to work on such great shows and movies so far, but I can’t take any credit for the selection.

My inspiration for the series came from a desire to explore the personal history and backgrounds of the three main characters. I wanted to use the more intimate novel form to allow the fans to go deeper into the characters heads and find out what makes them tick. I was also very curious about Cortexiphan and its origins, which is the main focus of the Zodiac Paradox. As is the infamous Zodiac killer, which is another fascination of mine.

AMANDA: What kind of research went into writing the The Zodiac Paradox, and how closely did you work with the writers of the television series?

CHRISTA: I did tons of research for the series on all kinds of topics ranging from San Francisco history to virology. Uterine deformities to Grape Nehi. It’s one of my favorite things about this job, getting lost in archives and reading up on a wide range of oddball subjects that I may never have thought about on my own.

And yes, I worked very closely with the Fringe writing team every step of the way on this project, particularly the science advisors. The best part of the gig has been my fun, crazy phone meetings with those guys, riffing on ideas and talking about everything from phosphorescent monkeys to Smallpox. Because of the fact that these books are official cannon, every little detail has to be approved several times over by Bad Robot. First the outline must be approved before I can write a single word, and then the final manuscript also has to go through the approval process. But I don’t mind, because I enjoy collaborating and bouncing ideas with other writers.

AMANDA: As a tie-in novel, what do you hope fans take away from The Zodiac Paradox?

CHRISTA: First and foremost, I want them to have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Enjoy the story, the suspense and adventure of it, and if they get answers to some of their questions about Walter, William Bell and Nina Sharp along the way, that’s a bonus.

AMANDA: Fringe – The Zodiac Paradox is the first of three prequels. Tell us about these three and if more are planned in the future.

CHRISTA: Each book is centered around one of the three main characters. The Zodiac Paradox, obviously, is about Walter. The second book The Burning Man is centered around Olivia’s childhood and teen years, particularly her time at boarding school. The third, Sins of the Fathers, is Peter’s book, set in 2008 just before the first episode of the first season. I’ve only been hired to write these three, but Titan and Bad Robot may decide to do more in the future with a different writer behind the wheel.

AMANDA: Were you an avid fan of the “Fringe” television show before you started writing the novels? Also, what do you like most about the “Fringe” universe?

CHRISTA: I enjoyed the show before I was hired to work on the series, but I didn’t get deep into the minutia of the universe until I started plotting out the three books. And what I like most about that universe is the vast and infinitely malleable potential for stories within stories. Universes within universes. It’s a really fun sandbox for a writer to play in.

AMANDA: Who is your favorite “Fringe” character and why?

CHRISTA: I have a soft spot for Walter, because I was raised by hippie intellectual parents, surrounded by all their brainy, nutty professor friends. He really reminds me of them and writing about him as a young man is almost like getting to know my own parents before I was born.
AMANDA: Do you have any other projects in the works or anything you would like to mention?

CHRISTA: Next up I’ll be tackling an erotic thriller project for Dutton called Bad Romance. It’s sort of like Gillian Flynn does Fifty Shade of Grey, but with my own unique, edgy spin. It will be quite a change from the Fringe books, but that’s what keeps my life interesting.

To learn more, visit the official Titan Books website.

Fringe: The Zodiac Paradox

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First Details on Eduardo Sanchez-Directed Supernatural Episode 13.13 – Devil’s Bargain

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The upcoming 13th episode of the 13th season of “Supernatural,” titled “Devil’s Bargain,” is notable for two reasons: (1) it’s directed by none other than Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly), and (2) it features a guest appearance by series star Jensen Ackles’ wife, Danneel Ackles (“One Tree Hill,” The Roommate).

The CW has released the official synopsis for the ep, which you’ll find below.

Are you still a fan of the show after all these years? Looking forward to seeing how Sanchez leaves his mark on the Winchesters? Sound off in the comments section or on social media!

“Supernatural” Episode 13.13 – “Devil’s Bargain” (airs 2/8/18)
Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), and Castiel (Misha Collins) search for Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino), who, meanwhile, strikes an unlikely deal with a local faith healer named Sister Jo (guest star Danneel Ackles). Asmodeus (guest star Jeffrey Vincent Parise) inches closer to finding Jack (Alexander Calvert). Eduardo Sanchez directed the episode written by Eugenie Ross-Leming & Brad Buckner.

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George A. Romero’s Daughter, Tina, Wrote a Script For Queens of the Dead

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The loss last year of director George A. Romero was a huge blow to the horror community, as well as the filmmaking community at large. The passing of the man responsible for creating the modern day zombie and whose work influenced “The Walking Dead”, Dead Alive, 28 Days Later, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out was felt far and wide but we take solace knowing that his work and legacy will live on forever.

Something that brings a smile to my face is hearing that his daughter, Tina, who DJ’s under the name DJ TRx, has written a screenplay for a zombie film that is called Queens of the Dead. And yes, it’s very gay! Romero has not only written the script but also plans on directing the film herself.

Romero tells The Saunder Blog about the film, saying, “Queens of the Dead is a fusion of two huge parts of my world: zombies and Gay nightlife. It’s a tribute to my father as well as my entrée into the genre he grandfathered. I can’t say too much yet, but what I can tell you is that this film will have all the hallmarks of a George A. Romero classic: farce, politics, heroes, assholes, and most importantly, herds of silly and slow moving walkers that you can’t help but love. But I’m doing it Tina-style, and bringing the glitter, choreography, queers & queens.

Romero’s father always brought some sort of social message into his work, so to hear that she will continue that tradition is inspiring, especially since it comes on a topic that is so discussed and topical.

If you want to read more about Romero and her DJ career, click on the link above.

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Local 58 Contingency Emergency Broadcast

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

As a child of the Cold War born in the 1970s and traumatized by films like The Day After and Threads, I remember immediately panicking every time an Emergency Broadcast broke into a TV show I was watching. That alarming tone made my stomach drop and in the moments before it was confirmed to be “only a test” I had already imagined a barrage of nuclear warheads bursting overhead.

My heart went out to the residents of Hawaii who, due to a false alarm, believed a missile attack was imminent this weekend. For almost 40 minutes, families scrambled into fallout shelters, bathrooms, and even storm drains, believing war had begun between the United States and North Korea. Even after the all-clear was announced and the warning revealed as a mistake, nerves were severely rattled. I can only imagine the potential long-term damage done to the psyches of Hawaii’s youngest residents.

For a taste of the pandemonium that occurred, check out an excerpt from CNN’s reporting below.

While the shock must have been unprecedented for most, a bizarre alert that accidentally aired in the late 1960s puts the Hawaii debacle to shame. What viewers of a local station saw just before the end of programming at 3 am was a message announcing the fall of the US Government, and included instructions for committing suicide rather than surrendering to enemy forces.

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

The message bore the seal of The U.S. Department for the Preservation of American Dignity, included a statement from President Lyndon B. Johnson, and warned that failure to commit suicide as instructed would have consequences:

“Your local law enforcement has been ordered to ensure your compliance,” the message cautioned. “It is against the law to delay.” The final instructions remind adult viewers to put down their children and pets first while promising “There is nothing to fear.” Though the station later posted a statement ensuring viewers the message was a hoax, the potential loss of life this broadcast could have inspired is staggering. Have a look:

If the Local 58 Contingency, as it’s become known, seems too outlandish to be true, that’s because it isn’t. Though the video doesn’t include an admission of fiction, it’s written and directed by Kris Straub. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the writer of the popular creepypasta Candle Cove, recently adapted into a TV series on SyFy.

Still, the vintage look of the Local 58 Contingency, not to mention the current climate of heightened tensions between American and a rogue nuclear nation, make this video a truly terrifying viewing experience.

Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

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