Jack Wallen has a goal -- to become the Zombie King. He won't do that by dining on the brains of helpless victims. Instead he will write and write until his fingers and mind are nothing but meat for the beasts. During that time Jack will produce works of zombie fiction that are both enjoyable and cringe-worthy.
Of course, being of the insane writer clan, Jack isn't just happy with the penning of zombie fiction. Oh no, the nightmare does not end there. Like the late, great Freddy Mercury, Jack wants it all -- so, he will continue writing his Fringe Killer series as well as his joyous celebration of all things diverse -- Shero.
For his inspiration to begin reading and writing, Jack thanks the ever-incredible Clive Barker for penning in a genre with words of grace and horror.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
My idea of the afterlife is leaving behind enough good memories within the hearts and minds of people that I live on forever. I hope to achieve that by being as honest with myself and those who follow me as possible.
When you slice through the meat and muscle of me, I would hope that what is revealed at the core is artistry. Or at least something so horrific that it gives the viewer an eternity of fabulous nightmares.
Or something like that...
In the less-than-abstract, I have written a number of book series – most of which are horror (or horrific). The I Zombie series, The Nameless Saga, the Fringe Killer series, Shero, and much more. I am also the DJ for Zombie Radio (www.zombieradio.org), as well as a book narrator, a technical writer, a mountain biker, a lover of “B” movies, and just about anything else you can put your dirty little mind to.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Horror... although I most often refer to my own work as “Dark, twisty fiction”. I am actually quite proud to be called a horror author. It's a badge of honor I carry with pride. In many circles, horror doesn't earn the respect it should. Authors who dive into macabre waters, do so because they love the genre – not to 'get rich quick' or to seek out world-wide fame (though I wouldn't complain about either). I've loved horror since I was a child. It was seeing Medusa on the television and then Vincent Price as Dr. Phibes that really cemented my love for the genre. It will never fade.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
Clive Barker is my idol. One of my goals as an author was to be compared to that man. The first reviews of Hell's Muse came in with that very comparison. Talk about earth shattering.
Outside of Mr. Barker, I enjoy the crap out of Edward Lee, Edward Lorn, Thea Gregory, Max Berry, Neil Stephenson, William Gibson, and so many more.
What are you reading now?
Right now I am reading a short steampunk story, Bitter Cold, by Kat French. It's lovely. I really dig steampunk. It can have all the elements someone like me can really sink my fangs into (which is why I will be releasing my first steampunk novel late summer 2013, called Klockwerk Kabaret).
Which book do you wish you had written?
The Hellbound Heart, by Clive Barker. Such decadence wrapped in elegance. The man is brilliants.
If you could use any other author’s creation in your own work, who or what would you use?
I hate to be redundant, but the Cenobites, from Barker's Hellbound Heart. The eloquence that Pinhead uses to enthral and seduce his victims is sublime. Plus the costuming is magnificent!
Describe typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
My day writing is actually done at night. I'm married... and don't want to widow my wife to my words. So a long time ago I started doing all of my writing in bed with a laptop. I've been doing that for so long, I now get this uneasy feeling when I try to write anywhere or any time else. There's something about settling down in the comfort of our bed with my wife asleep beside me (and usually a cat or two at my feet) that helps to make the words flow. There's no distractions and the peace seems to open my brain for all kinds of madness.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
That's is one of the toughest questions I've ever been asked. I'm proud of each of them for different reasons. Right now, I'm very proud of Klockwerk Kabaret. Why? Because I think I managed to merge a lot of elements I love into the genre, yet keep my own voice. Other than that, it would have to be Hell's Muse. That was the first book I wrote where I set out to pen a pure horror story and wound up with what has been called a marriage of Barker and King. It was also the most complex novel I've ever written.
What is the hardest lesson you have learned with regards to your writing?
I am not an editor. No matter how hard I try, I am a writer of stories, not an editor of prose. I was never one to assume I could just toss out words and perfection would ensue, but it took me a while to finally realize and accept that I do depend upon my editors.
Outside of that, I learned that marketing is a pimp with it's rings turned around just waiting to slap me at every turn. Marketing my work is one of the biggest challenges I face on a daily basis. I try very hard to come up with creative ways to market – ways that actually don't look like I am doing the hard sell. One such way is my podcast, Zombie Radio (http://www.zombieradio.org). That podcast came about with the release of My Zombie My and has been going strong ever since.
What do you like to do to relax?
You can either find me mountain biking, running, or watching TV/Movies with my wife.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
The most recent book I published was Hell's Muse. It's a book within a book within a book – a writer writing a book about a writer writing a book and it all ends up in Hell via a twisty, turny road. The description of the book is:
In the beginning was the Word - and the Word was a lie.
A struggling writer dives into the dark pits of madness to create his most perfect work - a parallel of his own life, only twisted into a malignant hatred. When the written word opens a gateway to Hell, every truth the writer believes is challenged, every lie made truth.
As a trail of death and sorrow spills from the words, the writer is drawn into an unholy abyss to become Hell's Muse.
The book I am about to publish is the prequel to the I Zombie series, T-Minus Zero. This book should have fans of the series smiling, shouting, and cursing! The description of this book is:
"Lights! Camera! Zombies!
In this prequel to the I Zombie series, the Zero Day Collective hires an award-winning director and Hollywood film crew to document the first-ever release of the Mengele Virus. The small city of Templeton spirals into the zombie abyss as the cameras roll on a much anticipated blockbuster horror movie.
Before Jacob, before Bethany, before the Obliterator and Zombie Radio came the flickering lights, the blood curdling screams and the first of the walking dead.
Death is ready for its close up... are you?"
READ A GUEST POST FROM JACK HERE