Tell us about Asylum. What separates it from the other zombie fiction?
Well, what separates it from other zombie fiction is that I wrote it. Okay, just kidding. I guess with ASYLUM what I wanted to do was introduce a familiar set-up and use characters that the typical zombie fiction reader may not be familiar with. So I set the story in a gay club.
What type of readers do you feel will most enjoy Asylum?
I was worried when I wrote it that a straight audience may be alienated, but I’ve gotten great feedback from straight readers. I think those who love zombies will enjoy it.
There is an odd ironic sense of humor in Asylum, was this difficult to balance with the horror elements?
I don’t know that it was intentional, but as I developed the characters, it just seemed that some of them would have some gallows humor, so it felt natural and right to put it in.
Do you think George A Romero’s zombie work limited what could be done with zombies, because of the success and recognition he found?
Well, it certainly created a “formula” that some stories follow, ASYLUM included. But I’ve seen much other zombie fiction in both books and movies that don’t follow that formula and do bold and different things.
What drew you to the zombie sub-genre? Are there other classic monsters you hope to tackle in the future?
This is really the only significant zombie piece I’ve ever written, but I do enjoy zombie fiction because I love to see character battling overwhelming odds. As for other classic monsters, such as vampires and werewolves, I don’t really have any ideas for them at the moment, but I’m always open to anything.
What is your favorite character that you created? Do you love or hate him/her? Why?
In ASYLUM, maybe Madam Diva because I think that her desire to create a safe haven for those who are different like her, so that they won’t feel the same isolation as she did, is very commendable. I like her a lot. In all of my fiction, I have a recurring character Greg Nigel (and I’ve only ever sold one of the stories that feature him) that I love writing because he is such an unapologetic prick that it’s just a blast to write.
What literary character most influenced your work? How?
I would say characters like Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard, because they show that you can take average, everyday people—not spies, not police detectives, not anyone glamorous—and make them incredibly interesting and complex. (I am a big Lansdale Fan)
If you could take the reins of writing for any existing franchise, which would you choose and why?
Going back to Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard series, I’ve always thought it would be neat to see a tale told from Leonard’s point of view for a change. But I’m not sure I would want to write it, as Lansdale’s a master and you can’t beat that.
Anything else coming down the pipeline you would like to share?
I am planning to put up some shorts digitally on Amazon, and I’m very excited that sometime next year I will release my first full-length novel entitled THE QUARRY through Evil Jester Press.