Today we have as our guest author, Micheal Esser, of the “Deadz” series “The Deadz” and “Vegaz Apocalypze”.
Michael, “The Deadz” is the first of a series of zombie books you’re working on. What made you want to write zombie fiction?
I moved from a big city to this little town and one day I was looking around and thought to myself, “What would happen if a zombie outbreak happened here?” We seem so isolated that I thought it would be a real problem! So, the idea was born.
Do you have a special fondness for that area of horror or do you have any plans to branch out into other areas?
I do have another zombie storyline or two I’m throwing around. I might like to do a mash up of sorts. My daughters sparked an idea to write, “Vampires vs. Robots” and I’ve set it in the last decade of the 21st century. The rest is under wraps, but let’s just say the vamps aren’t the hunters in this one.
Zombie stories in general are apocalyptic, especially since the Romero classics. Why do you think that is?
It’s the fantasy of getting to see the end of it all. Zombies are a human element at work, not like a meteor or atomic bomb, and if you’re caught in this disaster you become part of it.
How does that influence your work? Does it constrain you or liberate your work?
I think it liberates it because in my world I can destroy the whole damn thing and still have a setting to tell my story.
Speaking of your work, tell us about your writing process. How do you come up with your stories? Do you plot your stories, outline them, or are you a “pantser” (writing the story off the cuff, by the “seat of your pants”)?
I am constantly capturing ‘ideas’ for stories. Then, when I have something I’ve mentally mapped out, a beginning, middle, and end, I outline it like I’m watching it as a movie. (This happens, then this, and this, and so on capturing the main points in a little more detail.)
Are you one of those writers who always seem to have a notebook or pen handy when the Muse tickles you? Or are you like me, scrambling around for a pencil or pen and some scrap of blank writing surface to jot down the idea before it vanishes?
I used to be a notebook FREAK! I could leave the house without pants before my pad, but nowadays my phone has become the new pen and paper. Although, I am a ‘jot down the idea before it vanishes’ kind of guy to the highest degree.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? What drew you to writing?
I was nine. I had a dream about my buddies and I going off into the desert for the night and when we returned it was twenty years later. I was so awed by the future world I woke up and scrambled for a crayon and the back of some old homework to jot it down. I’ve been in and out of writers anonymous ever since.
Which books or authors influence your work the most? Do you try to emulate anyone in particular?
I like a few authors, couldn’t say I love anyone. The first books I read, and still love, were comic books. I remember the “Narnia” series from middle school. Lately, I ran through the Hunger Game books rather quick a couple years back, Brian Keene is cool, I loved and can’t wait for Warm Bodies to hit the screen, that was another one I tore through.
My style is and always will be a mix of manuscript and screenplay writing. I want to attract that, “I’ll just wait for the movie types” to read something that plays out in their mind like film. I’ll set up the world and guide you through it, but I want you to color the pictures in.
Tell us about your new book “The Deadz Won’t Rize”, and when do you expect to publish it?
I threw up a rushed version a few months back to get input. Those that read it, liked it. I re-read it and decided to clean it and Vegaz Apocalypze up a bit and make them more cohesive. I’m shooting for October 2012. The protagonist, Michael, has been fighting the deadz as an altered dead himself. But, when he thinks his family has been killed he snaps and goes cannibal on the cannibals and for the first time we see him lose it on a murderous level. Then a cure starts to take effect and everything is again flipped.
Besides writing, what do you like to do with your time? What hobbies and activities do you involve yourself with when you’re not being a key-jockey?
I am a geek. So, you name it. Midnight movies, quirky video games, sci-fi TV shows, I collect movie posters and superhero memorabilia. My kids love me when I go into the kitchen. I’ve created ‘zombie sauce’ and my own special rubs for meats and, I really like to bring out the crazy. (Crazy good!) I’m gonna open a zombie themed diner or food truck when I get old.
Check Michael’s work out on Amazon.com and his own website, http://thedeadz.wordpress.com/.
The first two installments of my zombie series “The Deadz” and “Vegaz Apocalypze” are available NOW at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/michaelesser.
(D3 “The Deadz Won’t Rize” is COMING IN OCTOBER!)