Friday, November 11, 2011

M.R. Interviews........Shawn Riddle

What is your most recent project?

My most recent project is the anthology called “Soul Survivors Hometown Tales Volume One” which was just released on Halloween of 2011. I supplied one story for this anthology as well as compiled and edited it. Volume Two is due for publication this spring. Among my other upcoming projects as editor are the soon to be released “The Blue, The Grey, and The Scarlet” Anthology of Civil War horror stories and “Vampyres – A History Written in Blood” for Knightwatch Press. One last mention is my upcoming release of a collection of stories with fellow Author Eric S. Brown, “The Man in White and Other Tales” from Snakebite Press in early December.

What is the strongest appeal for readers of this most recent project?

The release of “Soul Survivors” has an appeal to anyone who enjoys apocalyptic fiction. Volume one contains 13 stories written from the perspective of witnesses to the end of almost everything. From Plagues to Zombies, Werewolves to Aliens this collection has a little bit for everyone from some already known authors plus many new and rising stars in the genre. 

Tell us about KnightWatch Press.  

KnightWatch Press is a new publisher which produces Comics, Anthologies, and Novels all based in the horror/Sci Fi genres. I work for David Naughton-Shires at KnightWatch as an Editor and consultant. We have many new and interesting projects on the horizon, KnightWatch will be a force to reckon with in calendar year 2012.

What is the process you use when crafting your tales?

It’s funny, many people are hyper organized about their writing. Outlines and carefully thought out plot lines. I normally get inspiration at the oddest times, when cooking, talking a walk, shopping, etc…. It is usually in the form of an opening line of a story. My short story “The Damned” was created strictly from the first line of the story that popped into my head, I began to write it and let the story flow. That is pretty typical of my writing style, any mistakes or plot holes I easily fix in the editing process.

What is your favorite character that you created?  Do you love or hate him/her?

I would have to say Sgt. Diana Ortiz from my first story “The Four of July”. She is heavily based on my sister in law. I like and always have liked strong female characters. She doesn’t take guff from anyone and she’s tough as nails. I plan to bring her back for a sequel story in my next collection. I definitely love this character and she will be kicking even more undead butt in the near future. 

What are your future writing aspirations?

After I complete these next few anthologies for Knightwatch, I plan to write a novel based on my short story “Lockdown” which will soon be appearing in KnightWatch Press’s anthology “Code Z”. It has a solid base of characters and I did a lot of research on the virus I used as a template for my story. I have high hopes for this novel, after that is complete, the sky is the limit. Who knows where my writing will take me next?

What author do you feel most influenced you?  How?

Without question, author David Moody of the “Hater” and “Autumn” series. There are too many reasons to get into, but the number one reason is how much I enjoy his books. No one creates a mood and situation better in my opinion, He draws you right into the characters mind and you feel everything he/she feels at the time. I have never spoken to anyone nicer and more humble than Mr. Moody and he has been very supportive of mine and many other authors over the two years I’ve known him. I ended up creating a fan group on Facebook for him called “Moody’s Survivors” which has evolved from a fan based group into a community of writers, artists, publishers and fans of the apocalyptic genre.

What is the most influential literary character to you personally?  Why?

That’s a tough one, but I would have to say Danny McCoyne from David Moody’s “Hater” series. He starts out as just a regular Joe, me, you anyone. He has bills to pay, rotten kids and a nagging wife. His work life is mediocre at best and he has been shuffled from one dept to another in his job for years. The fact that this man is able to survive the holocaust of the book and become one of the more important members of his group amazes me. His evolution is amazing but he never truly loses sight of who he is and what is really important in life no matter what happens to him.

If you could take the reins of writing for any existing franchise, which would you choose and why?

I would have to say the “Joe Ledger” series of books by Jonathan Maberry. Anyone who has read “Patient Zero”, “The Dragon Factory”, and “The King of Plagues” could tell you that Joe Ledger is a fun character to read. I think he would be even more fun to write about. The man is the textbook definition of “Bad Ass”. Backed up by an elite team of soldiers and an almost unlimited supply of the most state of the art toys imaginable, it would be intriguing to see what I could do with him. Of course I would never presume to think I could outdo Jonathan Maberry, the man is a master.  

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