I get to introduce to you tonight one of my favourite zombie writers, the man who peaked my very first interest in the zombie world. Not only does he have very cool taste in music, but he writes some pretty cool stories too. You should go read them and see for yourself, but be warned, this dude does not do things lightly. Don't let his kind face fool you. This is horror. This is horror to the max...
I'll hand it over to him now, and let him tell you all about himself and his brilliantly revolting writing.
Name: Armand Rosamilia
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Link to your Amazon page and or any other place that your books can be purchased:
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Newark, New Jersey and grew up in a little fishing town called Belford, about an hour south of Newark. I had a great childhood and was close enough to the major cities I could go and do cool things without having to be in the center of it at all times.
What made you start writing?
Dean Koontz books my mother had. I read every paperback of his and at twelve decided I wanted to write horror books.
Is it something that you have always wanted to do?
Yes, once I realized Dean Koontz was a bagillionaire and lived in a giant mansion and wrote a book a day and sold them. I was twelve. Even when I found out the harsh realities of writing it was too late, I was hooked.
What is your favourite genre to read, and do you have any favourite books or authors you would like to recommend?
I actually mostly read non-fiction. I love entertainment persona autobiographies and biographies more than reading fiction in the last few years. I find more ideas from a history book when I write horror than reading and copying ideas from another horror author. That being said, there are a few great authors I will still always read: Joe McKinney, Mark Tufo, Bryan Hall, Tim Marquitz, Scott Nicholson… and many many others. I read a lot.
Do you ever base your characters on anyone that you know, or are they solely from your imagination?
It varies. There are many characters based physically on people I know, or named for certain people in my real life. Sometimes I'll end up using a certain person's personality when I'm writing a character. At other times the entire person in the story is made up and not close to anyone I know.
Tell us about your latest book. The story/plot.
"Dying Days 3" continues the story of Darlene Bobich, trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. As if her and her fellow survivors didn't have enough to worry about (the zombies don't only want to bite you, they want to sexually violate you), but now some of the zombies have started to remember who they are and how to do basic things. And they are still pissed off.
What gave you the idea?
The idea for the zombies becoming cognizant was actually part of the beginning idea for the first story but I took my time getting to it, dropping hints in the first two novellas as well as some of the other stories in the series. The idea came from the simple idea about zombies and once everyone was dead… where would the food come from? If they wanted to survive there needed to be an adjustment.
What genre is it?
Horror. Zombie horror. Extreme zombie horror.
Who is your favourite character? And why.
Easily the main character, Darlene Bobich. Probably out of any character I've ever written, and I've created quite a few (I currently have about 100 releases for sale on Amazon). I like her because she isn't a superhero or an unflinching badass. She's a normal person trying to survive. She gets scared, she cries, she has breakdowns. She is normal. I like to see where she'll go next and how she'll evolve in each story.
Worst characters I've written up until "Dying Days 3" were the zombies, actually. They were one-dimensional biting machines and I never focused on them as much as the survivors. Now, with the turn of events in the third book, I can have some fun giving them some unique traits and seeing which ones stand out.
What are your hopes for it?
World peace. Or selling enough books to keep feeding my kids. I want to give my loyal readers a great book to latch onto, and hope it will bring in new readers all the time.
What’s the project that you’re going to be working on next?
I always have half a dozen projects I'm writing at any given moment. Right now I am writing in my contemporary fiction stories, Flagler Beach Fiction Series, which is totally different from what I've been doing. I'll also be working on "Dying Days: Origins," which tells the prequel tale of Tosha Shorb (from "Dying Days 2") as well as an anthology of other author's writing tales set in the "Dying Days" world. And about a million other things.
What’s the best piece of advice that you have been given in regards to your writing, and by whom?
My creative writing teacher in high school, Miss Stansky, told me to stop writing for other people and to just write for myself. I was writing 'cool' or 'cute' stories my friends would like, and she told me to write them for me. If they were any good, people would want to read them. She was right.
Dying Days 3 Cover
Now we get an excerpt from Dying Days 3! I'm calling it an extract, but in all honesty, it's a huge chunk of book. I couldn't find a good place to cut off, that's just how good it is...
Dying Days 3 Excerpt
Get To Know Armand
Five facts about you that people won’t know about you. Can you juggle? Ride a bike with no hands? Drink beer upside down? Something unusual… GO!
1. I've actually only ridden a bicycle twice in my life, and the first time I was about 20. true story.
2. My goatee is so out of control now i have to let my girlfriend shelly use a straightener on it all the time.
3. My name is actually armando but i've always gone by armand or by mando to my friends.
4. I hate all condiments. ketchup, mayo, mustard… gross.
5. Even though i write mostly horror, i hardly ever read or watch horror anymore. i watch a ton of documentaries and read non-fiction books constantly.
Five facts about your newest book that people won’t know. Some background history on one of your characters maybe? Maybe it was going to be called something completely different to start out with? Is it the same genre it started out as?...
1. "Dying Days 3" opens with a zombie becoming cognizant, which was something i'd envisioned for book two but decided to not rush it. i'm glad I didn't.
2. The cover for "dying Days 3" was created by ash arceneaux, who has done most of my covers, and halfway through writing the story she sent me the initial idea for the cover. it immediately clicked because i needed a zombie to come out of the ocean, so i wrote the cover zombie into the story itself. kismet.
3. The abby character is a definite homage to the real abby miller, who is part of hobbes end publishing. she was a big part of getting "Miami spy games: Russian Zombie Gun" available.
4. The jeff character is loosely based on my ex-wives current husband, who i actually like. he's a corrections officer who rides a motorcycle (but not a Harley) and isn't quite the douche bag the character is in the book. i swear.
5. Readers have asked why i went from more of an emsemble story like I had with "Dying Days 2" and back to just the focus being on Darlene. the story was always about darlene, and i wanted to get back to her journey. perhaps in future books you'll see some of these other characters popping back in and out.
Five facts about your next book… Name, genre, expected date of release…
1. "Dying Days 3" extreme zombie novella
3. Out now
4. Available in print and ebook versions on kindle, nook, kobo and smashwords
5. Extreme situations, extreme language, extreme zombies
Three tips that you think might be useful for other authors… anything you want. It could be, to write a certain amount every day, only write after midnight and never get Gizmo wet (Sorry, that’s Gremlins not writers! My bad.) Maybe it’s some information that was given to you that has helped your process…
1. Set a daily goal and stick to it. the goal doesn't have to be crazy, either. i do 2,000 words a day. most days I go way over, but as long as i hit that mark i am happy.
2. Don't worry about what your peers are doing. cut the jealousy and the envy and the resentment if others are getting published and you aren't. life isn't fair. suck it up, cupcake.
3. Read. a lot. not just in your field but in all areas. I love reading non-fiction books for ideas more than trying to rip off other horror writers.
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