Tony Schaab

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Interview By: Tamazon

Date: March 10, 2011

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Cemetery Menage | New Line Press | a horror/erotica story

Please describe your writing environment.

Honestly, for me it's less about the environment and more about the state of mind. I find myself writing in my basement, the living room, in bed, even out on the back deck when it's warm. When a great idea strikes me, it doesn't matter where I am, just how quickly I can get the netbook open and start typing!

Please tell us your latest news!

I have three new books released this month - in addition to "Cemetery Menage," I am proud to have the full-length novels "Reviews of the Dead: 25 Zombie Movies to Die for" (out now) and "The G.O.R.E. Score: A Review Guide to All Things Zombie, Vol. 2" (out at the end of the month) seeing print!

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

My favorite author has always been Douglas Adams, a British satirist best known for writing "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and its five-and-a-half sequels (sadly, Adams passed away in 2001 while in the middle of writing the sixth book). He just has such a wit about his writing, it's incredibly entertaining to read. He ruminates on things that are so commonplace in life, but he makes them seem so fresh and humorous...I read "Hitchhiker's Guide" at least once a year, and I love it every time.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Not really...I think since I write both fiction and non-fiction, I have really honed my ability to use different writing techniques to fit each situation. In fiction, I've written stories in the humor, horror, science fiction, and erotic genres, and those audiences obviously demand very different styles of writing, which I hope I've been able to provide.

Do you see writing as a career?

I'd certainly like to! I feel that I have some really great ideas for stories in my head, so getting them on paper and getting them out to the public will really tell if writing could be a realistic full-time endeavor. As much as I enjoy writing, at the end of the day we all have to be able to pay the bills, so it would be nice to have the ability to write as a career and make the money I need to support the family. Time will tell...stay tuned!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Never give up, if you are truly impassioned about your work. Don't take criticism too harshly, because in the end it can go a long way towards helping you improve and realizing your dreams. In the words of the immortal rock band Journey: dont' stop believin'.

What main genre do you write in?


Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

All of my characters start out with a basic core personality and character traits that are important to the story, but the little nuances of each person in the tale definitely develop "on the fly" as I'm writing the narrative. It's fun to discover those minor quirks that end up bringing an ever greater sense of life to a character.

What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?

The most challenging part has, honestly, been finding the time to devote to writing. I'm a perfectionist, so I pore over my writings, making multiple revisions and edits along the way, and it takes a lot of time (even though it is, obviously, time well spent). Also, I have a one-year-old daughter and a wife who is in her first year of a Medical Residency, so free time is at a premium in my world!

Do you have any other author names? If so, what are they and what's different about what you write under each name.

I'm actually very adamant AGAINST writing under pseudonyms. New Line Press offered me the option to write "Cemetery Menage" under another name, but I quickly declined. I feel that, if I'm going to commit myself to a project and invest my time and energy into it, then everyone should know, whether the response is positive or negative, that it is my work. I know that not everyone will agree with that line of thinking, but it's something I feel strongly about.

What are your hobbies?

I actually have quite a varied list of hobbies! I've been a part-time DJ for the last twelve years, and music has always been a big part of my life, including performing in choirs and stage productions from high school up to the present. I am an alumni member of "IndyProv," a local Emmy-nominated improvisational comedy troupe here in Indianapolis, and I love every minute I get to perform with them. I also spend time volunteering at my local Humane Society, as well as playing with my own dog, Izzy, at home. I'm a big sports fan, and in addition to watching live events I have a penchant for learning and playing some of the most random sports out there; from having played curling to croquet to windsurfing, I'll give just about any sport a shot!

If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?

Honestly, it would be my late grandfather Jim. He was the original novelist of our family, and he produced his book - a historical retrospective of our hometown of Fort Wayne, IN, told by the city itself - in the early 1990s, a time well before the dawn of do-it-yourself-publishing-made-easy. I knew Grandpa Jim well, but I wasn't an author during the time when he was alive, and I'd love to have a discussion with him writer-to-writer. Plus, you don't really want to have a one-night-only dinner with someone you don't know - you'd spend half the night in that awkward "first date" mentality of asking inane questions just to keep the conversation going, yeah?

Do you have a website recommendation for other writers?

In both websites and books, always continue to seek to improve your craft. Go out and find sites that give tips and examples of the type of writing you want to excel in: whether it's creative writing, journalistic articles, screenplays, or anything in between, always seek to expand your knowledge base. No one knows everything, and there is always room for improvement.

What's your favorite drink?

Mountain Dew, no question. Without the ambrosia-like caffiene it provides me, I would have fallen asleep on many a night I instead stayed up late to write!

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read any of my work. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

--Tony Schaab