Charles Soule was an attorney, working 80 hours a week while trying to pursue a creative career — music, writing or whatever.
It was a long road, scraping together spare time, and it was never a sure thing.
“It just seemed like there was no guarantee that it was ever going to work out,” Soule, 43, says. “I was essentially just throwing a shot in the dark and hoping and praying and really just wanting it all to work out.”
As it happens, it did work out. These days, Soule is one of the top comic book writers around. For Marvel, he’s currently writing “Daredevil” and “Astonishing X-Men,” as well as two “Star Wars” comics: “Poe Dameron” and “Darth Vader.” For Image Comics, he has his creator-owned title “Curse Words.”
And now, the busy author turns out his debut novel, “The Oracle Year,” on sale Tuesday. The book follows New Yorker Will Dando, who is mysteriously given 108 predictions about future events. With the help of his friend, Hamza, he starts to slowly reveal them to the public, which sets the world on an unpredictable spiral. Soule says that when he was getting started as a writer, he would have given a lot to know the future.
“I would have given a great deal at that point in those earlier years to have been able to just ask the question of an Oracle, saying, ‘Is this going to work out? Is this ever going to pay off? Is this going to be worth it?’”
Cue inspiration. Soule says that is where the idea for the novel came from.
“The heart of the book is that I think we all have that question in us,” he says. “We all have that question that if we could just ask one thing of someone who actually knew what was going to happen — we all would have that question. Whether that’s ‘Am I ever going to see her again?’ ‘Am I going to survive this?’ ‘Will my team win the Super Bowl?’ So I thought writing a book about somebody appearing in the world who could answer those questions for everybody — whether he chose to or not — would be a pretty compelling read.”
Compelling indeed: The book has already been optioned for TV following a bidding war.
So does Soule have any predictions for amNewYork readers? In the book, to prove his identity, Will would give a prediction in interviews.
“Sure, I will say the sun will rise tomorrow,” he says. “And if that comes true, you know this is a real interview.”
Charles Soule will appear in conversation with Abraham Riesman at Greenlight Bookstore on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., 686 Fulton St., Fort Greene, greenlightbookstore.com