First why don't you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I'm uncomfortably close to forty. I have a wife, Karen, and two sons; Tommy, 15, and Conor, 7. I have a Labrachow named Jasper.
Doorway to Dementia
What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance,sex, blood and guts?
Yes. Seriously, though, mostly what you can expect is the unexpected. Or the expected through my weird, somewhat demented lens. I can have a bit of a potty-mouth too.
Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why?
I can't play favorites. All of my characters are like all the people I've ever met. Fantastic in some ways and deplorable in others. It would be like picking a favorite son. I can't do that either.
How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
As I said above all my characters are favorites and least favorites. The scene and/or situation usually determines which list they are on at the time.
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
One of my favorite stories in the collection, Unforgettable, was actually tacked on after I had sent the whole shebang to my editor. I came up with it while on my daily commute and had to write it. I wrote it that night when I got home and it worked out even better than I had pictured.
Has there been any other authors who have inspired your work or helped you out with your stories?
Every author I've ever encountered, through direct contact or just their words, has helped out with all writing I do. They have all inspired me in one way or another even if that way was to get me saying, "I can certainly do better than that hack!"
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Shout my name from the moutaintops! Extol my writerly virtues to all they come in contact with! Really the most helpful thing for any indie author is readers reviewing on Amazon, B&N, wherever they can. Telling friends about it and getting new readers in is very helpful as well. Anything to put the book and author's name into other people's heads and hands is always appreciated.
Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Readers just need to read. Read whatever gets your juices flowing. Then show appreciation for the author's hard work by getting more people to enjoy the bliss of the written word. Authors need to decide how much work they're willing to do. If you want to do the least amount of work then follow instructions and get a thick skin because that way lies the gauntlet of big-wig acceptance before reader acceptance. If you're willing to put in the work and a few dollars for quality then pushing it out yourself is a viable option. I'm not kidding about the work, either.
Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
I can never pick a favorite anything (if you couldn't tell). I'm wishy-washy that way. Every author I read brings a uniqueness all their own and my mood determines who is my favorite at any time of any given day.
Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable?
I spent a couple of years in elementary school writing and rewriting a time machine story with a farting caveman. Why's it memorable? It stunk. I mean--dead skunk carcass stench. And not just because of the caveman's flatulence. But it was a start and it showed me that I wanted to tell stories. And that I was weird.
Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
Dreams and twisting real-life situations. My imagination always drifts to the possibilities of any situation. What if a different choice was made? What if what I fear happening actually did happen? What if a different phrase was spoken? That sort of thing.
Favorite places to travel or visit?
I'm a homebody for the most part. I don't go much of anywhere. I like Arizona and I would love to one day travel the world.
And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:( Include links to were we can find your work)
This snippet is from the story Zombie Mine:
It was Vin, framed against a backdrop of glaring summer sun in the doorway. He was my closest friend in the whole wide end of the world. We had quickly gravitated toward one another through our love of technology and our parallel losses. Many were the evenings we whiled away our “off hours” talking and sharing a bottle of whiskey from my stash.
He had lost his wife as well in that initial onslaught, the same one during which I had captured the zombie, but he’d managed to keep his son and daughter safe. We commiserated with each other over the losses of our life partners, and he sympathized with me as I recounted my own tragic story. It struck me as funny how I was able to deal with the loss of the outside world, but was rocked to the core when my own little corner of it was shattered. We respected each other’s need to keep the actual death details private until we felt emotionally ready to deal with those graphic mental scenes.
“Yeah,” I said as I dug through the papers littering my small desk. “They’re here somewhere. I got them typed in. I just need to proof them and print up copies.”
“Cool.” He looked at his feet and drew some kind of random design in the carpet with his toes. He cleared his throat. “Everything okay, Cam?”
I paused in my search and studied his face. He wore a worried expression which I could tell he was trying to hide. I laughed nervously, “Yeah, why?”
“It’s just ... ” He hesitated before continuing. “You’ve seemed a little, I don’t know, off the last week or so, and you’ve been spending an awful lot of time just staring at that zombie.”
“I really feel we’re getting close on the whole cure thing,” I lied. “And I wanted to make sure it was still a good specimen.”
“Uh huh.” He didn’t sound convinced. No one was around when I captured the zombie. Once the initial horde had been vanquished, people went around and checked for survivors. They had found me and a bloody, restrained member of the undead community on opposite sides of the room. I’d had to threaten living people to keep them from killing the zombie. I’d had to consider actual murder. Luckily they had relented and decided that, if nothing else, keeping it for a while would prevent me from going completely nutso.
Something in Vin’s demeanor made me think he, alone, might be ready for the whole story. And I kind of was ready to get it off my chest. I sighed, “Okay, Vin, you win. You want some hooch while I talk?”
“Sure. Is it the kind of story I should be drunk for?”
“It might help.”
I wandered into the kitchen to fetch a bottle of Glenlivet from the upper shelf of my pantry. I grabbed a couple of crystal tumblers from the cabinet and rejoined Vin in the living room where I set the bottle and glasses down with audible clinks.
“The good stuff? Must be one hell of a story.”
I rubbed my eyes with the back of my hand, trying to banish the tears which began even as I thought of what to say, “You have no idea, man.”
“So tell me.”
I paused and mentally started my story a half dozen times. Finally I just started with, “It’s my wife.”
Vin poured us each a couple of fingers of the scotch, sat in a chair next to me, and put a comforting hand on my knee. “I know it’s hard. I still haven’t come fully to terms with losing Stacy.”
“No. You don’t understand ... ”
“Sure I do.”
Something just short of a blood vessel popped in my head. I didn’t raise my voice, however the quiet tone I did adopt even gave me the chills. “No. You fucking don’t.”
Vin flinched as if I had struck him, half from my tone and half from his sensitivity to my word choice. “Well, there’s no need to get profane, Cam. Explain it to me.”
“You really wanna know? You really wanna hear why it’s a damn wonder I’m not bat-shit crazy right now?”
“Yes. Yes, I think I do.”
I inhaled deeply, let out the breath, and downed my drink in one swallow. Vin poured me another, probably sensing I was going to need a few to get through this.
“You remember the first attack, right?”
He nodded somberly and I continued, “None of us believed it could really be what it seemed. We hadn’t bought into the panic sweeping across the country—hell, the world. Only when that first horde came shuffling into the neighborhood, breaking into houses and eating people, did we finally understand what was happening.”
Vin downed his drink, also in one big swallow, rather than respond. We all knew the horror of that first defensive stand.
“Alana was in labor when that mob came through. I can still see her, her blonde hair wet with sweat.” My hand clenched on the glass as that devastating image replayed in my mind. She had been a red-faced, straining testament to burgeoning life within a coursing blood-red river of death and destruction. “She was giving birth right there,” I indicated the biggest stain on the carpet. “She had already lost too much blood, and 911 was glitchy with all the circuits being used. There was no way I could get myself through the horde, let alone myself plus a bleeding, pregnant woman. I was fighting zombies with my decorative swords and my brush-cutting machete while listening to my wife scream. It killed me to leave her there suffering, but I knew we were both doomed if I didn’t fight.”
I shook my head and swallowed more tears with the help of another couple fingers of single malt.
“Go on, Cam. It’s good to let it out.”
I fixed him with a scarily amused stare. “Is it really? Tell me that once I’m done.”
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