Current Release: Detention of the Living Dead
Describe your current release in two sentences?
Maxine “Max” Compton is in detention when the outbreak starts; so are several other students when Max’s best friend Brie storms in – chomping on the thigh bone of their favorite Home Ec teacher, Ms. Watkins! Who knew Detention could be this hard… or last forever?
Please describe your writing environment.
My writing environment is very bland. I’m also not one of those people who feel comfortable taking my laptop to a coffee shop and/or really writing anywhere other than my office. I have a standup desk, which I use for the morning and early afternoon, and a sit-down desk that I use in the late afternoon and early evenings. Other than a few sticky notes and some smooth jazz in the background, that’s about it!
What are you working on?
Right now I'm working on a lot of freebies for guest posts to promote Detention of the Living Dead. I like to do unique things like deleted scenes or prequel scenes or interviewing main characters from the book or even a free zombie poem for folks willing to let me guest post on their blogs. It's time consuming, but fun, so I'm not really writing on any big projects at the moment.
What do you feel blessed with?
I feel blessed with my wife Martha, that both our families live so close to us, that we’ve been able to weather some rough economic times together and still stand tall. And I’m majorly blessed in that I’m able to do what I love for a living!
What was your childhood ambition?
To be a writer, period. I read Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary until I ran out of books, and then I read them all over again. I've just always wanted to read and encourage others to read with my writing, so from a very early age I knew I wanted to be a writer.
What is your favorite TV show?
Columbo. I discovered it on Netflix and was instantly hooked. I remember seeing a few of them when I was younger, but watching them now, in my advanced years (ahem) I'm really able to enjoy the slow, leisurely plot, the twists and turns and watching Columbo get his man time and time again. I'm discovering a lot of old series that way, like Kolchak: The Night Stalker and the original Hawaii 5:0 and Kojak, etc. Godo stuff...
What career fields have you worked in?
I have had a long and storied early career as a busboy for nearly a dozen Florida restaurants, which lasted basically up to my student teaching program before I became a teacher. After teaching for several years, I worked for an educational publisher and, later,a book packager. Eventually, I started freelance writing full-time and have been doing that for the last ten years or so.
What are your plans for the next year? Any books you are looking forward to?
I am really, really looking forward to the release of the sequel to my debut YA paranormal novel, Zombies Don't Cry. It's my first sequel and I'm nervous/eager to see how readers react, how different it is to promote a sequel, if it's different, etc. I'm definitely still in "learning mode" and this second book was a big evolution in my journey...
How was your road to publication?
My road to publication was unique, I think, in that my day job is as a full-time freelance ghostwriter for other people. So I've spent the last decade helping others find agents and publishers and, when it was finally time to do it for myself, I applied those same principles. But I'm definitely glad I had that time learning from my clients to prepare me for the rejection, the personalization it takes to find the right publisher for the right book, and the persistence to stick in there even when no one is really buying it.
If you could time travel, where would you travel to and why?
I know this is really boring but I would like to go back to the 1970s. That's when I grew up, and my memories are hazy so I would like to experience firsthand the fashions, the music, the movies and books I'm so fond of now.
If you could live in a world created by an author, which book / world would you jump into?
I would absolutely, definitely love to go to Hogwarts!!! If not as a student, as a teacher; if not as a teacher, heck, as a janitor!
Thanks for reading all this, and I hope you like my latest YA paranormal, Detention of the Living Dead!!!