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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Zombies, Murder, & a Little Black Dress

June 22nd Indie Support Day

To find out more about Indie Support Day and how you can support an Indie author/musician/filmmaker visit Tamworth Grice's blog, Griceland.

In honor of  Indie Support Day  I am excited to share with you an amazingly talented Indie writer who not only can scare the socks off of you but make you laugh while he’s doing it, Jack Wallen. For the most part, Jack writes thriller and horror fiction. However he also has a chic-lit novel in the works. Yes you read that right although according to his Sample Sunday there is a BIG twist that will blow you away. Just to tease you a little bit, you can read the first chapter of his gender bending chic-lit novel, Shero, over at his blog, Get Jack'd.

Here's my Q & A with Jack: 

Indie author Jack Wallen

Where do you find inspiration for your characters? Do you find it difficult to get into the minds of serial killers and zombies?

The inspiration for my characters comes from many sources. One of the  primary sources is music. When I was writing Gothica, I had the skin of  the killer, Joshua Freeny, in my head, but not the meat and bones. It wasn't until I listened to the song "Pet" by A Perfect Circle. The lyrics:

"Lay your head down child
I won't let the boogeyman come
Countin' bodies like sheep
To the rhythm of the war drums
Pay no mind to the rabble
Pay no mind to the rabble
Head down, go to sleep
To the rhythm of the war drums"

Helped me to realize something fare more sinister with Freeny -- that he was, in some way, connected to some darker spirits that would aid his return from death.

When I set out to write "I Zombie I" I knew the thrust of the story was going to be a journalist chronicling his downward spiral into the zombie abyss. What I had to come up with was:

1) What that felt like
2) What drove the zombies to want to break open the skulls of the living and eat their gray matter.

What I discovered was quite fun to play with. I decided, one of the most maddening things for myself is when tinnitus overtakes my hearing (for whatever reason) and I have trouble hearing. What would happen if that sound was multiplied and never went away. That is where the core of the suffering Jacob Plummer experienced. This also lead me to discover a reason why the zombies hunger for brains (I'll let the readers find that out for themselves.)

What is the hardest part of the writing process for you and how do you overcome it?

The hardest part about writing is marketing. I find the whole of the actual creating process a joy. I love creating and story-telling and dialog. What I loathe is the pimping process. I would have made a horrible, horrible pimp. I want my work to speak for itself and don't want to come off as a car salesman doing everything they can to win a commission. I feel dirty when I post on Twitter or Facebook basically saying "Please buy my book!"

Which character was your favorite (and/or least favorite) to write and why?

My favorite character I have written so far is probably the title character in Shero. That book (due out in July) was simply a joy. There wasn't a single agonizing, stressful part of that character. Not only that, but I spent much of my Shero writing time laughing.

My next favorite character was probably Bethany Nitshimi from the "I Zombie" trilogy. She's a smart, sexy, strong woman that I think a lot of people will be able to relate to. That and she's might well be able to save the world.

I can't say I have a least favorite character. Even the bad guys have some redeeming qualities. But I will say the third book in the "I Zombie" trilogy has probably been the most challenging to write because it was the first in the series that introduced a totally new character as the "protagonist" (You'll have to read the book to know why I used the "".)

 Do you have any special quirks that you do  while writing?

I incant a magical spell and infuse the ink with the souls of a thousand clowns. ;-) The only "quirk" I have is that I always write the first draft out with pen and paper. I feel a much stronger connection to the work that way.

Do you have a current WIP?
How much time do I have? ;-) Here's what I have in the works:

Second book in the "I Zombie" trilogy in the hands of the beta readers. First draft of the final book in the "I Zombie" trilogy is fifty percent done.

Outline for my first YA Paranormal book done (NOTE: No sparkely vampires included in this novel).
Outline completed for two more Fringe Killer books (plus ideas for about five more).
Outline completed for "The Nails of Cavalry".

Sequel to Shero twenty-five percent complete.

I have ideas for quite a few other books in the works as well. I am always jotting down ideas for new stories.

What’s the one piece of advice every Indie writer should know before starting on the self publishing process?

Keep writing. As soon as you write the last word of that first book, take a breath and a moment to feel pride, and then immediately start writing the next book. Never, ever stop. The more you write the better your art, the better your art, the more you will sell.

Why do you think there is so much friction between the Indie world and the world of traditional publishing? Is there a way to bridge the gap?
Traditional publishers are scared the indie authors are going to severely cut into their bottom line. Not only that, but if we continue to be successfully what's holding all of the best selling authors back from joining our ranks? It's the same thing that happened in the music industry and the publishing industry is reacting in the same way the music industry did. If that's the case, we will win in the end.

Places you can connect with Jack:

Blog: Get Jack'd: http://www.monkeypantz.net
Twitter: jlwallen
Facebook: jlwallen

Places you can find Jack's books:


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