New York Times bestselling author Daniel H. Wilson has one of the most remarkable Hollywood stories in recent memory.
After publishing several successful non-fiction books, he began writing his first full-length novel, Robopocalypse. Before it was even finished, he received an offer from DreamWorks to purchase the movie rights, which is pretty much the equivalent of winning the lottery.
When it was later revealed that Steven Spielberg was signed on to direct the now bestseller, Daniel's talent had finally garnered him the attention he always deserved.
Daniel was then whisked away to Hollywood where he met Spielberg and screenwriter Drew Goddard to discuss the details and important messages of his book. Last summer, Daniel celebrated the release of his next techno-thriller, Amped–a story about people implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats.
To add to his laundry list of accomplishments, including earning his Ph.D. in Robotics and hosting a TV show, Daniel has a number of exciting projects planned for the next couple of years including the release of the paperback version of the widely popular novel, Amped (due out this February) and the highly anticipated sequel to Robopocalypse.
Recently, I had a chance to speak with Daniel–a polite and easy-going guy who currently resides in Portland Oregon with his wife and daughter.
In 2011, your first novel Robopocalypse became a New York Times bestseller. Then in 2012, you followed that up by releasing another widely successful fiction book called Amped. I'm curious to know, how has your life changed since the success of these books?
You mentioned that you sold the film rights to Robopocalypse the day before you sold the book rights. From what I understand, the book wasn't even finished and it somehow got leaked. Is that true and how did that come about?
It's been confirmed that Steven Spielberg is directing Robopocalypse and from what I understand, Alex Proyas is directing Amped. Is that true?
As you know, Steven Spielberg directed the movie A.I., is that good or bad that his name is associated with a similarly themed movie?
Recently, it has come out that Spielberg has delayed production of Robopocalypse about six to eight months. According to sources, Spielberg said that the film was costing a lot of money and he had found a better and cheaper way to tell the story. Spielberg stated, “I just told everybody to go find other jobs, I'm starting on a new script and we'll have this movie back on its feet soon." Can you shed more light on this situation?
I follow you on twitter @danielwilsonpdx and you posted a picture of Chris Hemsworth saying he's not exactly who you envisioned in the lead role (Cormac Wallace). Who in Hollywood would you have cast, if you couldn't pick Chris Hemsworth?
How much say do you have in the development of the screenplay and what actors are cast?
That must be so exciting for you.
The first time I saw Robopocalypse, I walked into the bookstore and saw the amazing cover art and was drawn in. How did that come about? Was the robot built for the cover picture or is it a computer graphic?
In addition to an obvious robotics theme throughout much of your writing, you also focus a lot on morality. Can you touch a little on that and talk about why that is important to you?
You also focus a lot on technology that either currently exists or that will exist soon. Why is it important for you to remain true to the current realm of possibility?
Do you write with the intent of conveying some sort of message?
You published a short story in December on nightmare-magazine.com called Foul Weather, which is a lot different from some of the other stuff you are known for. What was the inspiration behind that?
So are you going to try to get away from writing about robotics because I imagine at some point those stories would be harder and harder for you to write?
What writing projects are you currently working on?