Thursday, September 13, 2012

Interview with Sean Thomas Fisher

Today I really can't wait to introduce you to somebody that has really caught my attention.  I don't know if it's his book covers, our shared love of the Master of Horror, the one and only Stephen King, or the fact that the childhood he describes is the childhood I used to dream about full of creepy houses and ghoulies, but there really is something that has gripped me about Sean Thomas Fisher.  Sometimes, it's just best to hand over the reigns, and so without further ado, let's get straight into telling you a little more about him.

Sean Thomas Fisher was born and raised in the eeried town of Des Moines, Iowa and went on to graduate from The University of Iowa.  He enjoys mountain biking, disk golf, watching football, and shopping at costco with his girlfriend for zombocalypse supplies.  Sean is the author of the chilling novel - COLD FAITH AND ZOMBIES - and is hard at work on his next book while hearing noises in the attic.

His books include: Cold Faith and Zombies, First Zombie, Cold Summer Nights, Second Zombie, Floodwater Zombies, and Scary Boys.

Like his Facebook page for future release dates, end of the world foecasts, and safe house locations at :

If you are reading this, you are the resistance.........

1)      Tell me a little bit about your latest book?

Scary Boys follows a group of twelve-year-old friends who like investigating abandoned houses for fun, which is something my friends and I used to do all the time in grade school. We would storm a place, check it out and- at some point - usually take off screaming out the back door. Later, we would bring new kids out to these houses for a haunted tour and scare the living crap out of them. It was both hilarious and terrifying, which is how I wanted Scary Boys to be. Kind of like The Goonies meets The Ring. And some of the supernatural stuff that happens in this story really happened to us, like finding pennies on the crumbling back steps, taking the coins and finding more the next day we returned. Eventually, Gavin and his friends find a lot more than just pennies, which is something I always wanted (and fully expected) to happen in real life but never didL.

2)      How did you come up with the title?

Originally, the working title was Scary House, which is what we called this one house in particular on the outskirts of town that was much scarier than the rest. But I wanted the title to be more about the characters than the house so I kept thinking on it. One day, Teddy (the old vagabond in the story) said something like - “You sure are a bunch of scary boys, ya know that?” – and it just stuck.

3)      When and why did you begin writing?

I still have macabre stories I wrote back in grade school, stuff that probably would’ve gotten me thrown in counselling these days. Eventually, I tried penning a horror novel, called The Three Threes, in college and made it halfway through before quitting. After college, I spent several years writing commercials and on-air material for different radio stations across the country. I learned a lot about creating compelling content and editing. When radio started going south - like Blockbuster and the newspaper industry - I began writing horror novels in February of 2010 and started selling them as ebooks one year later.

4)      Do you plan your work or just go with it and start with the initial idea?

My work always begins with a giant “what if” and progresses to a bunch of loose notes that eventually get checked off and thrown away. I like to plot out some key points and see how I end up connecting the dots.

5)      What inspires you to write?  Where do you find your influences?

I’m inspired to write because I can make money doing something I truly love to do. For me, nothing makes time go by faster than sitting down and getting lost in another world. I’ll look up and two and a half hours will have zipped by in the blink of an eye. That’s when you know you’re on to something. I plug myself into the story like Inception and lose all touch with the reality around me. In fact, my girlfriend is asking me something right now (probably something about Pinterest or her hair), but I don’t hear her because I’m so plugged in to this interview.

My main influence is (of course) Stephen King. I would love to see Horror rise back to the top like it did when The Master of Horror shook the world, as evidenced in this clip of his Pet Sematary book signing at a mall in 1983 - Look at all those people! And not one of em dressed up like a wizard!

6)      What are your current projects?

Currently, I am knee deep in Scary Boys 2. This is my first series and it is a ton of fun hanging out with these kids again. After writing SB1, I really know their ins and outs and feel their pain and joy. Each one of these books will carry with it a message of hope and perseverance in the face of troubled times, which I think we all need now more than ever (just watch the news sometime). We all have our own ghosts to face, some more horrifying than others, but we can beat them if we stand strong together.

7)      How do you come up with your characters?

My characters are either based off of people I know (or have known), based off of celebrities I think would best represent them on screen (Vince Vaughn is Rusty in Cold Summer Nights and Sam Elliot is Brock in Cold Faith and Zombies), or I just make them up from scratch.

8)      Are the names of your characters important?

Not really. I like using everyday names because, to me, it makes the story seem more real. I hate it when main characters are named Christian, or Skyla, or Chyna. I like my characters to have regular people names like Rob, or Steve, or Wendy, or Katniss. Ya know, normal stuff like that.

9)      If there was one thing you could have learnt about being a writer before you started, what would it be?

Spend more time writing and less time pimping your stuff out. Facebook pages and Twitter are flooded with author spam and it can get annoying. I’ve been just as guilty as others but the funny thing is you can view your clicks and sales through your Amazon associate links and - trust me - it ain’t worth it. There’s so much noise out there, the best way to fight through it is with as many well written books as you can produce.

10)   Favourite/worst book to movie?

I loved Stephen King’s It and was disappointed in the cheesy 1990 made-for-TV-miniseries. The first half with the kids is great, but the part with only the adults was really bad. Last I heard, they’re making It into a two part film that I’m sure will be much darker with better acting.

11)   What are you reading now?

I just finished Wool 1 through 5, which was recently optioned by Ridley Scott and I highly recommend. I also just read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for the first time and loved it. Now I have to find that old school cartoon on Blu-ray. I used to love that thing! Currently, I’ve been sample hopping in the Kindle store.

12)   Do you have any advice for other writers?

I like trying to break outdated writing tips, like write what you know. You’re a writer, make it up. Or find a critique group. I think it’s a mistake letting too many uncertified cooks into the kitchen. Find one person that knows their stuff and is willing to line edit for you. My girlfriend is the biggest bookworm I know and she always knows what works and what doesn’t, from plot and pacing to dialogue and my characters’ high-heels. Don’t believe the old adage the first million words are just practice. That’s a crutch to explain why your stuff sucks. Make every word count. Oh and read your last edit out loud. It really does make a difference. And finally, if you get the chance...sell your soul to the dark side. If it worked for Charlie Daniels, it can work for you, too.

Sean Thomas Fisher book links:

Cold Faith and Zombies:

Floodwater Zombies:

Cold Summer Nights:


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