Dying Days and Miami Spy Games series have made him a household name in the zombie fiction business. But there's more to Armand than just a pretty face and penchant for the undead. So when Armand submitted the novella, Tool Shed, to us, we were more than happy to take a look. In fact, we liked it so much that we're publishing it. You can look for its release in mid-November. But beware, there's not a zombie in sight.
I interviewed Armand, so you could get to know a little bit more about him:
1. When did you start treating your writing as a career?
None of your business. Actually, I really started to focus on this as my only career last September, when I lost my job as a retail manager. I walked away from it after 20+ years in retail and hating pretty much every day. I decided to see if I was really going to ever be a writer or if I was wasting my time. So far, so good… I have no plans to get a 'real' job anytime soon.
2. Do you have any crazy routines you need to do in order to get to your writing “zen?”
I am a creature of habit, and I have a set routine I do each morning. Nothing crazy like knocking three times on the laptop or chanting, but I set a certain amount of time for coffee and waking up before I ramp into the day. I try to hit my goal before lunch time and then reward my big belly with something decadent and unhealthy to eat.
3. I hesitate to call you a zombie author, but you do write a lot of zombie fiction. How did that come about and are you tired of it?
Great question! I was actually talking to a reader last night about this very subject. I never started out wanting to become a zombie writer, I wanted to become a horror writer. Unfortunately, my Dying Days series struck a nerve with readers, and it is easily my biggest selling stories. But as I write and add to the world, I am also doing other releases that don't deal with zombies. I hope to someday just be called a great writer, but I also love the loyal rabid fans of zombie fiction, too.
4. Your upcoming novella, Tool Shed, does not deal with zombies. Where did you get the idea?
The concept for Tool Shed has been around for many years. The original concept was a Lovecraftian tale about an old man on a farm killing and burying bodies under his tool shed. That was it. I never bothered writing it because I needed more, like all writers. But then the opening line came to me out of nowhere, and I decided for some reason it fit with this story but involved the old man's grandson or relative. It is my favorite opening line to a story I've written so far… 'The cows had exploded.'
5. Was it easier or harder to write something different?
It's not different for me, because even when writing in the Dying Days zombie world, it is always about the living characters and their interaction. I might go 5 pages without a zombie gracing the page, but you want to keep reading because it is interesting. I treat it like a horror story that happens to deal with undead trying to bite you… and do more perverse things.
6. Have you always been a horror fan?
Always, as far back as I can remember I loved/hated being scared. As a teen I was lucky enough to have all those great shock horror movies of the 80's to watch and freak me out. It was exciting, and I still try to write with the feeling I had watching Friday The 13th or Halloween.
7. Favorite book and favorite movie?
The one story I can read and reread over and over is The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It has such a great feel to it, and I read it when I was twelve for the first time. Thirty years later it still strikes a chord with me. I don't watch many horror movies anymore, preferring comedies and thrillers. I thought the recent Looper was amazing. All time favorite horror movie? The Thing with Kurt Russell.
8. What other authors do you enjoy?
I am blessed to chat with and read some wonderful authors in the indie scene, like Tim Baker, Bryan Hall, Vincent Hobbes, Mark Tufo, Tonia Brown, TW Brown, John O'Brien… I could go on and on. I find new authors all the time and read everything I can by the ones I love.
9. What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Don't wait for the muse to bite you in the ass and get you motivated. Treat this like a job. A farmer doesn't sit around waiting for the Harvest Muse to hit him.
10. Advice for new writers?
Read everything you can, and keep your brain in motion. I read not only horror, but non-fiction, biographies, thrillers, spy stories, and anything else that looks interesting. The other major piece of advice for new authors: if you see me at a convention or around town, feel free to buy me coffee, a beer or a bag of M&Ms.
Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he's not watching zombie movies, the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music...
He writes the "Dying Days" zombie series as well as the "Miami Spy Games" thriller series, and a ton of other things.
You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal: firstname.lastname@example.org
And now, just because we like you, here's the cover for Armand's upcoming novella, Tool Shed.
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And don't forget to come back tomorrow for an interview with upcoming AKP author JD Phillips.