Interview with Kyle Waller, Author of Cretaceous Kings
21 Dec 2022
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Cretaceous Kings?
Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated with animals, both prehistoric and modern. I grew up watching the “Walking With” series and my favorites were, “Walking with Dinosaurs”, “Walking with Beasts”, and “The Ballad of Big Al”. This catapulted my obsession with all things prehistoric. My obsession with animals started with the late, great, Steve Irwin, I never missed an episode of “The Crocodile Hunter” as a child. Documentaries such as, “The Life of Mammals”, Planet Earth”, and the “Future is Wild” also strengthened my love for animals.
As for this particular book my biggest inspiration for the story was a coalition of six lion brothers called the Mapogos from Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa. I saw a documentary about them in high school and was blown away by the story. These lions were particularly brutal and my teenage self, couldn’t help but imagine “How cool would it be if T-Rexes did shit like this?” lol. There is potential evidence of other tyrannosaur species like albertosaurus and daspletosaurus, being social so the idea wasn’t that far-fetched to me.
Years later during my senior year of college, I wrote the first chapter in one night, fueled by a spontaneous rush of creativity. Due to graduation and job worries I abandoned the project. However, in 2020 during the pandemic I regained my creative spark and finished the book in early 2022, finally publishing it in October of this year.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Cretaceous Kings, what would they be?
Leviathan: King’s Disease – Nas
Hannibal: Ambitionz az a Ridah – Tupac
Carnis: All My Life – K-Ci & JoJo
Mansur: Many Men – 50 Cent
I’m a big hip hop fan…
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I honestly don’t read much lol, when I do read it’s usually scientific articles I find on Google. So, I’d pick non-fiction as my favorite genre to read. My favorite genre to write is science fiction, so technically it differs. However, the articles I read directly influence my writing, seeing as how they are dinosaur/animal related most of the time. I do have a few books from childhood that I love such as “White Fang”, which was a big influence on how I wrote the animal interactions in my novel, and “Moby Dick”.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
Sabertooth-Mauricio Anton (started but didn’t finish)
Raptor Red-Robert T. Bakker (started but didn’t finish again)
Jurassic Park-Michael Crichton ( I know, crazy, I’ve never read Jurassic Park. Seen all the movies though)
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
That’s a very hard question. If I had to choose it would be the last scene of the ninth chapter, where a giant t-rex emerges from the forest and scares the brothers off of a kill. I wanted to capture the beauty of the landscape along with the intimidating power of this monstrous tyrannosaur and it was quite fun to write.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
I sometimes like to listen to lyrical rap music before writing. I get inspired by the clever wordplay and it helps me get through writers block, as I “freestyle” write my own wordplay, although it may not always be clever. Even if I do write something I deem to be horrible, at least I have an idea of where I want to take things and I can go back later and fix it. Jay-Z’s song “Lyrical Exercise” gets me pretty inspired to write.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Lately I have been really goal and dream orientated, so my philosophy would be never let anything stand between you and your dreams. I am starting an entertainment business “Rex God Entertainment” and my novel is the first step in that process. Not only will I continue to write novels, I also hope to release graphic novels, audiobooks, and eventually CGI dinosaur documentaries.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
The fight for survival is a tale as old as life on this planet. With everything going on now, times are pretty hard. Never give up, keep fighting.
Kyle Waller is the author of the new book Cretaceous Kings
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