FIVE QUESTIONS ... with Bryan Johnston

Welcome to FIVE QUESTIONS. In this feature on my blog, you'll learn about new and exciting books from the author's themselves. You'll hear about the book, their characters, the inspiration behind the book, and other insider details. All through five simple questions.


Today, Bryan Johnston is here to answer five questions about his new horror novel, DEATH WARRANT, which was just released today.


What is your new book about?

Frances “Frankie” Percival is a stage performer, a mentalist. She does Bar Mitzvahs, office parties, and performs at a rundown theater. And Frankie as a modest goal—to become famous. That might explain why she not only has agreed but paid to be assassinated on the most popular television show on the planet: Death Warrant. She has her reasons. But here’s the thing: Once she signs her life away her memory is wiped clean of the agreement. She has no idea she will soon be killed in spectacular fashion. And evidently that’s fine with her; it’s all part of her master plan. A plan that she also has no memory of.


What makes your protagonist unique?

Frankie is just plain interesting. First off, she has a particular talent: The talent of keen observation. It’s why she’s a professional mentalist. She also is a woman of strong passions. She loves wine. Lots of it. Perhaps too much. She loves old movies, Pink Floyd, is absolutely dedicated to her brother, and is also bent on becoming world famous. And then, just to muddy the waters and make things more difficult than they already are, she is also entering the dating scene for the first time in a decade.


What was the inspiration behind the book?

While driving to work, a thought occurred to me: Would you want to know the moment you were going to die? I then took that idea and turned up the heat on it to 11. What if that question was commercialized? How could someone make money off of that? The answer: A reality TV show. But then, the twist: Everyone knows when you’re going to die except you.


What was the hardest scene to write?

Frankie’s first date in ten years. It’s been over twenty years since I’ve been on a date and so I really had to go back in my memory banks to dredge up all the feelings of excitement, anticipation, and insecurity. And the small talk!


What's the most interesting or unusual thing you learned while researching for this book?

I learned a lot about mentalism and the methods to direct and persuade people to think and act. It’s a whole lot of observation and then subtle manipulation. Fascinating stuff!

 

You can purchase DEATH WARRANT at the following retailers.