Monday, June 18, 2012

Interview With Indie Author Joshua Cook: Author of AiZ: Alice in Zombieland

When did you begin writing?

I began writing when I was younger, but most of those were just for me and never saw the light of day. As I grew, writing became more and more of a hobby until it eventually vanished under the weight of real life. I began writing non-fiction articles online about seven years ago, but it still stayed more of a hobby than an actual job. It was during this time that I realized how much I missed writing, so I focused more on turning my hobby into a career. Then, about a year ago, I hit a very dark and low point in my life. During this time I lost my job, so with nothing else to do and jobs becoming harder to find, I created my own job. That is when Zombie A.C.R.E.S. was born, as well as my full time writing career – and I am never looking back.

What genres do you write?

Luckily, I am still able do a lot of freelance and business writing, and am taking on new clients when a good job comes across my desk. As far as my fiction writing, it has taken so much work to get Zombie A.C.R.E.S. up and running that I have not had much time to branch out past zombie and horror stories. Now that Zombie A.C.R.E.S. is at a point where I can spend more time elsewhere, I will be actively searching for new writing opportunities and anthologies that will allow me to grow as a writer and stretch beyond the horror genre.

Who do you imagine you're telling a story to as you write?

I don’t imagine telling stories to anyone in particular, really. I just listen to the story. Every story I write takes on a life of its own. I’m just the guy that writes that life down.

What's your latest book about?

AiZ: Alice in Zombieland (Complete Saga) is about family, love, and zombies.
William Lohman, a recently deceased man, held an interview that was seen by the entire world. In this interview, he told of how the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Roslun Global, has been conducting secret experiments meant to revive the dead, among other atrocities. Mr. Lohman was taken quite seriously seeing as how he was obviously one of these experiments, what with the decay and all.

This interview knocked over the first domino in a long series of setbacks for Roslun Global, and the company’s greedy CEO Richard Roslun. Richard was not known for being subtle or calm, but he was known for getting results…at any cost.

Nine years has passed since that historic interview changed the world forever. People have learned to live with the idea of zombies, much the same way they learn to live with many modern diseases; it’s a terrible thing, but it doesn’t affect them. Until it does, that is.

Georgia ‘Gee’ Marie is a typical college student. She enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends, smoking a little weed and going to work. Her life is pretty mundane, until she returns one day to visit her father. Gee finds her younger sister being attacked by her mother, who has just finished feasting on the rest of the family. Gee and Alice are about to begin the greatest trials of their lives. Not only will their will to survive be tested, but the bonds that hold them together as family and loved ones will be pushed to their limits.

Gee and Alice are not the only ones to be affected by the terrible actions of Richard Roslun. Sam Ashe and his fiancĂ©e, Heather Young, have just moved to a nice neighborhood in Seattle. Their new neighborhood is beautifully manicured, right down to the last tree lining the street. This area was chosen for its aesthetics, but also for its safety. According to several of Sam’s favorite zombie reporting sites, a very low number of incidents have been reported here.

This is why Sam is caught off guard one night after an intense gaming session when he sees a shambling zombie. Thinking of his love, he heads off to save Heather from the inevitable zombie outbreak about to occur. Their path is not an easy one, and again, human emotions will be stretched to the limit. If you have ever been in love, and I mean true love, then Sam and Heather’s tale will grab you by the heartstrings and never let go.

Which authors inspire you?

I have always looked up to legendary authors like Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, and Douglas Adams. Once I jumped into self publishing head first, I have gained a new sense of inspiration from fellow indie authors. When it seems that the world is out to make sure you fail, or at least to make your dream seem almost impossible, indie authors keep pushing to make their dreams come true. I respect this winning against all odds attitude, and in my dark times when I want to quit writing, I look to this winning attitude to help me through these dark times.

What's your favorite book?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I can read this series over and over again and enjoy it as much as the first time. Douglas Adams’ crafted a great and epic story that mixed his unique sense of humor with unbelievably intelligent, yet easy to understand, concepts and science.

Why did you choose independent publishing?

While this road is much tougher, and requires more work than I have ever put into anything, the rewards are phenomenal.  I control where my work is sold, how it is published, and most importantly, how it sounds. With major publishers, there seems to be more of a need to make it mainstream or saleable; which does not always translate into a better story. I like to know that the story that is out there is mine, and not what some guy in a suit thinks it should be.

What one piece of advice would you offer other indie authors?

Go out there and never give up. Like I said, this is the hardest road that I have ever had to go down, but when I stand at conventions or do interviews and say ‘I created this’, my insides get as giddy as a school girl. I always tell anyone who wants to be a writer to just go out there and do it. If you don’t succeed the first time, just keep trying. The thing to remember is that no overnight success happened overnight.


Author Page
AiZ: Alice in Zombieland on Amazon
AiZ:Alice in Zombieland on Smashwords
Zombie A.C.R.E.S.

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