Happy Wednesday, Booklovers!
This week we're sharing coffee with horror writer Steven Ramirez and his zombies. And these are the blood-thirsty kind, so keep your wits about you. :)
Welcome, Steven. What would you like to drink?
STEVEN: Iced Caffè Americano year round.
Ally: Perfect. Coming right up. It'll be ready by the time you've shown readers your bio.
Steven Ramirez is the author of the horror thriller series Tell Me When I’m Dead. He has also published a number of short stories, as well as a children’s book, and he wrote the screenplay for the horror thriller film ‘Killers.’ To hear about new releases, visit stevenramirez.com/newsletter/. Steven lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughters.
Tell me something unique that isn't in your regular bio: "Many years ago in Pasadena, I ran into the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who was presumably on his way back to Cal Tech. I babbled something about how great I thought he was. Then his assistant wheeled him away. I’ve always regretted not having been better prepared."
Author Website: http://www.stevenramirez.com/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/byStevenRamirez
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StevenRamirezWriter
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/StevenRamirez
Author Google+: https://plus.google.com/+StevenRamirezWriter
STEVEN: This is the third book in my horror thriller trilogy. When I started out the zombies were of the slow, shambling variety that anyone would recognize from Night of the Living Dead or The Walking Dead. But over the course of the story, the infecting virus evolved, and these creatures became faster and more cunning. By the time we get to the last book, they are blade-wielding sociopaths who like to hunt.
Ally: Needless to say, your zombies aren't the romantic type. :) Let's talk about something a little tamer. Tell us about your setting. Is it contemporary, such as in urban fantasy, or have you created an entirely different universe?
STEVEN: The Tell Me When I’m Dead series is contemporary, the first two books taking place in a fictional Northern California town called Tres Marias. For the third book I decided to move the action south to Los Angeles. Although the universe is recognizable to anyone who has lived in LA, there are elements that seem bizarre. For one thing, it rains like crazy throughout the book. Also, the fact that these maniacs are running around carving up people makes the story somewhat apocalyptic. To provide realism I tried using as many actual LA locations as I could. But I did take license with certain scenes for dramatic purposes.
Ally: What is your writing process? When, where? Do you have a writer's cave? How long does a first draft take?
STEVEN: I write in a basement, mornings or nights. I’m not a fast writer. The first draft of this book took me around six months. Also, I should point out that I am a pantser—not a plotter. So I go wherever the story takes me.
Ally: What is your next work in progress? Do you have a tentative release date?
STEVEN: I am working on a horror comedy, based on a screenplay I wrote a few years back. It features a precocious, horror-loving fourteen-year-old girl, a low-budget movie and a crazed, chainsaw-wielding villain. So far, I’m having a pretty good time. The horror is easy but, as any comedian will tell you, comedy is hard. I am hoping for a spring release. Wish me luck.
Ally: It's time for a few quick answer questions:
- a. current favorite tv show: The Blacklist
- b. favorite dessert: Apple pie.
- c. a zombie book you recommend (other than your own): I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Technically, his monsters are not zombies—they are vampires. But they’re not romantic at all, so …
- d. favorite spectator sport: None. I like to watch movies and television.
- e. something you really want to do but haven't yet: Visit Italy.
Ally: I enjoyed talking about zombies today. Thanks for having coffee with us. Before we end our chat, please show us the book you brought.
Dave Pulaski is headed to Los Angeles to kill Walt Freeman, the person responsible for devastating Tres Marias. But everything changes when he rescues Sasha, a Russian girl who escaped the facility where Walt was holding her. Pursued by a relentless ex-military sociopath working for Walt and by scientifically engineered humans who flay their victims alive, chances are that Dave will die before he can save Sasha.
Even The Dead Will Bleed (Book Three of Tell Me When I’m Dead) is a dark fantasy, sci-fi thriller—a nonstop horror train—that will deliver Dave to the brink of Hell. Revenge is a powerful drug that can drive a man to do unspeakable things. But as he will learn, Faith can give him the courage to face death without fear. If you like your thrillers dark and fast-paced, then don’t miss the heart-pounding conclusion to this trilogy.