Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!
Today we’re joined by Shannon Stoker, author of The Registry series. You can read an excerpt from the first novel, The Registry, here on Tor.com. The second book in the series, The Collection, is available now from William Morrow. Shannon was born in Clawson, Michigan and raised in Elgin, Illinois. She currently lives in DeKalb, Illinois with her husband Andy and small dog Nucky. When she’s not writing Shannon enjoys watching an insane amount of television shows as well as horror movies. Shannon got a little taste of television herself when she competed on an episode of TLC’s Four Weddings.
Join us as we cover subjects ranging from torture to Archie comics, and more!
Bad news: You’re about to be marooned alone on a desert island—name the five things you would bring along.
- My Dog
- Water purification system
- A fishing pole
- A mirror (to start fires)
While writing The Collection I had to google a lot of things about subtle torture. It is crazy the things you can find out there! But I do have to say, I know a lot about serial killers. My old roommate used to say if I ever killed someone she would be the one on the news saying “you should have seen the stuff she looked at online.” So I think I’ve always researched bizarre things.
Name your favorite monster from fiction, film, TV, or any other pop culture source.
Freddy Krueger. When I was a kid and I would be down in the basement my dad would turn off the lights from the top of the stairs and scream “Freddy’s going to get you” and slam the door shut. He thought it was hilarious, while I found it terrifying.
What D&D character alignment best describes you first thing in the morning?
Lawful evil. I think my husband would agree, especially when it comes to using the Kuerig first or getting in the shower.
I have to add, I have been playing a lot of Waterdeep lately and my favorite quests are the Skullduggery ones, mainly because it gives me the chance to say “Skullduggery.”
Two roads diverge in a yellow wood: one leads toward a mysterious laboratory in which a mad scientist is currently ensconced. The other winds its way toward a tower inhabited by a powerful wizard. You could really use a snack, and it would be nice to have somewhere to crash for the night—which road do you choose?
Powerful wizard. I love horror movies and books, but cannot handle any involving medical experiments. The mad scientist would scare me too much.
Choose your preferred fictional vacation spot: Narnia or Middle Earth (or some other fictional realm)…
Endor, or more specifically the forest moon of Endor. What can I say? I love the Ewoks.
What was your gateway to SF/Fantasy, as a child or young adult?
My parents are very into pop culture and I was started at a VERY young age. The first SF/fantasy book that really grabbed me into the whole genre was The White Mountains by John Christopher. That concept gave me the shivers, and I was hooked (thankfully not capped).
What’s the most embarrassing guilty pleasure you’ll admit to? (music, movies, pop culture, food, drink, etc…all fair game!)
Betty and Veronica comics! I love them still and can’t help myself when I spot one. Betty and Veronica must be the stars, I don’t want just Archie comics.
Name your three favorite fictional villains of all time. Alternately: Heroes vs. Villains—which are more fun to write?
Villains are so much more fun to write. Grant is by FAR my favorite character in my books. I have an idea for a future book that focuses mainly on villains. It is a weird sort of release writing from the rogues.
Which language, real or fictional, would you like the ability to speak fluently? Who would you talk to?
Elvish. I would talk to everyone and probably be smug about it!