We sat down the other day for a brief interview with writer Jack Wallen about the progress and process of “My Zombie My” (the sequel to his hit zombie novel “I Zombie I”). Here’s how it went.
AP: How close are you to finishing “My Zombie My”?
JW: Very close. In fact, the cast is about to find out what it’s like to arrive at a painful cliff-hanger of an ending.
AP: So that means the saga continues?
JW: Exactly. Even before I began writing the first book “I Zombie I” I knew it was going to be a trilogy.
AP: Was it the name? Did you know you wanted the titles to be a variation on a theme?
JW: Actually, I didn’t come up with the title for the first book until I was done writing it. I usually take my titles from a line I have written…so pre-titling a book just doesn’t work. The reason I wanted to write a trilogy is because I knew I wanted it to be a sort of relay in that it will hand off from one main character to another. The first book has is seen through the eyes of Jacob, a man slowly turning into one of the undead. The second book picks up where the first one leaves off and focuses on Bethany. I don’t want to give anything away…but Bethany is only an indirect focus of the third book.
AP: You previously wrote thrillers (“A Blade Away” and “Gothica”). What made you want to write a horror novel?
JW: Horror is my passion. I love horror movies, horror fiction, horror sound tracks. I have since I was a kid. And the zombie genre is so appealing on so many levels. It offers a powerful metaphor for the human condition that many other horrific creatures do not.
AP: Are you going to stick with horror? Do you want to be known as a horror writer?
JW: Not at all. Currently I am in the middle of three different series: The Fringe Killer series (A Blade Away, Gothica), the Zombie series (I Zombie I, My Zombie My), and Shero. There are aspects I love about each one.
AP: Such as?
JW: Well, the Fringe Series really centers on the relationship between Jamie and Skip. That relationship has been such a joy to develop. It’s not often you find a strong female detective and a gay male partner as the central characters in a crime thriller series. And they play off of one another so well. And the fact that those stories are about killers taking out members of fringe society opens it up to arenas most writers in this genre don’t bother with.
AP: What about Shero?
JW: Well…Shero is very special to me. I started writing that first book quite some time ago at a pivotal time in my life. I won’t dive into those waters now, but suffice it to say that writing Shero is probably as much fun as reading it. I get to play the part of the snarky narrator and just imagine the readers reaction to what is going on.
AP: Why ebooks? Why not the traditional route of publishing?
JW: That’s simple. Everything is evolving so quickly and the old publishing standard has failed to keep up. It started out with ereaders that weren’t up to the task. But once the hardware could meet the needs of the users, it became quite clear that ebooks would dominate the book industry. This is not going to change. I thought it would be more important to be a nimble writer/publisher and get my books into circulation as quickly as possible. We are in a very immediate culture now. No one wants to wait the length of time it takes the old-guard publishers to release a new book.
AP: Do you have anything else in mind that you plan to write, outside of your three series?
JW: Yes. I have a completed outline for at least two other books (“The Nails of Cavalry” and “The Furor’s Holy Engine”) and a very exciting idea for a psychological thriller. Every day a new idea hits me…but for now the three books on the back burner will take precedent – as soon as I complete the Zombie series and the sequel to Shero.
AP: Thank you for your time. Any parting words?
JW: Support indie presses and writers of ebook fiction. Where else can you get transported to other worlds for such an extended period of time for so little money?
Find “I Zombie I” on your Kindle, NOOK, or iPad. Here are direct links:
For A Blade Away: