Interview conducted by Nickolas Cook
Nickolas Cook: First off, Eric, I want to thank you sincerely for taking some time to sit down with us and answer a few questions about your work. Since reading SEASON OF ROT , I’ve become a huge fan of your style of storytelling.
Can you tell us how you came to write horror?
Eric S. Brown: I have always been a fan of the genre and a diehard zombie fan. I was writing fan fiction horror by the second grade for fun and at the age of 26, I decided to finally start trying to submit my stuff. I was blessed with an acceptance right off the bat and it hooked me on writing from that moment on.
NC: What are some of the films and books/authors who you feel influenced your very cinematic style of no nonsense writing style?
ESB: Dawn of the Dead is my all time favorite film. It has certainly inspired me and kept me going in terms of my zombie stuff. Overall, David Drake and H. P. Lovecraft are my biggest influences as writers though. Drake's books are just so fun. If you haven't tried his Hammer's Slammers series, you should.
NC: What are some of the things you feel are your strong points as a writer? Your weakest?
ESB: I think action is a strong point for me. My work is usually very fast paced and reads like one is watching a movie. As to my weak point, it's totally character names. I have no idea why.
NC: Describe your experience with small press horror?
ESB: Small Press horror is, for the most part, great. There are some really great publishers out there like Coscom Entertainment, Cyberwizard Productions, and Permuted Press who really respect their authors and work with them.
NC: Zombies seem to be your mainstay at the moment (you are known in some circles as Eric Brown, the zombie guy). What is it about this particular and very modern horror monster that makes you want to use them?
ESB: I have loved zombies and the end of the world almost my whole life. From the first time I ever watched Romero's films, I was hooked. There's something about writing the rotting, flesh eating dead that just seems to come naturally to me, like we're meant to be together. I have spent many years of my career trying to give back to the zombie sub-genre through my work and writing stuff that I would want to see as a fan. People have been really great about it and I have no plans of ever leaving the zombie sub-genre completely even if they turn totally uncool again. I was writing zombies before 28 Days Later and Brian Keene's The Rising when they were next to impossible to get accepted and I will be doing it in the years to come too, regardless.
NC: Of course, you’re also tackling some other strange and wonderful monsters for future projects, including I believe Bigfoot. Can you tell us about that?
ESB: Bigfoot War was one of my dream projects. Growing up in a very rural area, Bigfoot was and still is a lot more frightening to me than zombies ever will be. I used to have nightmares about the big hairy guy as a child. One thing that always ticked me off with Bigfoot movies though was that always just one monster. I wanted to see a whole freakin' group of them come out the woods and lay waste to civilization! So Bigfoot War is very much a tale of a small town apocalypse and I am very proud of it. It is very fast paced and carnage filled.
NC: What sorts of music do you use to inspire you while you work?
ESB: A bit of everything really. I love bands like Rush, The Cure, Casting Crowns, The Killers, etc. My music is usually decided by the type of tale I am working on but not always.
NC: What is your dream project and why?
ESB: My real dream project would be to be given the chance to write stuff in the DC universe. I grew up reading and collecting comics so from them to turn over one of my beloved titles like The Doom Patrol or The Legion of Superheroes to me would truly be like achieving a goal I could never top. Currently, in following my heart as a writer, I am working on my first ever, non-horror superhero novel entitled The Human Experiment which will be out from Altered Dimensions Press in 2010.
NC: If you had the chance to co-author with one living or dead writer, who would it be and why?
ESB: David Drake! The man is the king of military SF and I grew up reading him. Heck, I pretty much learned how to write by reading his stuff. The man knows his action!
NC: What wisdom would you pass on to the wannabe horror authors out there?
ESB: The key is to not give up. It's an easy thing to do with as tough a field as writing horror is. Just write all you can, submit your work, and keep at it. If you're good and your heart is in it, you'll likely make it a lot further than you ever thought you would.
Check Eric S. Brown here
(The Black Glove thanks Eric S. Brown for his time and efforts)