My next guest on Horror and Thriller monh is a man of many tales, which all mainly consist of something dead, dying or walking around and rotting of course!
Introducing Todd (TW) Brown the author of the DEAD series and the Zomblog series. He is also the editor for May December Publications with numerous anthologies to his credit as well as the full length works of authors such as Mark Tufo, John O' Brien, Chantal Boudreau, Robert Dean, and Bennie Newsome.
Let's get to know him a little more.
Todd (TW) Brown
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Where did you grow up?
Seattle, Washington; Palatka, Florida; Portland, Oregon
What made you start writing?
I have loved it since grade school and used to tell "bedtime stories" to my teddy bear (his name was Timmy). It was always something that I enjoyed. I started getting the notion it might be "my thing", when I was in my first high school creative writing class. From then on, I just found myself drifting back to it time and again.
Is it something that you have always wanted to do?
Absolutely. In fact, the idea that I can make a living off it is still sinking in. I am not raking in the King or Koontz money, but I can pay rent and keep the lights on, so it is doing okay as a profession.
What is your favourite genre to read, and do you have any favourite books or authors you would like to recommend?
I was a zombie fan since the 70s. I love reading in the genre to see if somebody throws a neat curve into the mix. I enjoy Mark Tufo, and some of the others, but I just got hooked on Madeleine Roux. Her Allison Hewitt is trapped: A Zombie Novel is proving to be fun. But I would be remiss if I did not mention the book that showed me the genre was alive and well…David Wellington's Monster Island.
Do you ever base your characters on anyone that you know, or are they solely from your imagination?
I often name them after people I may know or have known. Sometimes I even hold contests where the "prize" is having a character named after the winner. I even give them an opportunity of being a hero or a villain. But They come to life in my head and take on their own persona.
Tell us about your latest book. The story/plot.
Well, I guess since DEAD: Confrontation has been out for a while, I will talk about the upcoming 7th book in the DEAD series called DEAD: Reborn. This is book one of the third three-book story arc. Confused? Let me clarify. The DEAD series will be 12 books long when it is finished. (Although a spinoff has already been planned.) The format is loosely inspired by George R.R. Martin in that I have three chapters that rotate--Steve's story, The Geeks, and Vignettes. The vignettes were initially supposed to be snapshots of the global situation as the world spiralled, but some of book one's vignettes are still active in book 7, so….
Each three books is a new arc in the story. By then end of each third book, I try to offer the reader some serious closure about some of the major dilemmas faced by the characters. So, DEAD: Reborn is bringing the characters into the end of the first full year of the zombie apocalypse. There are some people just coming into their own as they discover they had more inner-strength than they might have believed possible. Some people are starting to give up, seeing survival as pointless, and still others are looking to take positions of power…perhaps not in a nice way.
What gave you the idea?
I have some of my best memories as a reader from my first reading of Stephen King's, The Stand. It was so massive to me and it came around the same time that I was really getting into the zombie thing (the late 70s for those keeping score). I always wished for a zombie book that was as far reaching and in depth. I love the idea of juggling a few dozen characters and trying to make them all different. Plus, I think the zombie reader is smarter than they get credit. I believe that fans of the genre are ready for something meaty and with deep character development and harsh reality.
What genre is it?
Horror, zombies…that pretty much sums it up for the DEAD series. (But I do have other stuff, like my horror comedy, That Ghoul Ava. And coming soon, a graphic novel series called "Vampyrates".)
Who is your favourite character? And why?
Probably Juan from the Vignettes. He has a lot going on in his head. It is a challenge to bring it out on paper. Next would be Chad, also from the Vignettes, he is probably my guilty sin of writing a bit of myself into my books.
Garrett was the toughest to write. In fact, if I wrote his scene that day, I was done. I couldn't write anything else. Even though his story was the only one that I had pre-planned as to how it would end, it did not make it any easier. And trying to keep Kirsten's "message" alive was a challenge. I wanted to paint her as refusing to be a victim despite her terrible situation. I still get hate mail over that sequence.
What are your hopes for it?
I would love to see it brought to life, but I don't think the format is conducive for the "big" screen. Perhaps a single element of it, but then it would not be the same. All I hope is that it continues to gain fans who enjoy it. My goal is to have readers feel REAL emotions when they read. When I get an email saying that I made somebody laugh or cry, that is my reward.
What’s the project that you’re going to be working on next?
More books in the DEAD series, I finish (for good this time) the Zomblog series in October. That Ghoul Ava is just getting off the ground. I have my non-horror book, Dakota (as Todd Brown) and will be finishing up UnCivil War, a story about a full-scale, modern day race war in the United States.
Other than that, I also edit for a handful of authors.
What’s the best piece of advice that you have been given in regards to your writing, and by whom?
It was my college creative writing teacher who read a zombie short that I wrote for fun. She told me that I had a talent for bringing people to life and making a story that was about much more than zombies. She told me I should probably consider dipping my toe in the genre.
Dead: The Ugly Beginning.
Free Book Offer
So all you need to do to get DEAD: Compendium (the first three books in the DEAD series) is "LIKE" Todd's author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-TW-Brown/ and comment on his page that you are getting a 1,000 pages of zombie fun for free courtesy of Claire C Riley!
Message me once you've done it, either here or on my facebook page and winners will be picked at random and informed tomorrow night.
Tomorrow Todd is back with some more question and answers and another chance to win a copy of the compendium of the Dead series. He'll also be sharing an excerpt with us of the first book, so we get to have some great zombie fun tomorrow!
Come back tomorrow and Happy Reading
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