Lately I’ve been loving all the chances I’ve had interviewing authors during book tours. Today I’m back with an interview with Hamish Steele, the author of DeadEndia. This week TBR and Beyond Tours is hosting a tour for these graphic novels. If you want to find out more, keep on reading!
DEADENDIA: The Watcher’s Test & DEADENDIA: The Broken Halo by Hamish Steele
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy (Graphic Novel)
Publishing Date: May 2, 2023
Barney and his best friend Norma are just trying to get by and keep their jobs, but working at the Dead End theme park also means battling demonic forces, time traveling wizards, and scariest of all–their love lives!
Follow the lives of this diverse group of employees of a haunted house, which may or may not also serve as a portal to hell, in this hilarious and moving graphic novel, complete with talking pugs, vengeful ghosts and LBGTQIA love!
In the second installment of this quirky, heartfelt, LGBTQ adventure comic, war is brewing across the thirteen planes and as always, haunted house attraction and portal to hell Dead End is right at the center of it.
It’s been weeks since Dead End was destroyed and as it reopens as a hotel, resident tour guide turned hotel manager Norma is determined to leave the ghosts of the past where they belong. But with her friendship with Barney up in the air and angels and demons using the hotel as their literal wrestling ring, Norma soon finds that unwanted ghosts can appear at any moment, especially when they’re your own.
What inspired you to write Deadendia?
I was a huge fan of comics like Scott Pilgrim and wanted to write about 20-somethings, hanging out, falling in love, getting into trouble. It was only later when I added ghosts and demons and magic. I think in some ways DeadEndia was a mixture of all the things I was interested in writing about in one book. Perhaps it was indecision, as I counted decide if I wanted to write slice-of-life comedy or horror. I ended up choosing both.
What has been the favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
To be honest, DeadEndia hasn’t had the easiest publishing journey. It was originally a webcomic, then self-published and then published by a smaller UK company who didn’t treat me very well. So it feels amazing to have DeadEndia published by Union Square and finally at a place where it feels supported and stable. These new editions are truly the definitive versions and I’m so happy they’ll be available wherever books are sold.
If you were a character in DeadEndia, what kind of character would you be?
I’m a real scaredy cat, so I think I’d be living somewhere very far away from Dead End and all it’s horror.
Describe Deadendia in five words or less.
Scooby Doo but much gayer.
What is your favorite quote from Deadendia?
“Come all ye lost souls” is among the first lines and it’s kind of an anchor for the whole story. All the characters feel like ghosts in some ways, lonely and invisible. It’s why I dedicated the first book to all the lost souls.
What do you hope readers take away from your story?
That all of us are deserving of love, family and adventure! My career mission is to make heroes out of the types of people who don’t often get to be the lead. I want people to read DeadEndia and imagine that they could go on this amazing story no matter who they are.
Could you give us 5 random facts about Deadendia (think the story, writing, publishing, anything that comes to mind)?
- Barney is named after my first crush, Norma is named after “para-norma-l”, Pugsley is named after my pet guinea pig (who was in turn named after Pugsley Addams) and I have absolutely no idea where the name Courtney came from.
- Gord is actually the earliest DeadEndia character I designed, as I’ve been drawing a straight faced slug for as long as I can remember.
- All the names for the demons and angels – Temeluchus, Zagan, Baal, Kushiel, etc – come from The Lesser Keys of Solomon, a 17th century grimoire. However, I consider these common demon names, rather than my characters being the literal demons from these theologies. Think of the name “Paimon” just like “Dave”.
- Pugsley was originally a teddy bear in early drafts.
- Logs was never meant to be a major character and was initially written to be a bit of a bully to Barney. But the positive response to the first page I uploaded of him in the webcomic made me shift gears to love interest.
If you’re curious about DeadEndia now, click here for the full tour schedule. There are quite a few amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers participating during this tour.
About the Author
Hamish Steele (he/they) is a freelance animation director and illustrator who grew up surrounded by legends, myths, and folktales. Since graduating from Kingston University in 2013, Hamish has worked for the BBC, Cartoon Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, among others. He is the creator of and showrunner for the Netflix series Dead End: Paranormal Park, based on his graphic novel series, DeadEndia, and the Eisner Award-winning creator of the graphic novel, Pantheon. Hamish currently lives in London and can be found online at https://hamishsteele.co.uk/.
These graphic novels sound like a lot of fun! I love that there’s also a Netflix series. Do you have any favorite graphic novels? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.