Check out my main post for the band of dystopian zombie blog crawl HERE (including the giveaway)!
Please welcome Author P Mark DeBryan to THE KATY blog today!
Hello all, I have always been a bit of a vagabond. Born in Washington, raised in California. I joined the Coast Guard after high school. During my Coast Guard career I was an Admiral’s driver in San Francisco, a deckhand on a 378’ cutter in the Bering Sea, and an Aviation Electrician in North Carolina, Texas and Southern Florida. After I left the Coast Guard I worked security, first guarding MX nuclear missiles, then at a nuclear power plant in California. Eventually I went to college in Wisconsin, only to drop out after meeting my future wife. I went on to finish college at 36 and own a Miracle Ear franchise. I went into publishing for a short time before becoming an Information Systems Specialist. I currently split my time between West (by God) Virginia and Surfside Beach, SC.
How did you decide to become an author? Any books, movie, or people that inspired you to pursue your dream?
I have always been a voracious reader, and once I read Stephen King’s “The Stand” I was hooked on post-apocalyptic genre. I read everything I could get my hands on. Back when King’s book came out there wasn’t a lot of it, so I exhausted most of what I could find. Just recently I began reading some Dystopian and Zombie Apocalypse books and found an author I really liked. John O’Brien wrote a series that really gripped me and I friended him on Facebook. Sometime later he ran a contest of sorts. He asked his fans to write a short story in his world… long story short (story haha) he chose my story “In For A Dollar In For A Dime” to publish along with three other fan stories and a bunch of his own in his book “Untold Stories”. He then graciously allowed me to take the short story and expand it to a full length novel. That was the birth of Family Reunion and that’s how I became an author.
Are you self-published or traditionally published? Why did you choose to go that route?
I am self-published, but that is kind of deceiving. Very few people do it all by themselves. John gave me my start, and one of the other fan authors has since become a good friend and awesome editor and writer in her own right. That would be Sara Jones who runs Torchbearer Editing Services. There are many others that had a hand in bringing Family Reunion to fruition, but technically I am self-published.
Are you a plotter or a panster?
I would have to say I am a little of both. I start out with a plan and then the characters jump in and drag me around by the seat of my pants.
What draws you to writing about zombies or the apocalypse in particular?
As I said earlier, it was a combination of several different circumstances that led me to write in this genre. My love of reading, Stephen King, and eventually John O’Brien was the impetus that got me going. I think the Zombies, or in my case “Freaks”, and the apocalypse are not the main focus of the story. They are something the characters have to deal with and that lend to the book’s excitement and tension, but hope and human relationships are really what any good story is about.
What do you see as a future? Are zombies a possibility?
Anything is possible. As a species we are always thinking of ways to destroy ourselves… lol.
Do any of your characters represent you as a whole or someone you know? Or are they qualities you admire in others?
Write what you know, is what I was told. So, yes I draw heavily from my past and that of those around me. If you read the book and still wonder, give me a call.
Do you have a favorite zombie book or movie? Which one and why?
Wow, do you have about a month? We could go on and on… O’Brien, McKinney, Christy, Rosamilia, Chesser, Tufo, are all authors in the genre that I love and that doesn’t even start to crack the file on books for me. Movies have all fallen in the so-so category except for the classic, Night of the living Dead, has to be at the top of almost everybody’s list. World War Z was good, but after the book it kind of left me wishing they could have followed the story closer. I am always a reader verses a watcher.
Do you have an advice for aspiring writers?
Sit down and write! Get it from your head and onto the paper, or computer. (backupbackupbackup). Then find a competent editor. This is not as easy as it sounds, but it is imperative! It will cost you, but there are so many badly edited books out there today that no one will read past the second page if it is full of typos and grammatical errors. Have several people (not related) read it and give you their opinions. Don’t give up! Writing is fun, but being an author is work.
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
I have been working full time on promoting Family Reunion since it released, but I have already started a second book to follow on with the same characters… the ones that made it.
Please tell us about your donation to the giveaway! We are excited to hear about it.
Well, there are several things that I plan on adding to the pot of goodies. To start with, a signed copy of Family Reunion with a signed bookmark. Both of which were designed by Justin McCormick and how about an 11×17 signed poster that is a reproduction of the book’s cover, with a copy of the ebook?