Saturday, October 25, 2014

39 Questions with author Kirk Allmond

I'd like to introduce Kirk Allmond, fellow Permuted Press author. Let's hear what he's got to say for himself!


First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to chat with me and introduce me to your loyal fans.  Having an author of your caliber take an interest in my work is always flattering.

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Just who the hell are you, anyway? 

I’m just a regular guy.  I have a 6 year old boy named Jack who is the basis of the character Max in What Zombies Fear, and a beautiful girlfriend/co-author Laura Bretz.  I used to run a huge website (now shuttered) called The Zombie Preparedness, at one point we had over 150,000 registered users.  I’ve always been a story-teller, now I just write them down.

2. Do you have any strange writing habits?

I prefer to write in absolute silence.  My most productive time is when there is no one in the house and I can just watch the movie unfold in my brain-hole and transcribe what I’m seeing.  And coffee with lots of cream and lots of sugar. 

3. What book do you wish you could have written?

Harry Potter.  ‘cause Billionaire.  Seriously, I’m very proud of my body of work, and while it shows considerable growth as an author over my current nine books, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I love the stories I’ve written.

4. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

There are always so many.  A guy named Mark Clodi, author of “The Zombie Chronicles” has turned into a great friend.  I read and loved his books, and was just starting mine at the time. He was always SO supportive.  I can’t ever answer this question without mentioning Chris Philbrook, author of Adrian’s Undead Diary, who not only read my first novel and encouraged me, but did a ton of early promotion and helped me build my fan base.  To this day, he and I talk regularly.

5. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I JUST had this conversation with an artist.
Victor Tookes: Thomas Jane
Marshall Tookes: Sean bean
John Hazard: Sam Worthington
Leo: Olivia Wilde
Kris: Jennifer Lawrence

6. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I name characters after my friends mostly.  Seems like a cop-out answer, but it’s mostly true.  If it’s a bit-part or I just need a name I just hit a random letter on my keyboard and mentally scroll through names that start with that letter.

7. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

My favorite book that I’ve written is actually The Evolution of Vaughn.  It’s a sci-fi novel set WAY in the future, but in the same universe as What Zombies Fear.

8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

On a beach, living in south Florida, sipping fruity drinks and banging out my 100th novel.

9. Were you already a writer, and have you always liked to write?

I’ve always been a story-teller, but I never thought of myself as a writer.  I started writing What Zombies Fear as a dare, and here I am, 5 years later with almost a million words published.

10. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Close Facebook, write every day.

11. If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?

Prior to being an author, I was in Learning and Development for a major US Corporation.

12. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Yes, I read every one.  No, I never respond.  (I did once.. lesson learned…) As far as advice, you can’t please everyone.  If EVERY review is bad, you should re-work your story.  But if you’re holding at 4+ stars on amazon, recognize that bad reviews can sell books too.  MANY people are wary of books with ONLY 5-star reviews.

13. What is your best marketing tip?


Close Facebook, write the sequel.

14. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Editing.  I sincerely dislike reading my own writing, because I’m a fiddler.  No, not the instrument, I just can’t keep my hands out of the story. No matter how many revisions, no matter how many changes and re-writes, I can’t EVER be ‘done’.  After a while, you’re not making the story any better, you’re just making everyone around you do extra work.


15. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I’m not sure.  I just finished writing a scene in LEGION (Due out Feb 2015) where the main character (Vanessa Ridolfi) feels extremely violated.  It was hard, both because she’s female and because I can’t imagine treating a woman as she’d been treated. But those kinds of things need to be talked about.


16. Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others?

Death.  Not the killing, I’m very good at killing people off, but how the death effects those around them.  I always have to take a break for a couple of days after writing a funeral scene.


17. Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

My first book was What Zombies Fear: A Father’s Quest.  The 6th and final book in that series, What Zombies Fear: The Incarnation is due out 12/15/2014.  In addition to that, I have a post-apocalyptic sci-fi series called Remnants: The Colcoa Wars. Book 1 is out, with 2 and 3 to follow early in 2015.  And then there is The Evolution of Vaughn.  My “Dark Tower” series.  I can’t bring myself to Vaughn’s universe often, but I visit as often as I can.

18. What are you working on now? What is your next project?

What Zombies Fear: LEGION is due February 2015.  It starts at the same point as the 1st What Zombies Fear book, following a different main character.  Think of it as another portal into the universe.

19. Do you write naked?

Yes.

20. What is your biggest failure?

On a personal level, I’m divorced.  On a professional level, I’d probably have to say the promotion and marketing of The Evolution of Vaughn.  It’s pretty deep sci-fi, and I think a lot of my zombie-fans haven’t made the jump. I haven’t been able to dedicate the promotional time/energy/effort into building a new sci-fi fan-base for it yet.

21. What is the biggest lie you've ever told?

“For a long time, it felt like “I’m an author”.  But now I’ve told it so many times it feels true.

22. Have you ever gotten into a bar fight?

Yup.  I was a misguided youth up until last week.

23. Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

Because I write my books in a ‘linear’ fashion, I start at chapter 1 and end with Chapter 40-something, I REALLY try not to go back and add the magic bullet.  I work to make the characters sort out the trouble as it happens, with the tools they have available. I think it makes for a much more realistic story. There have been times when I had to go way back to Chapter 3 and make sure the main character is carrying a pocket-knife or something…

24. Do you drink? Smoke? And if so, what’s your favorite libation?

Yes and yes.  Yuengling Lager is the nectar of the gods.

25. What is your biggest fear?

Having to go back to work in corporate America.

26. What do you want your tombstone to say?

“Here lies Kirk
He was kind of a jerk
He wrote a lot of books
Got a lot of strange looks
$20 says he died with a smirk.”


Or like “Kirk Allmond, Father, born 1974, died 3150”

27. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation. In What Zombies Fear, the few humans who are immune to the parasites that cause zombie-ism usually gain some kind of super-power when they’re infected.  The teleporters are my favorite to write.

28. If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

Captain Kirk, duh.
Jeans and a tee shirt. ‘cause I’m way too fat to wear my underwear on the outside.


29. What literary character is most like you?

Victor Tookes. J  What Zombies Fear is autobiographical.

30. What secret talents do you have?

I am a web developer and graphic designer.  I’m a good kisser? I can open a beer with a lighter?

31. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?

My future home is a small deserted island in the Caribbean.  I’ve never been to the Virgin Islands, and would love to go.

32. What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

I’d like to publish 100 novels.  (Thus the date of my death on the tombstone question)

33. If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

Australian. Or Irish.  ‘Cause even a fat cave troll with an Aussie accent gets love. And you can’t dislike a guy with an Irish accent.

34. Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Lots. And lots. Surgery, road-rash, burns.  Please see earlier question about “misguided youth until last week”

35. What were you like as a child?

Misguided.

36. Do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I dream all the time.  But no, not really any recurring.  I used to have nightmares a lot.  Now I think I write them all away.

37. You’re being attacked by a hoard of brain eating zombies at this very moment, and all you have is a butter knife, a week-old lemon and a cheese grater. How would you extract yourself from the situation?

Clearly I’m in the kitchen and the house is overrun.  I’d use the butter knife to pry the gas hose off the stove, and put the cheese grater in the microwave, set for 15 minutes. Bail out the window over the sink, and run like hell, until just before the explosion.  Then I’d stop and walk away as the house blows up behind me.  ‘Cause cool guys don’t look at explosions. 

38. Do you have any regrets? (Besides volunteering for this interview)

I wish I’d started writing much sooner.  And I wish I’d chosen the hot sauce on my wings last night instead of Atomic.

39. And last, but certainly not least, do you have any books you’d like to recommend/ shout-outs?

I loved the “Sleepers” series by Jaqueline Druga.
“Tankbread” by Paul Mannering

And of course, if you haven’t read One Man’s Island from Thomas J. Wolfenden, you’re doing yourself a grave disservice.

You can find Kirk at www.kirkallmond.com or read samples of all his work at www.whatzombiesfear.com.  On facebook, at www.facebook.com/whatzombiesfear or on twitter as @VictorTookes.


1 Comments:

OpenID victortookes said...

Thanks for hosting me! You're the best!

26 October, 2014 07:59  

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