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Angel of Vengeance: Interview with Trevor Munson, Moonlight creator – Part 1

Last month I interviewed 'Moonlight' creator Trevor Munson about his new book, 'Angel of Vengeance.' Interested in the book that spawned the show? Want to know about working with Ron Koslow or the new vampire boom? Then, clack on!

I’m kind of excited that my hundredth post coincides with an awesome interview. Today, I’ll release the overview and tomorrow the actual transcript. Last month, I had the opportunity to chat with Trevor Munson, the former co-executive producer, writer, and creator of CBS’s Moonlight (2007-2008). When the opportunity to discuss Munson’s new novel, Angel of Vengeance, a noir mystery with a vampire center, occurred, I leapt on it. Why? Three reasons.

First, I am an unabashed fan of the television show. Although Moonlight started off coltishly, its improvement in the second half — within its script, cast cohesion, lead character acting, directing, and production values — reflected an ethereal beauty. If the show had achieved a second season, it might have prospered from the Twilight/True Blood vampire boom. Second, despite my tendency towards classic domestic mysteries, I gained an appreciation for noir when I interviewed Haven executive producer, Hard Case Crime publisher Charles Ardai. And, finally, I love interviewing English majors. While most California Starbucks are probably littered with English majors who concentrated in post-modern romanticism, Munson graduated from Texas State University with a Master’s in literature. Whenever I hear of a former humanities graduate who ‘made it,’ I want to give them a high five and a pat on the back.

So, on a cold February evening, I found myself chatting with Munson. Like most writers, he comes across as affable, full of humor, and incredibly honest. In fact, you know he’s an English major because he casually uses “vastly” in a sentence. We talked about the recent East coast blizzard and joked about my walking the cold city streets (but, not in that way). At first, he seemed hesitant. I think he feared I might focus solely on juxtaposing the book with the show, which of course I did. However, I wanted to talk about the text on its own first.

All in all, it was a great interview. Before our talk, I did a little bit of research, scanned pre-existing interviews (to avoid repetitive questions), and discovered Munson had an active MySpace page. While its existence saved me from asking rote questions such as, “What are your favorite noir-ish movies?” (True Romance, The Usual Suspects, Run Lola Run, Seven, Heat, Casablanca, and Pulp Fiction) it was simultaneously surprising that anyone who reached the Hollywood writing level would maintain that portion of accessibility.

There were a couple other things we discussed, including:

  • How the book came before the show.
  • How he re-imagined vampire lore for the book.
  • The process of changing the stark noir world of the novel into the more elegant world of the TV series.
  • If the Beth and Mick relationship came across as a wee bit too May-December, if you know what I mean.
  • Ron Koslow (Beauty and the Beast) and his awesomeness at supernatural romance.
  • What happened to the needles Mick used in the pilot. In the novel, Mick mainlines blood rather than just ingesting. Turns out that CBS decided to delay re-incorporating them for fear people might see the usage as drug-related.
  • The difficulties of getting a job, especially tenure, in humanities for English majors.
  • Munson’s textual obsession with the rational human turned inhumanly irrational and the corporeal need overcoming the incorporeal mind definitely came across in the novel, but even more so in conversation. I have no doubt the Victorian monster canon from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Robert Louis Stephenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde populate his shelf.
  • I noticed in Angel of Vengeance you don’t hear Mick’s name for the first fifty pages, everyone just calls him Angel. However, it turns out Munson didn’t even do it deliberately.
  • At the time we talked, I assumed Munson already had a second book deal on the way. However, I believe he needs to get permission from CBS to continue to write about the characters after the pre-existing novel.

Admittedly, a couple questions I wanted to ask, but forgot, surrounded his favorite noir novels outside Raymond Chandler, if he ever watched CBS’s Forever Knight and if the current vampire explosion upset him. He already described what he felt would happen if Moonlight continued in other interviews; but, honestly, Moonlight is to the TV vampire world what the Apple Newton is to tablets and the AT & T video phone is to Skype – an idea that arrived too soon. I know if I released a well-written show, only to find similar ones rocket to success a year later, I would’ve had a bit of sour lemon in my mouth.

Although I’ve said this before,  I’ll say it again. I love one-on-one interviews because it gives you a feel for the person. Unfortunately, when we handle the interviews ourselves, we don’t have a magical transcriber hired by the publicity firm to transform our words to the printed page. While I attempted to use Dragon’s voice-to-text auto-transcription option the resulting text looked like “oo aa oo aa.”

While my computer enjoyed the interview slightly more than I did, I enjoyed it as well, left with a wee bit of a crush on Munson, and look forward to hearing more from his future work. Look for the full transcript tomorrow!


Photo Credit: Titan Books

Categories: | Clack | Features | General | Interviews | News | TV Shows |

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