'Twilight' star Peter Facinelli talks co-writing new YA novel -- EXCLUSIVE

Peter-Facinelli.jpg

Image Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Actor Peter Facinelli — better known to Twihards as vampire patriarch Dr. Carlisle Cullen — is joining the YA craze.

Facinelli has teamed up with author Barry Lyga and producer Rob DeFranco to pen After the Red Rain, a young adult novel set in a dystopian future about a boy named Rose (more on that below) who discovers inhuman powers. Those inhuman powers don’t make Rose a glittering vampire who battles wolves, but he does battle to save a ruined planet with his only friend Deirdre.

In an exclusive email interview with EW, Facinelli talked the trio’s collaborative writing process, his take on the genre, and why they chose the name “Rose” for their hero.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First off — why YA?
PETER FACINELLI: We didn’t specifically choose the YA genre. The story is what came first. And it felt like the YA market lent itself the best for the story we wanted to tell. We felt like our story had something to say to the YA market because the characters themselves were young adults.

What inspired you to go into writing?
I love storytelling. Being an actor is a form of telling stories through characters. As a writer I get the opportunity to create the entire world that all the characters live in as opposed to focusing on one character or one part of the story. I enjoy being able to create and manipulate characters and events in order to tell a whole story. I have written two film scripts, but I have not tackled a novel before.

What was it like writing a novel with two other authors?
The task of writing a novel was overwhelming at first, and I am happy that I get to collaborate with Barry Lyga and Rob DeFranco. It makes the process less daunting when you get to bounce ideas off of others you respect, and Rob and I both feel very fortunate to work alongside Barry who has experience in this form of storytelling.

How does collaborating work between the three of you?
When writing with partners it’s important that someone takes the lead. Since Barry has the most experience in writing a novel and it is his forte, we tend to talk a lot about the story and let Barry take point creating the voices of the characters. We comb through the chapters as a team and weigh in giving notes and shaping the story. When you have a team that clicks like the three of us, it’s easier since we all see the same story. There are no egos involved. Just configuring the best way to tell the story. Since this is a collaboration, I respect that Barry and Rob both have different writing styles so I find it’s important to allow everyone to have their process in order to collaborate.

Did your experience working on Twilight contribute to your writing process at all?
I really don’t think of Twilight when working on our book. After the Red Rain is its own tale, and there really is no formula to copy the success of Twilight. Rob, Barry and I really just focus on our story and hope that the YA fans who will read the book, whether they are Twilight fans, Barry Lyga fans, or new YA readers, like the story we are telling.

The book is set on an Earth that’s overrun by 50 billion people and in danger of collapse. Why did you choose a dystopian setting?
It wasn’t so much that we chose a dystopian setting; it is integral to the story. The effects of over-population become a significant force in our story, and the challenges to deal with it from a personal and governmental level push our two main characters together.

How did you choose the names for the protagonists? “Rose” is admittedly a strange name for a boy.
It is. He is a different boy, very vulnerable in some aspects, but with a strong purpose and understanding. It is that combination of strong and weak in one person that is embodied in his name. Like all of us, he desires to find his true purpose in life, despite not knowing exactly who he is and where he comes from. He is confident but inside him he needs to come to terms with his obvious differences and understand if finding out his history will help him.

Is there anything you can tell me about his powers?
There is an element and inspiration from the Johnny Cash song, “A Boy Named Sue.”

Going forward, will you be turning this into a series?
Sure, we have thought of a series of three books, but we are focused right now on finishing the first. Because we are writing it in collaboration, it takes you in many different directions, which can affect how the second and third would look.

Much of the book’s plot has been kept under wraps. Has anyone other than the three of you read it yet?
So far we have been very discreet about the subject matter. There are many secrets that get unlocked while the story unfolds that we don’t want to give away just yet. But I do have my own YA test group at home. I’ve read some sample chapters to my 10-year-old and 16-year-old daughter. So far I’m getting thumbs up.

After the Red Rain will hit shelves in 2015.


Latest Videos in Books

Advertisement

Latest News

Most Commented

PopWatch | EW.com

Blog

PopWatch

The 2015 Independent Games Festival winner gives you 20 minutes to explore a dying galaxy

Comments +
For 17 years, the Independent Games Festival has served as Sundance for video games, a place for idiosyncratic, unusual games about things you’d never see in big-budget marquee games—although those games are honored from the same stage under the banner of the Game Developer’s Choice Awards.    The IGF winners and nomineess are where boundaries are pushed and notions of what constitutes a game are challenged. Much like any awards ceremony, the IGF isn’t the end-all, be-all for indie games or bold new ideas,  but it’s a pretty good place to dive in and check out what’s happening in the scene—and maybe be surprised by what’s possible in a video game.    Here’s the full list of winners, announced at last night’s ceremony: Read Full Story

Legend of Korra creator posts official Korrasami art: Their love is so real

Comments +

Korra fans, rejoice! The canonical romance between Avatar Korra and Asami continues in a piece of brand-new art from The Legend of Korra co-creator Brian Konietzko. 

Read Full Story

Comics writer Gail Simone skewers sexist critiques of women in comics

Comments +

Gail Simone (Secret Six, Red Sonja), one of the most well-known and widely respected women writing superhero comics today, has heard just about every argument there is as to why some fans think the way female characters have been treated is totally fine and doesn’t need to change at all—as well as their many gripes with female fandom. On Twitter on Thursday, she decided to demonstrate how absurd those arguments were by applying them all to male characters and fans.

Read Full Story

Neil Patrick Harris on hosting the Oscars: 'It's a beast'

Comments +

Neil Patrick Harris’ hosting stint at this year’s Oscars ceremony was met with mixed reviews. Some jokes landed (“Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest—sorry, brightest”) while others fell flat (“Everybody calls her Jenny from the Block, and everybody calls him Chris Pine”).

Read Full Story

Justin Bieber's bare chest controversially covers Men's Health

Comments +

Justin Bieber’s contrition tour continues with an ab and arm-tastic cover of Men’s Health, but some are questioning whether the Biebs’ physique had some help from Photoshop. 

Read Full Story

Shadow of Mordor takes top prize at Game Developers Choice Awards

Comments +

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, last year’s The Lord of the Rings game that helped to chart new territory in open world action games, was awarded Game of the Year at last night’s Game Developers Choice Awards.

Read Full Story

How House of Cards broke new ground for video games in pop culture

Comments +

When history looks back on pop culture, House of Cards will be remembered for the quiet way it gave us the first US President who played video games on television. Sure, the show will also be remembered as some sort of game changer for how we consume serial narratives, but that’s small potatoes. Inventing new paradigms for entertainment consumption? Easy peasy. Standing in opposition to longstanding cultural stereotypes about video games? That’s some ballsy stuff. 

Read Full Story

Game of Thrones meets Taylor Swift in 'Blank Page' parody

Comments +

Every Game of Thrones fan has grieved the loss of at least one of their favorite characters. But throwing in some Taylor Swift makes it a little more bearable, judging from a new parody called “Blank Page.”

Read Full Story

Rebecca Black talks 'Friday,' four years later... on a Thursday

Comments +

Think back to the first time you watched Rebecca Black’s “Friday” video. Now think about what you and your friends said.

“It wasn’t really the kind of attention any 13-year-old girl wants,” says the now-17-year-old Black, reflecting on her viral notoriety on a recent Thursday afternoon. Nobody was more surprised at the sudden ubiquity of “Friday” than its star. “I made the song with no intention of it doing anything, and here it was doing something.”

Read Full Story

'Wolfenstein: The New Order' gets a prequel and an old timey trailer

Comments +

Wolfenstein: The New Order was one of 2014’s sleeper hits, a game that came out during a relative dry spell in big-budget shooters and surprised everyone with a great story and modern approach to one of the oldest names in shooters. Now, developer MachineGames has announced that they’re going to revisit The New Order with a new standalone prequel called Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. 

Read Full Story
Page:

More from Our Partners

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

TV Recaps | EW.com

TV Recaps

More from Our Partners

Powered by WordPress.com VIP