MetaWars is a science fiction book about two teenagers swept up in the battle for the future internet. Its author Jeff Norton describes it as “The Hunger Games meets The Matrix.” He talked to The Positive about the book and his plans for 2013.
The Positive: What inspired you to write MetaWars?
Jeff Norton: I wanted to craft a story that my younger self would have wanted to dive into. It’s my hope that it inspires other reluctant readers to seek out great books.
P: Who’s your favourite character in the MetaWars series?
JN: The character that’s cast as the villain is the most complex, and most interesting. Matthew Granger is the billionaire founder of web 4.0, and he’s a mash-up of today’s tech tycoons. Granger is someone who believes that what he’s doing is right and he excuses the horrific methods he uses to achieve his goals.
P: What books, films, and games did you read, watch and play when you were growing up?
JN: The two books that turned me into a reader were the Choose Your Own Adventure interactive novels (like the UK’s Fighting Fantasy books). I was mad about film, and loved the big sci-fi epics. Star Wars was my favourite growing up, no question! In terms of games, I got hooked on the 8-bit Nintendo games like Zelda and Mario, but before that I loved a text-based game on our first PC called Zork.
P: Do you have a favourite children’s author?
JN: I’m a big fan of Philip Reeve and think his Mortal Engines books are amazing. I have a young son and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are is a part of our bedtime ritual.
P: Would you like MetaWars to be made into a film or TV series? Which actors would you cast?
JN: MetaWars would make an awesome film. I’d love to see Andrew Garfield as Jonah Delacroix, but I suspect he’s a bit tied up playing Spiderman these days. I think Emma Watson is underrated and I’d love to give her a proper action heroine role. She might make a great Sam Kavanagh. For Matthew Granger, I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be amazing.
P: What did you do before writing the MetaWars series?
JN: I’ve had all sorts of weird, fun, and strange jobs. I used to look after the Enid Blyton literary estate. It was an honour and a privilege to care for the works of Britain’s best-loved author. I’ve been a producer in Hollywood, sold soap in Cincinnati, and served popcorn at a cinema in Toronto.
P: What have you got lined up in 2013?
JN: My next project is something completely different from MetaWars. Princess Ponies is a swash-buckling adventure for little girls, about a little girl who finds herself on the island of Equestria, a magical island where ponies can talk. It’s a six book series and it comes out in March. The final two MetaWars books come out in 2013 (Battle of the Immortal in May, and The Freedom Frontier in June).
For more information on MetaWars books visit the MetaWars website.