Sometimes sheer bravado and break-neck pacing can lift up a potential cliché into something more. In the case of Jonathan Wood’s first novel, No Hero, the author has created a riff on supernatural noir that’s rollicking good fun and acknowledges its debts with good humor. It also one-ups its influences with some excellent action scenes. What’s the set up? The main character, a cop, asks himself one question a lot: "What would Kurt Russell do?" It’s not a question he’s had to answer a lot—until a secret government agency recruits him to fight the Progeny, be-tentacled horrors from another dimension. Omni checked in with Wood to find out more…
Amazon.com: Any mysteries about publishing solved in prepping for the release of your first novel?
Jonathan Wood: Well, I know about the robes and the animal sacrifices now. But I'm still only a novice initiate.
Amazon.com: Your protagonist asks “What would Kurt Russell do?” First of all, do you think Kurt Russell would like your novel, and secondly what sparked the idea of having your detective reference noir and horror in pop culture?
Wood: I honestly can't speak for Mr. Russell's literary tastes. I get the impression most of his characters wouldn't have time for it. They'd be too busy busting caps and hitting on outrageously blonde women. As for the pop culture references, they're largely there to highlight the disparity between movie heroes and reality. Hopefully it adds a human frailty to Arthur (the protagonist) when you compare what Kurt Russell might do with what he has to do (which is mostly trying to not soil his underwear).
Amazon.com: What is it about mixing cosmic horror and the detective genre that appealed to you?