Why do I write outside of the apocalypse

jack_headOne of the questions I get asked a LOT is why do I bother writing books that are outside of the realm of the apocalypse. Currently, I have the following series (or beginning of series):

  • I Zombie
  • The Last Casket
  • Zombie Radio
  • Fringe Killers
  • Klockwerk Kabaret
  • The Nameless Saga
  • Shero
  • The ‘Kind Saga

I also have plans on spinning off a young adult series from the I Zombie series. That’s a lot of series. Series, series, series. Blah blah blah. Right?

Sometimes when I look at that list I think “What kind of monster have I created?” But then I remember one thing: One of the old stand bye mantras is “Write what you know”. Personally, I don’t like to be bound by rules and schemes. To that end, I write what I love. As I come to a close on one first draft, I allow my heart to guide me into the next book. In the middle of writing The Nails of Calvary (the second book in The Nameless Saga), my heart felt a strong need to go back to the Fringe Killer series (so I’m writing Control). I try not to schedule my writing, or, when I do, I make sure it’s nothing more than a suggestion.

But aren’t you “The Zombie King?”

That nickname was insisted upon me by a few rabid fans, early on in my writing career. And yes, my zombie novels are my bread and butter. But my other series all serve a very specific purpose. For example:

  • The Fringe Killers series serves one of the most important messages I can convey — that of acceptance and equality
  • Shero makes me laugh — a lot. I have so much fun writing within that world
  • The Nameless Saga offers me an outlet for the purely horrific portion of my brain
  • The Klockwerk Kabaret series gives me my sexy steampunk fix
  • The ‘Kind Saga allows me to write for an audience I wouldn’t normally reach with the rest of my work

All of it together helps me become a better writer. With each series I exercise a different style or technique and each helps improve the other work. It’s a parasitic paradise.

I embrace change and challenge. I always have. I love diving into different worlds and exploring the various aspects of the human condition. In the end, horror will always be my first love and zombies my favorite vehicle to carry me into the realm of the dark fantastic. But limiting myself to one beast doesn’t settle well with my soul.

What is on the horizon?

As I mentioned, I am planning a YA spinoff of the I Zombie series. I’ve already penned the first short story for this (which will be published in an upcoming anthology). As well, I am working with another one of my favorite bands, Die So Fluid, on a one-off novel starring the band. Also in the works:

  • The sequel to The Last Casket is already in the planning stages (working even closer with the band this time around)
  • My take on the Frankenstein story
  • The sequel to Klockwerk Kabaret
  • A new series starring Dr. Drizz from Screampark

And so much more (my “to be written” document is nearly 2,000 words in length). And for those die-hard I Zombie fans, worry not … even if that series does come to an end (I might run out of words that rhyme with “I”), I have another series that will take that world a bit farther into the future (the series is called The Book of Jacob — hint, hint).

So — that’s why I often venture outside my apocalyptic playground. Of course, I do this knowing I will always return to the chaos, the moaners, the screamers, and Bethany Nitshimi!

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for joining me on this ride. I cannot wait to take you deeper into the big funky.