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Think there are no new or original zombie authors? Think again. Scott M. Baker provides an exciting voice and fresh outlook on the undead. Fun, compulsive reading. -- Brian Keene, author of The Rising and City of the Dead
Scott M. Baker writes in the tradition of J.L. Bourne and Joe McKinney. Fans of thriller writers like Brad Thor will also find powerful, welcome similarities in Rotter World. -- Scott Kenemore, author of Zen of Zombie
Scott M. Baker scottmbakerauthor.blogspot.com is a novelist from northern Virginia whose previous works include The Vampire Hunters trilogy, which have received excellent reviews by both Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fangoria, and numerous short stories, including “Cruise of the Living Dead” and the Christmas zombie epic “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly.” Scott is available for interviews.
Permuted Press was established in 2004 with a modest goal: to produce a single, high-quality zombie anthology titled The Undead. From this simple goal grew a publishing company that has published over 60 titles targeting the apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, and survival horror fiction markets. Permuted Press has relied heavily on the power of the internet and advances in publishing technology to establish itself as one of the best known publishers in the apocalyptic niche. Permuted has utilized print on demand (POD) technology and grassroots internet marketing to catch and cater to its ever growing fan base.
Scott’s first zombie novel, Rotter World, which details the struggle between humans and vampires during a zombie apocalypse, was released by Permuted Press in April 2012. He has also authored The Vampire Hunters trilogy, which has been published by Pill Hill Press and received excellent reviews from Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fangoria, among others. Scott has finished his fifth novel, Yeitso, a homage to the monster movies of the 1950s set in northern New Mexico, which is currently with a publisher, and has begun his next novel, Hell Gates, the first in a series of young adult novels set in a world in which the realms of Hell and earth have merged.
When he is not busy writing, Scott can either be found relaxing on his back deck with a good cigar and a cup of iced coffee, or doting on the four house rabbits that live with him.
Please visit the author’s website at http:\\scottmbakerauthor.blogspot.com.
Interview With the Author:
I would like to welcome Scott Baker to Wonderland Reviews. Thanks for taking the time to have a quick word with us.
Q. Why did you choose this genre to write for?
A.Horror gives me a freedom to write what I want with no limitations. In a lot of other genres you have to be very exact in what or how you write; if you don’t, your reputation will suffer. Make a procedural error in a crime novel or a court drama, or get wrong some minor fact about a weapons system in a techno-thriller, and that mistake will go viral. Some genres, like tea-cozy mysteries or romances, require you to follow a set formula or risk losing the fans. I’ve had several authors tell me that getting a minor fact incorrect in one of their stories has generated more mail pointing out the error than praising the story.
Those rules don’t hold true in horror and fantasy. In these genres, you’re limited only by the depth of the dark recesses of your imagination. You can create any type of nightmare scenario or demonic monstrosity that suits your fancy, or can take existing monsters like vampires and develop your own mythos. You can put your characters through any type if torment. You can kill off main characters, bring then back to life, and kill them again. The possibilities are endless. For my current project, I had to create an army Hell Spawn to terrorize the main characters, and had one devil of a good time doing it.
I also enjoy horror because there are so many subgenres to dabble in that I never get bored. Rotter World is straight up, post-apocalyptic zombie fiction. The Vampire Hunters trilogy, in which a small band of humans battles a nest of evil vampires in Washington D.C., is a mash-up between horror/urban fantasy and action/adventure. Yeitso, which has not yet been published, reads like a B-grade monster movie from the 1950s. The project I’m currently working on is a young adult coming-of-age novel set in post-apocalyptic Europe. And my short stories run the gamut from torture porn, serious horror, zomcoms, steampunk zombies, and even tentacle sex.
Q.If you had a choice would you rather die or become a zombie?
A.I’d rather die. I don’t want to shuffle around mindlessly, with no meaning in life, slowly rotting away as I stumble around trying to feed myself. That sounds way too much like having a day job.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing? What do you do for writers block?
AThe hardest part is finding the time to sit down and actually write. Between a full-time job and taking care of the house, I’m lucky if I have two hours a day to write. And with four novels and several short stories published, I find that more than half my writing time is spent on the business end (arranging conventions, book signings, and guest blogs; answering emails; marketing and networking). I always try to put in at least one afternoon every weekend when I do nothing but write, but that’s not always successful. Sometimes I go a week or more and never get to the project I’m working on at that moment.
When I do write, I isolate myself. My favorite location is out on my back deck with a couple of cigars and a mug of iced coffee. I leave the cell phone in the house and don’t connect the Internet on my laptop, and I tell the pets (four rabbits) that they’ll have to amuse themselves for awhile. That guarantees me a good ninety minutes of uninterrupted writing which, on a good day, translates to three or four pages.
For writer’s block, I put everything aside and take some “me” time. Sometimes I’ll throw in a video game, usually a first-person shooter, and waste endless hours killing the living dead until I got bored or stuck on a boss fight. Or I’ll watch horror movies (the Resident Evil saga is my favorite) or read. After a couple of days, the creative juices start flowing again.
Q. Did you have any music you found yourself listening to on repeat while writing?
A.For the zombie battle scenes, I created an iTunes playlist called “Music To Hunt Zombies By” that included mostly songs by Meatloaf, Tone Loc, and Twisted Sister.
Q Why Pennsylvania?
A.I chose Pennsylvania primarily because of Site R, an underground military facility outside of Gettysburg that becomes the scene for the last third of Rotter World. I wanted a location with certain specifics, specifically an isolated government complex at least a two-or-three day drive from southern Maine, and one that evoked a sense of desolation and entrapment. I stumbled across Site R while doing research on the Internet and decided that it was the perfect location for my novel.
Pennsylvania is also the birthplace of the modern zombie because George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) was filmed in Evans City, thirty miles north of Pittsburgh. So choosing Site R had the added advantage of allowing me to pay homage to Romero.
Q. What advice would you have for aspiring authors?
A.Write. It doesn’t matter what genre. It doesn’t matter whether you use a desktop computer, a laptop or portable device, or a pad of paper and pen. It doesn’t even matter if you’re any good at it. Just write. Hone your skills. Learn from your mistakes. Find your voice. And don’t give up. Most writers fail to get published because they become discouraged and throw in the towel. Remember, on average it take eight years for someone to get their first novel published, so hang in there and keep writing. (For more advice for aspiring authors, check out my blog for April to June 2010 where I uploaded a series of postings in how to write your first novel.)
Q. Why did you choose to incorporate humans, vampires and zombies all in one neat little package?
A.It was inspired by a challenge back in 2009. I was finishing up my vampire trilogy and was trying to develop a plot idea for a zombie novel, but every concept I came up with sounded too much like novels that were already on the market. Then one day, during lunch with a literary agent, she mentioned in passing that if anyone could come up with a storyline that included vampires, zombies, and biological weapons, she would contract that novel in a heartbeat. By the time I got home that afternoon, I had mentally outlined the concept for Rotter World and started work on it shortly thereafter. (And yes, I did offer Rotter World to the literary agent, but she was not interested in representing my work.)
I have to admit, though, that I was a little apprehensive about including vampires because the mix of these genres is unusual. The only other time I’ve ever seen it done in was Roses of Blood on Barbed Wire Vines (also from Permuted Press), and in that book the vampires kept humans caged as blood cattle and battled the living dead for control of the food supply. I was afraid the concept of having vampires and humans working together to fight zombies might not be popular with readers. However, judging by the reviews so far, it seems to be a success.
Q. How did you come up with your characters?
A.The underlying theme of Rotter World, trust and betrayal, unfortunately comes from personal experience. Twenty years ago, several good friends and I worked together an environment where someone we all trusted turned out to be working behind the scenes to sow discontent. I lost a very good friend as a result. So I dredged up those painful memories and imbued my characters with them.
Some of the more colorful characters come from various places. Mad Dog began as one of the protagonists in the original zombie novel I was developing, and I loved the background I had created for him. When I abandoned that concept for Rotter World I didn’t want to lose him, so I kept his basic storyline, made him a bit more over-the-top than originally planned, and purposefully concealed his background until the right moment. It makes him a much more compelling figure. I came up with the concept for the Angels because I like strong female characters, and I thought the inclusion of an all-female zombie killing squad was perfect. Having them wear all-leather outfits is just me giving into one of my fetishes.
Q. Do you think the world really will end on 12-12-2012?
A.I doubt it, but to be on the safe side, I’m not starting my Christmas shopping until the 13th.
Q. Any parting words you would like to leave the reader's of WonderlandReviews?
A.I hope you all check our Rotter World and drop by me website. If you do, please leave a comment or drop me an e-mail. I love to hear from fans.
Thanks for stopping by and being a great guest.
This has been a great month to read zombie stories, normally I am a huge coward, not the girliest of girls whenever I find myself watching zombie flicks or even reading them, I jump at the tiniest of noise and hide behind my hands as I wait for it to be over.
This book deffinetly didn't skimp on the gore or grime as you go from one story to the next, following their path from multiple poins of view.
This book deffinetly had a Resident Evil feel to me. It was as if they decided to follow someone else instead of the main charachter's and while they traveled in search of the cure for the virus that had turned people into the flesh eating zombie's that had over run the earth, you get the vampires thrown into the mix.
That was one of the best thing's about it, you have a mix of all three big bad monster's in the world, and yes I classify the humans as a monster mainly because of the way humanity seems to have slid downards on the moral scale.
There was deffinetly a varity of emotion when it came to the vampires, you had an equal number of people for them being a part of the camp and team and other's ready to destroy them, rather for their own reason's or because of a fanatic belief.
I also loved the fact that the humans were not the only one's facing extincton, that the vampires also found themselves falling prey to the disease.
If you are in the mood for some kick butt action scene's full of gore and blood as bodies are ripped apart and zombies are plowed through, and somehow people manage to find a way to fall in love, then this book is for you.
3.5 Ratings (Pretty good/worth the read)