Up and coming writer, Arthur Frawley, was nice enough to do an interview with Death By Podcast. Hailing from Montgomery, Alabama, Frawley is a sophomore at Rhodes College in Tennessee and wrote his first book, Kill All Heroes.
DBP: How did you get into writing?
AF: I got into writing when I tore my ACL. Before I was a writer I was a 4 star high school athlete— but after I tore my ACL I broke my knee cap and the injuries piled up. By senior year I had gotten five knee surgeries, with nothing to really show for it. After football I had more free time, so I started reading comics. After that, I started writing comics and video games because, well, apparently I have a knack for it.
DBP: What are your favorite books and writers?
AF: My favorite books are Animal Farm and Old Man Logan. My genera of choice are sci-fi and historical fiction. My favorite writers are Edger Allen Poe and Jonathan Swift.
DBP: What is your writing process and how often do you write?
AF: I’m honestly still figuring it out. I write what I feel for as long as I can and then I take a break and edit it; I’m honestly working it out as I go. I try to write a little every day. Even if it’s only a few hundred words writing every day helps me stay connected to the story and the characters.
DBP: Tell us about Kill All Heroes. What was the catalyst for writing it? What was the process like?
AF: I started writing Kill All Heroes when I had the thought “why does Superman, or any super hero, listen to a government or a human? They can’t do anything to them.” From there I started wondering why super heroes were always innately moral, when they are in most cases human or human-like, thus susceptible to greed and anger. I always asked why we as a people thought it was acceptable for Batman or Superman to run around beating up the underclass and mentally unstable. So, I wrote a draft. Then another one. Then another one. Six drafts later, the current version of Kill All Heroes was written. On the most basic level, Kill All Heroes is about a group of weak people (humans) fighting against a group of super powered people who can do whatever they want. This situation can obviously be seen in a lot of places, so I drew inspiration from events ranging from the Russian and the French Revolutions to Occupy Wall Street. I could have a realistic depiction to the variety of ways people react to being essentially powerless. Though there is a lot of action and sci-fi filled fighting, Kill All Heroes is also a novel about humanity and how we view those who are stronger than us.
DBP: Which is your favorite character in Kill All Heroes?
AF: I honestly don’t have one. All the characters serve a purpose and do what they do. When I’m writing, I don’t force characters to do something they wouldn’t. I take a step back and think about what they would do. Asking me to pick a favorite character is like asking me to pick a favorite limb.
DBP: Is there an underlying message in the book you are trying to send?
AF: I think the best way to sum up the underlying message of Kill All Heroes is a quote by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902). “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” We, as a society, tend to paint famous figures with a broad brush of “good” and “bad,” when in reality they’re people just like us and they have the same vices and characters flaws as us. Super heroes are known for being these morally brilliant superb people, that no matter what, make the right choice. But if super heroes were real, what would stop them from giving in to their more human natures and just taking over? Nothing.
DBP: Which writer or filmmaker, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
AF: I’d really love to meet Ernest Cline; he is my all time favorite writer. He takes pop culture, sci-fi and fantasy and writes it in such a new interesting way— I can’t help but love it.