Thursday, December 12, 2019

Charles Soule Interview - Anyone

Photo Credit: Marc Lemoine

Charles Soule is a Brooklyn, New York-based novelist, comic book writer, musician, and attorney. While he has worked for DC and other publishers, he is best known for writing Daredevil, She-Hulk, Death of Wolverine, and various Star Wars comics from Marvel Comics (Darth Vader, Poe Dameron, Lando and more), and his creator-owned series Curse Words from Image Comics (with Ryan Browne) and Letter 44 from Oni Press (with Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque.)

His first novel, The Oracle Year, about a man who can see the future and way this ability changes the world, will be released in April 2018 by the Harper Perennial imprint of HarperCollins.


Imprint: Harper Perennial
On Sale: 12/03/2019
Pages: 432
List Price: 21.99 USD
ISBN: 9780062890634
ISBN 10: 0062890638

Praise for ANYONE

“(Anyone) is fast-paced and suspenseful. Soule’s uncomfortable vision of the future will please readers of cutting-edge speculative fiction. ” —Publishers Weekly

“With his second novel, Anyone, Charles Soule establishes himself as an author that readers of speculative fiction will love for years to come. The book will leave you thinking about gender, power, and what it means to be human for long after the final chapter.” —Jennifer Wright, author of Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes That Fought Them

“Soule has wrapped a sharp, prescient investigation of the human mind inside a breakneck thriller that will have you riveted until the very last twist. Anyone is truly a book for everyone.” —Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M

“I spent much of my childhood inside DARPA, where my father was Deputy Director, and this book captures the imagination and double-edged sword of our greatest scientific leaps. The same technology that can cure the world’s ills might also cause us to spiral into our own greed, selfishness, and vanity. Charles Soule’s Anyone is a remarkable, consequential novel and a terrifying wake-up call.” —Susan Henderson, author of The Flicker of Old Dreams

“Anyone is an intense, superbly crafted, edge of your seat thrill ride. I loved the two slowly converging storylines, not to mention the most dedicated, hardcore character I’ve read in a long, long time. Who would you be if you could be anyone? I’d really like to be Charles Soule and have written this book.” —Sylvain Neuvel, author of Sleeping Giants

“An imaginative, time-fragmented thriller about the bitter and potentially deadly consequences of body-snatching. Readers won’t feel that they’re on the edge of their seats as much as they’re on a balance beam above a pit of lava while trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube.” —Kirkus Reviews

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
I began my career as an attorney. I practiced for over fifteen years, doing corporate and immigration work, and even had my own practice. The thing was, from the moment I finished taking the bar exam, I was pretty sure I’d made a mistake. The very next day, I bought a notebook and started writing my first novel longhand. I wanted a career built from creativity, and writing seemed like something I could pursue while paying the bills as an attorney. Thankfully, it worked out.

Tell us your latest news.
I have a ton of upcoming releases besides ANYONE (out on 12/3). My new creator-owned comic series, UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY launched in early November from Image Comics, I’m writing Ben Solo’s origin story in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF KYLO REN for Marvel Comics, which begins 12/18, my other creator-owned comic CURSE WORDS just wrapped at issue 25, I’m taking over Marvel’s flagship Star Wars series in January, and I recently announced TV/movie deals for ANYONE & UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. I’m also in the process of working on my third novel! More info on that coming soon. If you want to keep up with all my upcoming projects, you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter HERE or follow me on TWITTER, or just visit my WEBSITE.
Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Writers like Alan Moore, N.K. Jemisin, Neil Gaiman, Neal Stephenson, David Mitchell, and a ton more. They all have expansive imaginations with no limit, and combine an extraordinary level of craft with expert story sense. 

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
There are a few: my work as a teller of Star Wars stories took me to Skywalker Ranch in California for a story session - that’s basically a temple to one of the things I love the most in the world; my series Letter 44 being nominated for the Grand Prix at the 2016 Angouleme Festival International de la Bande DessinĂ©e in 2016; and the day I learned that my first novel The Oracle Year was actually going to be published.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
For both of my novels, I want them to be able to put themselves into the shoes of the characters. If you could be ANYONE, who would you choose? For The Oracle Year, if you could learn one thing about your future, what would it be? I love stories that ask the big questions, and take a shot at answering them. 

In your new book; ANYONE, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it 
Anyone follows a researcher named Gabrielle White, a cognitive scientist investigating a potential cure for Alzheimer’s. She accidentally invents a way to move someone’s mind into someone else’s body, which becomes the centerpiece of the book. I call the tech “the flash,” and we follow it from the moment of its creation to a period twenty-five years in the future to see how it (a) becomes completely ubiquitous in our society (think smartphones today) and (b) utterly changes the world. It’s about transformative technology as both a blessing and a curse, the hurdles we face today, questions of identity and determinism. It’s fast-paced, page-turning speculative fiction (you could even call it scifi if you want) that has a lot on its mind. I like it.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
You can do all the prep work that you want, all the outlining and bullet pointing you can, but it’s generally one tiny thing you didn’t plan ahead of time that ends up making your character come to life and start living and breathing. For Anyone, that one small realization was Gabby’s taste in music. It all just snapped into focus once I figured that out.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
The Coach from The Oracle Year. I would introduce her to Stephen Hauser from Anyone, I think. They’re both world-changers, people who decide it’s appropriate for them to steer the course of humanity. That’s an interesting personality type, and I’d be interested to see what they might talk about.


  • 1. “You are you.” 
  • 2. “Today, you change the world.”
  • 3. “The possibilities were endless. Endless, and waking up in a pool of someone else’s blood was definitely on the list. Far from the worst, though. It was like…eleventh, she decided. She was not: (1) dead; (2) missing any parts of her body (as far as she could tell); (3) in the middle of having sex with someone she hadn’t chosen; (4) aware that she had recently had sex with someone she hadn’t chosen; (5) chained or otherwise restrained; (6) sick/poisoned (as far as she could tell); (7) falling from a great height; (8) underwater; (9) buried; or (10) lying in a pool of her own blood.” 
  • 4. “But then, inevitably, certain enterprising people had realized that with flash tech, one job could be two jobs. Let your prime sit in a cab all day, while you flashed into someone else and worked a second gig using the body of someone willing to get paid to be a vessel all day. Everyone’s happy, everyone’s working. The flash economy.” 

  • 5. “This is the thing you do not do, Annami thought. This is shooting up heroin. This is hooking up with your sister’s husband. This is cutting your wrists and swimming with sharks.” 
  • 6. “Annami was burning herself up, physically and mentally. Interacting with people who couldn’t see the flames felt just absurd.” 
  • 7. “I do not remember who I was before the flash let me be anyone.”
  • 8. “The fate of the world rested on whether it was possible to get from East Chinatown to Hell’s Kitchen in half an hour.” 
  • 9. “I love what I am. All I want—what I think the flash can do—is make it like twenty percent harder to hate someone on sight. You won’t be able to just take someone at face value, because the face might not be them. Everyone could be anyone. So, you’d have to work to hate someone, and in that case…well, I think most people are lazy. It’s the easy path, every time. Maybe once people realize how hard they’ll have to work before they can write someone off, they won’t bother.” 
  • 10. “I am encouraged by the wise decision of the Senate to refrain from indulging the misguided fears of short-sighted individuals about my company’s technology. I am telling you right now, the flash will save the world. I will make certain of it. That is my only goal. Grandiose words? Perhaps. But wait and see. Just wait and see.”
Choose a unique item from your wallet and explain why you carry it around.
A subway ticket from Sydney from the year 2000. I was there for the Olympics - not competing, just spectating. I took that trip right after I completed the bar exam to be an attorney, as I mentioned earlier. That trip was when I decided I wanted to be a novelist, and the subway ticket (pretty ratty and faded now, but then again, so am I) reminds me of the journey that began that day.

What event in your life would make a good movie?
Oh, who knows? I have some immigration cases back while I was practicing law full-time that could make an interesting courtroom drama, I suppose.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I would have not cancelled the Apollo program.

Most memorable summer job?
When I was 15 I had a job working in a gym. I was the “do all the terrible work no one wants to do” guy. It was my first experience working but also my first time scrubbing toilets and thoroughly cleaning. I did it to save up for my first electric guitar, so it was all worth it in the end. It helped me learn that sometimes you have to do something you don't like doing to work towards something you do want.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
A story question. I try to ask myself something that my unconscious mind can work on while I’m asleep - sometimes I have the answer waiting when I wake up.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Honestly, every decision. Everything you do in life is important and every decision matters.

Charles Soule brings his signature knowledge—and wariness--of technology to his sophomore novel set in a realistic future about a brilliant female scientist who creates a technology that allows for the transfer of human consciousness between bodies, and the transformations this process wreaks upon the world.

Inside a barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a scientist searching for an Alzheimer’s cure throws a switch—and finds herself mysteriously transported into her husband’s body. What begins as a botched experiment will change her life—and the world—forever…

Over two decades later, all across the planet, “flash” technology allows individuals the ability to transfer their consciousness into other bodies for specified periods, paid, registered and legal. Society has been utterly transformed by the process, from travel to warfare to entertainment; “Be anyone with Anyone” the tagline of the company offering this ultimate out-of-body experience. But beyond the reach of the law and government regulators is a sordid black market called the darkshare, where desperate “vessels” anonymously rent out their bodies, no questions asked for any purpose - sex, drugs, crime... or worse.

Anyone masterfully interweaves the present-day story of the discovery and development of the flash with the gritty tale of one woman’s crusade to put an end to the darkness it has brought to the world twenty-five years after its creation. Like Blade Runner crossed with Get Out, Charles Soule’s thought-provoking work of speculative fiction takes us to a world where identity, morality, and technology collide.

You can purchase Anyone at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CHARLES SOULE for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Copy of ANYONE by Charles Soule.
DECEMBER 3rd TUESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
DECEMBER 4th WEDNESDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW