I always get super excited when I’m about to do an author interview. If you haven’t checked out my first one, you can view it Here. What makes today’s interview even more awesome is that the author has dropped his newest book, Blood Drive, TODAY! So, check out the remarkable interview below and then head on over to Amazon to get a peek or perhaps purchase Blood Drive for yourself. As someone who recently read and loved Budgie’s book, Mediterrania, I am looking forward to reading Blood Drive for myself.
I want to thank Budgie for taking the time to sit down with me and give me some insights to what writing means to him and some behind the scenes details of Blood Drive.
1. This first question seems cliche, but I have to ask. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?I started writing back when I was in high school. My plots were basic, my grammar was terrible, and the only motivation my villains had was that they were villains. I wanted to be a writer of dark fiction like Stephen King, but I hung it up, dumping my notebooks full of my awful penmanship. I didn’t start up again until I was thirty-three when I had the idea for Askharoth after watching Cinderella a dozen or so times, and that turned into my first self-published book. I’ve been writing steadily ever since.2. Can you tell us a little bit about how this story came about and should we expect more or is this a stand-alone book?Blood Drive was inspired by the Red Cross blood drive my employer puts together every May. I was donating blood, my previous O-Positive, and I was watching the volunteers work, moving the coolers and taking the filled bags to be logged and transported. I wondered what would happen if the van was stolen by vampires, and that was the beginning of the cross-country adventure in my head. The agent of the Vatican was a concept I used once before in a story called Dragonfly in the Valentines for Doomy 2 collection, but the agent, Father Matthew fit in so well with the story. It took me a year and a half to get from that blood drive to this one.This can be a stand-alone book, but there’s potential for more. I love these characters, and it was hard to say goodbye to them in the end. I have the beginnings of an idea for another, maybe a trilogy, but I’ll have to flesh it out in my head before I commit to it. I’ll also have to see how people react to this one. If my readers like it as much as I did, then I’ll be more apt to go back.3. When you’re not writing, what other roles do you tackle and master in your everyday life?I’m working full time as a field employee slash cubicle jockey during the day. On nights and weekends, you’ll usually find me with my wife, daughter, and dogs. It’s really a normal life, void of vampires, werewolves, and car chases. I’m a father first, and I adore my little girl and the time we spend building legos, playing board games, or watching movies. We’re preparing for our massive fall yard cleanup, so there’s that to look forward to in our future. Other than that, the wife and I take care of each other. She doesn’t read my writing, but she respects it. It’s a great marriage, but most of the details that make it that way are private…4. On a typical day, when most is going right in the world, what is your writing schedule like?I write every day on my breaks and lunch at work. I refuse to be bothered, snapping at anyone who disturbs me while I have my writing app open and my headphones on. They’ve learned the hard way to walk away. Sometimes I’ll have some time at night after bedtime, but that’s not always guaranteed. On weekend mornings I’ll take an hour or so with a coffee, and I’ll write at the park while my daughter plays when the weather is nice. Other than that, I take the time to write whenever I can get it.5. Have you entered or won any writing awards with other writing pieces?Nope. Embarrassing as it is, I haven’t won any contests, but I don’t enter many either. I usually see through the scams in a lot of them, even if they aren’t there. I came close recently, but I refused to change the ending to one of my stories, opting for subtly over the suggested gore-fest they wanted. I still like my ending better, and it was worth taking the loss to keep it that way.6. Many people have writing quirks, mine is everything has to be clean or I can’t write, what writing quirks do you have?I need the typewriter sounds my writing app provides and nothing else, so I’m glad I can get them through my noise canceling headphones. I don’t why, but hearing the clicking as I’m writing helps me do it. As stated before, I need to be left alone too. I get pretty pissy if you bother me while I’m typing. I can bring my iPad and keyboard and type anywhere. It doesn’t matter as long as I can be left alone somewhere quiet to listen to the click-clack of the faux typewriter.7. What inspired you to write in your chosen genre?Stephen King inspired me to write dark, and that shows in a lot of my work. I also have a love for comedy, most of the raunchy or slapstick variety. I loved the comedy movies of the eighties and nineties while growing up: Caddyshack, Spaceballs, Ghostbusters, anything by John Hughes, etcetera. Lately, I’ve taken a turn into dark comedy, Blood Drive is my first trip into the balancing act. Some of the best action movies can make you laugh too. Almost everything I’m planning for the foreseeable future has a dark and comedic aspect to it. I guess you can thank eighties comedy and Stephen King for that.8. Everyday life can be hectic, especially with how the world is today; despite that, what things do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing?Riling up my pups is always fun. I read a lot too, whatever I can get my hands on. I rarely leave the house without a book. I still love movies, and I’ll do most of my video gaming during the winter. I enjoy the simple things in life: my fire pit in the yard, a pumpkin beer in the fall, the ever-disappointing New York Jets, and quiet time with the family. I also enjoy my walks and good conversation when I can find it.9. Writing can be a form of therapy, healing, and a teachable lesson; did you learn anything about yourself during your time of writing, Blood Drive?I learned about balance during the writing of Blood Drive, not only while attempting to blur the lines between genres. There’s always a price to pay for your actions, and you’re not always aware of whose pocket that payment will come from. A vampire needs the blood of a living human to stay alive, but their victim unknowingly pays the price for the cost of another’s longevity. A van of blood is stolen for the higher vampire’s council, but it won’t make it to those who need it. Those are blunt examples, but we all take from others in our daily lives, even if it’s not as on the nose as one’s life’s blood. I’ve been more cognizant of how my actions affect others and the karma I may receive in return.10. What makes Blood Drive special to you? Why should others read it?Christian, Evan, Bart, and Father Matthew were with me for the better part of the last year and a half. I care about all four of them, fictional as they are. They took what was suppose to be a short novella and turned it into a full-sized novel, twice as long as what was intended. I was amazed at what this story turned into as I wrote it. There’s a lot in there I never intended to write. I won’t spoil anything, but the journey from Connecticut to Los Angeles wasn’t as easy as I originally thought it would be.I really did have a lot of fun writing this one, and I believe it shows on the page. I think anyone who takes the time to read this would pick up on that, enjoying the turbulent drive, the action sequences, and the interactions between the characters. There are enough speed bumps and detours to keep my readers entertained for the entire drive.Pardon the road trip puns, but I’m not sorry for them.11. Lastly, another cliche question but, needs to be asked; what advice do you have for other indie authors, especially when it’s so easy to want to give up the craft?My advice would probably be as cliché as the question, but I’d tell anyone not to give up. Not everyone has the gift to put together a story from start to finish. It’s hard to take the spark of an idea and figure out how to turn into a controlled inferno. It’s even harder to do it in such a way that makes it easy for the reader to keep going and feel something.I’ve given a lot of advice since starting my blog, even if I don’t particularly feel qualified to advise anyone on anything. I’ve never taken a creative writing class, I didn’t grow up writing short stories in the margins of school papers, and I wasn’t encouraged to do anything but attend trade school when it became time to determine who I was going to be. I was a daydreamer though, and a lot of stories probably passed right through my mind.I lost track of the point I was going to make in that last paragraph, but I would say that practice makes perfect. Keep writing. Let people read it and tear it to shreds so you know how to make it better. Read books on grammar and really pay attention. Anyone can self-publish a pile of words, but you can mold that pile into something you can be proud to be read. Ignore the trolls who will tear you down just because they can’t string together a few sentences without sounding like their parents were first cousins.Most importantly: do it for you. Don’t do it for the paycheck or the glory of winning a contest. Even if two people buy your book and one of them is your mother, do it because you had fun writing it, and you love seeing your name on that cover. I never get tired of seeing it, and Blood Drive is my ninth release.And don’t take advice from other writers on the internet to heart!I’ll stop here before I go into a full inspirational rant. Thank you, KT, for letting me answer these questions. It was a lot of fun! I hope I gave you and your blog fans some decent answers.