Brand spankin’ new interview with me is up today! You should really read it!
Brand spankin’ new interview with me is up today! You should really read it!
He might’ve mentioned the interview we did for Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast at Scares That Care Weekend… and a few other important things going on with him…
Armand Rosamilia, author of the Dying Days zombie series, is interviewed:
TJ Redig swears he had an oh-so-metal discussion with Armand Rosamilia, the author of the Dying Days series, the Keyport Cthulhu series, theFlagler Beach series, the Metal Queens series, and God-only-knows how many other things.
TJ Redig does not lie…
New interview from me today, talking about my upcoming traditional horror novel Chelsea Avenue
Pre-order Chelsea Avenue before the September 8th release date!
SPOTLIGHT ON: Lisa Shambrook
How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?
A friend of mine invited me to the event and the whole idea intrigued me, so I joined in!
What is your latest release and what genre is it?
‘Beneath the Rainbow’ and it’s contemporary general fiction
Quick description of it.
Freya won’t let death stand in her way. When she dies Freya needs to move on, but is caught within her mother’s grief. When her family finds her list of goals she discovers a way to help them come to terms with their grief.
Freya intends to create a rainbow, the last item on her list, to reach her mother, but her pale arcs won’t achieve closure. She needs scarlet like remembrance poppies then sunset orange and sunflower yellow. She makes green like her willow and blue like daddy’s t-shirt. Finally conjuring indigo, the shade of deepening night and violet to match Purple Ted…
Beneath these colours will Freya reach her mother and be ready to move on?
Something unique about it.
My main protagonist dies in the very first sentence…
Links for people to buy it.
Your promo links.
Your short Bio.
Born and raised in vibrant Brighton, England, Lisa’s lyrical writing is emotional and imaginative. She concentrates on description and colour, and hopes her readers will easily visualise the narrative.
A wife and mother, Lisa draws inspiration from family life, faith, memory and imagination. After having her first of three children, Lisa has lived in Carmarthen, West Wales, another town rich in legend and lore.
Lisa loves family time, walking the family’s excitable German Shepherd, beaches, scrap-booking, photography, art and last, but not least, writing.
Beginning March 1st 2014 and running until I spotlight every author possible who has helped out with the Authors Supporting Our Troops 2014 event, I’ll be running short interviews each day… and some days it might be 3-5 of them if I get enough participation.
I’ve run these Spotlight On interviews in month’s past, but for March I wanted to do something special…
So my goal is to get every author who has donated a book or books to the Authors Supporting Our Troops event and give them a showcase to push their latest release, give them props and get them sales!
I’m looking forward to March!
SPOTLIGHT ON: Brent Abell
What is the title of your story in Still Dying 2?
“The Happiest Kingdom on Earth”
Quick description of it (no spoilers)
Two men trying to stay alive in a zombie ravaged world find a group of survivors who have taken refuge in Florida’s premiere tourist attraction and find out how high the price of admission can be to stay in the “Happiest Kingdom on Earth”.
Something unique about it.
When the chance to write a story set in the “Dying Days” world came about, I jumped at it immediately. The story idea wasn’t as easy. Originally, the main character George was in a different part of Florida protecting a small group he’d come across. Once I got into the story, it felt stale and I stepped back and re-evaluated what I was doing. I am a huge fan of that magical land in central Florida and I came up with the idea that a group would use someplace like that to form a new community or society. In the end, I really just wanted to talk about zombies in furry animal suits…
Your promo links.
Blog: Our Darkest Fears: The Fiction of Brent Abell at http://brentabell.wordpress.com
Your short Bio.
Brent Abell resides in Southern Indiana with his wife, sons, and a pug who likes to eat zombie fingers for snackies. He works full time, but has found time to have over twenty tales published from multiple presses and eZines. In Memoriam, his debut novella was released in October 2012 from Rymfire Books and is currently out of print. His first full novel is currently being edited and he is hard at work on another one to appease the masses. You can hang out with him for some rum, a cigar, and all the latest news at http://brentabell.wordpress.com.
Print ($12.99): https://www.createspace.com/4557463
Todd Brown has not only your favorite zombie author (besides me… fine, just lie to me and say I am) but his wife, the true brains behind the operation…
Brent Abell (http://brentabell.wordpress.com/) was kind enough to pass me these questions along, and I am honored to answer them. Then I will choose three authors at the end to keep it going, and answer the questions themselves…
Questions for Armand Rosamilia
What are you working on right now?
Besides keeping my weight over 300 lbs.? I am in the midst of Dying Days 3, my continuing zombie story. I should have the first draft done by May 1st and then it goes to the editor, with a late June release planned. I’m also working on 16 other stories at once, too…
How does it differ from other works in its genre?
It is just better. OK, maybe it isn’t… but I like writing it, and other people like reading it so far. And it has zombies in it. But it’s more about the people. But it also has zombies in it.
What experiences have influenced you?
I think you need every experience to influence you, either good or bad. As a writer I’m constantly people watching and committing conversations or ideas to memory. Monday, for instance, I witnessed a sixty year old woman breaking up with her fifty year old boyfriend because his kids are ‘animals’, as she put it. I eavesdropped on the entire conversation, and added a character or two to a future story.
Why do you write what you do?
I can’t help it. I have always read horror and been fascinated by apocalyptic ideas and stories, so zombies are just another means to an end (pun intended). The old adage ‘write what you know’ applies to what you read a lot of as well. I’ve read a ton of horror books in my life so far.
How does your writing process work?
Better some days than others. I set a daily goal of 2,000 words and then attempt to get there between 8 am and noon Monday through Friday, and get up early on the weekends and hit my goals before the kids are fully awake and bothering me to eat.
What is the hardest part about writing?
The daily discipline. Some days I just want to play on Facebook and push it off until tomorrow. But then I know my goal for tomorrow will be 4,000 words and I’d be rushing. So I bust my butt to get it done. Or else.
What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?
Getting out of my comfort zone completely. I’d love to write a romantic comedy or a straight action thriller, or maybe even a historical dramatic piece. I’ve dabbled in erotica and enjoyed it, and I know straying too far away from horror might piss off my fan base, but I will eventually expand my range.
Who are the authors you most admire?
Anyone who braves the rejection and fear and just writes and completes a story. I run into so many people who swear they are going to write, and so many more who have something incomplete. Rare do you find someone who finished a story and submitted it or published it themselves, and then kept writing. I have over seventy stories/novellas/etc. on sale right now, and my goal is fifty times that… and that would be a lot of stories! (I can’t figure out the math on that)
Who are new authors to watch out for?
I was recently in the Fifty Shades of Decay anthology, and I found some amazing authors in there I will be reading more of. Some might not be new to you, but to me they are. I love when I read someone’s work and it blows me away and I have to pile on their back-list and catch up.
What scares you?
Fear of losing you… and dogs. Maybe dogs more.
Thanks for taking the time to read this senseless crap. If you want to read even more senseless crap, next Wednesday go over to see authors Tim Baker (http://blindoggbooks.wordpress.com/), Tonia Brown (www.thebackseatwriter.com) and Lisa Woods (http://LisaWoodsWrites.com) as they answer these fascinating questions and try to outdo me with my subversively interesting answers.
A Road Paved In Iron is about power and agency. This theme is reflected in every story told in the first novel. The horror here is psychological. On one hand you are handed power, handed the keys to the kingdom, whether it be through your spiritual inheritance, the color of your skin or trust offered by your community. There are expectations and not living up to those expectations has dire consequences beyond what the characters are able to face. Characters without power or consequence lack allies and confidantes, leading cold, reckless lives.
This is where I draw much of the suspense in the book. Even among the zombies in my tale (duh… Voodoo… Of course there’s zombies) the real horror is their powerlessness. The fear is not that they could possibly rise from the dead, but that even beyond death there are people and powers that can influence your actions, even forcing you to hurt the ones you love.
This was a challenging book to write. There were a number of social issues going on in the time of the Civil War – slavery, civil rights, gender roles – that I didn’t want to overshadow the horror of the characters’ situations. They are part of the story but I pushed some of the ugliness to the background. Some of those issues take a role in the book’s theme while other aspects are more muted then they probably would be. Many of the women and black characters in the fiction have a far greater scope and influence than they otherwise might have had. The time frame is designed to feed the story, not stymie it, while staying internally consistent with the plot.
I wouldn’t say A Road Paved In Iron is in the horror genre. I’d say it’s more a Fantasy Western. Everything I write has an air of the horrific in it. It’s the kinds of games I like, the stories I read, and the films I gravitate toward. I once joked that I have to find my voice somewhere between Hemingway and Lovecraft. Those stories that resonate with me would be characterized as chilling. Where I overlap with the horror genre is in depicting characters in untenable situations, driving toward their inevitable dooms.
That being said, this is a Western – a spaghetti western to be specific. There is a certain level of iconic heroism that’s part of the genre, implicit in its structure. This made it hard for me to make my main protagonist likable (although it should be said that A Road Paved In Iron is more of an ensemble cast). The theme of the book has to do with destiny but I didn’t want my characters dragged along in their lives by circumstances beyond their control. They had to make their own beds.
The main character is a black Union soldier. He’s a violent man and lives by the gun. That’s what the title refers to, his actions leading him down this path of violence that he learns is influenced by a connection with a violent warrior spirit, or lwa – Ogun. His father’s gun is the iron that represents an area of the lwa’s influence – iron and blacksmiths. While I make the influence of the lwas in the main plot there are elements of the writing that make the reader wonder if it’s all just in the protagonist’s head. Much of the supernatural is framed within the story as supernatural but a cynical eye could pass much of it off as hallucination and rationalizing.
In many religions, most notably Celtic and West African myth, the gods and spirits inhabit the bodies of their followers to do their will on earth. During important rituals men and women take on the embodied gods. Their actions are not considered their own, but rather the will of the celestial being inhabiting them. Taken on a profane level one could see the social and therapeutic roles these ritual could take, coupling people in fertility rites and performing rituals to protect against illness. These stories are grist for the novelists mill as the characters are then thrust into the aftermath of their/the gods actions and have to face the consequences.
One of the best loved examples of this is Marion Zimmer Bradley’s accounts of the Arthurian legends through the eyes of the women in her book Mists of Avalon. In that story Bradley used the actions of the gods in order to explain the incestuous circumstances behind Mordred’s birth and, primarily, to make Morgan le Fey a more sympathetic character.
The question becomes: What happens when they do not remember the events of the previous night? Even on a spiritual level the most altruistic and heroic of mythical figures becomes a rapist and the audience has to wonder why anyone would embrace these spirits in the first place. You want the reader to like the main characters. You want the audience to root for the spirits the protagonist has aligned with and yet the “realities” of such a system – one equal part fear as reverence – would most any reader pause. That’s a fine line to walk as a writer.
Don Corcoran has been a fan of science fiction, fantasy and westerns since he could read. Speculative fiction fueled his love of myth and led him to topics like religion, race and social dynamics. A consummate storyteller, Don puts conflict and wonder in the hands of the reader weaving evocative and disturbing tales. He currently pounds words out on his iPad in coffee shops across Philadelphia when he’s not being a father to a wonderful toddler.