“Coming to a drive-in near you this summer, three college students on the last night of spring break, will find out the road to Hell is paved with good intentions…and blood.”
Ah, the good old days of the movie trailer. Believe me, there was really a time when the preview didn’t tell you the whole movie in a two-and-a-half-minute bit. The preview teased and made you want to see the movie. Alas, I’m afraid those days are long gone.
But fear not, thanks to D. Alexander Ward (go and check him out, this I command!) I’m here to give you a preview. Think of it as the opening to a date with that special person. You both snuggle together while the sun dips out of sight and the darkness creeps along the theater grounds until the projector fires up and brightens the night with its magic. Writing really can be that dramatic and I’m here now to give you a peek into my mind and my work. I’ll try not to lead you astray or to give away too much because to be completely honest, I want you to have questions and buy the book to see if your thirst for answers can be quenched.
So, sit back and dim the lights. Relax and let me take your hand and give you a tour through my work, a Neverland of blood and betrayal. Eat your popcorn and enjoy the show…
What are you working on right now? At the moment I’m finishing up the last few chapters of my second novella, Southern Devils. I also have three top-secret projects going on with other authors and my first full length novel set in the fictional town of White Creek has been started on. There are also a few odd and end short stories, but I’m focusing on the big things right now. Southern Devils is the opening of a trilogy and there are three other novellas or novels that I have written out very detailed notes on.
How does it differ from other works in its genre? Southern Devils is my take on zombies and how the Civil War’s closing days was a battle between a resurrected group of Rebel soldiers and the Union soldier ordered to eliminate them and eradicate all trace of their existence. The approach I took with the zombies was that they are driven by their mission. They retain some of their humanity, but also must deal with the ramifications of what they’ve become.
What experiences have influenced you? Since I was a child, I loved to write and make up really outlandish shit. Once I hit about the age of 12, I was introduced to Stephen King and television shows like Tales From the Darkside, Monsters, and Tales From the Crypt. From there the die was cast and horror became my game. I did some writing in high school, but between everything else in my life at the time, it got away from me. Now fast-forward almost 20 years and I’m finally taking my dream back and making a go at the writing gig. So far, it has been a magical ride.
Why do you write what you do? I like to explore the dark side of things. That noise outside? It’s a long-lost love come to give you a final goodbye kiss. The voice in your head? It’s the darkness in your soul begging for blood to spill so it can be released. Horror isn’t just a genre for ghosts and vampires. It is a genre that defines who we are deep down in the human condition. What causes someone to go on a brutal killing spree? We don’t really know what went on in that person’s mind, but it’s my job to be the voice of his conscious and once we start to listen to the little voice in the back of our heads…that is when the fun begins.
How does your writing process work? Before I begin a new story, I jot some quick ideas down in one of my notebooks and I let the idea stew for a few days. When I pick it back up again, I like to know the opening line and where I want the story to end up at. I do admit, there have been some stories where the story took on a life of its own and became what it wanted to be. I love those kind of stories. There is nothing like hitting a point while writing and thinking, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming”. As far as how I work, I sit behind my cluttered desk and I get some words in while I play on the internet
What is the hardest part about writing? Finishing. The hardest thing for me is finishing something once I start it. I get involved with another project and I start to push things off and I tend to fall behind on the stuff I’m not committed to write. I’ve been finishing Southern Devils for far too long and I get irritated with myself. Some of my foot-dragging, I believe, also stems from the doubt issues that still creep into my head about a piece. For example, no matter how much people have told me they loved In Memoriam, I will always think I could have done better and will mess with something until I want to rip it up because I don’t think it’s good enough. I’m getting better about it and I’m gaining more confidence in my work with every new acceptance and every new review. The thing that has gone the farthest in settling my mind is the other day a stranger stopped me and told me how much they loved my book. When they followed about how they couldn’t wait to read my next one, my eyes damn near teared up. It really put my mind to rest about my work and has really invigorated me since it happened.
What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet? That one is easy, I want to write a screenplay for one of my works or have a story of mine adapted into comic form.
Who are the authors you most admire? The ones I admire the most are the ones who have been there with a piece of timely advice, a story about when they were starting, or those who take the time to help and encourage a new author. In no order I admire for their words and deeds: Brian Keene, Robert Ford, Kelli Owen, Tim Lebbon, James A. Moore, Christopher Golden, and John Everson. Each has given me a new insight or a new way to see the field and I thank them all.
Who are new authors to watch out for? There are three that I’m working with now that come to mind. Each one has some work out there and everything I’ve read by them has been a fantastic read. Go and check out Julianne Snow, Jason Darrick, and Dale Eldon. You can’t go wrong with any of them and each one brings a distinct voice and subject matter to the horror field.
What scares you? Failure. I don’t want to fail in this and it drives me to keep improving and challenging myself to write better and have my work show how much I’ve grown and improved. I also fear for the world I’m leaving my kids. No, I fear for the world and what my kids will do to it if they have the chance…
Now, I was to give you three places to go and check out. I’ve been tied up with work and other stuff that I can only offer you two authors to continue on this Blog Hop. Next Wednesday, Jason Darrick and Armand Rosamilia will take the reigns over at there blogs and give you the answers to the burning questions above.
Stop back by Friday night when I give my thoughts on, The Compound, the debut novel from Robert Ford and he stops by to enter the Arena and answers “The 10 Questions”!
At Horrorfind 2011 at the signing table after my reading. Only one book and if I did it today it would be over twenty.