*Interview* ‘The Meg’ Author Steve Alten
AR: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me Steve. To kick-start can you tell me what made you want to start up Meg Island?
AR: From last June thru December I went thru what many people are experiencing now – financial hardships. The production dates for both The LOCH and MEG-2 had been pushed back a year because of Trump’s tariffs on China, and I found myself without an income (I was only half finished writing The LOCH: Heaven’s Lake and the movie money had still not tallied in the black.) Two weeks before X-Mas I was broke and depressed. The seed of this Redwood tree was planted in my mind a few weeks before X-Mas. I remember waking up at 4 am every morning with new ideas flowing through my head that demanded I get out of bed, go upstairs to my office and start writing. I shared the concept with my assistant, Kelly and she loved it. To pull it off, we needed to recruit a team of 3D modelers, animators, artists, actors directors and producers… who believed in the project’s potential and who were also willing to contribute without being paid until we open later this summer. An every few days more talent reached out to contact us. It’s been amazing,
AR: The book series is very successful! Is it true you’re going to wrap it up with one last novel?
SA: Yes. MEG: Purgatory, the 7th novel in the series will be the last.
AR: What influenced you to pen ‘The Meg’?
SA: Reading JAWS when I was fifteen, and then devouring everything written about Great Whites, including small blurbs about its prehistoric cuz, the Megalodon. Twenty years later I read a TIME magazine article about the Mariana Trench and hydrothermal vents and married the two concepts after a month of research.
AR: Were you ever weary people would try and compare it to Jaws?
SA: I am big JAWS fan so it is a compliment; but the thing that disappointed me in Benchley’s novel was it needed (IMO) more shark scenes. The MEG novels are loaded.
AR: When initially penning the first novel did you know where you wanted the series to go?
SA: I wasn’t thinking series, I just wanted to write and sell my first novel.
AR: With ‘The Meg 2’ already in Pre-production, do you know if they plan to make the whole series if each movie continues to be successful?
SA: In Hollywood money talks. What has been my biggest disappointment (and the producers’ biggest mistake) is not allowing me to be part of the process, or even read the scripts (even thoug0h the one I co-wrote with producer Belle Avery was the story that helped bring in the investors. I’ve spent 25 years and 7+ novels doing research, developing human and sea monster characters… you’d think I’d be involved. That’s why I am so excited about our new web series, WHERE SEA MONSTERS ROAM. My scripts – but a team effort and everyone has a voice.
AR: What inspired you to become an author?
SA: I have always loved to read; I write what I love.
AR: What would be your personal favourite book you have penned?
SA: They are all my creations and each at one time was a favorite.
AR: Apart from ‘The Meg’ you have done some other novels to. Is there any plans for them to come to the screen.
SA: I have optioned The LOCH series, SHARKMAN, and committed one other novel to film which I can’t mention yet.
AR: Thank you for taking the time to come chat with me. I shall definitely be keeping Meg Island on my radar!
SA: Thank you. I can be reached at www.SteveAlten.com where readers can sign up for free monthly newsletters.