Indie Author Interview – Alan Edwards

Oct 31st, 2012

6 Comments


Today I’ve got author Alan Edwards under my microscope, and happily the normally shy fellow candidly responds to my grueling questions. I was lucky enough to meet Alan through twitter, where I caught his hilarious blog postings (Walking Dead recaps, anyone?) which in turn piqued my curiosity to read his first book, The Curse of Troius. But I wasn’t sure it was my sort of book — zombies in a fantasy milieu? I was skeptical at best.

It took me ten pages to be sold. Perhaps less. Afterwards I almost bought myself a shovel for future zombie-fighting adventures. Yeah, you gotta read it to understand. Have I mentioned I’m a pacifist?

Before we begin, you should know his newest book, The Storm of Northreach, releases today, and it’s amazing. It’s the second book in the Northreach Saga, so if you haven’t read The Curse of Troius, you’ll want to give that a go first.

Anyway, on to the interview! Grab a tasty beverage, this is a long one!

 

1) What are the underlying themes of stories you write?

A Peckish Alan Edwards

That’s a really cool question. It’s self-examination time! I seem to be drawn to protagonists who are fairly grey in nature, rather than heroic, anti-heroic, or downright villainous. They seem to exist in that moral grey area for the most part. Also, I’m drawn to the idea of the Man with No Name, the Clint Eastwood archetype, and in my fantasy stuff I tend to add a dash of his High Plains Drifter aspect, where there seems something supernatural to the character that is relatively undefined. I’ve written/writing 3 novels, and in each case the “main” protagonist either never identifies his name or uses a false one. “Daevan” in the Northreach novels, for example, is referred to by name only by one character in dialogue, and different character via internal perception. He’s a Stranger, and that seems to be a theme I gravitate towards. Nobody really knows what’s going on in the mind of another, and I have fun blending perspectives and perceptions to make things a little off-kilter and ambiguous.


Another theme I seem to like is injecting realism into fantastic situations. Like with Waiting on the Dead, my in-progress modern zombie story, I wanted to examine the apocalypse through the eyes of a sarcastic, slacker nobody, rather than a heroic soldier or doctor or anything else. I don’t want some sniper head-shotting zombies, because I don’t find that to be fun. Likewise with the Northreach series – it’s a fantasy world, but most of the people you meet aren’t knights or wizards or powerful at all. They’re normal folks caught in an awful situation. Sometimes they do good things, sometimes they do bad things. They’re people, not stock Heroes and Villains. Mostly.

Oh, and one other thing I seem to like is the Hopeless Situation. It’s very unlikely that at the end of my stories, the magical hero on his prophesied journey on his uber-pony will use his birthright and Gift from the Deus Ex Machina to save the day and restore everything to exactly the way it was before the story started. The waiter from WotD isn’t curing the zombie infection. Ooops, spoiler.

Your mysterious Stranger and real people themes remind me of the Cowboys vs. Aliens movie. I don’t know if you liked or hated it, but it’s got a lot of that same appeal. Also, in your stories people die, because it’s what would really happen. There’s not some magic fix at the last minute. They either survive because they aren’t idiots or they don’t. Respect.

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2) How do you kick back, relax, and recharge your batteries?
Bacardi and Diet Coke.

Well, also with an amazing wife, great friends, great books, my XBox (Mass Effect 3 is still an addiction for me), weekend LARPs (live action roleplayin’, don’tcha know), my awesome pack of mutts, clove cigarettes, and Diet Mountain Dew. My favorite time and place is an evening on my deck, drink in hand, friends all around, just sitting around BSing and having a good time. I live for those days.

Mostly, though, Bacardi and Diet Coke. And JK’s cider. And Haterade. And sweet tea vodka. Also, beer.
Your dogs are too cute. Your wife is also super awesome. *waves at Lisa*

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3) What’s your favorite wine?
I like wine a lot, but I recognize I am a heathen who cannot appreciate the delicate floral play on the tongue or the oakey smokiness or whatever terms get thrown around. I like wine because the high sugar content means you get a buzz faster. I’m all class.

That said, my favorite wine is Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio.

And just for fun:

Beer – Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde
Soda – Diet Mountain Dew
Tea – Earl Grey
Liquor – Rum
Shot – Fireball
Cider – JK’s Solstice
Those are all classy choices. Pinot Grigio is one of my favorites as well. (Although, to be honest, I don’t hate many wines.) Have you tried Angry Orchard Ciders? Or Glider Cider? Just throwing it out there, derailing this otherwise fine interview. Let’s continue.

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4) I’m always searching out music for my playlist. What are you grooving to this week?
I’ve been on a real Skrillex kick for a while. Bangarang, Ruffneck, Breakin’ a Sweat – his stuff makes me hyper and juiced. There’s a documentary that shows him making Breakin’ a Sweat with the surviving members of the Doors, and it’s just awesome to watch.

I also listen to a lot of Deadmau5, Lana Del Ray, Of Monsters and Men, and Delerium lately. But it’s defintiely been a Skrillex week. Yo, I’m eatin’ FunDip right now, not givin’ a fffff……

I’m going to check all of this out, because I pretty much have no clue what you just said. ;)

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5) If you had a minion army, how would you use them?

Very subtly. I would have them get jobs and give me most of their income so I didn’t have to work anymore. I would also lease them out to other supervillains for additional income, so I wouldn’t have to work anymore. Any leftover minions would be tasked with building me a castle. I would also use that army to coerce people to buy my books. Then, I’d invade and conquer Switzerland. The way I figure it, they stay neutral all the time, so they can’t really have that many friends.

You’re going to be richer than J.K. Rowling with this plan. Can I come and vacation in your castles in Switzerland?

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6) When you rule the world, what style of dominion will you employ?

Lackadaisical Benign Neglect.

Again, the subtle approach. Nice theme you’ve got going. :D

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7) What’s your personal peak of rabble rousing instigation? (Conversely, if you haven’t started a rabble, what’s holding you back?)

My personal peak seems to be Friday or Saturday. I rouse some rabbles on the weekends.

That said, my “college” years were my peak. I was supposedly in college but took no classes and partied six days a week (by the time Friday rolled around I was usually too exhausted to do anything but sleep for 22 hours). Needless to say, it took me 15 years to get a degree. The worst rabble I roused was one night at a bar. There were a great deal of my friends’ fraternity brothers around, and I noticed some guy giving me the stinkeye for no good reason. So I told my most volatile friend that this guy was badmouthing him, and he told his most volatile frat brother, and so on, and so one, until they chased him out of the bar and down the street. Nobody was hurt and no felonies were committed.

I could tell more, like the time I nearly got into a fight at a bar and instead got to watch 6 bouncers beat the crap out of the guy and end up breaking his arm as I stood on a table and cheered, but I’m going to start sounding like an alcoholic troublemaker.

No, not at all. Why would I think that? I’m just thinking we need to hang out at a bar together sometime. No real reason, other than we both like cider. Yeah…

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8 ) Who’s your favorite author? What about their work speaks to you?

Right now I’d say it’s Steven Erikson. His Malazan series is a fantasy series, but the characters he uses are very realistic, from motivation to capabilities, and can still blend magic and realism into a very cohesive and amazing world. The depth of the world he created is rivaled only by Tolkien in my eyes, and he is also adept at blending humor and horror and drama and conflict into any story. If I could demonstrate 10% of his ability in my own writing, I’d be ecstatic.

Has anyone out there guessed that the only reason I’m doing these interviews is to update my play list and to-be-read list? No? Good. ;)

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9) If you could hang out with someone famous for a day, how would you spend the allotted time?

If I could choose a dead person, it’d be Christopher Hitchens, and I would spend that time drinking and listening to one of the most eloquent critical thinkers of my lifetime. If it had to be someone currently alive it would Penn Jillette, and I’d just listen to him say whatever came into his mind. Or Milla Jojovich, and I would spend the time staring dreamily.

Alternatively, we could go to a Puscifer concert and watch her sing with Maynard from Tool. *even cooler and hotter*

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10) Tell me about the inspiration for your upcoming/current project.

Waiting for the Dead was inspired by the current Zombie Diary trend. It’s always some ex-soldier or cop or somebody who is equipped and trained to survive. Most of the time they read like gun porn. So after I found my voice on my blog – sarcastic, foul-mouthed, and infuriated by things of no consequence – I decided that I wanted to hear what some slacker with that attitude and outlook would perceive and comment about when the apocalypse comes. I also really wanted to blend humor and horror into one story. Basically, it’s the guy who reviews the Walking Dead Season 2 on my blog inserted into a classic zombie tale.

I cannot *wait* for this book. Like what I did there? No? Too bad. :P

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11) Is there a flavor of ice cream you just don’t understand? One that, by all rights, simply should not exist?

Chocolate. Blasphemy, the world cries. Sorry. Plain chocolate ice cream is nasty. My mother used to buy Neapolitan ice cream all the time when I was a kid, and just getting a smear of chocolate mixed with the vanilla or strawberry was enough to make me weep in agony. I still can’t understand how people can eat chocolate ice cream. Mix it with coffee or caramel or, I dunno, stuff that tastes good, and it’s all right, but chocolate ice cream is the worst.

I don’t even remember the last time I had plain chocolate ice cream… I don’t know if it’s the *worst* for me too, but yeah, I’ll agree it’s boring.

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12) What do you consider to be the stupidest fashion trend ever?

I am a child of the 1980′s. There can only be one answer. Parachute pants. Someone really needs to step forward and take the blame for that. Pure awful.

Wikipedia associates parachute pants with breakdancing, but not any one person, per se, FYI. You could, uh, write that into your books. Just saying. ;)

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Here’s the special edition cover for The Storm of Northreach. Grab yourself a copy today at Amazon!
 

How to keep track of Alan and his Zombies:

Blog: Me and My Shovel – aravan.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZombieAlanEdwards

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alan__Edwards

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/265415.Alan_Edwards

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Responses to "Indie Author Interview – Alan Edwards" {+}

  1. Alan Edwards on October 31, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for the opportunity to portray myself a chocolate-hating alcoholic troublemaker! I’d hate for people to have misconceptions about me.


  2. Steven Montano on October 31, 2012 Reply

    Best. Interview. Ever. Rockin!


  3. Tiffany A White on October 31, 2012 Reply

    GREAT interview, Candice! I’ve always know that I liked Alan, but now I like him even more! Especially how he unwinds… I may have to try JK Cider. I do like Hard Cider…



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