Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Author Interview: Deadlocked by A.R. Wise
Little Blurb about yourself:
I'm a husband to a ludicrously understanding and supportive wife, and have two daughters ages 8 and 2. I've spent most of my life in sales, in the health food industry, but recently decided to pursue my dream of being a writer.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
My mother. When I was very young, right about the age that most boys decide they want to be firefighters of police officers, I was inspired by my mother to become a writer. I had written a silly story about bears, and when I showed it to her I expected a standard, "That's nice, honey," response. Instead, she was exuberant about what I'd written. My mother was always praising the things I did, but when she read that story she seemed honestly impressed. Our lives are intensely shaped by our parents, and her delight over that story determined all of my future career aspirations.
2. How long did it take you to write (title of book you're promoting)?
Shockingly, very little time at all. As I mentioned in the first answer, the reason I always wanted to be a writer was because of my mother. Unfortunately, life has a way of squashing our dreams in favor of 401k plans and health benefits. I got mired in a career that paid the bills, but never allowed me to be a writer. My mother was always impressed with my career, the houses I bought, the cars I drove, and all the other things that come with success in business, but she never ceased asking me how my writing was going. She did it because she knew that was my dream, and no matter how much money I made, none of it really mattered if I didn't follow my dreams.
In October 2011, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. As I cycled through the various emotions that a person goes through in such a circumstance, I realized that one nagging feeling I had was that she might pass away before I had a chance to become a writer like she always wished for me. The same day I learned about her diagnosis, I started writing Deadlocked. I poured myself into it, rarely coming up for air, and used it as an outlet for the rage I felt at the cards life had dealt my mother. Writing Deadlocked was a cathartic experience in every way imaginable.
Within one month, I had finished the first novella (which is only 17,000 words, one of the reasons I decided to make it free) and started looking into how to get it published. That started my journey into ebooks, and my life has changed dramatically (for the better) ever since!
Today, my mother is still undergoing treatments and the prognosis is good. Also, out of this shock to the system, I've realized my dream. My mother's cancer was the catalyst that drove me to finally become a writer.
3. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?
I usually don't go back and rewrite plots. The way that I do it is to start with a few scenes that I know I want to include in the book. I always have the ending in mind, to help with foreshadowing from the very first time I sit down to write. The most important thing for me when writing a novel is a theme. I have to figure that out before I start, and if it resonates with me then the story usually moves well. Where I get caught is when I get to a part that I realize would flow better if some certain situation had happened earlier. I have to jot down the circumstance and continue writing the first draft with the plan being to add or change the issue at hand during a second draft.
My second draft is always laden with minor plot tweaks. Then, the third draft is always focused heavily on editing.
4. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?
It used to always be the fantasy section, and then it became the historical reference section. I'm a bit of a fantasy and medieval geek, and have been since childhood. I love reading books about the Renaissance and the Dark Ages. However, I've been spending most of my time in the horror section as of late. I enjoy reading all sorts of books, but I find that it's important to stick with reading the genre you're writing to help recognize what works and what doesn't. When I finally get back to writing sword and sorcery novels, perhaps then you'll find me curled up in the fantasy section again.
5. How many books in a month do you tend to read?
It really depends on if I get caught up with something. I churn through autobiographies in no time at all. I have no idea why those types of books grab me, but I'll go through them in a few days easily. I also have a bad habit of reading multiple books at one time. In fact, right now there's a Koontz novel beside my bed, an Amanda Hocking one in my basement, and a few others floating around between! All in all, I'd say I average two novels a month during a time when a couple biographies haven't snuck in.
6. In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?
Without a doubt: Atticus Finch. To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book of all time, and each time I read it I fall more in love with Atticus. One theme that people will recognize in my books is fatherhood. I have two daughters and the most important thing in my life is raising them right. Atticus Finch represents the ideal (perhaps an unattainable ideal, but an ideal none-the-less) and there is never a moment in that book where he comes off as false, ignoble, or condescending. Geeze, talking about it makes me want to go dig up that book and start reading right now.
7. State 5 random facts about yourself.
Fact One: I have spent the past fifteen years working in the natural foods industry. I love the idea of healing by natural means, but I often got in trouble for recommending that people try food before pills, even when those pills are herbal. Some of the companies I worked with would get angry with me for telling customers to try vegetables before selling them a bottle of pills. My philosophy is that if you decide you need to take a pill on a regular basis, no matter what pill it is, then there should be a healthy food that you are also now deciding to eat on a regular basis. It should be common practice, but is unfortunately far from it.
Fact Two: I'm a beer snob. You'll never find an American Pilsner in my house, and my fellow beer snobs will understand why I say that! My favorite everyday beer is Left Hand Brewery's Milk Stout.
Fact Three: I do a few different podcasts. I review movies on BRB Flix, appear occasionally on Talkingship, and will be kicking off a brand new horror podcast called, The Horror Show, on July 13th (Friday the 13th!)
Fact Four: I have my writing nook set up in my basement, in our workout room. There's an elliptical machine hovering behind me as I type this!
Fact Five: I drink a ludicrous amount of kombucha. I am fully addicted to the kombucha drinks with chia seeds in them. This is something only fellow health food freaks can relate to, but let me use this opportunity to give your readers a health tip: If you have any stomach problems at all, eat lots of fresh cabbage and drink kombucha. You can thank me later.
8. Your favorite Genre?
Horror and Fantasy vie for my attention on this front, but non-fiction biographies have a habit of sneaking in and taking first place! If I was forced to pick one, I guess I'd say horror. I like visceral fun, and horror delivers that more frequently than any other genre.
9. What are you currently reading?
I just finished Amanda Hocking's Hollowmen and started reading Zombie Candy by Frederick Lee Brooke. I've also purchased a slew of Dean Koontz books because I've unfortunately never read any of his work before. I'm at the tail end of Intensity, and then I'll be moving on to Lightning.
10. What is the best book you've read?
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. As a reader, I need a good ending. I need to walk away from a book being startled, shocked, overjoyed, or somehow pushed to limits of an emotion - it rarely matters which one, pick any emotion and take me to it during your final scene and I'll close the book with a smile on my face. Some people are able to ignore a bad ending and focus on the book as a whole, but I'm not one of them. If the book ends poorly, then I get furious. Grapes of Wrath has an ending that is nothing if not challenging. Many people walk away with it in fury, convinced that Steinbeck didn't finish the story of the Joads, but I disagree completely. It is the best ending of a book that I've ever read, and thus, it is the best book I've ever read (although To Kill a Mocking Bird is still my favorite!)
11. Any new projects coming up?
Yes, yes, and oh my gosh YES. The popularity of the Deadlocked series took me by surprise. The first four books represent a single series, and I recently released part five, which takes place 20 years in the future and kicks off an entirely new series. The fifth book ends on a cliffhanger, and I would never forgive myself if I didn’t hurry up and satiate the fans by getting part six out there fast! Also, I am working on the second book in the Deadlocked Broken Pieces series, the second book in the Vampire's Prey series, and the first book in a new series called Sex, Drugs, and Dead Things.
That might seem like a lot, but I've spent my whole life NOT being a writer, so now that I've finally got a shot at it, I'm giving it my all!
Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it. And why readers should pick it up?
Deadlocked is a zombie apocalypse story that is built upon intensity. It has been called the epitome of the page-turner and rarely allows the characters, or the readers, a chance to breath. However, Deadlocked is not a series focused purely on gore. This is a story about a family and their struggle to deal with the impossible situation forced upon them as they try to stay alive and stay together. It is about what it means to be a parent, what it means to be a son, and the lengths to which we'll go to save the ones we love.
The first book in the series is free on most ebook sites. Fans of zombies will find everything they're looking for, and even if the undead apocalypse isn't your favorite genre, I suspect you'll still find something to love.
Where you can find author:
Book Trailer on YouTube
Blog: Same as site.
A.R. Wise was born in Hammond, Indiana, just outside of Chicago. He's spent time in several states throughout the years but now resides in beautiful Colorado, near the Rocky Mountains. He is the proud father of two adorable, beautiful girls that inspire him everyday, and is married to an unreasonably understanding and loving wife. He has been writing since he was a child, but the ebook revolution is what finally convinced him to offer his work to the world.
There is a great giveaway of all 4 ebooks of the Deadlock series.
a Rafflecopter giveaway