HEYYYY Please welcome to Blondie Loves Books, author Mike Evans! *Applause!! Flying confetti!! Glitter bombs! YAYYYYYY!!!*
So, obviously I don’t often, or ever, interview authors but I think it’s time to give it a go! *flail! GASP! More glitter!*
and Mike Evans so kindly agreed to be my guinea pig. Um…that’s not entirely true, I may have just neglected to tell him that I haven’t interviewed anyone. I’m a terrible liar, so I had to disclose that lest I break out in a rash from guilt. *scratch scratch* So Mike! Let me tell you about him. To start he has a brand new book out this week called Gabriel-No One Gets Out Alive. It’s about a guy who loses everything in a horrible tragedy and then becomes a CIA assassin. But he never gives up his morals. I have already heard great things about this book, for one, that it is an adrenaline-junkies dream. The action never stops.
Prior to this release, in June of 2014, Mike released a zombie apocalypse tale called Orphans. This story follows Shaun and his father, who is a doctor attempting to cure his second wife’s cancer. Things turn deadly as the cure becomes the seed that starts the apocalyptic zombie outbreak. Again, this one has awesome reviews and I personally had to purchase a dead tree version of it as it is also visually appealing. In October this book won Zombie Book of the Month Clubs coveted award on Facebook and we were treated to a whole month of learning that Mike is a really cool and funny guy and an asset to both the indie community and the zombie genre. Currently Orphans is in the hands of Winlock Press awaiting a rerelease next month and Orphans 2 can be expected in June. Mike has assured me he is working on a third addition to the Orphans series and we can also expect a Gabriel sequel sometime in the future.
Alright! Crank up some Black Sabbath and Metallica, (Mike prefers to write at his kitchen table with the tunes cranking! Or on the couch in the basement with the tv on reruns.) Let’s Play “Getting to know you!” with Mike…Shannon style. I asked Mike if he had any rituals, superstitions or “special” things or foods that helped him get creative.
MIKE: I like to drink apple juice when I’m writing if I’m not drinking apple juice I like to have orange juice. I don’t have too many rituals but I do like to write in the morning. I try to do an hour before I need to get my kids up for school. Typically you’ll find me at the table or downstairs in the basement with a giant mug of coffee no sugar just a splash of milk and hazelnut creamer. I prefer when writing at night to have the dog hanging out with me, he always seems like good luck, I always have good word counts and flow when he’s hanging out. He is also very overweight and makes a wonderful armrest.
I love that dog!! *squeeeee*
So, Mike, when did you start writing and what made you decide to throw your hat into this crowded ring?
MIKE: I tried writing my first book when i was like 21 which sadly is 13 years ago. I didn’t know what I was doing and took quite the break from it. Then when i was like 30, (so 4 years ago) I started writing my first book, Buried. I had gotten about 50k words into it and started all over changing my approach to writing which is still one that I use today and seems to be pretty successful for me so far. It ended up taking probably a year and a half on the first book and then i started The Orphans right after that and it took me about 2-3 months to write.
I’m not quite sure what made me want to start writing everyone says they have a book in them. I am of the mindset that once I think I should do something or that I can do something that it is going to happen. I don’t like to be told I can’t do things regardless of if its by myself telling me or someone else. That usually just makes me try even harder.
Mike just let me know that his first book, “Buried” is in the hands of his publisher and will be released soon. It’s a first-person suspense novel that’s sure to be as exciting as his others.
Can you tell us what your inspiration for Orphans and Gabriel were?
MIKE: The Orphans… I had just recently finished writing Buried, I had been watching more Walking Dead marathons than one man should be allowed to. I realized how dangerous hordes of zombies could be but I began thinking of zombies that could rip your head off or any limb or your car door and hunted in packs and started forming my idea to write a bad ass story called can you guess it, yes that is right The Orphans!
Gabriel was originally going to be named Zombie Hitman and it was awesome until I wrote one scene where he goes to a billionaires house and murders him for free because he broke the rule that Gabriel lives by, which is no kids and no women. You are correct, and safe from Gabriel, Shannon. So after I read that and had sent it to a few friends they were in agreement that while I hate to say it, it was cool enough on its own to not have zombies in it. So I decided for my second release I would make it non zombie, super-fast paced, lots of action, throw in some gore, and maybe a little torture and round it off with a “take no shit” kind of attitude. He is the hero who doesn’t always want to be a hero.
I listen to audio books when I can. When I was going hardcore on Gabriel I listened to 11/22/63 and loved it, it was amazing. I don’t listen or read too much zombie genre and that is mostly because I don’t want to steal any ideas by accident or do what has been done because I read or listened to it in a book.
Everyone knows, and can tell by my book collection, that zombies are my favorite, so tell me what got you interested in the genre?
I watched too many of the Walking Dead marathons. I hadn’t read any zombies prior to writing mine so at the time, (you can laugh, most people do)… I thought that I was doing something completely original! Once it was in the editing phase I started finding the clubs like ATZ and Zombie Book of The Month Club ( that I am proud to say I won while still a little indie writer). Shaun Phelps and his crew there were great to me that month!! I have met many awesome people since then and everyone is so nice. It would probably surprise most people how outgoing the fans, readers, and authors are and it seems like one big family. I think the only rule is that you just need to be nice to one another, which isn’t that hard to do since everyone is so damn cool!
Damn straight, Mike, we are effin cool!!
Do you have any hobbies?
I don’t have a lot of hobbies, I like hanging out and coloring with my kids, and teaching my daughter to read takes up a good part of my nights; at least until their bed time when I usually open up the laptop and start working. When I do have a lot of free time, I like deer hunting. It can be bow, muzzleloader and shotgun and I’m just as happy with any of them. I also like to fish when we are at my parents lake house, my son is a big fan of eating catfish. I also really like playing bags with my friends and for those of you not from the Midwest, it is a game that has a board that is rectangle and you throw bags bigger than your hand, filled with corn and try and get them in a hole. Yes it seems dumb, but it is addictive and a very good time.
I have been playing guitar since I graduated high school. It was the one thing I treated myself to with some of my gift money. I bought a used Ibanez bass guitar from my friend and a small amp and that threw me headfirst into the world of creativity. I pretty much just play classical nowadays although I kept one metal guitar that is a beauty and once in a while my children can talk me into pulling it out and plugging it in. I have not written one yet, I had a bluesy song that I did for Buried on a Kickstarter trailer, but I’ve yet to write anything for Gabriel, or The Orphans.
Hey Mike? Do you think that YOU would survive a zombie apocalypse?
Hell yes I would survive! I moved this summer and my neighbor is a pilot. I figure if we can make it a few miles to the airfield we will be good to go. If that goes to hell in a handbag I still have my car and me, the family, and our fat beagle can hit the road and take back roads down to my bug out location which I shall not disclose here and now.
Do you have nightmares about zombies or apocalyptic scenarios? I know this one seems weird, I’m just curious if horror writers have more scary dreams than most people!
I don’t dream too much, but I do have a pretty vivid imagination the rest of the day. I can play out something so well in my head I typically have to calm myself down.
When I do dream it is like I’m thrown into a movie headfirst and its extremely detailed. I have not had too many zombie themed dreams, but from time to time if I do like a five thousand word day, sometimes it’s inevitable that they are going to find me in my dreams. So I don’t think that writers have more scary dreams but I would say there is a good chance we at least have them when you’ve been buried neck deep in a story for an entire day.
Mike actually THANKED me for torturing him with all my nosy questions! Can you believe that? He really is just such a nice guy.
Please check down there, at the bottom! Below!…scroll the hell down! There are links for Mikes books, youtube videos of him strumming a six-string, and links for the places he is reported to hang out…CLICK AWAY!
Mikes author page http://www.amazon.com/Mike-Evans/e/B00IQ9Z75A/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Zombie Book of the Month Club on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/ZBotMC/
All Things Zombie on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/AllThingsZombie/
Mike on youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/mevansm01
Mikes Publisher https://www.facebook.com/WinlockPress