I was tagged in this little exercise by Richard Cochran. The one and only John Skipp got the ball rolling here. Without any further ado, my NEXT BIG THING, Hollow Mountain Dead...
1. What is the working title of your next book?
My next book is entitled Hollow Mountain Dead. Awesome name, huh?
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
As a life long fan of westerns and apocalyptic horror, I’ve wanted to do something that blends the two together for a long time.
The entirety of my life, thus far, has been lived in the Western states. I’ve walked dusty ghost town thoroughfares and felt the draw of the memories and mystery. I’ve hiked up mountainsides and felt the shadows crowding me as they creep over the untouched land. Thirty-something years of the West from the dust-shit-storm of the desert to the eerie malevolent beauty of the mountains has resulted in a plethora of ideas in my over-active imagination. Hollow Mountain Dead has the things that have scared me the most- those things in forest, the ones that you can not out run, out fight, or hide from. They hide in the shadows and behind tree trunks ready to render you limb from limb. They strike and your mind can’t wrap around what is happening until it is too late for you, my friend. A puddle of gore smeared through a sun kissed patch of huckleberries and cedar stumps.
I’ve been into the END of the WORLD for as long as I’ve been aware of the sad, sad fact everyone dies. Visions of Armageddon and Apocalypse have been the fodder of my nightmares, which are many, for years and years. That horror, the thing so terrible it brings humanity to its knees, is the root of my primal fear instinct. Thankfully the boom in Apoc-Fiction has given me many great books, with hundreds of visions of our ill-fated future, for me to devour. However, for my tastes, I don’t like joining the story after all the carnage and fun has happened. I like to be there in that moment, that time when reality blurs and tears and everything falls apart to revel the monsters beneath. The chaos. The carnage. The end. With Hollow Mountain Dead I follow the spread of a zombie outbreak from the point of Zombie 0 out, down a mountainside, through trees and towns, while even more hideous things stir below waiting to follow in the wake of its undead army.
Many of my common themes and inspirations are evident in Hollow Mountain Dead. I have ancient cosmic monsters, existing only to destroy. I got zombies gutting cowboys and Natives and causing all-kinds of ultra-violent havoc. I got rotten characters that just be bastards and don’t care if you like ‘em. I got shoot-outs, jail breaks, and a freaking stage coach escape through zombie crowded streets.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I’ve never written a book with as large a cast of characters as I have with Hollow Mountain Dead. This question just blew my mind. I have roles for every muscled stud that can grow beard stubble and get tackled by zombies or shot through the head and as well as roles for a wide variety of western female stereotypes.
In all honesty in my head I have given some characters aspects of real people but more often then not they are people I know rather than movie stars. I’m not the best with actors’ names and am often the guy that points at the screen saying ‘look, it’s that actress, the one from that other movie’. I have my favorites of course but that doesn’t mean they would fit in everything I write. How would John Lithgow look in a cowboy hat and bolo tie?
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
An ancient cosmic evil releases hell on a Wild West high mountain county as it claws its way from its mountain prison.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I have submitted Hollow Mountain Dead to a publisher and am waiting patiently for a reply.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I wrote the first draft over the span of about two years. I had a lull of about five months in the middle where I focused on other projects. When I got back to focusing on Hollow Mountain Dead I wrote the last 70,000 in three months.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It has zombies so as far as the gadzillon zombie books out there, good and bad, it has that. Other than that, the stories I would compare it with are more from feeling, pacing or emotion than topic or story. It has the raw and dirty western feel of Tim Curran’s Skin Medicine with the zealous violent pacing of Jason S. Hornsby’s Eleven Twenty Three.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My nightmares and my surroundings and my memories.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Hollow Mountain Dead is by far the most epic book I have written on my own. It’s about the same size as it’s polar opposite, The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole which I co-wrote with the amazing Timothy Long. Hollow Mountain Dead is everything about my writing taken up to a grander, far more ambitious, stage. If you’ve liked anything I’ve written so far you will dig Hollow Mountain Dead. If you haven’t read any of my work yet, Hollow Mountain Dead will make you want to.
As per the rules of the game I have tagged the following four bad ass authors to carry on the self promoting torch...
Timothy W. Long
William Pauley III