Today, I'm interviewing TW (Todd) Brown as part of the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour. Welcome, Todd. Tell us a little about yourself.
TW Brown is the author of the Zomblog series and the Dead series. He is deeply immersed in pursuing his dream of being a “full-time” writer while trying to balance the duties of husband, father, friend, and Border Collie owner. He keeps busy reading and editing the numerous submissions for a variety of upcoming anthologies and full-length titles for May December Publications. He has had short stories published by Pill Hill Press, Living Dead Press, and others.
What books do you have available and if you have more than one, which is your favorite?
I have the Zomblog series (Zomblog, Zomblog II, Zomblog: The Final Entry, and am currently working on Zomblog: Snoe-due out in October). I also have my DEAD series (Dead: The Ugly Beginning, Dead: Revelations, Dead: Fortunes & Failures, and Dead: Winter-just released May 30th). I have also undertaken doing a “zombie” retelling of all 200-plus Grimm Tales.
I am very proud of my DEAD series. That is the one I hope to hang my hat on so to speak.
4.6 stars and $3.99 on Amazon
4.9 stars and $4.99 on Amazon.
4.8 stars and $4.99 on Amazon.
4.8 stars and $5.99 on Amazon.
Separate from horror I have the novel Dakota (as Todd Brown versus TW Brown).
These look great! Lots of glowing reviews from readers. I’m going to have to pick one of these up. Congrats, Todd, on your success.
Authors tend to read and write in multiple genres. Which are your favorites? Do you write in one or more than one?
I absolutely love the horror genre. I feel it doesn’t quite receive its due in most circles. Sort of like comedies during the Academy Awards. However, I feel there is some exceptional stuff out there in the horror market. I spend about 99% of my time in the horror world.
Me, too. Horror writers are the nicest people, usually. Strange, isn’t it?
I do write a bit of “mainstream” fiction. My Dakota novel (soon to be a series) is a very different approach to Historical Fiction. Also, I have a project that I work on in small doses titled UnCivil War about a full-scale, modern day race war in the
Who are your favorite authors and which are your favorite books?
Right now, my favorite authors are Jasper Fforde, Kim Harrison, and Janet Morris. It does change from time to time, but those are tops currently. As for favorite books, all time is easily The Stand by Stephen King. To me, that is the novel that made me want to write.
Tell us about your writing. What is your process?
I don’t believe in outlines. I think they tend to keep a story too linear. I have had many of my best story ideas come when I simply let the story take me along for the ride. I like to work in several small blocks of time throughout the day and have no problem stopping in midsentence when the timers goes off or my pre-determined word count is reached. That allows me to stew over things for a while and I have never struggled with writer’s block. Not saying that the two are connected, but I can’t say that they aren’t.
I start with a very rough outline, but I agree, the journey is the fun part. My characters never cease to surprise me.
How long does it take for you to complete a novel and what is the most important advice you can give to a new author?
That really varies. Most of my stuff dials in between 80-100,000 words. I can have one written in a solid two months. But then the task of re-writes and edits can easily take twice that long. As for advice…this is a marathon and not a sprint. If you think it is a “get-rich-quick” scheme, you will be disappointed. It is hours of long, brain-draining work that can disrupt home and family life when it becomes “the other (insert man or woman here)”. You better love it. And you better be ready for people who
DON’T love you or your work.
I’ve been saying this for so long. Writing is definitely not “quick”. Indie world allows for you to work on your own schedule, but it takes time for books to hit their stride. Sadly, some great ones never do.
Being a writer means putting yourself out there for the disapproval as much as the approval. Thick skin is a job requirement which is kind of unfortunate since most of the writers that I know are self-doubters.
Are you independent or traditionally published?
I am an Indie. I’ve had some shorts picked up by varying degrees of the “professional” market, but I don’t know if I could hand over that much control of my work to anybody.
It is great to hold the reigns. The risk and the reward are 100% yours. I enjoy that, myself.
Do you have aspirations to be either or both?
I wouldn’t mind seeing a “Big Six” letter in my mailbox. However, I really believe that the traditional avenue is strangling itself. It has become very nepotinistic (just made that word up for this interview) in that they make very few forays out into the world to seek “new” talent. They make claims, but really, they want people they can put on Oprah…or is it Ellen now? In any case, they want middle-of-the-road.
Before I get accused of playing the Woody Allen card and “not joining any club that would have me as a member” I would like to make it clear that I would sell out in a heartbeat. I just do not expect to be asked.
Hahaha…Hilarious. I’d sell out, too, but only after I’ve had enough success to demand a sweet deal…or if my family was starving. Then I’d take the less than stellar deals being offered to emerging authors. Right now I’m of the mindset that I wouldn’t buy a ticket for the Titanic. I’m not taking a traditional deal, either. Not that I expect to be asked ;-)
What has been your biggest writing challenge?
Returning to the Zomblog universe. I was determined to be finished at three. However, in living up to my creed that I write for the readers, I could not ignore the requests. So it looks like I will have one, but possibly as many as three more books in that series.
You’re a reader’s writer. Good for you!
How did you overcome it?
I caved in to requests and made it my
project for June. I expect to finish by the end of the month or very early in July. It will release on Halloween of this year. Camp NaNoWriMo
What’s next for you?
Well, I have book five (of twelve total) of the DEAD series, the next 20-30 stories of the Grimm Tales to re-work into zombie tales, the second book in the Dakota series, a full-length book for my That Ghoul Ava series that is transitioning from short to novel, and a half-dozen anthologies to weed through the submissions, score, edit, and compile for release, some outside editing jobs, and a few novels that are being released by May December Publications (my wife and my publishing company) over the remainder of the year.
Holy cow! Will you be eating or sleeping anytime in 2012??? And I thought I was busy, sheesh.
When you aren’t writing, what is your favorite pastime?
Taking my Border Collie for walks…playing guitar (I’ve been in a couple of bands)…and when my broke down body doesn’t betray me, I really do enjoy working out. I hope to heal up enough to take on the P90X for a second go-round.
I’m in a Guitar Hero/Rock Band called The Beasts of Ballston Spa. For the million or so fans we have, we’re not very well heard of. Maybe it doesn’t work the same in the gaming world.
How can readers find you?
My blog: TW Brown on Zombies, Border Collies, and the Indie Writing Scene
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook under Todd Brown, Author TW Brown, and May December Publications.
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All six of us - Todd Brown, Mark Tufo, Ian Woodhead, Armand Rosamilia, John O'Brien and Dave Jeffery - hope you'll keep following us on the Summer of Zombie blog tour, and comment as we go along.
And… one lucky commenter for each blog will receive a free eBook or print book from one of the authors! Simply leave a comment with your e-mail address and we'll pick a random winner each day! Simple as that!
Thanks for dropping by, interviewing and offering up your awesome wares. Congrats Zombie Blog Tour authors. Here’s wishing you many sales!