Day Twelve: 5 Questions with author Chuck Wendig
I came across Chuck Wendig’s upcoming horror novel Double Dead in the early summer. One of my colleagues told me about it when he saw it mentioned on Jim Butcher’s website. After I checked it out, the first thing I thought was “why didn’t I think of that?” The next thing I thought was “I need to read this immediately!” Here’s the basic premise: a vampire wakes up in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and has to resort to protecting a group of survivors from the zombie menace. The book is filled with great characterization, witty dialogue, and intense action. I read it over summer vacation and was immediately sucked in. So much so that Double Dead is easily in my top five books of the year (and top five covers too). Because Borders isn’t around for me to promote the hell out of this book like I planned, I invited Chuck to participate in my “5 Questions with…” feature during my 31 Days of Halloween Hijinks.
Before I get to Chuck’s answers, I also wanted to take a minute to plug his website. As an aspiring writer, I find his blog absolutely essential in my quest to hone my craft. Sure, his advice is sometimes rated R, but it’s sound advice (and super helpful).
Also, the blog post Chuck put up yesterday is fitting given the month we’re in and the theme of my 31 Day Blog Challenge. In his post, Chuck offers up advice for writing in the horror genre.
Now that I’ve treated you to a picture of a creepy eye, here are Chuck’s answers. Enjoy!
1) I was able to read an advance copy of Double Dead and absolutely love it. Where did you come up with the idea?
Why thank you! Abaddon contacted me, said, “You should totally pitch something to us,” in particular, to the TOMES OF THE DEAD line. Which is, of course, zombie-themed.
And yet somehow my brain kept going to vampires. I don’t know why. My brain’s a dick. (Which is better than my dick being a brain, I guess.) Somewhere along the way it kept turning this over and over until I thought, “Hey, you know what would suck? Being a vampire in the zombie apocalypse.” It’s like living in a grocery store filled only with spoiled food.
2) How does your experience with game designs and RPGs help your writing?
Whenever I encounter a plot problem or a character conflict, I just whip out the old d20.
Okay, not really.
I did a post about this at terribleminds recently, but the core of it is, running a game at the game table is about being in the moment and learning how to create and ease tension in order to create entertainment through conflict. And that’s what fiction is, really, and so you can learn a lot about writing fiction through playing or writing games.
3) Your website is quickly becoming one of my favorite websites to check each day, mainly because of your writing advice. What made you want to offer up all this advice from all of your freelance experience?
In a way I was just hoping to chart my own writer’s journey and weird penmonkey questions — it’s like writing down a recipe so I can remember it later. It’s good to chart my path this way, and if others can come along for the ride, so be it.
Sometimes, though, it’s just a blister I gotta pop. I want to yell at my 18-year-old writer self and all the writers who are stuck in that mind-set. One’s spleen sometimes needs venting lest it explode.
4) Now that you’re a dad, what are you looking forward to the most about Halloween with a youngster?
Dressing him up in costumes that only I understand and then stealing all his candy. No, I dunno — right now he’s four months old so we’re just trying to navigate the teething-pooping-drooling-grabbing phase. I will say that costumes for infants are pretty much, “Dress him like a banana or a hot dog!” And that’s it. I have more costume choices for my dog.
5) Any last words or plugs?
BLACKBIRDS. Angry Robot Books. May 2012!
Now that you’ve read Chuck’s interview, make sure you go out and get Double Dead as soon as it comes out!