Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (1)
Can you win The Hero Project, America’s #1 reality competition for heroes? Team up with allies old and new to unravel a conspiracy threatening your world, and save the planet from destruction! The Hero Project: Open Season is a 170,000-word interactive novel, and the final installment of Zachary Sergi’s “Hero Project” series. I sat down with author Zach Sergi to talk about wrapping up the series. The Hero Project: Open Season releases this Thursday, March 29th.
We’ve been on such a journey through the world of Heroes Rise, and then with Redemption Season, and now Open Season. Tell me about that journey.
Well, for starters, the journey saw me through the ages of 23-30, so there’s been a lot of personal growth as I became an “adult.” And a lot of growth both as a writer and a budding activist. I think it’s kind of cool you can track that progression book to book–some people love it, some people hate it. There have been leaps forward and steps backwards, and a lot of lessons along the way. I’ve shed a lot of sweat and tears over these books, and smiled more than anything else, but at the end of this particular Heroes Rise journey, I feel like the books did for me what they seem to do for so many readers: they helped me hone a purpose and a voice. (Oh, and I still think it’s insane to have seen a presidential campaign be co-opted by reality TV years after The Hero Project/HeroFall told a similar story. Will never get over that one!)
What was your favorite part of writing Open Season?
Without giving away any spoilers, I love the way all of the characters across all five Heroes Rise/The Hero Project books all weave and interconnect…and ultimately seeing how they come together/divide themselves. I also love how some of the plot twists came together (I think there is one in particular literally no one will see coming, at least from my social media awareness). And I love how big the ending feels…it’s hard to top yourself after seven books, but the stakes in Open Season somehow feel higher than they’ve ever been.
What was the most challenging part of it?
Honestly, Open Season was a joy to write! The hardest part of The Hero Project Duology writing process was actually after Redemption Season published, knowing that so many readers were asking for things that had always been a part of my plan for what was coming…I was like, ahhh I know many of you feel like it’s missing things, but those things are on the way and I can’t tell you yet without spoiling everything! I’ve seen the whole picture from the beginning, so it’s interesting to see the reactions when everyone else only gets a piece of the puzzle. I think Open Season completes Redemption Season in a way that will have a lot of readers going back to previous books, to have fun seeing how there were breadcrumbs leading to this epic finale all along the way. Or at least, I hope so!
Is it hard to say goodbye to this world, these characters?
Um, absolutely. Some of these characters I created when I was a little kid playing with my action figures, and some as an adult collecting action figures (lol). And so much of it has been shaped by the loyal readers along the way–a lot of characters are named after readers, or character’s actions were inspired by reader requests I never would have considered myself (um, wanting to romance Prodigal much?). That’s the connective power of interactive fiction at work! But ultimately, Heroes Rise/The Hero Project feel like my babies–but now it’s time to let them stand on their own!
Who are you going to miss the most?
Everyone? Haha I guess I will especially miss some of the characters readers seem to love most too, like Jelly Kelly and Prodigal, Grandma and GG. The character that perhaps surprised me the most over the span of the series was Verdict (or the artist formerly known as Jury). I didn’t really have a plan for him aside from being a foil in The Prodigy when it all started, so to see his evolution (partially inspired by fan demand) has been really satisfying. I never thought I’d miss a Victon, but I will!
Your next game is going to be the third and final game of the Versus series. Any hints or little spoilers for fans? Do you have a working title?
Well, I hadn’t announced officially that Versus is a Trilogy yet, but now seems like a good time and place to do so! I’ve had the ending of Versus mapped out since the beginning, including the working title…but everyone will have to stay tuned for more details on what’s to come next!
What are you working on outside Versus 3?
I actually have three other projects in the pipeline right now, outside Choice of Games. I can’t actually talk about any of them yet, but if you head to the brand new https://zacharysergi.com/and give me a follow on your social media platform of choice, I’ll be sharing updates the moment I can!