[Interview] Eric S. Brown

North Carolina resident, Eric S. Brown writes horror short stories and novels.

His work has been featured in a number of anthologies, among them, Dead Worlds I, II, III, and V; The Blackest Death I and II; The Undead I and II; Dead History (Permuted Press, 2007) as well as Zombology I and II.

His books include Space Stations and Graveyards (Double Dragon, 2003); Madmen’s Dreams (Permuted Press, 2005); Zombies: Inhuman (Naked Snake Books, 2007) and Tandem of Terror (Library of Horror, 2010).

Brown is also part of the collaborative zombie novel effort from Pill Hill Press, Undead, Kansas and contributes an ongoing column on the world of comic books for Abandoned Towers magazine.

In this interview, Eric S. Brown talks about his writing:

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was just a little kid. Even when I was tiny, I loved horror. The first thing I remember doing is a rewrite of Halloween 3 because I couldn't live with the fact that it had no Mike Myers.

I decided I want to be a writer in second grade but didn't start trying to get published until I was 26. I started out like most folks I would think. I bought a copy of the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market guide and went about sending out tales.

How would you describe your writing?

My writing is pretty much the love of a fan of horror, science fiction and comic books trying to give back to those genres and write the stuff folks want to see.

I am known for zombies and have written a lot in that genre from Season of Rot (Permuted Press, nominated for a Dead Letter Award) to War of the Worlds Plus Blood Guts and Zombies (picked up by Simon and Schuster and set for a new release later this year).

But I write a lot of other stuff too ... from things like Bigfoot War (which plays off my own childhood fears of Bigfoot) to How the West Went to Hell (which is a demon-plague end-of-the-world story set in the Old West).

My target audience is anyone who loves horror, zombies and such and is looking for a fun and good read.

Like I said, I think of myself as a fan more than a writer and am just trying to write the things I think fans want to see that I know I do.

Which authors influenced you most?

Jon Maberry (Doomwar from Marvel Comics) is a hero of mine and has helped me a lot. David Dunwoody (Empire) is a dear friend as well.

I would say my influences though are H. P. Lovecraft, George Romero, and David Drake.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

My main concern is that my work is entertaining and fun to read.

I don't try to be all literary and highbrow. I just want my readers to enjoy a good story and hopefully be scared by it.

How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

I did a book called World War of the Dead (Coscom Entertainment) that is a Christian zombie novel because I myself am a Christian and Bigfoot War is literally the Bigfoot movie I also wanted to see as a fan.

As a writer, what are the biggest challenges that you face?

I tend to take on too many projects.

I had eight books published last year, will have nine this year, and already have a new one (The Brethren of the Dead) from Sonar 4 Publications due out in 2011.

In addition to this, I do numerous tales for anthologies and such as well as juggle columns, a four-year-old son, and real world life.

I am still learning to juggle everything as I go.

How many books have you written so far?

I will not be listing anything written by my pen names but Eric S. Brown has written the books that include:

I also edited the anthology The Wolves of War for Library of Horror Press in 2009.

My pending titles include:

  • Kinberra Down (Pill Hill Press),
  • Undead Down Under (Pill Hill Press),
  • Anti-Heroes (Library of the Living Dead Press's SF imprint),
  • War of the Worlds Plus Blood Guts and Zombies- the mass market edition (Simon and Schuster),
  • The Weaponer (Coscom),
  • The Human Experiment (Sonar 4 Publications), and
  • Brethren of the Dead (Sonar 4 Publications).

And in the very beginning of my career I had eight small press chapbooks published including titles Zombies: The War Stories, Flashes of Death, Blood Rain, Still Dead, etc.

Do you write everyday?

I do write everyday. I have so many deadlines I have to. It's all pretty much random. I always do at least 1,000 words a day.

How long did you choose a publisher for Bigfoot War?

My last book to be released was Bigfoot War. I already had a multi-book deal in place with Coscom and they agreed to let me bring my vision of Sasquatch terror to print.

The book I am currently working on is The Brethren of the Dead for Sonar 4 Publications and is a direct sequel to my tale, "The Queen" which was reprinted in Season of Rot.

Which aspects of this work do you enjoy most?

I love being a writer because it's been a lifelong dream of mine. It's awesome to make up tales of the end of the world and get paid for it.

What will your next book be about?

My next book that I am writing, The Brethren of the Dead, is a mix of pirates and zombies on the waves of the ocean dueling it out in a post apocalyptic world.

This world was established in my novella "The Queen" from Season of Rot and is a fan favorite among my work. I am excited about revisiting this world and playing up the pirate element that fits so naturally into it.

Sonar 4 Publications is also releasing my superhero novel, The Human Experiment which is the origin story of my character Agent Death who is also featured in the book Anti-Heroes both due out later this year.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

Just being a writer.

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