As a writer, i get odd questions like....where do my ideas come from and are writers rich and is it hard....and I get asked things like..."Is that me in your book?" On one hand, I am flattered that I have written so well that someone identifies with a character! But to be honest, a character may have a few traits that real people have, but no one character had EVER been someone from real life. Why? Take Alice and Friends..... the antagonists are (sometimes cannibals) kidnapping, sadistic, inbred, brilliant men. Do you think I KNOW anyone like that??? The women in the book are generally good, strong females, but Alice, of the title is a spit fire and doesn't break no matter what she endures, DO you think I know someone like HER? Trust me....no one is in my books....well...none are major characters. Now there may be a few very small roles that I put people I know in r/l. They always get eaten or worse. If you are someone i seriously dislike, then maybe some of you will be used for a character, our first name, traits, the way you looks, things you've said,,,,and then i will kill you off in the most brutal ways imaginable. I have a few on my list. But If I like you, you (may) nothing to fear.
I have been busy! I have this great reviewer who is very honest about my writing and he had helped me so much! He didn't get into SIx Shooters and Fangs....said it was well written but not his "thing". I will finish the series, but it isn't my "thing" either. I have 2 more for the zombie series and hope that will be the end but then I have this silly voice that tells me I may not be finished after the ninth book! How long can a series go? Arrrrrrrrrr. I really love the story and the characters and they have so much to do and so many adventures....it is hard to let go! On the other hand, my favorite reviewer has talked to me about my writing as has my copy editor. Now they both like Time of Grace and ALice type stories...you know.,.thrillers/horror with a bit of mystery and tons of psychological terror. Those are the books I enjoy the most and the writing is very easy for me. I am torn because the Z series is what sells like mad. I have to make sales and pay my way but people are zombie crazy and let's face it, most of the zombie books are horrible out there. (McKinney is great however). The Walking Dead (I LOVE it) adds fuel to the craze. So I have a zombie story and I have a series so people can get wrapped up in something they KNOW for 9 books. That is great for my sales and fan base. I am supplying exactly what is wanted. BUT.,....BUT.....I am a far better writer when I write my psychological horror/thrillers. My agent says "write both" (she's a tyrant...lol) What does this mean? It means that by next March (marking one year into writing full time) I will have 20+ books available which is a lot. 30-40 by year 2? That is more than prolific...it is insanity!
My new favorite thing people say to me: "Can you make me a character but not hurt me? And I read mysteries so can you make it a mystery?"
Arrrrr Again.If I write you into a book, you can bet you will get hurt very badly and die and maybe even eaten. It won't be a mystery, but a thriller/horror and I will add all your annoying habits! With a writer, be careful what you ask for!
Love October! Boo!
I saw that I had a very nice review for my favorite book (of mine). When people give detailed comments, I get to see the book as others see it and trust me, that helps a lot. The reviewer mentioned this is a coming of age book which eluded me. It really is one and I may have missed that because it is told in first person MALE point of view, was very difficult to write, but is my all time favorite because of the fun I had with some real history. To be compared along side of Stephen King and Robert McCammon on this one was a delight. It's not always easy to be noticed in the horror-writer market and I have used the zombie series to get my brand noticed and to pay me to do this full time, but this is who I am...mainstream horror....a little supernatural, a lot psychological...and strong characters, I like to immerse myself in whole other worlds when I write true horror fiction and for someone known for gore and violence, I feel that most readers are surprised at how subtle my writing is. despite my writing, I am most influenced by the horror writers of the 50s-70s when dread and unease was more fearful than blood and gore (Think Psycho movie) and my favorite writers are Thomas Tyron and Ira Levin. I will read anything frightening and nothing scares me like those two because of the subtle styles they used. Richard Laymon is my other big influence and is very differrent than the other two, but isn't that what horror should be? Scary, unpredictable, and stylized for whatever theme is being written about? George Romero probably got it most correct when he did NOTLD because so much of the movie was subtle and suggested and other parts were pretty grahpic for that time period. It was balanced. Absolute discomfort and changing tempos are what seem to work best. (IT by Stephen King) This is just my late night rambling as I think about the reviews and letters people send me...what people say about my writing. It isn't easy to be a writer. Yes, E-books have done a big business based on people who someone said could write but who really need to stop pumping out very bad prose. But it is hard to be a good writer over the course of many books. I know I don't always get a hit out of the park or even score with a few books, but I am trying to entertain people. That's all. I want to amuse people or scare them, make them think, or make someone uneasy...that's my job. Getting a great review that tells me I am hitting the points I want to hit...that makes the job enjoyable, Cheers and when you love a book, let the author know; it does make a difference!
I am not, normally a "zombie writer" as I am more about characters and crazed humans. Little did I know that these elements are what work best for a zombie thriller. There are so many zombies books out there and I see the same mistakes over and over where a young man gets a hot girlfriend and hides in Wally World and gets to run things and go around shooting and screaming bad words. It's like the writer is trying to write his dream fiction every time. BORING. The other thing I see is "everyday Joe" doing all these great things. I don't see any of the above surviving and they are so bland. I know I use zombies as a vehicle that is carrying politics, human ethics, morality, and glances into insanity. And why not? Do we think the usual would just vanish and we'd all go hide in Wal-Mart and have cute partners and never think again about what matters? I don't know. I do know I have developed some interesting characters who can be weak, strong, funny, cruel and good all in a day's time...like most people. Those following can see a character, Hannah, as she develops and she is probably the most like my usual interests. She is an odd one, but there are no excuses for who she is. Hannah is modern culture at it's most honest, like it or hate it. Take Hannah as you wish but be aware it is all about those who interact with her....that's the fun part.
Number six of the series is out and yes, there is a number 7 for sure. Bet on a number 8 as well...and a 9, because there is more to the story and I have still only scratched a few surfaces.
Why read my writing? Yes, the story is there and it is strong. The descriptions are there. But read my writing for the characters who will make the reader think and rethink a few things. I seldom pull a punch. For fans, my one pull was that issue of Kimball and Juan. Sadly, one had to be let go and it was a tough choice. We know that no one is safe...ever....and at anytime, someone may die. Such is my world.
http://zisforzombie.wikia.com/wiki/Z_is_for_Zombie_Wiki is the super Wiki out for fans...yes, there are spoilers so be careful! There is also trivia and a time line of who has done what.
I know some writers write for fans, some write for themselves; I write for the story that wants to be told. It isn't always easy as I have a full, regular life with a husband, child, and pets, home, and family....they keep me going and encourage me to tell my stories. In the next year, the series will be done and I will writing the stories that have waited impatiently to be told...about some wicked people, some strange events...all horror, all the time. Why? Because that chill of dread, the shiver when we see a clown (Pennywise), the unknown is just fun!
I like all areas of horror. Now, some of my books are very, very violent and gory. They are splatterpunk. "Jump scares". And yes, violence has sold extremely well for me. However, that said, the violence is another vehicle I use to juxtapose it with beauty and loyalty in situations. I show that even in violent situations, we can find amazing people and that nothing in the physical realm is as horrible as what may lie in our own minds via bad experiences, chemical issues, etc.
Horror can be subtle or in-your-face and I can relate to deciding which to use with supernatural fiction...Violence can be a very real controversy when we must decide how to use it, if to do so, when, in what way...
I can imagine having written a story about a nut dressing like the Joker and attacking a movie crowd. That would be a great story and it could go into the reason he does it and the people there who are heroic and who are cowardly....it would be a good vehicle to tell a story. HOWEVER...my God, it happened! The writer, if he had written such, would feel terrible and be raked over the coals and probably threatened, It is very possible and very controversial as we can all understand.
I think we, as horror writers, don't design or invent the violence, but we simply delve into the human mind and see the possibilities of some terrible things.
A man tells his friend he wants to be on an airplane that is hijacked but that lands safely in the end and the bad guys are caught and no one is harmed.
"How horrible! You would be terrified." The friends says.
"Yes, but it ends ok and then I won't be afraid of that anymore because what are the chances of me ever being on 2 hijacked planes?"
Horror sells because once you have seen or read it, what are the chances you will ever be in that spot again? You have seen the demons and escaped. In some ways, when we read about violence, we are carrying a rabbit's foot after that...a talisman of protection because....what are the odds?
Amazing that the series is over. I am so thankful for the praise I have gotten and the fans who have enjoyed the ride into an alternate world of fiction. Sales are staggering and I know I must be doing something right to get fans interested in reading more and more.
A new series is in the editing works, already written but not ready yet and yes, I am going to let the vampires run wild. None will glitter in the sunlight. LOL
My husband got me to take a week off and we took a mini vacation which was wonderful. He and I had a good time...it is true that play time helps! While we were together, I did find a new book in my head, so I know I need to get busy releasing the new series and writing the 5-6 in my head right now!
I may write horror, but I am not a negative person. I am thankful for my handsome, sweet husband and the love we share, my wonderful child, my cute pets, my lovely home, my own mind, my books, family, and my fans who have enjoyed my books so much. Life is wonderful.
So enjoy the zombie tales in the Z is for Zombie series and get ready for some blood suckers to rock the South West in the 1880s, keep reading what you love and above all....chase the dreams. Mine all came true an