Interrogation—Sean McDaniel

Who: Sean McDaniel

What: Author of CRIMINAL ZOO, a disturbing look into a dystopian near future where criminals pay for their crimes in torture and blood. His second book is scheduled for release fall of 2017.

Where: Montana

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

CRIMINAL ZOO is a fresh take on the crime novel. Tell us a little about the inspiration to write this story.

May, 2005, an article in the Billings Gazette: Man Killed Two Girls Out of Rage. I sat in my office with a client of mine and discussed this article (by day I’m a mild-mannered personal trainer, by night I write stories that cost you sleep). According to the article, an ex-convict stabbed his 8-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old friend to death with a steak knife. He alleged he did so in self-defense. “I wish I could be locked in a room with this monster,” I told my client. “I would say, ‘I’m not an eight year old girl. What can you do to me?’ Come back an hour later and let out whoever is still standing. I guarantee it will be me.”

Two years later, I sat down and let the story out. In all fairness, however, I must give credit where credit is due. Dante Alighieri beat me to the punch by 700 years. In his DIVINE COMEDY, Dante explained his hell. “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” What you did to land in hell is done to you for an eternity.

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