1) What inspired you to become an author?
I began my career as an artist. I drew just about every waking moment of my life up until age 22, when I was illustrating comics. Drawing comics led to writing comics and I had an epiphany—my drawings were stories. I wasn’t creating fine art. I was telling stories. And as it turns out, that’s what I really love to do, whether that be through words, images or movies. Telling a good story and entertaining people is what I’m all about.
2) Why zombies as opposed to other paranormal creatures or everyday life?
Honestly, I have no idea. From a marketing perspective, they’re hot right now, and have been for a few years. But I don’t follow the trends. I write what’s on my mind and for some reason, zombies have always appealed to me. That said, my zombies are very different than traditional zombies. If I don’t come up with something new, I like to twist something that’s already popular, in this case zombies. In TORMENT, they’re definitely undead, but some readers have said I can’t call them zombies because they don’t eat brains. In THE SENTINEL, the zombies are actually Draugar, which is the Viking legend that both modern zombies and vampires are based on. So while my books might be labeled “zombie” don’t come expecting more of the same.
What scares me is actually the basis of TORMENT. The book asks the question “Are you ready to die?” and explores the possible ramifications of not being ready. Death is less frightening if you believe in God, and Heaven, and are sure that’s where you’re headed. But death, without knowing which way I’m headed, or if I’m simply going to cease to exist…those possibilities terrify me. And I think that fear resonates with many people who read the book because a lot of readers get really angry upon finishing it. And they’re not leaving bad reviews, they’re leaving angry reviews. Which, from my perspective, is a very cool thing. It means the book invoked an emotional response. Made them think. Made them truly afraid.