I am thrilled to have zombie/horror writer Eric S. Brown on today for Halloween!
Eric is a book fest himself with over 30 books published to date. Some works include War of the Worlds Plus Blood Guts and Zombies (Simon and Schuster), Bigfoot War (Coscom Entertainment), and Season of Rot (Permuted Press). Add to that his short fiction which has been published hundreds of times in various anthologies, magazines, and literary journals. His new novella Last Stand in a Dead Land and a new collection entitled The Beasts and the Dead just released this month so check them out.
Thanks for coming on Eric! What is the one thing you wish you knew before you published your first book?
ESB: I am not sure that there’s anything I wish I had known then or regret. I am fairly happy with how things have turned out so far.
What inspired you to write your first book?
ESB: I grew up reading comics and watching horror. I was also a huge David Drake fan. I loved genre fiction and wanted very badly to give something back to the genres that I loved so I just picked up the pen and went to it.
Writer’s Block – is it real? How do you break through?
ESB: It’s certainly real. I usually take some time and watch some of the films that inspired me to be a writer like Dawn of the Dead, etc.
How do you create your characters? Especially a legendary one like Bigfoot – and zombie ones!
ESB: They show in my head and won’t shut up until I put them on paper. I don’t really have a process so to speak. My stuff kind of writes itself.
Did you ever envision your Bigfoot War series would gain such a cult like following?
ESB: No, I didn’t. It’s totally wild. I wrote Bigfoot War for me. It was something I had always wanted to see as a fan. I mean have you ever seen a Bigfoot movie that has had a full out Bigfoot attack by a horde of creatures on a populated area? I hadn’t so I wrote one. I went a bit crazy with it and twisted the Bigfoot mythos into having an apocalyptic feel and it paid off HUGE. I would hug every single person who has picked up a copy and supported this book if I could. It was the most personal thing I have done in my career and to have it gain such a crazy following is beyond words. I’ve went from being the “zombie” guy to the “Bigfoot” guy and that’s fine with me.
Where did your fascination with horror come from?
ESB: I have always loved military/war stuff and the end of the world. Needless to say that made me a zombie fan very early in my life. I guess I just like good old shoot’em type stories and struggles against hopeless odds.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
ESB: That’s a tough one. Jonathan Maberry has done so, so much for me. He’s a great guy. He stopped me from quitting writing a few years back and he’s still supportive today. Can’t say enough nice things about him. However, David Drake, is my hero. I have interviewed him numerous times, spoken with him, and listened to his stories of the industry. His mentality on writing is super close to my own. Those two gents would certainly be at the top of the list.
Small publisher or big publisher…I see you’ve done both. Pros and cons?
ESB: With a small publisher you have a lot more freedom in what you can write but with the big publishers you get far better distribution. It’s a trade off.
What are your current projects?
ESB: Last Stand in a Dead Land and a new collection entitled The Beasts and the Dead have both just been released so those are my newest releases. I also just finished writing a crazy werewolf western that should see print next year. Currently I am awaiting the final edits on Bigfoot War III from Coscom Entertainment and doing some last min. changes on Bigfoot War IV myself before handing it over to the publisher. I am also trying to finish up a new book for Severed Press that will be out next year as well.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
ESB: Character names. I stink at coming up with names. It’s always a challenge for me.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
ESB: I do most of my real writing, in terms of the creative part, in my car by hand. It’s a habit I got into when I first started out and I still fall back on it now when I need to write something fast.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
ESB: Never give up, write everyday if you can, and have faith in yourself.
So tell us, what’s your scariest horror movie!
ESB: I hate snakes so the film that has scared me the most in my own life was a flick about a guy who had an arm that was a snake from some experiment gone wrong. Can’t remember its title. Sorry.