ReMade: Excerpt + Interview with author E.C. Myers

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New YA serial ReMade has just released its eighth episode! We had the pleasure of interviewing author E.C. Myers, who wrote this particular installment, titled “The End of the Road.” For those of you not in the know, the ReMade serial is a mashup of contemporary YA and sci-fi dystopia, and is released episodically in both text and audio formats. The writing team consists of Matthew Cody, Carrie Harris, E. C. Myers, Andrea Phillips, Gwenda Bond and Kiersten White, and there will be 15 episodes in total!

Synopsis:

Every minute, 108 people die. On October 14th, 2016, from 9:31-9:32 p.m. EDT, 23 of those deaths will be teenagers. Now they are humanity’s last hope for survival. Awakened in a world they barely recognize and hunted by mechanical horrors, these teens search for answers amidst the ruins of civilization. Fate, love, and loyalty face off in this adrenaline-pumping YA adventure.    

TYF: Tell us about ReMade!

E.C. Myers: ReMade is a young adult, science fiction story told in 15 parts (so far). It received the same treatment most TV shows get today: the first “season” was planned and written by a team of writers all in the same room (and subsequently in video chats). The publisher, Serial Box, is modeling itself as the “HBO for readers,” so each episode can be read in about 40 minutes, and you can subscribe or buy a season pass to download each one every Wednesday on your favorite eReader as soon as it’s available. Audio versions are also included!

TYF: Where did the idea come from?

Myers: The series creator and showrunner, Matthew Cody, was standing on his toilet trying to hang a clock, when he slipped and bumped his head on the sink. He woke up with the idea for a story about teenagers waking up in a strange new place after dying. At least, that’s what I heard.

If that isn’t the truth, then I don’t know what inspired Matt. When I joined the team, I got a big document with the whole premise and his pilot episode. This whole writing thing is much easier when other people just give you their ideas! But when we all got together, we took his scenarios and ran with them.

TYF: Sci-fi… potential dystopia… so just tell us: would YOU want to live in ReMade?

Myers: Well, putting aside everything I know about the world in ReMade, I’d have to say… yes, if the alternative is simply dying. Otherwise, I’m perfectly content to muddle through our current dystopia.

TYF: Looks like ReMade has a pretty big cast. Can you tell us about them?

Myers: No kidding it’s a big cast! Some of them get a little more attention than the others this season as the main POV characters, but everyone has their moments to shine, and I know we’re all itching to write episodes about more of the supporting cast. We’re particularly proud of how diverse they all are, something that’s very important to both this series and Serial Box in general. Naturally, I’m partial to two of the characters I’ve written for, Loki, a gamer who finds himself in a real-life survival horror (as if high school wasn’t bad enough), and Inez, a no-nonsense Latina who says exactly what she’s thinking and gets stuff done. I also like Sunita, a desi freerunner, and Jing-Wei, a maker who can make amazing things out of random junk. Hell, I love all the characters really, even the annoying ones.

TYF: This is being presented serially – What does that mean exactly?

Myers: It means this is one story that will be released in weekly installments, every Wednesday through December. Each of those smaller stories, or episodes, has its own beginning, middle, and end, but pretty quickly you won’t be able to follow the main plot if you aren’t caught up on the previous episodes. But we’ll be including a “Previously on ReMade…” recap at the beginning of each episode, so maybe it won’t be that hard to pick one up here and there. I think readers will definitely get the most from it if they follow along from the beginning, and we’re looking forward to seeing realtime feedback as the episodes come out!

TYF: Who are the other writers on the team? How did they get involved and how was it working with them?

Myers: As I mentioned, Matthew Cody is the creator and one of the guiding forces on the series. The rest of the team for the first season includes Kiersten White, Andrea Phillips, Carrie Harris, and Gwenda Bond. I don’t know how everyone got involved, but I assume they were all recruited by Serial Box like I was. In some cases, the Serial Box team already knew us or our work, or they were introduced to the authors they wanted to work with. Collaborating with them has been one of the best and most fulfilling writing experiences of my career so far. Truthfully, it was a bit intimidating at times, because they’re all such great writers, and I wanted to bring my A game always. At times it’s like being in an intense writing workshop, because we’re all learning from each other, and this has been a really good team because no egos got in the way. We’re all open to listening to one another’s ideas and doing whatever it takes to tell the best story possible. I’m really excited about what we’ve created together, which is far better than any of us could have done individually.

TYF: Do you think of ReMade more like a TV show, or a novel?

Myers: I think of it more as a TV show. A novel with the same premise would look very different, and probably have far fewer POV characters. We have a lot of freedom to advance the story week to week in whatever way makes the most sense, or seems most exciting or interesting at the time. Some of the episodes in the first season feature unusual, or at least unexpected, formats, and most novels have to establish a certain consistent tone or style. But TV shows can be funny one week, star never-before-seen characters in another. Maybe one episode won’t have any dialogue at all, or the next one will be a musical for some contrived reason. We can play around with the formula a bit and even subvert it. So much fun!

TYF: And last but definitely not least – if you were a fiction ghost who could haunt any YA protagonist, who would it be and why?

Myers: Whaaaaat? Huh. I guess I’d haunt Emil Simon from Ordinary Ghosts by Eireann Corrigan, because that would be ironic. Or thematic? One of those. Only, now that I think about it, we already kind of are ghosts, watching everything book characters do without their knowledge…. Anyway. It’s a great book!

About the author: E. C. Myers was assembled in the U.S. from Korean and German parts and raised by a single mother and a public library in Yonkers, New York. He garnered a degree in Visual Arts from Columbia University which he completely neglects to use in his current life as a freelance writer and editor. A graduate of Clarion West, his stories have been published in Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and Space and Time magazine. His novel Fair Coin won the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.

remade_episode8_875x1400_300dpi_wtextExcerpt

Since sunrise, the landscape racing past the windows had been changing dramatically. The desert-like terrain had given way to rolling hills and fields dotted with strange animals that looked like a cross between buffalo and sheep. They had a single, curving horn protruding from their foreheads. So… unicorns, then? Of course there would be unicorns here.

She totally wanted one.

Every now and then, Inez glimpsed a crumbling skyscraper, some remnant of a city perhaps, the sky beyond visible through its long-shattered windows.

Right now, snow-capped mountains loomed in the distance. Inez shivered. It was getting colder. She wondered if the onboard climate control was borked too.

“Maybe the others are right, and there’s nothing to worry about,” Teddy said.

“There’s never nothing to worry about, Teddy.”

About Episode 8:
In one moment the lives of twenty-three teenagers are forever changed, and it’s not just because they all happen to die. Remade in a world they barely recognize – one with robots, space elevators, and unchecked jungle – they must work together to solve the mystery and stay alive. They came from different places, backgrounds and families, and now they are our only hope. Lost meets The Maze Runner in this thrilling serial that will take readers past the boundaries of time, space and even death.

It’s time for action (and desperation) on a runaway train in the eighth episode of ReMade, the 15-part serial that combines contemporary YA with classic Science Fiction to fling you headfirst into adventure.

After a twitchy trigger finger leaves the train without a driver, the group scrambles to find a way off their runaway getaway. With food running out and still no idea where they are headed, it’s hard to imagine things could get worse…

Intrigued? You can purchase your episodes directly from Serial Box, or buy the ebooks from your online store of choice.

Hannah is a twenty-something born and bred Capetonian who adores reading and reviewing books, and encouraging critical discussion on all things pop culture. Currently a politics graduate student, she spent two years working in digital marketing before deciding she missed the student life. Loves QI, travel, dark chocolate, fantasy & YA books, pilates and sarcasm.