Today I’m fortunate to present William Schlichter author of Sci-fi and horror.
Hi, William, thanks for agreeing to this interview!
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
I’m from Missouri. I’m originally from an hour south of St Louis, and now I call Springfield home.
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
Strong character driven stories, quick moving, and short chapters or breaks.
They need to bring forth an emotion in me. I want to care about what happens to the characters. I must care about the characters.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
Star Wars. I was three and a half years old and my parents took me to see Star Wars at the drive-in. It’s my earliest full memory and I knew after watching this spectacle I didn’t want to be Han Solo or a Jedi I wanted to create those kinds of stories.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I teach high school and college so during the school year I write when I can. I write in my creative writing class when the students write in class. But I have a daily goal of a 1000 new words.
In the summer, I get up and write as close to a 1000 words as I can then swim a mile, go to the gym and finish my thousand words. Now, if the Muse flows I’ll keep going and I will drain the well. I finish a story idea; if I don’t it plagues me. Demanding to be written down. I will edit older works after my 1000 words. I read. Riding the bike at the gym is a great time to read and since I travel I listen to a lot of audiobooks.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
The story flows throw me much like a movie and I paint a picture on the page like a movie.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
No Room in Hell: 400 Miles To Graceland – a post-apocalyptic horror/thriller. Not your typical zombie adventure.
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I didn’t write the first No Room in Hell to enter the mass market with a zombie book because it was a popular bestselling subject. I wrote the story one to cover events no one else covers in all the zombie books I have read or watched and two I wrote the main character as the nameless figure. It was a challenge to write this character. A challenge I gave myself and based on feedback readers liked it or thought it was an interesting approach. It reaffirms a writer must know the rules before breaking them but when a rule is broken and it works it is rewarding.
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
The opening of SKA due out in 2018:
“That’s a lot of money—do you want me to do something for it?”
Even on my limited salary, a Jackson wasn’t a grand gesture. I’ve bought books costing more. The girl was messed up, and not just for thinking the twenty dollars I handed her was worth her doing something, but she had a hospital ID bracelet and a red medication allergy band on her wrist.
She asked me to watch her bag while she went and bought cigarettes—one of those plastic clothing bags hospitals give out. She’d be back, then I could take her someplace.
Despite her haggard appearance, her round face was pretty. Hospitals tend to fatigue people. They want you to rest, but constantly wake you up to check your vitals.
Returning with a green pack of smokes, she bubbles with excitement. The cheap pint she tried to hide might have helped. The seal already busted. She didn’t notice me observing her slip it in the hospital bag. If I wasn’t convinced she was an addict, I knew now. Curiosity overtook me. Stirring overwhelmed me. The sexual ones were obvious, at least to me, but something deeper wanted me to keep this girl.
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
My next novel is a standalone thriller SKA: Serial Killers Anonymous where a collection of serial Killers form a self-help group in order to curb their urges. They examine their acts and one in the group is not who they pretend to be.
The third book in my sci-fi series The Silver Dragon Chronicles: The fifth Planet will continue to follow the crew’s exploits as they attempt to stop the Sandmen.
And my dark and gritty zombie apocalypse series No room in hell will see book three as well. I have a working title but it might give away the shocking twist at the end of book two. Just know no one is safe.
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The gym, travel and Stephen King’s On Writing.
You can’t write without your health or experience the world, even if you only travel to the adjoining state. Changing your comfort zone makes all the difference, and of the dozens of books about how to write I’ve read or bought, his is the one I quote to my writing students the most.
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?