Last night while the wintry gusts blew outside and the moon fought to shine down through the grey clouds gathered above this cold city of mine, I sat down to converse with multiple Bram Stoker award winning author, Brian Keene via Twitter. Naturally we talked about what it meant to lose a shot at congress along with Jesus and Satan as well as advice for writers trying to balance life and his vampire book in progress where Edward may or may not get his glittery ass handed to him.
*** Editor’s note: This is my third or fourth time having the pleasure of interviewing Brian. I say this because by now I should certainly know, at the least, which of his first several books were written when, especially considering that I’ve read them. Editor’s note to self: Do not begin an interview while the daughter is still awake and making requests, lest the mind get muddled and the mouth says dumb things! ***
Dark Bites: Although you’ve referred to your upcoming book, Seven, as the first of the Labyrinth series, the mythos has really been alive since your first novel, Terminal. Has your Labyrinth universe evolved much over the years when compared to your original vision?
Brian Keene: Terminal was actually my 3rd novel. But the mythos has been there since before my 1st novel. It was there from the start. It’s harder to keep track of it all these days, 40+ books later, but it’s still as originally envisioned.
DB: Are there any specific publishing/marketing plans for the upcoming Seven Series? Will they all be published under the same roof?
BK: Too early to say, but I imagine the usual formats.
DB: I was sorry to hear you didn’t make the cut for congress this year along with Jesus and Satan. Brian, if a zombie apocalypse should break out while you’re on vacation, who would we be best to stand behind to lead the charge against the undead horde, Jesus or Satan?
BK: Ha! Onward to 2016! Neither! My God, the two you want leading the charge are
@WrathJW (Wrath James White)and @westonochse (Weston Ochse)!
DB: Between novels, comics, graphic novels and movies, you’ve got a lot of fingers in a lot of pies. Where can the FUKU (Fans Uv Keene United) of past and present expect the majority of your focus to go towards in, say, the next five years?
BK: Definitely more movies and comics, and fewer novels. Book-wise, primarily the Labyrinth series. Thinking one novel per year.
DB: Speaking of which, I hear you’re revisiting The Rising once again…
BK: Yep, Deadite release it next year as they’ve done the rest of my Dorchester backlist.
DB: As much as you might be adding back in, are you also adding much new material that you might not have expected to?
BK: Old material that was cut from the original. New material only in fixing typos, grammar, etc.
DB: A lot of your fans know how personal your writing is, such as the character of Danny, from The Rising. How might the autobiographical nature of this character changed as you write him back to life in Clickers vs Zombies?
BK: Well, Jim in The Rising certainly had aspects of me. It’s funny that the alternate reality version in CvsZ did, too.Sort of a full-circle thing, I guess. But Dark Hollow’s Adam Senft and Ghoul’s Timmy remain the most autobiographical.
DB: You recently wrote a powerful piece on your site about friendship, followed by a guest blog from a friend who claims you inspire him by the way you choose to live and create. If you could give just one piece of advice to everyone out their on the magic of keeping on with their creative life despite a less than fair return, what would you suggest?
BK: Every victory, defeat, heartache, tear, laugh, and all in between are fodder for the muse. Write about life by living it.
DB: Obviously zombies in cinema and other media are hardly dying off anytime soon. Do you think zombies have anything new to say or offer to us humans that hasn’t already been noted before?
BK: Sure. Not right now, perhaps. But eventually a new writer will come along and find something new to say with them. But not me. My last word on zombies was said with Entombed and The Last Zombie.
DB: If you’re focus is coming away from zombies, what new monsters might we expect from your muse that we haven’t yet seen from you?
BK: Heh… that’s the same question I ask myself late at night. But I *am* writing a vampire novel. Out next year.
DB: Very cool. Please tell me that Edward makes a cameo in this book and gets what he deserves for contributing to Twilight…
BK: You might be surprised.
DB: You can bet I’ll be anxious to check it out once it’s ready. And one final question: If you could endorse a book on your life so far, what would the blurb on the cover say that couldn’t be said about anyone else?
BK: World Domination 101: How Brian Keene Made Very Little Money And Lots Of Enemies By Writing Pulp Fiction
For more on what Brian is up to and to put any upcomng creations in your sights, bookmark his website and check back often.