1. How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing in this genre for close to ten years. I started The Vampire Hunters in late 2003 when I returned home from southern Iraq working for the government, and it was eventually published in 2010. Since then I have published the entire The Vampire Hunters trilogy and Rotter World (my first zombie novel) as well as several short stories almost all of them zombie related.
2. What do you think sets your work apart from others in the genre? I introduced vampires into the plot. In Rotter World, vampires release the Revenant Virus against mankind hoping to distract humans from hunting down them down, only to discover that zombies feed on the undead as well as the living. Both species are nearly wiped out. Two small groups of humans and vampires agree to set aside their hatred to band together if they hope to survive. It’s this concept of humans joining forces with one mortal enemy to fight an even greater threat that sets Rotter World apart.
3. Do you have any tips for new writers? I have three tips. When I was starting out, every published author I met told me the same thing, and they were right. First, write. Every day. It doesn’t matter if you write 50 words or 5000, as long as you’re getting the story down. You’ll never get published if you never get anything written. Second, submit. Don’t fear rejection letters because you’re going to get a lot of them. But you will know when you’re getting close when the letters start offering constructive feedback. Third, hang in there. It takes on average eight years to get your first novel published. No one who has ever given up has ever been published.
4. What books do you read and do you have a recent recommendation? I jump back and forth between vampire/zombie novels and histories, mostly of World War II. Unfortunately, when I was working a full time job and writing on the side, I had little time to read. Now that I write full time, I’m able to read more.
I’ve read three zombie novels recently that bring something unique to the genre:
Hissers by Ryan C. Thomas – Trust me, just read this one. If you are a staunch devotee of slow zombies, you will hate this book because Ryan brings a whole new concept to zombies. I couldn’t put this one down.
The Unlikely Event by Joshua Daniel Wright – A zombie outbreak occurs aboard an airliner. Joshua makes the story believable and throws in some clever plot twists.
Zombies of Byzantium by Sean Munger – A really well done novel that winds a zombie outbreak into the historical siege of Constantinople by the Saracens.
5. Where can readers find you? Readers can check out my blog at http://scottmbakerauthor.blogspot.com, which includes some of my short stories as well as links to my published works. Or you can follow me on Facebook (Scott M. Baker, Author) or Twitter (vampire_hunters).
Zombie Survival Questions
1. You see a hand gun, a bat and a knife. Which do you choose as your weapon for the apocalypse? The knife. The gun is limited by the amount of ammunition available, and the bat can break. My ideal weapons, however, would be a shotgun (for masses of zombies) and a machete (for those times when you need to get up close and personable).
2. Place of survival. Your own house, a shopping mall or The Winchester pub? My house. It has cinder block walls and a flat roof, and it’s in the suburbs, so it should be easy to defend. Unless every zombie in Gainesville descends on my house at once.
3. You see an underground parking centre. Do you go in? Hell, no.
4. You see your boss is now a zombie but is no immediate threat to you. Do you still use your last bullet on him/her? Yes, but only because I really liked my last boss, and would want to spare her from being a zombie.
5. What luxury item would you keep in the apocalypse? Cigars. At that point I figure screw it, I’ll probably be eaten long before the cancer gets me.
6. You’re bitten, do you
A) Shoot yourself before you turn?
B) Ask a friend to do it?
C) Turn and enjoy the all you can eat human buffet?
I ask a friend to do it at the moment I turn. If I’m alone, then I’ll shoot myself at the last minute and pray God cuts me some slack on the suicide provision considering the circumstances.