Author readies to release third novel in his “New World” series
RANCHO SANTA FE — As an 18-year-old he was a Marine, who would serve in Operation Desert Storm; later he would become a real estate agent, and after that a diver where he’d clean potable water tanks. Now, G. Michael Hopf is a bestselling author. Hopf, who turns 44 later this year, is about to release the third installment of his seven part “New World” series, about a group people trying to survive in a post apocalyptic world.
“Sanctuary,” (Penguin) scheduled for release May 27 follows his first two novels, “The End” and “The Long Road.”
In rewrites now, Hopf will be releasing the series’ fourth book, “The Line of Departure,” later this winter.
What drew you to becoming a Marine?
There’s always three reasons for why I think people join the service: I think that either they have a very strong patriotic duty that’s embedded in them, to those that are just looking for somehow to pay for college and find some kind of career, and then there are those people that I think are out there to seek adventure.
Which one were you?
I had a mix of two. I had a mix — my old man was a Marine and so I was just kind of raised with the value system that it’s about country — and then also I had an adventurous streak in me when I was younger. I knew that the Marines could offer me something that other services didn’t and so I joined straight in as an infantryman, and even though I had the grades and the schooling and whatnot to do something else, I wanted to be a grunt.
How much of your “New World” series is based on what you’ve experienced as a combat Marine?
There’s definitely some of it in there; I also know a lot of guys that were in combat, some that are actually more contemporary as far as they’ve served in Afghanistan and Iraq and definitely the combat that I experienced was far less intense, I would say, than what those guys experienced.
Do you think those experiences influenced your writing style at all?
I’ve been described as kind of an action adventure writer. I’m very pithy about how I have things, the action leads up to things… I don’t describe a scene that takes 10 pages to do so. I think the American reader, specifically, reads differently than they used to. If I were going to describe a baseball stadium, you already have a visual because you’ve probably been to a baseball stadium, I don’t need to go into graphic detail like writers had to do 100 years ago.
Was that something that came naturally to you?
I would say that came naturally to me. I didn’t deliberately do it that way. It wasn’t my past experiences that created that — you know, I can’t say that…I can’t necessarily say that it was my past experiences 20 years ago. I can’t.
The future you write about is obviously very scary and chaotic. Do you see your books as a warning of sorts?
Yeah, absolutely. The genre, itself specifically, I’ve always been fascinated ever since a young child, with post-apocalyptic type visions, or just anything, whether it’s somebody writing graphic novels or television, or movies or even books, I’ve always been fascinated with the apocalyptic visions of other writers and authors, and eventually, I just wanted to have my own.
And my vision…doesn’t use zombies; it’s more about science fact-based things that bring on the apocalypse.
Where do you think that fascination for the apocalypse visions comes from?
I don’t know. I’ve always had it since a young child. I like science fiction. So, I’ve always liked to see how people think of how the future might look…I’ve always been fascinated by ‘What if?’ If this happens, then what happens from that? Where that came from, I don’t know.
Is hope an important theme in your books?
Absolutely, because what is the end, but also could be defined as a new beginning…The series starts with “The End,” things progressively get worse, but eventually there is hope.
What has this experience of writing the New World series and the successes the books have had, meant to you?
It changed my life. Writing the books — it’s hard not to find someone who doesn’t want to write a book — and I finally set upon to do it. And then I just have it in my personality, that whenever I create that kind of a goal, I seek to accomplish it.