The Hook is the author of one million critically-acclaimed novels – in his head.
Into The Dark: Book, One of the Infinite Crossover Crisis, is his first attempt at committing one to paper/computerized medium.
He hopes you enjoy it. (But if you don’t… please keep it to yourself.)
The Hook lives in the bustling metropolis known as Niagara Falls, Canada, with his wife, daughter, and a houseful of pets and ghosts.
Q: Today we’re joined by comic book enthusiast and part-time writer Robert Hookey who has just released his first novel, ‘Into The Dark.’ Robert, please share something about yourself that no one will see coming!
A: I’m a straight white male who is a fan of Broadway musicals. My daughter lives, eats and breathes shows like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, so I couldn’t help but be intrigued by their appeal. We’ve been to NYC five times now to experience these amazing productions live and they’ve changed me forever.
Q: You’ve recently released your first novel, ‘Into The Dark,’ What can you tell us about it?
A: Imagine a world where the “final girl” has a fighting chance. A world where superheroes were once actually wiped out by their enemies, but now live again – except they look like any one of us. Imagine a world where there’s a single guiding force behind most of the misery we experience every day, a target for us to strike back against. That’s the world I’m building in Into The Dark.
Q: As this is Book 1 of “Infinite Crossover Crisis”, can you share a bit about your plans to expand this world in the future?
A: The reason I’m introducing my readers to so many characters all at once is to lay the groundwork for spin-offs featuring some of these individuals and teams. Assuming I can ever finish the initial trilogy, that is!
Q: You’re a self-proclaimed lover of comic books. What are your favorite publishers and books?
A: I’ve been a fan of DC Comics, and to a lesser degree, Marvel Comics, my entire life. At fifty-one years of age I realize there’s more to a nerd’s life than just the “Big Two”, and now you can find Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment and even IDW titles in my collection. As for my favorite books, I’ve always been a “team guy”, and so I love the Avengers, the Justice League and Teen Titans books most of all. But if you think I’m too vanilla, I also have the original Wanted comic from Image Comics in my collection. Never mind the movie version, this series is very hardcore and holds nothing back. My writing reflects this attitude and tone at times.
Q: How has this love of comics played into your worldbuilding?
A: As I’ve said, I’m trying to bring as many characters together at once to give all ten of my readers a wide variety of possible favorites to choose from. Additionally, comic book crossovers are my jam (do the kids still say that?) and the Infinite Crossover Crisis is my Crisis On Infinite Earths and Avengers: Endgame combined, where all my characters can come together to accomplish what no individual hero can do alone.
Q: If you could include any actual comic characters in your new world, who would it be and why?
A: Funny you should ask… I mention a few public domain characters in Book 1 that are going to play a larger role going forward. Public domain characters are, as the name implies, available for anyone to use. In most countries the term of protection of copyright expires on the first day of January, 70 years after the death of the latest living author. That’s why anyone can use Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, the Wizard of Oz characters and tons of superheroes like the Black Terror, Miss Fury and even Captain Tootsie (yes, you read that correctly) in their works, as long as they don’t resemble another writer’s version of those characters. Zorro is technically public domain, but Zorro Productions Inc. claims otherwise and will sue your butt off if you try to use Don Diego de la Vega’s masked identity in your work. (Though I’m sorely tempted to try.)
Q: How has being a bellman as your day job crept into your writing?
A: Anyone who knows me from my “other life” as “The Hook: Bell Captain Extraordinaire” will recognize similarities between some of my heroes and people I’ve met in my journeys up and down those long hotel corridors. I lost a brother-in-arms to suicide years ago; he lives on in this series and I hope to have a chance to say a proper goodbye to him this time. A bellman is a fly on the wall; people rarely notice me as I’m dropping off their luggage in the room and so I get to observe the human condition in all its beauty – and ugliness.
Q: Where were you born (and/or are you from) and how has that affected your writing?
A: I’m a Canadian lad, born and bred in St. Catharines, Ontario, and later on, Niagara Falls. Locations from both these cities are featured in the Infinite Crossover Crisis. I know many Americans assume they have the market cornered on creativity, but there a few Canucks like myself who aim to prove otherwise.
Q: If your book ended up being published as a comic, is there a specific artist out there that you’d love to see tackle it?
A: The legendary George Pérez is my favorite comic book artist of all time, but his health has deteriorated significantly over the last few years. But I can dream, right?
Q: When someone asks for a suggestion on a comic who isn’t a comic reader, what is your go-to suggestion on having them check out?
A: Image Comics publishes titles like Saga and The Walking Dead that don’t feature any superheroes, but are innovative and accessible to everyone. There’s a whole Multiverse of titles out there for people who never pictured themselves picking up a comic book. Go get them. Do it now.
Amazon Buy link: amazon.com/dp/B08XN1FQBJ