Hiya, folks! We have a new schedule here at Author Interview Corner. The new plan is that there’s no schedule at all!! I will continue to post interviews (in the order I promised to all these wonderful authors), but to keep this FUN and avoid turning it into an obligation (ugh, what a nasty word “obligation” can be!) I’ll do it whenever the heck I can! 🙂 I don’t intend to have such a large gap between posts as I did recently. That was the result of yet another nasty word: “stress”.
We are back on track, and we have more contest winners this week! Everyone who commented on the last interview with Ray Wallace was entered in the random drawing. I’m a little nervous to announce the names, because one of the winners is a personal favorite person of mine, as you might know if you keep up with my Facebook. But I SWEAR all the names were put into a glass jar and picked at random. This thing was not rigged. I’m an honest girl. 🙂 So here it goes… The winner of the signed copy of Ray Wallace’s “The Hell Season” is Sarah Saint John. And the winner of the e-copy of “Welcome to Hell: An Anthology Of Western Weirdness” is Julie Thielen. Thank you to all who entered, and do not fret. There are more contests to come! Lots more!
When and why did you begin writing?
Writing, along with acting, have been two of my strongest artistic pursuits in life. It really started for me as a kid. I really enjoyed action/adventure movies like ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and sci-fi shows like classic Doctor Who. So I would get these big five-subject notebooks and write what people today refer to as ‘fan fiction’. Each of the sections would have its own story featuring some kind of adventure with Indiana Jones, Doctor Who, even the Ghostbusters. Those were pretty much my favorite things ever.
I still have those notebooks, too. It’s fun to thumb through them now and again and see where it took me.
Your novel “Big Cat” focuses more on the human characters than the vicious wild cat which stalks their town. Where did you come up with these loveable misfits? Can I assume there’s a little nerd inside of you?
I found inspiration from friends I knew in High School. We would be just like these kids, playing video games, socially awkward with girls, and creating characters for Dungeons and Dragons. One of my friend’s late father used to call us ‘The Junior Geek Patrol’.
The story itself was inspired by a MonsterQuest episode about Big Cats. The way the first witness featured talked about the animal immediately sparked my imagination, and I began to jot down ideas before putting together an outline weeks later.
There are currently three books in your “Down The Road” zombie horror series. Please tell us a little bit about the series as a whole. Do you have a personal favorite in the set?
The series is basically three stand-alone novels about the trials and tribulations of the people of south and central Texas during the Zombie Apocalypse. The first book, ‘Down the Road: A Zombie Horror Story’, which incidentally was the first published book I ever wrote, is a roadtrip story. A guy in Austin wants to drive home to San Uvalde where his family lives. But as he travels down IH-35 through small towns, working with survivors, and even seeing the dark side of FEMA, he finds the missing piece to a puzzle about his late fiancée and has a chance to put the memory to rest.
‘Down the Road: On the Last Day’ takes place in Beeville, Texas, where the mayor has secured the small town. But a United Nations Peacekeeping force led by a tyrannical leader has other plans for the fortified town.
‘Down the Road: The Fall of Austin’ takes place in the title city. The storyline follows several groups of people. One, military sent to secure the capitol, and a small fireteam who cut ranks and make a run because they refuse to wear UN patches on their gear. The second, a policeman and his buddy who watch as the world around them falls into chaos. Third, a pack of released prisoners from the county jail whose cruel brutality finds a home in the Zpoc. And, of course, several specific civilians trying to survive. The storylines all unite at the end in a spectacular finish that is the hallmark of the ‘Down the Road’ series.
What is the hardest part about writing a novel?
Finding the time.
My stories are all outlined before I even start writing them as part of my process. Once I can visualize the ending, the desire to get to that awesome finish is my motivation to write (longhand) in my 5-subject spiral whenever and wherever I have spare time.
But in my world, I got to get the bills paid, so I got to work. It’s a nice goal to have writing pay the bills, but that’s not my reality just yet. And I’m fine with that. As much as I truly love writing and still have so, so, so many stories to tell already outlined, I need to support myself and my family first. That’s my priority one. Forgetting I have family who are depending on me and spending all my time on my writing would be selfish.
Your short stories have appeared alongside some fantastic writers in the anthologies that have published your work. Can you tell my readers the titles and themes of these anthologies, in case they’d like to pick up a copy?
In ‘Holiday of the Dead’, my Fourth of July short ‘Rockets Red Glare’ features a good-old zombie cemetery rising during the US holiday. It’s an explosive traditional story.
‘Code Z’ features one of my best shorts, ‘Mommy and Daddy’. The short is about a child who has been infected with ‘Biter Syndrome’ and the bickering parents who don’t realize the extent of their child’s sickness, or the love their child has for them both in spite of their hateful arguing until its too late.
‘The e-Pocolypse: E-Mails at the End’ features a short called ‘Countdown to Extinction’. It’s a collaboration with R Phillip Roberts, who was the real mastermind of the story.
I’m guilty of asking this question pretty regularly, but it’s something that truly intrigues me. You write about all sorts of dark and scary things, but what actually scares you? What do you fear?
People. There’s nothing I could ever write in the fantasy world that could top what humans have done to other humans or creatures in the history of mankind.
Your action-packed novel “Code Name: La Lechusa” is the story of a woman named Paula who lives a double life. Although she appears to be quite ordinary, her alter ego is a skilled assassin. What made you decide to write a strong female character such as this, and is it challenging to write from a female perspective?
I met an amazing woman who completely amazed me. She would tell me stories about her emotional strength, her interactions with men, and how much she loved her daughters. When she mentioned she liked to stay up late, I said you’re a night owl. A Lechusa. It was then the spark was lit, and I had the idea for the superhero character that mixed traditional superhero elements with the legend of the phantom lechusa that truly haunts south Texas and northern Mexico.
It was a challenge to write from the female perspective. I just tried to keep it as truthful and human as possible. The character Paula is by no means a ‘lady’ in the traditional sense, but her heart is in the right place. Like all humans, she was molded by her experiences. The way she behaves is only a product of what she has found works for her in life, the attitudes and actions that have helped her survive as a woman, a mother, and a superhero.
What advice do you have for new and aspiring writers?
Very easy advice: Write every day. Whether it’s one word or twelve pages, just write every day.
What are you working on right now?
Several projects at the moment. I’ll start with the ones furthest along, which is a completed story from the ‘We’re Alive’ universe, a podcast about the zombie apocalypse. I wrote a backstory for their character, Burt, about what he was doing the day the Zpoc hit.
‘Room 26’ is completed, but on hold as it finds a home. It’s the story of a young woman who inherits a museum in San Antonio, Texas, and discovers secrets collected and hidden in its basement for years by the previous caretaker. When a disgruntled former employee finds one of the magical relics and unleashes its power, the new caretaker must take on the mantle of an ancient avenger to defend the city from an ancient force that has returned to conquer not only the city, but the world.
Also completed but on hold at the moment is the reboot for ‘Pit Fighters: Baptism by Fire’ and its sequel ‘Pit Fighters: Double Cross’. The book is a combat sport-themed tome featuring fighters from across the globe uniting in a stable in San Uvalde, Texas, in the early ‘90s, during the advent of Mixed Martial Arts.
And again, also completed but on hold is a collection of short stories called ‘Dead Texans’. The collection is a series of zombie short stories that take place in Texas. One is about a snake oil salesman from the old west who gets wrapped up in the petty pursuit of an Egyptian amulet that can raise the dead. The second is about a superhero named ‘Tejano Star’ who must stop his arch-nemesis, Rev. Skull, from unleashing an army of the living dead on south Texas and Mexico. The third is about a Mexican luchador who struggles with the modern perception that pro-wrestling is fake and the rise of MMA. When he questions the family tradition of his mask, the zombie apocalypse hits.
A project in its 2nd draft at the moment is ‘Alamo Rising’, a non-traditional ghost story inspired by Lucio Fulci about a severely amateur team of ghost hunters who get wrapped up in a supernatural conspiracy to destroy the city of San Antonio through an ancient curse cast by two defenders during the actual bloody battle of the Alamo.
There are many other projects in the works, but I won’t reveal them as they are only in outline or notes form at the moment. But there is plenty more to come.
Where can we find you on the web?
Readers are welcome to come to my official website, ZombieBloodFights.com. There, readers will find links to all my networks, including Facebook, Twitter, the official YouTube channel where they can see all my book trailers and silly videos, Google+, e-mail, even Goodreads.
And most importantly, they can find links to my Amazon.com page where they can pick up some of the titles we discussed.
A word from your blog editor: Before you go, please check out my review of Bowie’s novel “Big Cat” by clicking below! Thanks!