Ginger Nuts of Horror
David Monette functions as an author and illustrator as well as an adjunct professor at a local community college. His highly detailed fantasy and science fiction work has appeared in many books, magazines, board games, and collectible card games for such varied publishers as Dell Publishing, Wizards of the Coast, and Atlas Games. While receiving his MFA in Illustration, his instructors reviewed his written work and strongly suggested that he combine his writing ability with his talent as an illustrator to chart his own path. Hence, “The Zombie Axiom” was born, a compelling, terrifying story sprinkled with amazing black and white illustrations from start to finish.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Well, let’s see... a little bit about myself. It is early in the morning. I’ve been awake since, what? 4:30? I wake up early because as a father with two kids who works primarily from home, the early mornings before everyone wakes and the late nights after everyone goes to bed are the best times to get things done.
I’m in my studio. In the other room, I hear my wife preparing my son’s lunch for school. Said son is in the shower. I know that shortly I will hear him yell that he has run out of hot water. I know this because the lower element on the hot water tank is probably shot. I have to fix it this weekend. Fun.
My daughter hasn’t woken yet. When she does, she’ll come flouncing into the room and curl up on my lap, her toes under my leg, to say good morning. I love that.
I’ll get no writing or painting done after that. I mean, I will, but not until people have left for work and school. Then I can get back to work. What I’m going to be doing for work depends a great deal on whether I have an illustration job on the plate or not or whether it is a day during the semester when I am going to be teaching at the local community college. Because that’s what I do for a living, I teach art part time to college kids and I paint and draw things for clients. It’s weird, I know. If neither of these things is going on, I write.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Hard to say; I’ve never really thought about that. I guess “Horror” is fine, though it seems so broad. My agent told me my book, “The Zombie Axiom,” is classified as being in the “Horror” genre even though it seems to me that “Urban Fantasy” would be more accurate. In general I feel that genres are just pigeonholes for the publishing industry to stuff authors and their work into. I would consider myself and my writing as cross-genre- if for no better reason than to stick my thumb in some collective eye.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Oh man. Tough one. For the past five or six years I’ve been reading a ton of classical literature. Stuff by Hemingway, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, etc... Whichever one I’m reading seems to be my favourite. Right now I’m on an Updike kick, “Rabbit, Run.” Amazing stuff.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
I guess I just answered that in the last question. Sorry. “Rabbit, Run” is pretty darn great. I haven’t really read a book that I can remember being a disappointment. I mean, even the stock fantasy books I’ve burned through in my time on this rock aren’t disappointments. I didn’t expect much from them, so if they delivered a great story, it’s a good thing, if they didn’t, well, okay.
How would you describe your writing style?
I write like the words are a painting. There is an impact to the words a person uses and how they hit a page, even how they are organized on a page. I use odd indents, spaces, punctuation, things of that nature because I look at the page as a dynamic thing, and the book as a whole as a piece of art. That probably comes from my training as an artist. As an illustrator, I was taught that the finished piece of art wasn’t my painting, it was the cover as it appears on a bookshelf. I suppose that’s what got me thinking of the book as art. When I write, I think of that.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
A positive review that has stuck with me was a person saying that they hope my book gets made into a movie. I thought, wow, I hope someone with some pull in that industry listens to that suggestion!
What’s your favourite food?
I love cooking. My favourite food to cook and eat is probably French food, though my favourite restaurant is a Mexican place. Go figure.
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
Radiohead. Without a doubt.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
It takes a lot of brainpower. For instance, if I have to stay up all night to paint, I can. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not fun. But I can do it. I put myself on autopilot and away we go! Writing on the other hand... that would be tough. My mind has to be sharp and “with it” the whole time. No autopilot there, all thinking, all the time, or it comes out mush.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Starting a new chapter with the right words and describing how something looks. That’s what takes the longest for me.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Hmm... well, I started off as a science fiction and fantasy illustrator painting book covers and interiors, role-playing guides, and collectible cards. Now I’m going down a new path, I’m writing the book, designing it, painting the cover, and doing the interior illustrations.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
“Don’t write crap. People don’t want to read crap.”
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
I’d have to say that the character “Virgil” is my favourite. He’s such a damaged person. When a little piece of beauty enters his life, he clings to it, holds it tight, because he can sense its worth, its ability in time to make him whole. I love stuff like that.
How about your least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
My least favourite character would be “Terrance.” He’s a hedonist. I don’t really dig the hedonist philosophy on happiness.
Fame, fortune, or respect?
Yes, please. Oh, just one? I’d have to go with respect. If you’re respected, the rest will follow. And if it doesn’t, at least you have their respect.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
Before I started writing, I would have probably rattled off some painting, or getting my first book cover. Now that I’ve written and published “The Zombie Axiom,” I’d have to say that is what I’m most proud of. It was a ton of work and required a ton of creative juices. That’s a lot of juice.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
The last book was “The Zombie Axiom.” It was the first of a three part series. It deals with an alien intelligence that has transformed most of the world's human population into the walking dead, leaving only a handful of survivors to claw out a life amid the ruins, all the while fighting a mysterious necromantic villain and his zombie hordes. The second book, “The Warring Dead,” is written and is in the hands of my first round of proof readers. After them it goes to my agent, an editor, and then out to the world. I’m doing the illustrations for it now while working on the third and final book. To date, I’m 6,500 words in, so only 95,000 to go!
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do?
We love your book! We’d love to sign you on right away! Would a million dollar advance be good with you?
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DAVID MONETTE FOLLOW THE LINKS BELOW
Amazon Author Page
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