This week on THE KATY, I am helping celebrate the release of the anthology “Bite Sized Offerings,” which many authors wrote to help pay for a little girl’s medical bills. This coming Saturday (9/5) from 12PM- 10PM CST, is the “Bite Sized Offerings” release party on Facebook! Join the event here! In preparation for this awesome party for such a wonderful cause, I am interviewing several authors from the anthology.
Thank you for joining me here on THE KATY today, John!
What is it about writing that intrigues you?
I’ve been a visual artist for many years,and when I create a visual piece, it pretty much is what I say, there can be interpretation, but it is immutably set into its form forever. Writing is a work of art that appears not on canvas or screen but in the imagination connection between the reader and the writer. This is why each reader may envision a character or setting differently, depending on the reader’s own life experiences. If I say a large cavern, they may imagine a roughly walled cave, or one that is clean and swept, or one that is blue, or purple or green or whatever.
Writing is creating art inside the reader.
What inspires you to write?
I grew up reading all the science fiction I could get my hands on. Even reread quick a few, due to the small selection in my library. I grew up in the sixties, so the speculative, mind-expanding nature of things like the Twilight Zone or Outer Limits made me realize we are not alone, that all we know is not all there is to know. That fiction can help us better understand ourselves, as well as others. That spinning a yarn in a certain way can inspire as well as frighten.
I am writing as a legacy. I want my son and eventual grandchildren to be able to hold a book I wrote in the future. That is what inspires me.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I don’t think that’s an either/or question. Plotters can pants and vice versa. However, for me, I don’t often do literal physical outlines on paper before writing. Instead, I figure out in my head what I want to write as I’m trying to fall asleep. I might push the plot around dozens of times before I ever start to right. And THEN, when I am writing, a character can completely surprise me and give me hints as to what they would or wouldn’t do, throwing the plan I had completely away, but in a beautiful coup that ends up a much more believable product. In Prep for Doom, for example, I originally conceived my chapter with no backstory for Old Earl. He was just off balance from being homeless. But the more I typed, the more I thought, wait… Something happened to Old Earl, didn’t it? Once I figured out what must have happened, the whole story became much more dimensional. That decisions wasn’t made until my fingers were on the keyboard.
So, I guess I’m mostly a ‘pantser’, though I hate that term. I consider myself a surfer, reading the waves as they come to me and deciding how to react to them.
How did you start writing dystopian?
I just write stories. I classify them after I write them. Since I like so many genres, Anything can occur to me. Probably I’d sell more books if I concentrated on one genre, but I would definitely be bored. Also, every story I write is somewhat independent of genre.
Roof is considered dystopian, and it is, but I meant it as an examination of what it means to be human. In other words, I had a thought, or idea, that drove the story. The fact that it appears on a dystopian landscape is true only because the story required it.
What does the Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans group on Facebook mean to you?
This is one of the few groups online I have felt so incredibly comfortable enough to hang out in. The people that run it are the best, and everyone is so supportive of each other.
I could try to define it further, but to distill it down, It’s because what is really its charm, is that it’s charming.
Are you self published?
Thus far. Why? What have you heard? 🙂
Why did you choose to go this route?
I’m old. I don’t have the patience, or the actual time to spend cultivating agents and publishers for years and years to finally publish one book. Right now, I’ve published 5 of my own and am in 7 anthologies of others, all since Nov. 2013. If I were in the traditional system, I would be lucky to have even one book out by now.
Plus, I write, illustrate, edit, format, upload and sell my own books, I’m in charge and that’s good. Doesn’t mean I’d object to going traditional at some point, but this is what is working for me right now.
Can you tell me about any of your recent projects?
I’m retooling a gothic horror novella right now, which will have several illustrations in it. I have an outline for a science fiction epic novel.
I most recently have the first story in the Immortality Chronicles, a Samuel Peralta project, edited by Carol Davis. It’s title “The Antares Cigar Shoppe” and it is getting good reviews (as is the whole book) from advanced readers. It will launch Sept. 4, but is available for presale.
I also have a somewhat humorous story in Bite-sized Offerings, but you knew that.
I am in the planning stages of a humorous adventure thriller with another great author, who is a BOD member but I’ll let him out himself on this one since we’ve barely started.
I will have a sequel to Crawlspace in the near future and a sequel to ROOF. I honestly have more projects going than I can shake a stick at.
How did you get involved with “Bite Sized Offerings?”
I answered the call, and was answered back. That simple.
Can you tell us a little bit about your role in the anthology?
I just wrote a story, which was a lot of fun, though a bit challenging. I knew it had to have zombies, but also be appealing to kids. So I went with a bit of humor. I mean, how many humorous zombies tales are there?
What do you see as a future? Are zombies a possibility?
I don’t personally think the classic idea ofa zombie is possible, for the plain reason that a decaying body quickly devolves into a broken machine. Decay involves microbes and insects, for example, and I can’t see a reason they wouldn’t be all over the zombie in no time.
On the other hand, a different form of zombie might happen, where a contagion or poison in a living person makes them behave as a zombie, similar to Ted Nulty’s “Gone Feral” books.
But hey, I enjoy a good zombie book or flick, its all fiction.
I also don’t believe there are sparkly vampires.
Do you have a favorite zombie book, movie, or show?
I mentioned Gone Feral, I like the Walking Dead, I enjoyed World War Z, as examples. The very first Romero zombie flick “He’s coming to get you, Barbara!”. heh.