Max Brallier

Read more about Max Brallier.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: February 13, 2011

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Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? | Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster | Horror/Humor/Choose Your Own Path | February 8, 2011

"Creepy, chilling, and lots of nasty fun! Max Brallier gives the choose-your-own-adventure format a devious and very adult twist." -Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin and The Dragon Factory

Please describe your writing environment.

It varies. I have a little desk in my apt (see photo). In the summer, I head up to the roof of my apt and work there (see photo of my gorgeous self typing away) - just don't tell my super, 'cause that's a no-no.

But working at home can be distracting - too many toys to play with! - so I'll often head down to Starbucks or some other coffee shop.

Please tell us your latest news!

My first novel, Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? hit bookstores this past Tuesday! It's a trade paperback original and has an absolutely GORGEOUS cover - the Gallery design folks knocked it out of the park. So yeah - I'm pumped - and I think people are really, really going to enjoy it.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Elmore Leonard. His dialogue, his pacing - no one's better.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes. I actually do. GET A JOB IN PUBLISHING. I can't say that enough times. Take an internship. Work in the mail room. Anything you can do to get inside the building. From there, you'll meet editors and agents and learn all about the business.

Most American publishing is done in NYC - so wherever you are, if you're REALLY serious about writing - save up, bite the bullet, and move out to New York. You won't regret it.

Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing?

Coffee, coffee, coffee. Write on a MacBook - but jot down notes and stuff on a yellow lined notebook. I prefer to write outside, when the weather allows. Music sometimes, but usually I find it distracting. If I am doing music, it's usually The Black Crowes.

Did you pick the title for your book? If it has been changed please tell us about the process.

I did. Never really changed - it was proposed with this title, and it never switched.

However - one big issue was the whole "Choose Your Own Adventure" thing. Turns out, that phrase is trademarked. So we had to come up with something new. It's now known as either Choose Your Own Path, Pick Your Own Path, or Choose Your Own Adventure Style. Ahh, lawyers...

Do you like to mix genres?

Clearly! Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? is a horror/humor take on the old Choose Your Own Adventure books I devoured as a kid.

What book are you reading now? What are your thoughts on it?

I'm reading Tana French's The Woods. (I know, I know - just a few years late...) I was actually working at Penguin when we published The Woods and everyone was like "IT'S SO AMAZING AHH!!!!" But it was one of those things were I just never got around to reading it. But I finally did - and I'm glad, it's amazing. French has a style, a way to turn a phrase, that I really envy.

I'm about halfway though (I tend to be a slower reader - not in terms of actually reading - but finding time to read) - so no one spoil it!!!

Tell us all about "The Call" or "The Email"!

My agent told me we had some interest from a few different houses, and he thought we'd close on a Friday. So that Friday, I was at my job, texting him nonstop. I thought he was going to kill me. I was pacing nonstop, kept going for walks, just wanted to get it done with! I was so happy when we finally closed - then I went out and got drunk with friends. :)

How many books do you plan on writing each year?

47. Maybe 48. :) I don't know many as I have time to write. Realistically, I'd like to do two or three - with some comic book writing mixed in.

What are your hobbies?

Huge Steelers fan - by the time this is published, the Super Bowl will have passed. So I'll either be in the midst of a week long happiness super bowl celebration bender - or curled up in my bed in the midst of a deep depression.

Also, videogames, videogames, videogames. In addition to books, I write videogames. Best part? It allows me to buy awesome stuff like Dead Space 2 and write it off on my taxes - and it's not even BS, it truly is research. Yay. :)

What main genre do you write in?

Science Fiction / Fantasy

Max Brallier