Today I'm introducing to you a bit of a hidden gem as far as books are concerned. This was a book which was recently recommended to me by another author, and I was totally blown away by it.
So, now I'm doing my bit to 'pass it On' and I just know that you'll love it--and him--too.
Read on, get to know a little about the author, read an excerpt, my review and then get the hell over to Amazon and buy this beautifully crafted zombie book. It will be the best decision you've made this week. (Unless you purchased a winning lottery ticket, and then really...what the hell are you doing reading my blog?)
Getting to know you & your book.
Name, stalker links and purchase links, shoe size… actually, you can leave off the shoe size, that’s not really important…
The Beautiful Dead purchase link on Amazon.com:
Whilst I know that you have a couple of novels out at the moment, I’d like to take a minute to talk about The Beautiful Dead.
Tell us something unusual or interesting about it.
The first chapter of The Beautiful Dead was written during a “light-hearted emotional break” from the heavy novel I was working on at the time (Super Psycho Future Killers). I never intended that first chapter to become a full-length novel, and now I'm even considering a couple sequels. I do have a trilogy-length arc in mind, should I get around to writing it. Fun fact: In my word processor, I wrote nearly the whole book with bright green letters on a black background to “set the undead mood” for my eyes.
Who’s your favourite character? And do you have a worst?
My favourite character would have to be the human (the man with a heartbeat) that comes into the main character’s life. His journey, his secrets, and the relationship that builds between them was what kept my heart uplifted throughout the story, especially in the dark moments. If I had to pick a “worst” character, it’d have to be the mayor; even he admits he isn't a very good one.
Do you remember what inspired you to write it?
I love the “magical” kind of living dead, like necromancy and warlocks and dark sorcerers, but always felt uncomfortable with how quickly zombies (or even the dark-magic-wielding sorcerers) were shrugged off as monsters and bad guys and villains. So I have instant sympathy for them right away. At the time I was also playing a lot of World Of Warcraft, so the Undead race in that game (and the humour!) inspired me a lot. As the writing of The Beautiful Dead progressed further, three major themes started to recur: imprisonment, regret, and second chances—particularly for a person feeling themselves utterly lost and beyond hope. This story suggests no one is beyond hope, depending how you look on it. Coupling that heaviness with my natural dark-humour and recklessness kept the story close to heart and inspired for me.
Tell us a little about your other books. What are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on my first series: an epic urban fantasy set in an unknown future where people no longer sleep and each person has a unique special ability. The story centres around *several* main characters who struggle to live under/hide from/rebel against/support/overthrow the ruling power—depending on whose perspective you look at—all the while making friends, losing them, battling personal demons, growing into adulthood, finding love …
I could seriously go on for hours, as I'm so inspired and “on fire” with this new novel, so I’d better leave it at that until it’s ready for the world to see! And believe me: I'm so, so excited to share it. And hopefully soon!
Zombies, books & other things.
Other than your writing, what else do you do? You know, boring day job or secret superhero?
I'm also a composer and avid gamer! I play piano (self-taught since I was five) and write music for games, short films, and iPhone apps, as well as music & sound for the Vamplets, Inc. website (www.vamplets.com). All the while working 40+ hours at a movie theatre and performing a trilogy of musicals called “Country Gravy”. I wrote plays in college and studied under the great (and late) Lanford Wilson for three years where he gave me some seriously amazing advice that I still rely on heavily. I sometimes hallucinate that he’s talking to me as I write (true story) and brainstorming with me when ideas run dry. In fact, I dedicated my book The Beautiful Dead to him, as well as other friends (and my grandfather) I've lost over the past year.
hat are some zombie books or authors that you would recommend to others and why?
To be perfectly honest, I don’t like to read books that could influence the genre I'm currently set in. So … not many zombie books to name. (I KNOW, BLASPHEMY) But! Back in college I read a fantasy book called Zombie Lover by Piers Anthony. As most of his books do, it made me smile J Also, I totes dig Walking Dead, especially the badass named DARYL
Do you have a Z’ Plan in place? You know if the apocalypse started a plan on what you are going to do and where you will hide out, and if so will you share it with us?
I’d learn the dark magic's of necromancy and bend the zombies to my will, ruling them upon a throne of bones, crowning myself the Zombie King. Wouldn't you?
What makes you want to write about zombies?
I felt compelled in my heart and gut to give the zombie genre a different voice. I wanted to pull away from the popular virus-style zombies, and the night-of-the-living-dead-Halloween-style zombies… I've always had a thing for fantasy and shadows.
How do you like your zombies?
Slow and shambling
Fast and clever?
I like them brooding and feely. I like them grappling with the life they used to have, some of them learning to let go, some of them never letting go. I like us seeing through their eyes for once, and through their hearts … no matter how unbeating they may be
My Review Of The Beautiful Dead...for what it's worth anyway.
Five big fat, zombie shaped awesome, toe curling, mouth gaping stars!
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