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.
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.