Tag Archives: craig hallam

Blog Hop! C. Bryan Brown Edition

The estimable Nelson W. Pyles tagged me to answer some questions about myself and my upcoming work for this thing called Blog Hop. It’s your standard interview type questions, but you know, I don’t mind talking about myself (most of the time), so I’m gonna answer them. Just for you.

Before I do, gotta give props to Nelson for being Nelson. And awesome. If you haven’t checked out his podcast, The Wicked Library, where he does readings of stories authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jessica McHugh, and yours truly, then you’re doing your ears a disservice. Not to mention your intellect and that part of you that likes to be scared, horrified, and, in some cases, disgusted.

At the end of this thing, I’ll tag a few more writers and you can hop on over there in a week or so and find out what they have to say.

Ready?

No?

Too bad.

Blog Hop: What are you working on right now?

Me: I have so many irons in the fire that it’s hard to pin down any single item, but I think it’s that way with every author. But, in an effort to make the rest of this sound interesting, I’m working on something of a vampire apocalypse novel, which is the first in a (planned) trilogy.

Blog Hop: How does it differ from other works in its genre?

Me: It differs for a few reasons. One, the vampires don’t sparkle, which pulls it out of the “urban fantasy” and “tween” genres/markets, which is where most of the vampire fiction is at the moment. But it also differs because it takes something that’s become a popular trope in those genres and asks the questions “How?” and “Why?” in regards to arriving at a certain point.

Blog Hop: What experiences have influenced you?

Me: When I was ten (or eleven, my memory that far back gets fuzzy) my mother pulled me out of bed to watch the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” because it scared the shit out of her. I watched Freddy drag Tina across the ceiling, blood flying across the room, all while her boyfriend watched helplessly. From that moment on, I was more or less hooked on horror. Plus, my parents never really censored what I read growing up, so I’d pick up the books they were done with, which were invariably horror.

Blog Hop: Why do you write what you do?

Me: Two very simple reasons. 1) Murder is illegal and 2) To explore and better understand my own feelings toward the world I live in. Sorry, readers, but I don’t write for you. I write for me. I attempt publication for you.

Blog Hop: How does your writing process work?

Me: I start with an idea, a theme, or an image of something and build around that. If it’s a short story, I’ll just write. Novels get outlined, character sketches, timelines. As far as the actual writing goes, there’s a 1st draft, then a 2nd draft. After that, the piece is read by “readers” and I do a 3rd draft based on feedback (if any). Then I have a few “writers” whom I trust and they get a final look. I’ll do a 4th edit (if necessary).

Blog Hop: What is the hardest part about writing?

Me: It used to be putting my ass in the chair every day to write. So I stopped trying. Now I devote several hours each day to writing, editing, or reading. It works better for me to focus on one of the three elements of writing instead of all three in a single day. Now my biggest issue is turning off my inner editor during 1st drafts.

Blog Hop: What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?

Me: Comic books. I’d love to write a comic book. But, as I can’t draw, I have to find someone who enjoys my work and that I can work with for an extended period of time.

Blog Hop: Who are the authors you most admire?

Me: I pretty much admire any author who writes and submits his or her work, who doesn’t quit after being rejected, and isn’t afraid to say, “Yeah, I can still learn from someone,” but then turn around and say, “Hey, I’ve been here before, let me help you out.” Too many authors nowadays get something published (book, short story, whatever) and all of a sudden they’re a gift to you and every person who aspires to write and publish.

I’m going to namedrop here, which I don’t normally do, but if you want to see a writer worth admiring, then you need to meet Jonathan Maberry. Listen to some of his interviews and how he elevates not only the craft, but everyone he works with and talks about.

Blog Hop: Who are new authors to watch out for?

Me: There’s so many. And I do mean, so many. Just a few that I’ve read their work are Alexis A. Hunter, Kenneth W. Cain, Joe Williams, Brad Carter, Craig Hallam, Brady Allen, Chris Larsen, Lydia Peever, Nelson W. Pyles. Some of these people are double and triple threats between the podcasting, doing graphic art, and other things.

Blog Hop: What scares you?

Me: My own death. But beyond that, failing my kids in any capacity. I’m also not a fan of any sort of public speaking.

And there you have it! That concludes my issue of Blog Hop Magazine! Time for me to tag three writers and so I’m going to give you over to one of those “new” authors I mentioned, Alexis A. Hunter. And in a twist, I’m going to also tag two of my “cabin” mates in this year’s Camp NaNo: Rochelle Bradley and Raven Hawk.

THE NEXT BIG THING Blog Tour

It seems I got tagged by the illustrious Brady Allen on The Next Big Thing blog tour. We’re supposed to answer questions about our current work in progress (which I’ll try to do), but before I do: if you haven’t, you need to check out Brady’s blog (link above) and his short story collection, Back Roads and Frontal Lobes. A lot of guys are ass men or tit men, but I’m more of a title man.

And Brady’s is pretty damn cool.

The other part of this Next Big Thing is tagging other writers worth mentioning. I think most of the writers I know have already been hit on (and no, I have no idea how the lines have been working) so those lucky few tagged by me are Matthew E. Morgan and Craig Hallam. If you’ve done it, then ignore it; if you don’t want to do it, ignore it. Or, pay it forward to someone else you know and consider them de facto tagged by me.

I don’t know if they’ll do this or not, but you should check them out anyway.

I have a few current WIPs, so I’ll just focus on one of them. And now, on to the questions!

WHAT IS THE WORKING TITLE OF YOUR BOOK?

Dogmen

WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM FOR THE BOOK?

Everywhere, really. I’m a genre fiction fan and this is my mash-up of post-apocalyptic, monster vs human, survival of the fittest story. One of my favorite creatures is the werewolf and so I’m spinning that archetype off into a crazy place. So the idea was born of me constantly thinking of good werewolf stuff to write and never writing it down because it’s a super popular archetype.

WHAT GENRE DOES YOUR BOOK FALL UNDER?

Science fiction, horror, fantasy.

WHICH ACTORS WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY YOUR CHARACTERS IN A MOVIE RENDITION?

Actors. Hmm. A tough call. Now that Brad Pitt is doing zombie flicks, maybe we can get him? Some actors that really impress me and would be cool to see: Michael Parks, Eric Bana, Jeremy Renner, Timothy Olyphant, Laurie Holden, Molly Quinn, Melissa George. But really, I think it can be any actor in any role, so long as they believe in the material and have a modicum of talent.

WHAT IS THE ONE SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR BOOK?

The future of the United States is hidden in a relic from an almost forgotten past and it’s up to Jake Murdock to find it. (I hate these things.)

WILL YOUR BOOK BE SELF-PUBLISHED OR REPRESENTED BY AN AGENCY?

It will not be self-published and I’m not represented by anyone but myself and my work. I don’t know if I’ll seek representation (now or ever), but I’m certain to submit the novel to publishers, one way or the other.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT?

Since it’s not done yet, I have no definitive answer. I’ve been working on it now for a couple weeks, fleshing out the scenes, characters, and story arcs. Hopeful a first draft will be done early 2013.

WHAT OTHER BOOKS WOULD YOU COMPARE THIS STORY TO WITHIN YOUR GENRE?

I’m not sure, really. I don’t know if any mix all the same elements I’m trying. Instead, I’ll direct you to any number of post-apocalyptic books/stories such as Alas, Babylon, Rot & Ruin, I am Legend, Swan Song, and even such movies as Stakeland or Land of the Dead.

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK?

Along with the above answer about where the idea came from, I feel most werewolf tales now are either angsty, buff-chested monstrosities, urban fantasy bodice rippers (thanks, Brad!), or straight tooth and claw terrors. There are exceptions (always are) and those are the gems of this archetype and hopefully I can find a spot for some readers in there with this book. If you’re curious, you can check out my stories Dominance and What’s Left Behind. Both of these touch on characters, items, and events that lead to the novel or are in the novel.

WHAT ELSE ABOUT THIS BOOK MIGHT PIQUE THE READER’S INTEREST?

There’ll be blood, guts, glory, love, death, and maybe some rebirth. Oh, and fur. Lots and lots of fur.