Author Interview: William Schlichter #Tuesdaybookblog #scifi #horror #authorinterview @BHCPressbooks

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?

William_Schlichter_BHC_WebI’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.

400_Miles_W_Schlicter_C2No 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:

SKA_William_Schlichter_Web“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?  

Enter_the_Sandmen_W_Schlichter_FC_WebMy 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?

http://www.bhcpress.com/Author_William_Schlichter.html

https://twitter.com/wmschlichter

https://www.facebook.com/wmschlichter/

https://www.instagram.com/wschlichter

Advertisements

Author Interview: Andy Zach

Today I’m fortunate to present Andy Zach, author of Zombie Turkeys and My Undead Mother-in-law, the first two volumes of the Life After Life Chronicles.

Hi, Andy, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

20590563_10208041570311682_465099112_oQuestion 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and lived in a couple of suburbs there until I was 32. I left Cleveland for a job in Peoria, Illinois.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Fast action, dramatic plot twists, and realistic characters you care about and want to meet. Oh, and humor.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I always loved writing since I was a child. Going into college I realized it would be hard to make a living as a writer, so I became a computer programmer, then a Six Sigma Black Belt, and a project manager. As soon as I retired, I wrote “Zombie Turkeys”.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Start working at 9:30-10 am, clear off work related email and social media posts, then start writing by 10:30 am. Lunch at 12, then back to writing by 1 PM and keep at it until 5 PM. In the evening, I’ll write blog posts and answer emails, check on book sales and read for education and entertainment.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I love researching my books. If I’m writing about a locale, I’ll get photos from the area and detailed maps. I’ll check distances and compute times it takes for my characters to move about. I love digging into a subject such as ICBM missiles silos or superyachts and getting diagrams and layout of them, both of which appear in “My Undead Mother-in-law.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

20496142_10208041572351733_952476117_nMy Undead Mother-in-law is what I call comic urban fantasy or humorous fantasy.  Although it has violence and horror, it’s shot through with ridiculous situations, satire, and irony

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?  

How real life is often like fiction! I had a scene in Manhattan Kansas and I wanted a National Guard base and an ICBM missile silo nearby.  Researching these, I found them both within a half hour of Manhattan! Later, I had a scene in New Orleans and I wanted a Navy and Marine base and an Air Force base there. Again, they were all there in real life!

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Always! How many minutes do I have? I have a 10-minute excerpt and a 5 minute one.

20472049_10208041609472661_530747697_nAs soon as he hung up, Sam’s cell phone rang. Noting it was Lisa, he said, “Hi, sweetheart!”

“No time for that romantic crap. We’ve got another zombie turkey outbreak!”

“Where?”

“Not far from you. It’s a small private turkey farm near Gary, Deviled Turkeys. I’ve sent you the address.”

“Odd name.”

“They’re bedeviling the family, who’s surrounded. They called our turkey hotline. I’ve already notified the local authorities and the Indiana National Guard. Get the story, Sam! We’re dying for news here. I may have to cut our staff back again.”

“You’ve got a hot story in your in-basket from Gary already, about the zombie family. I’ve got Dr. Galloway getting DNA samples from them.”

“Great! You always pick me up, Sam.”

“You’re turning into a mushball.”

“You have that effect on me. Now, hurry up and get going!” She hung up.

“Bye, Lisa.” One tradition hadn’t changed since their marriage. She still hung up abruptly, leaving Sam talking into a dead phone.

Sam arrived at the Deviled Turkeys farm in the dark winter evening. Sam could see the National Guard trucks and a couple of police cars along the snowy drive to the barnyard. They had distracted the flock of perhaps a thousand turkeys from attacking the house and were now barely holding their own position.

Sam heard the BANG of shotguns, and the pop, pop of rifles and pistols. Why did the police waste their time and ammunition? Those weapons proved ineffective against the zombie turkeys last November.

Grabbing his trusty Flaming Turkey brand flamethrower from the backseat, he approached the line of soldiers.

“Stay away, mister!” an officer yelled over the crackle of gunfire.

Sam noticed he had a skinny neck and a shock of red hair.

“You should have a flamethrower!” Sam yelled back.

“We do! We can’t use them this close to the buildings. There’s a family in there!”

Good thing Lisa isn’t here, Sam thought. During the zombie turkey apocalypse, she’d flamed first and asked questions later.

Another car pulled up in the drive. The officer yelled, “Get away, ma’am! This is a dangerous situation!”

“I’ve come to reason with the turkeys,” Diane Newby yelled back, her red eyes gleaming.

“You can’t reason with crazed killer turkeys!”

“You watch me!” She leapt past the officer, past the line of soldiers, directly toward the mass of turkeys. The soldiers ceased firing, for fear of hitting her. The mass of turkeys washed over Diane like a tsunami. Sam reluctantly filmed her last moments, for her family’s sake.

The mound of turkeys burst apart, revealing Diane throttling a tom. She ripped off its head, legs, wings and then smashed the body into paste on the ground.

“Listen up, you turkeys!” she yelled. “I’m the boss turkey now! Follow me!” Obediently, the turkeys followed her into the barn. She led them back into their cages and shut them in. Where the turkeys had burst doors and wire fencing, using her bare hands Diane wove the tough steel wire into a tight net, holding them securely. “Good thing I’m handy with macramé,” she said to herself as she wove.

Diane’s clothing was shredded and bloody like she’d been through a wood chipper, but her skin showed pink and unbroken through the many holes in her pants and coat. Sam ran to her.

“Are you OK, Diane?”

“Never felt better! I told you I could reason with the zombie turkeys!”

“How did you find out?”

“It was on the zombie turkey Twitter feed on the Midley Beacon page, where I was reading your story about us!”

“Ma’am, I have to thank you for saving us from a difficult situation,” the officer said. “I’m Sergeant Coxcomb.”

“How appropriate,” Sam murmured. Louder, he said, “I’m Sam Melvin, investigative reporter for the Midley Beacon.”

Smiling broadly, Diane said, “I’m Diane New—er—Sydney. I came here as soon as I heard of the attack. I just knew I could control the zombie turkeys. They’re quite easy, compared to children!” She laughed.

“Diane, I filmed your battle. Do I have your permission to broadcast it?”

“By all means! Be sure to say a zombie human came to the rescue! Just call me anytime you have a zombie animal outbreak!”

“Will do!”

“I’ll testify to that!” Sergeant Coxcomb said.

“OK, let me interview you then, Sergeant, and I’ll add your testimony.”

The interviews with Sergeant Coxcomb and Diane, combined with the thrilling video of human zombie versus turkey zombies, burst across the internet like a nuclear bomb. Once again, the Midley Beacon plowed new ground in the zombie news business.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

The third novel of Life After Life Chronicles is in research mode right now. It’s working title is Paranormal Patriots. It’ll be out in 2018. I also plan an audiobook version of Zombie Turkeys and a graphic novel for it in 2017.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

That’s an easy one: the money I spent on my editor Dori Harrell. She helped me with line and developmental editing and made my books clearer and clearly better.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

On Facebook: @AndyZachAuthor page.
Twitter: @AndyZach2.
My blog is on zombieturkeys.com
My email is jms61614-andyzach@yahoo.com
My Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01M3Q35H1

Snail mail: PO Box 10705, Peoria, IL 61612

Author photos:

20526706_10208041560351433_1876650752_n

My Undead Mother-In-Law:

Kindle edition: Coming out August 5, 2017: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0743FQ3QC/

Paperback

Zombie Turkeys, front and back covers:

20536139_10208041577111852_2077459159_o20526789_10208041577631865_1443810921_n