This time i had the pleasure of interviewing horror author Armand Rosamilia who loves three things: Horror. Heavy Metal. Zombies. With over thirty releases so far, he is a prolific author and also a publisher, leading Rymfire Books. His extreme undead series is successful, and his zombie novella "Dying Days" is currently optioned for an independent film release.
Books & Writing: What got you interested in writing?
Armand Rosamilia: Reading. My mother had a huge collection of horror paperbacks - King and Koontz - and I'd go into her room and crash on her bed for hours and read. From an early age I wanted to write my own stories, which I did. They were terrible but my parents humored me, not realizing that all these years later I'm still at it.
Books & Writing: At what point in your life did you decide to start writing Horror stories?
Armand Rosamilia: Horror was, from the beginning, what I mostly wrote. I dabbled in Fantasy once I read Tolkien in Junior High but my love has always been horror.
Books & Writing: Can you tell us a bit about your participation on the book “Zombie Writing”?
Armand Rosamilia: I put the idea together and published it, and it's one of my favorite releases so far. I had put out a zombie anthology, "Undead Tales", a few months ago and decided to go for broke and ask some of my favorite authors if they wanted to add a short story to it. Guys like Joe McKinney, Scott Nicholson, W.D. Gagliani, Eric S. Brown and a dozen others sent in great stories and the book is a huge success. I decided to see if lightning would strike twice and did the same thing, asking zombie author's I'd read. The result - "Zombie Writing!" - has 44 authors giving advice, talking about their style, their books, what films/movies/shows influenced them, and so much more.
Books & Writing: I see you also wrote a lot more horror stories for Anthologies. How do you get to participate in an anthology? Do you get asked by a publisher? Or do you connect with a few other authors and decide to join forces?
Armand Rosamilia: In the beginning I simply found anthologies that interested me and sent in a story. I still do, but I've also been asked to do a few as well. The challenge in a short story is to compact the tale with a definite start, middle and end instead of writing a 'scene' or piece of the story.
Books & Writing: Are you also interested in some other genre?
Armand Rosamilia: I've tried my hand at other things when an idea presents itself. I mixed horror and erotica in one short story (in the "Rymfire Erotica" anthology) but mostly it's horror. I ust get an idea and write, and it usually ends up with someone dying. I can't help it.
Books & Writing: Are you working on something new at the moment?
Armand Rosamilia: Always. At any given time I have 3-5 documents open on the laptop and I go from one to the next adding chapters. I can't write one story at a time, I need to do a little of each. My total goal each day is 2,000 words if possible. Somedays I've done more (I wrote 25,000 words in 5 days before New Years).
Books & Writing: Where do you see yourself in a couple of years in relation to writing?
Armand Rosamilia: My ultimate goal is to be able to live off of writing and publishing. I'd love t be able to pay all the bills with money people are giving me for my work. If not,I'll still be writing horror stories and publishing.
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Armand Rosamilia: Keep writing. The worst thing you can do is stop your momentum. Even if you get nothing down on paper that day, work the next scene or next plotline in your head and commit to getting it down when the kids go to bed or during lunch.
Books & Writing: Where can people go and read your work?
Buy the book Zombie Writing now at Amazon!
Books & Writing: Where can people find you on the internet?
Armand Rosamilia: My website is http://armandrosamilia.com and I'm on Facebook, Twitter (@ArmandAuthor), Google +... I'm all over the place, easy to find!
Below is an excerpt from "Zombie Writing!"
Why I Write About Zombies
Brian Keene is the reason. End of guest blog.
Oh, you want more info?
I'd always been a huge fan of zombie movies, ever since being scared as a kid watching Night of the Living Dead. While everyone else was into vampires, I was the teen getting excited over zombie movies, which were hard to come by. Back in the days before the internet you had to actually go to a video store (no Blockbuster, no RedBox) down on the corner and hope that mom or pop that ran the place were fans of zombies. I remember the closest video store to me had a huge horror section, but mostly these obscure slasher flicks. I had to go a couple towns over because there was a video store that had an amazing collection of zombie movies, and I ended up renting them all.
But I'd never read any zombie books, even though I read a ton of horror. I was more into scary monster books without honing in on vampires, werewolves and zombies. Instead, demons and ghosts and serial killers were a huge part of my reading experience.
Until The Rising.
I remember being in the local Books A Million and searching for another paperback. The horror section had disappeared, leaving you to search through thousands of fiction books for that hidden gem deemed horror. Sure, King and Koontz had huge sections devoted to them, but everyone else was relegated to being lumped in with general fiction.
As if by fate, Brian Keene's book was facing out and the cover immediately caught my attention. I can still remember reading the back cover blurbs and being excited, because reading zombie fiction had never interested me before. The few short stories that I'd read were either about voodoo queens or cliché brain-eating zombies that had no real plot.
This was something quite different, and I read it in one day, amazed at the characters and how the zombies were not the whole story. In fact, I got so into the characters that, at times, you forgot it was even about zombies and just about survival.
I had never read anything from Keene, but went back to the store and bought every paperback he had available, including the other zombie books, City of The Dead and Dead Sea.
Within a few days I was heavily immersed in zombie fiction. I started surfing the internet for other zombie fiction, finding some great anthologies like The Dead That Walk and The New Dead.
I was also amazed at the amount of zombie authors putting out quality releases, and had to read them all.
Then I started writing my own zombie fiction, something I had never done before despite twenty years of writing stories. I thought there was nothing new, nothing fresh about it. I was wrong, and as I started thinking about my own ideas.
As a writer you never want to toss a few cliché ideas and worn plotlines together and get a story. But once I had an idea I thought was unique, I went with it. Suddenly there were more characters, more ideas than I had time to write. What started out as a simple flash fiction piece, "Higher Ground" (released in Daily Bites of Flesh 2011 by Pill Hill Press) , became a world of extreme zombie fiction from me. Another half dozen flash fiction zombie pieces took shape, followed by my Highway To Hell novella. Since then I've written and published a slew of zombie short stories, followed up Highway To Hell with Dying Days, and will have a zombie short story collection out in the next few weeks (Zombie Tea Party).
And I owe it all to Brian Keene and that paperback book staring at me.