The 49th Floor
Another day another dollar or at least that’s what John Price thought. Until the power in his office building went down and he found himself trapped on the 49th. Unfortunately for John, he was not alone. The head of a major pharmaceutical company brought something back from the Amazonian rainforest and it has a fondness for human flesh—preferably John’s.
About The 49th Floor
For a list of Jason’s books in chronological order, click here.
Q. How did you come up with your idea for The 49th Floor?
You might be surprised to know, but this story is my homage to one of my favorite movies growing up, Gremlins 2. As strange as that might be, I always thought the movie’s plot was fun–scientific experiment gone bad… releasing monstrous creatures into an enormous building… floor after floor of scary and fun potential.
With all that in mind, I wanted to see how much trouble I could get my own character into. Now of course, John Price didn’t have a cute little ally like Gizmo serving as the catalyst to all of the thrills in the story, but I think John’s inquisitive nature alone provides the same types of gasoline for the fire. When others might back down in fear, his cockiness and utter disregard for the authorities, pushes him in towards trouble.
Q. How did you come up with the character John Price?
As I was creating John Price, I had the urge to develop a character with the greedy flare of Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. The same type of person that could single-handedly push the US markets into another financial crisis. I didn’t quite get that far—grin.
Halfway through the book, I pulled back, wanting to give him a little bit of warmth in places, so that the reader would be conflicted at the end–questioning whether they wanted him to live or die. Hopefully I succeeded.
Q. What did John find in the temple?
I actually wanted to prolong this scene. Many of my favorite books put their characters into similar Indiana Jones types of situations. From James Rollin’s Excavation to Matthew Reilly’s Temple to even Michael Crichton’s Congo, there is something about jungles that I find both mysterious and dangerous. Throw into the mix a temple or ancient ruins and you have the recipe for a wonderful adventure.
I always pictured this particular temple sitting on top of a cavernous opening to the gates of hell (or something of that nature). With that being said, I thought that Dr. Federov would only skim the surface to what lied below and his limited knowledge of the temple is what allowed him to be so ignorant when he brought back the infant creatures. If Dr. Federov would have delved deeper, who knows what he might have found?
Q. What was your inspiration for the flying creatures?
There was no real inspiration for the flying creatures (although they kind of remind of me of a horrible invasive species introduced into an alien environment). I liked the idea of the creatures appearing as mysterious flying bats brought back from the Amazonian rainforest by mistake—not truly understanding how dangerous and destructive they potentially could be.
Q. Did you have an alternative ending for the story that you considered? (SPOILER ALERT)
I thought about letting John live—even allowing him to be rescued or saved in some dramatic way.
However, Stephen King said it best, “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
And it might appear that I did.
However, depending on which way the wind is blowing, I still like to think that John Price survived it all and maybe even took the unfortunate events as a sign to stop screwing people over.
What goes around comes around, right?
Q. If the story were to continue on, what would you envision to be the final outcome of the beastly takeover of the city?
I’m not going to tell you (grin).
I still want to leave my options open. You never know… maybe I’ll turn the story into a full fledged novel. There is lots of potential for such a story.
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“Now THIS is how I love my short stories! Fast pace, limited characters, sudden isolation and some nasty things lurking in the dark. Jason C. Anderson did an phenomenal job of immersing the reader into the situation immediately, and then doesn’t let up until the final scene. I’m extremely impressed with the professionalism of the writing as well as the cover design, and can’t wait to see what else he has in store in the future!”Jack Kardiac
“Thought this read was a good one…”Adrostas
“It is a wonderful read. I like the way it was told.”Albert M. Coats