I have read and reviewed the first 4 novels of The Great Devil War series and now I am pleased to bring you an interview with the man himself, Kenneth B. Andersen.
About the Author:
Kenneth B. Andersen (1976) is an award-winning Danish writer. He has published more than forty books for children and young adults, including both fantasy, horror, and science fiction.
His books have been translated into more than 15 languages and his hit-series about the superhero Antboy has been turned into three movies. A musical adaptation of The Devil’s Apprentice, the first book in The Great Devil War series, opened in the fall of 2018 and film rights for the series have been optioned.
Kenneth lives in Copenhagen with his wife, two boys, a dog named Milo, and spiders in the basement.
My Interview with Kenneth B. Andersen:
What was the inspiration for Philip’s story with the Devil?
Years ago I was reading a Danish novel called “Little Lucifer”, where the main character misbehaves and someone yells at him, that he’s the Devil’s apprentice. At the exact moment, I read those two words I thought that would be awesome: To write a story about a boy who literally ends up as that – the Devil’s Apprentice. In Hell where he is to be trained in evil by the Devil himself.
I know that there is at least one more book in the series. Is there going to be more? If so, how many books do you anticipate being in the series?
There will 6 books in total. At first, it was actually just going to be “The Devil’s Apprentice” – the end of the story. But as the story took shape, I started getting tons of ideas and it occurred to me that there was an even bigger story to tell – the story of The Great Devil War. Originally there were going to be four books in the series, and then the story was done. But a few years after book 4 was published in Denmark, I realized that Philip’s story and the story of the Great Devil War wasn’t quite finished, and it continued in book 5 and 6, giving me a chance to write the real ending of the story. Book 1-4 are out now. Books 5 and 6 will be released next year.
I’ve read a few reviews for The Devil’s Apprentice where the reviewer has said that Philip turned bad fast for having such a pure heart. Where do you stand on this?
I think that Philip unknowingly longs to be wicked. His goodness is a problem for him. He’s not in contact with his dark side so when it starts to blossom it quickly gets out of control. But it’s not until book 3 he really gives in to darkness.
As a reader, I am always pleasantly surprised by your references to religion. God is not always good. The Devil is not always bad. Reincarnation is real. Do you study religion, or are these references born in your imagination?
A: Religion has always been an interest of mine. I don’t believe in God but have great respect for people who do (as long as they don’t try to tell other people what’s right or wrong to believe). I’ve read a LOT in the Bible, using different stories in my plot, twisting them and looking at them from a different perspective. I’ve also done a lot of research on different mythologies (Greek, Nordic, etc.) as they also play a part in the story. My Hell is very much inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy and the story of the Devil War is inspired by John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
I read on Amazon.com that the movie rights to the series have been purchased. Will this be released globally? If so, do you know when? (Purely selfish question…I need to see this one in the theatre.)
Yes, that’s all very exciting! Hopefully, it’s going to happen, but it’s too soon to say for sure. The last I heard is that they are thinking about turning The Devil’s Apprentice into an 8 episode series instead of a movie. Fingers crossed!
You can find my reviews here: