The Sword of St. Michael, new from D.C.P. Fox!

Image D.C.P. Fox Sword of St. Michael promotional material

A new zombie book out? Of course, we’d want to know about it! And if you are on this site, chance are you do too.

D.C.P. Fox has a brand-new book out, And he took some time to answer our questions. Find out about
The Sword of Saint Michael
!

What motivates you?

I believe I am motivated by a burning desire to create enjoyable stories, self-confidence, a healthy work ethic, and being in a good place, emotionally and physically.

What is your writing process?

I plan, plan, plan. Before I begin the actual writing of the novel, I have developed characters, settings, and plot, including a list of scenes. Then while I write the novel, I constantly revise those plans as the creative process takes me in directions that I didn’t originally intend. I have a beta phase where my best readers give me feedback, and in the end, I get the manuscript professionally edited.

I wake up at 1:30 a.m. every day. On most days, I write from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m., sometimes even longer. I start with light editing of my previous day’s writing, then I make sure I have the outline in place for the day’s writing (usually done the day before), and then I write. From 5 to 7 a.m., and then at various times throughout the day, I either keep writing, or I work on story ideas, characters, plot, settings, outlines, blogs, newsletters, and/or general marketing.

Occasionally during those wee hours of the morning, and I try to do this every Sunday, instead of writing I engage in deep self-guided meditation to come up with writing ideas or anything that I need in order to prepare for the daily writing. Because of this tool in my toolbox, I never suffer from writer’s block.

There are so many zombie books out there, and so much repetition. What makes your book stand out?

Many apocalyptic novels deal with a scarcity of resources, but what about the scarcity of antipsychotic medication? Jocelyn Radomski, our heroine in The Sword of Saint Michael, is haunted by what she has become (violently psychotic) without that precious resource during the stress of a zombie apocalypse, and the only redemption she sees is that her immunity to the zombie pathogen could lead to a cure. As the novel unfolds, she emerges as a superhero, with shamanic powers she didn’t realize she had, zombie-like powers from her infection, and wielding a tenth-century sword, blessed by the archangel Saint Michael, forged to fight zombies. But no matter how powerful she becomes, her psychosis persists and threatens her and everyone around her.

How many more books have you planned in this series?

While The Sword of Saint Michael is great as a stand-alone novel, there will be at least two more books in the series, which would make it a trilogy. I have enough ideas for at least six books, though. Spin off novellas are a possibility, too.

What has been Self-publishing biggest lesson for you?

Nothing is more important than writing your next good book. I’m focusing a lot of energy on the sequel to The Sword of Saint Michael.

The Outstanding Mr. Robbins

montage of covers of M.R. Robbins zombie series

So who doesn’t like zombies, right? I always jump at the chance to read some new zombie fiction, so for over a year (feels like it anyway), since I chatted with Mike at the 50booksto20k Vegas convention I pined for his’s new series. I pine no more, It’s finally here! And Mike has agreed to an interview.

When, how did your writer career start?

Back when I was in High School I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I was into Poe and Lovecraft and my first attempts at writing were to try to sound like them. Didn’t work. Fast-forward almost 40 years later and I started doing it seriously, learning and working on my craft. The result was my first book, The Tilt. Took 3 years, but it’s a book I’m proud of.

Why zombies?

The best monsters are those that were once human. But unlike vampires and werewolves, zombies can’t hide among us. I also tend toward fast-paced, action stories and nothing will get things started faster than a zombie horde threatening a small band of survivors.

How is your zombie , tale different from the rest?

The location of the first book is the tundra of Northwest Alaska. The way the zombie plague starts is pretty unique. There’s a mass grave of 19th-century sailors that becomes uncovered as climate change melts the tundra and the sailors rise.

Favorite zombie movie?

The original Dawn of the Dead. It was the first movie in the franchise that was in color, and while I wouldn’t want to see Night of the Living Dead in anything but black and white, the color added another dimension.

You live in Alaska did you find that it helped your creative process or was it a struggle? I’m imagining a writer in a tiny home almost swallowed by a landscape of snow. And of course, surrounded by caribous and wendigos.

It helps my writing that the winter’s so dark and cold. I’m not much of a winter sports person, so I spend more time writing during that time of year. Of course, the opposite is true in the summer. I want to be outside and the sun’s up almost all night during the lightest time of the year. I have to force myself to sit inside and write.

What will your next project be about?

I’ve got three books done in the Zombie Uprising series. I have two more planned right now, but that could expand. I can’t control my characters and they often go off in a direction I hadn’t expected that requires another book or two. I plan on going back and finishing The Tilt series. And I have one new series that I’m letting ferment in my subconscious. I don’t want to get specific and jinx it, but I find it a fascinating premise.

One piece of advice for newbie writers?

Decide what type of story you want to write, then find out what the readers want out of it. Without considering the readers, you’re likely to be writing for yourself. While that’s perfectly OK, I really like the reader feedback. I urge my readers to email me and let me know what they’re thinking. That way I can keep producing books that we both like.

 

Cover of book The Awakening The Gauntlet book cover The Citadel book cover

If you’d like announcements of FREE offers, new releases, and exclusive content, please sign up at http://uprising.marobbins.com. You can also find him at www.marobbins.com or get all the links and info from his amazon author page

The talented Ira Heinichen

I first became aware of Ira’s work when I saw the book with the fantastic cover by Tom Edwards. Let’s face it’s the cover that sells the book and this one was very, very cool. It was for the first book of the Starstuff trilogy! The book is ready for you to read, right now (On kindle unlimited even!) I wondered at the time who the writer was, never thinking I’d meet him, and then had the pleasure to meet Ira and the missus at the Vegas convention. Believe me, again, he’s a charming and kind person and you’d love to meet him too. He took the time to answer a few questions for NPH so…hear what he has to share and enjoy!

part of the cover of book Startstuff

What’s your newest book that’s coming out?

I’m currently working on the second book in my scifi Starstuff Trilogy, called “Escape from Red Tower.” Very excited!

What made you decide to jump in, write your first book and go public?

You know, I can actually trace my desire to be a published author back to middle school. I was a huge Star Trek nerd, and I was huge into Star Trek books…so I started writing one of my own. I never finished it because I learned there were these little things called “submission guidelines” and I was breaking two or three of them with my story idea (of course!)…but that was just one stop on a long journey as a storyteller as I grew up.

Most recently I was writing screenplays, trying to break into writing for television and I had an idea for a novel. It was something I’d always wanted to come back to after halting the process all those years ago and never finishing…and I loved it. LOVED. IT. Writing prose, for me, is so much more satisfying than writing for the screen, they’re very different mediums, and it was around that time I started learning about self-publishing and all the possibilities and successes. I mean, people were making very healthy livings selling their own books, and that was something that really, really appealed to me.

So…I made the plunge. So happy I did.

What’s the hardest thing about your publishing journey so far?
Believe it or not, it’s been setting my regular writing routine. When I was writing my first book, I had very small goals for myself; three pages a day. I did that for just over 3 months, and I had my novel’s first draft written. Granted, it took me just over twice that long to revise and re-write it, but those small little bites each day were very easy for me to stick to, and the idea of writing a book a year was imminently doable.

Now that I know more about writing and publishing, I know just how FAST some of these self-pubb’d authors are, churning out a book a month, some of them more. I’m definitely one of those people that’s like “well, sh*t, if they can do it, I can do it,” and I tried to replicate that kind of output.

I failed.

I can’t write that fast yet. I may never be able to write that fast. I really like to work and re-work my stories; even though I write what the industry would consider being “genre fiction,” which has the reputation of being rather pulpy and not that sophisticated, I do have a passion for good well-executed storytelling, and I try as much as my skills will allow me to write such stories myself. And that takes time.

So, my current struggle as I write my second-ever book is really figuring out what exactly my writing process is on a daily basis, and how long all the aspects of that process take me. Once I feel comfortable with all that, I feel like I can really aim to go faster…but I’m not there yet.

What would you tell to someone who’s just starting?

First of all: DO IT. Write that book. If you *want* to write a book, you should *write* it. It’s an incredible process of self-expression and discovery.

My next piece of advice is for anybody who writes a book and wants to be a professional at it: figure out your process. Don’t put the cart before the horse and learn all there is to know about marketing and publishing or plan out a years’ worth of releases when you’ve only got one or two books out. Keep your headspace where it needs to be: on the writing. The writing is the most important thing. Everything comes from the writing. Everything.

What other creative outlets do you practice?

Other than write, I do a podcast called “Two Guys One Trek” – it’s a journey through the original Star Trek series from the 1960s with my long-time comedy partner, who’s never seen it — you only get to watch something for the first time once, and we do it live on microphones!

You can check it out at www.twoguysonetrek.com

Where can we find out more about and your projects?

You can find me, my books, and my daily blog on my website, www.iraheinichen.com.

Thank you so much!