Interview with Author Brian Kaufman for #ZOMBIEART WEEKLY
This weekend marks the official launching of #ZOMBIEART WEEKLY, a weekly online news website dedicated to zombies in art, film, literature, and entertainment. You may visit the site here, and subscribe for a weekly email update: http://zombieartweekly.com/ .
For the first edition, I have interviewed Brian Kaufman, author of Dead Beyond the Fence: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse, Mary King's Plague, The Wretched Walls, and several dark novellas deeply mired within the horror genre. Links to his published works and his social media are posted below.
Brian, thank you for agreeing to this interview. I thought it was appropriate for you to be #Zombieart Weekly's first featured author because my first zombie painting to be sold on Ebay just happened to be the one you chose for the cover of Dead Beyond the Fence.
Do you sit down at a blank computer screen and just type, or do you have hand-written manuscripts that you transcribe?
My first novel (unpublished) was handwritten. When I edited, I performed a literal cut-and-paste. What a mess. Since then, I've worked at the blank screen. I generally won't start writing until I have thought the plot and characters through, so I don't really need notes
Do you have several works in progress concurrently or do you focus on one project at a time?
Years ago, I went into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, requiring me to pay the trustee an ungodly amount of money each month. So I worked 90-100 hours per week to make those payments and keep the family fed. Which left me one night a week to myself; three a.m. to six a.m. So as not to feel cheated, I filled the time with several activities. I'd watch a VHS movie while writing, cooking (a hobby) and reading. Five years of that left me hardwired to multi-task. That urge carries over into my writing. I'm currently writing a textbook (finance), a novella (horror), a short story (horror) and a historical novel (Civil War). I'm also poking at a baseball novel.
When did you know that you were an author? Was there a particular writer or teacher that inspired you?
My parents say I wrote comic books at the age of five and read them to the neighborhood kids. I remember deciding in seventh grade that being an author would be my fallback plan, in case the Yankees didn't want me as a center fielder. (They didn't.)
Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie, and which director would you entrust with bringing your vision to life?
The problem is, I admire certain directors because they are so good at bringing their visions to life. That said, I guess I'd like to see Clint Eastwood tackle The Wretched Walls. He understands a slow burn as well as anyone in Hollywood.
What draws you to the horror genre?
Horror is versatile. The genre has its roots in literary fiction. There's also a grand tradition of comics and pulp to play with. And horror fiction is dark. Most people, if asked, will describe themselves as optimistic and cheerful. That strikes me as an admirable but misguided view of life.
Do you ever get "writer's block"? And if so, any tips on how to get through it?
I don't get writer's block. But I have often invested long periods of time in worthless projects. I have one novel in mind, written not once, but twice. I am shaking my head now, just thinking of it. Astounding piece of crap. That aside, I always seem to be able to write something.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I am in love with eBooks. The initial joy was being able to read in bed, despite the fact that my dachshund Gus likes to sit on my chest at night. When I realized I could stockpile titles, I had a hoarder's delight in carrying my to-be-read books with me wherever I went. However, I have an office full of hardback books - favorites - and will always, always love the feel of a physical book.
What are you working on at the minute and where can readers go to learn more?
Dark Silo (darksilopress.wordpress.com) will be releasing Mary King's Plague and Other Tales of Woe in softback before summer's end. The book is a collection of four dark novellas. You can also watch for a short story anthology called "A Mythos Grimmly," featuring a number of name authors, including the late J.F. Gonzales. The idea was to present mash-ups of fairy tales and the work of H.P. Lovecraft. My story focuses on an old French children's tale called Donkeyskin.
Thank you again Brian! I look forward to reading more of your work. Also, as an aside, I am really enjoying your "Weird Architecture of the Week" on Dark Silo's Facebook page (linked below).-- Jack Larson