Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bringing back the readers. After I fire off a few words about cowards.

I just want my friends to know that I will always have your back. And for those of you who feel the need to go at them because you don't have the sack to come at me...well...I think it is clear how I feel. I have started cleaning house lately. And a lot of you dead weight, useless, backstabbing whisperers are getting cut. I already did surgery on my Twitter account, and Wastebook is next. I got news for you...I made it to where I am WITHOUT your help, and in some cases despite your best efforts.

It is real hard not to name names sometimes. But the funny thing is that I know who you are, and I don't care. You stopped being relevant a long time ago. My success has upset you? Too bad. Get over it. It's not like I am running for office. I write books for crying out loud. And I am only MODERATELY successful in the big scheme of things. It ain't like I am Stephen King. I am an indie writer with a few fans and a lot more friends than I ever realized.

So, you keep on making yourself feel better by skulking around the social media, "warning" my friends about the dangers of being connected to me, and I will keep doing just fine. I have a loving wife, REAL friends, and the support of those who know me for WHO I am, not for who people SAY I am. Oh...and a Border Collie that thinks I am the sun and the moon wrapped in bacon. The clock is ticking on that date when I get to have my say. Be prepared.

The lovely SelinaLynn Maeder with a glowing heart!
With that out of the way, let me apologize to SelinaLynn Maeder. She was supposed to be my guest on Monday, but I had to share my killer weekend. And now she has to follow that mini-rant. Good news, Selina...statistics show that more people tune in when there is a sniff of controversy than when things are sunny and bright. So a lot of people that might have missed out are gonna get to meet you today.

1.       Which of my books left you feeling just a bit cheated? Why?

I don’t think I have been cheated. That would imply you were being devious and selfish. I bought the books of my own will and was never under any impression they would be “the best book evah!” Every story is a risk for both the reader and writer. There are no promises and I always go into situations with the least amount of expectations, that way I will always be surprised!

2.         Which of my books would you say was your favorite? Why?

I’m addicted to the DEAD books. To me it is the most realistic and plausible world that we would become. It was hard to get the large cast of characters straight in the beginning, but now I feel like each group is a glimpse into different parts of the world simultaneously. I identify with some groups more than others, but I understand there are so many different people in the world how could I possibly know what others are like thousands of miles from me. This series exemplifies that for me.

3.        Who are some of your favorite authors and why?

I enjoy many different genres and thus many different authors. What come to mind, besides you Mr. Brown, are Michael Connelly and his “Bosch” series. It is a typical rogue detective in LA but the antagonists are usually serial killers and there are a lot of clues to follow and decipher along the way.

Hugh Howey, author of “Wool”, is a pretty amazing guy. I read his series and was transplanted straight away to the world of the Silos. At first I couldn’t believe it was an indie book marked at .99 to start. Well I guess my suspicions were right. Although he has been picked up by Simon & Schuster, he continues to lobby for the rights of indie authors and book ownership.

Stephen King is the king of horror and was one of the first authors I latched on to. I would borrow the books from the library around the age of 8 and still read them into my 30’s. I recently devoured his “Doctor Sleep” a revisit to “The Shining” but with little Danny all grown up.

Ok now, don’t judge me on the next one (a poor girl needs some escape fluff once in a while). Cherise Sinclair who authors “Masters of the Shadowlands” Kinky, erotic, yet a realistic take on alternative lifestyles. I won’t spoil you with details.

Lastly, Phillip K. Dick is an amazing world builder and created characters with flaws that can either be liked or hated just as easily. He has many short stories you can squeeze in between tasks or on a weekend. One of my faves is “The Skull”.

4.      What is the first book that just got under your skin and made you fall in love with it?

I would have to say Zomblog. I was looking through some free kindle books and I gave it a shot. I was intrigued by the format of a journal/blog and thought it would be a great way to document what would happen in a real life situation. I kept a journal for many years, but let it dissolve after I had kids. I look back on some of the notes and dismiss the triviality of most of it. There is some very important information in one of the journals though. When 9/11 happened I was in my car traveling to my mother-in-law’s for morning coffee. I heard the radio report of a plane hitting a building in New York and I was freaking out. I ran into the house and turned on the television yelling to Ma in the kitchen as to what I was hearing, then we watched the second plane hit. I immediately grabbed a notebook and began documenting everything with timestamps and maps. I knew that this was one of those moments which is life changing for the world; it should be written down. I hope that someday someone finds my entries and can reflect upon that time and see it first person.

5.      Share (in your own words) the most memorable scene you have ever read.

This may seem silly, but the most memorable is from an old children’s “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs. When the boy runs down the stairs after a magical night with his friend and finds that he’s melted and gone, it still makes me cry.

6.       Have you ever considered starting a reading circle or book club? And would you be more likely to do so if you knew that the author would be available to your group for a Q & A session (either via Skype or Google+ hangouts) when you all finished?

This idea is awesome. I have always wanted to be a part of a book club, but I can never be sure how much time I will have any given week. I am currently back in school and my husband travels often. I wouldn’t want to be in charge of a group and not be able to give it 100%

7.   If you have read my DEAD series, then you are familiar with Garrett McCormick. I have had a lot of criticism regarding my creation and inclusion of that particular character. Do you feel I went too far?

Actually no, I don’t think you did. With all of the news reports of murderers, kidnappings, and other crimes why would it be any different in a lawless world? You were honest and realistic in your portrayal of a man who was unhinged who now had no consequences and freedom beyond any morals. Most of the situations that included Garrett were cringe worthy, but I believe it is because we know characters like this in our world. I like to refer to Hitchcock in this situation. “A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality.”

8.       If the zombie apocalypse did occur, how well do you think women and children will fare in general?

I do not think either one would do to well. I do believe those who have led a less than privileged life would do better; they know how to live with less.  The women who want to survive would have to be resourceful and guarded. Knowing that as a woman you will be targeted no matter what the situation your best bet is to be careful of everyone and quick. Smaller children would be least likely because they rely on providers and will not have many skills or resources to draw upon.

9.         Do you think society has any hope if such a thing as the zombie apocalypse were to actually occur, or, as I have often suggested, do we lose too many of the “good guys” early on and end up left with those in the middle and those who have been hiding under a rock?

Humans are quite ingenious. Although we do not evolve physically very fast we can adapt to environmental and social changes quickly. If a zombie apocalypse were to occur I think it would depend on the type of transmission and the speed in which it travels. If we could possibly be pseudo prepared or have a small time frame in which to analyze its virology we may have a bit more time to adapt. People have been analyzing the possibility for a while and while it doesn’t seem avoidable, it’s not like we are not aware that “it could be”.

Many good men will die first. These are the folks that will come out on the front lines. The medical community is screwed, sorry, Doc. I believe that those with the ability to live in the wilderness, camping, and basic survival skills will do best (also those who read books and watch those prepper shows). I believe it may look a bit like a plague just on a larger scale.

10.        I have been accused of over-dramatizing the victimization of women and being overly misogynistic, do you agree? If so, let me have it with both barrels. And if not, what would you say in my defense?

Sorry, misogyny is alive and well. Did you know it has only been 90 years since women have been allowed to vote in the US? Women tend to become victimized for many reasons. Things like size/stature, abilities, sexual attributes (not the bedtime positions—more like fertile, body proportions and such), attitudes, and self-esteem. I think women can become more powerful once we strip away expectations of clothing choices and social standings. When it comes down to surviving and living we discard old ideas and begin to craft new expectations where women can take charge in more important matters.

I think you give women all different roles in your books. From strong independent female soldiers to complacent brothel workers. From 6 year old dog lovers to medical/physical handicaps. Prissy President daughters to killer Egyptian brides. I do not think you target women in your books. The men are in the same boat too. 

Mr. & Mrs. on the top of the world.
11.            In a lawless society, do you become a follower? A leader? Or a crusader set on battling those who take advantage of the lack of repercussions?

Honestly, I think I would become both a follower and a leader. I would protect my family at all costs. I would follow those I trust and believe in and if it needed a leader I would also take that role. Like Steve though, I would have a problem being a leader all of the time for a larger group. I want what’s best but I do not want to govern. I also believe I would do many things that would be frowned upon, but sometimes there is dirty work to be done.

12.      If you heard a news report today saying that a possible zombie attack has been reported, how serious do you take it?

I would definitely pay attention. If it seemed legit I would pack all of our crap and get as far away from the cities as possible. I think Canada might be a good start. Unless elk are zombies too, then I suppose I need to work on my plan B.

13.            Let’s talk about That Ghoul Ava (unless you have not read the series, in which case, feel free to ignore these questions). Humor is very subjective, so what do you find funny?

I like how she is not quite on the ball. I like that she is a somewhat normal 20-30’s woman still spunky and still pisses and moans about regular everyday annoyances in life. It is an easy “beach read” and giggle worthy.

14.            What is the last thing you read that made you actually “laugh out loud” (as opposed to LOLing, where you probably didn’t really, you just said/typed it because you were amused).

Auto Correct on phones are horrible, especially of you speak-text like I do many times and this happened today. My husband is in Paris on business. He is installing a CT scanner in a cardiac hospital. Apparently he had an “M” sticker stuck to his shirt all day. After dinner he starts texting and we talk about our day and he mentions he has this sticker stuck to him and he must look like a fool. I did not quite understand and asked “was it like a kick me sign” and he answered “no, it means medical” so I speak-texted “like a day pass” (like a mental hospital) but it came out “deep ass” I saw it sent and I busted out laughing. He then quit texting and called me laughing. He said everyone at the bar was looking at him funny because I made him spill his beer. Yup that’s my damn phone.

15.   What will keep you coming back for more with Ava? A love interest storyline? A long running battle with a Super-villain? Or…she just fits the bill when you want mindless pulp fiction?

She’s a good filler book for me. When I want a laugh, yet still paranormally. They are typically shorter and can be the in between for longer books.

16.     How likely are you to buy books from an author you like even if the genre is slightly (or even drastically) different?

Well, as I mentioned before I read many different genres. I tend to stick with horror and SF. I do branch out into mommy porn and humor. I am getting to know more classic literature with school. So it is not out of the norm for me to buy different books. When it comes to authors I already like, I do take the chance (unless it’s a children’s book). I like to see what they can do with a different world. Sometimes I find that I like the alternate genre better, but it all depends if the author actually invested in the story and created it with the same vigor as their other works. Hence no children’s books—unless you’re Samuel L. Jackson.

17.       Did you know I wrote a “time-travel” themed book Titled Dakota as well as a sci-fi/alien themed short titled The Exoterrestrials? (You actually have to search using “Dakota by TW Brown to find it…I had no idea that was such a popular title name…sheesh!)

I know they are out there and they are bought sitting on my TBR pile. I am excited but I can’t find my way out of this damn pile—I know it’s in here somewhere!

18.            How often do you write a review?

I try to write a review for every book I read including my literature class books. I didn’t know how important they were until I began getting emails from Amazon telling me that my review helped others buy the book/item. I also pay attention to other people’s reviews. I scan a few of the top ones then I move to the 1-stars and then some of the middle. There are some people who get off on 1-star reviews and I take into consideration the number of 1-stars in proportion to the higher reviews. If it’s all spell check and “I just didn’t get it” I usually ignore. I also look at reviews on Goodreads not just Amazon.

19.            Are you more likely to write one if the book is terrible versus one that you enjoy?

I have written one bad review and it was well deserved. The book should have just been kept in a closet and treated as a teenage disaster. Most times I do a fair amount of research on the book (see above reviews process) that I am typically not horrified by it. I give more bad reviews for products rather than books. I would rather not put up a bad review unless it is totally warranted. I know how I would feel if I read hate reviews all the time. I would take it personally and it would probably cost a bit for the counseling. I guess that’s why I am not eager to publish much; I’ll keep my teenage disasters in my closet for a little while longer.

20.      I hate predictability. If I am reading and a main character is in danger, I want to actually fear for his or her existence. I get a lot of grief for killing main characters. Does that annoy you or do you see it as adding more realism?

I love the unpredictability! I actually just quit a series because I was so sick of the template of “Oh they’re so in love, oh no she’s going to die, magic happens, happily ever after, oh no ex-girlfriend, he doesn’t love me, no one dies ugh—blah blah blah”.

Shit happens every day; no one is safe at any time. I feel like I grow attached to one character and if they expire I actually mourn them. This is what a story should do! You should be so caught up in it you lose yourself. If you cannot appreciate this you might be interested in this “Mechanical and Electrical Troubleshooting Guide” I have on my shelf.

21.            Now it is your chance to just say what you feel. Give me some feedback and be sure to include some critical stuff. That is how a person gets better at their craft.

Ava is funny, but I think she might be too 80’s. I see the lyrics as the chapter titles and know all the songs but it feels cliché. Maybe it’s just me.

DEAD has me waiting on tip toes like a kid at the ice cream counter. And I know you are writing fast. I am thankful I do not have to wait a year in between titles like I have had to do with other authors many times.

I like that you are a real person. You share your life with your fans and instead of just a photo on the back and a generic bio you let us into your struggles and accomplishments. I feel like I know you better than some of my classmates (that’s not creepy is it?). I like the introductions to your books and some of the Easter eggs you drop “Don’t Blink”

I think it would be cool if you could offer up some goodies like autographed books and such. I believe I see hints of these in the interview and on the blog.

Please don’t push yourself too hard in these extreme obstacle courses. It’s awesome that you are doing this but just be careful (yeah, that’s the mom in me). 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the kind captions under the photos. I'm glad some of my wit came out in the responses. I always love a good chuckle. Looking forward to seeing your next interviewee.