Ginger Nuts of Horror
Christopher Eger is a first generation American of Russian-German descent and has been a student of military history and hoplologist for more that 20 years. He is a member of the US Press Association, Company of Military Historians, International Naval Research Organization, the US Naval Institute, US Navy League, The Fiction Writers Platform, and a Mississippi State Guardsman. He is a security consultant to the federal government and author of more than 500 published articles, essays and papers.
In his day job Chris is a trainer for a US federal force protection contractor. He formerly worked as a corporate trainer for a fortune 100 company, the department head of a county law enforcement office, and for one of the top ten defence contractors in the country.
Military history is a topic close to Chris and he celebrates this as the Topic Editor for the Military History Section of Suite101.com. Christopher has been published in Security Management, Military Historian and Collector, Sea Classics, the historical journal England Expects, the newsletters Combat Forums and Strike First-Strike Fast, and has appeared on Pacific Radio News on the subject of military history. He worked with a German documentary film crew covering U-Boats sunk in American water and a number of his works have also been republished on Helium.com.
He runs the blog http://laststandonzombieisland.com which focuses on Weapons, Wars, Preparation and Security.
Besides his work as a Contributing Writer for Mississippi Sportsman magazine, and as a naval consultant to Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine, he contributes to the quarterlies
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m just a regular guy with a background in a number of weird ass jobs that ran from director of an animal shelter to cop to alligator wrangler to firearms instructor with stops at pizza maker, adult video store clerk, network engineer and mosquito truck driver. Grew up in the South but have been all over the world, for better or worse.
Oh yeah, and I drink lots of scotch.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
Let’s just embrace Horror. What could be wrong with that?
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I am an old school techno thriller lover going back to HG Wells and moving through the late great Tom Clancy. Then of course there is the dark side of things with Lovecraft (often imitated, never overrated), Clive Barker, old Stephen King (Dark Tower III and below). I like a lot of dystopian stuff of which Phillip K Dick is the godfather. Then there is Nevil Shute, Robert Heinlein (Read Farnham's Freehold and don’t ever watch a Starship Troopers movie after reading the book, you will vomit), David Bren (Postman), Joe Haldeman (Forever War), Burroughs (William, not Edgar), Orwell (Homage to Catalonia is perhaps one of the best accounts of modern warfare there is). There are just so many.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
I read lots of non-fiction. When I say lots, I mean like for every novel I read I run past 10-15 reference books. As a lover of military history, the last great book I read was “Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay” which was printed in the 1960s about the old cavalrymen in the Plains War of the late 19th century. The last great novel I read was Cities of the Red Night by William S. Burroughs. Burroughs was just bent as hell.
How would you describe your writing style?
I let my mind vomit on paper. Well, its digital so Word works as conduit for that, but you get the idea. Then there is a whole lot of clean up.
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
I was once called an ‘illuminati tool’ for an article I wrote about Hitler not being on a mystery submarine to Argentina after WWII. You don’t know how hard it was not to put that on my business cards.
What’s your favourite food?
Have you heard of scotch? Single malt preferably mixed only with more of the same.
Who would be on the soundtrack to your life story?
If the sky is the limit, let’s just bring out some Sinatra. I mean how pimp does it get?
What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
Make it happen. Make those pages. The luxury will come later in the deletion process. But if you don’t have anything to delete…you are kinda screwed.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Controlling your characters. Once you invent someone, you did so for a reason. They are there to kill, or the help, to burn, or to scream hysterically, or whatever is required of them to move the story along. Then, somehow, ten chapters later they rebel and won’t do what you want of them anymore.
I’ve had to kills several characters completely for in-story rebellions against the plot. You have to have a firm hand in this, or they will run amok.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I wrote my first short story in 2nd grade. Ms Steadman really liked it but I got B- on it. I mean come on, I was seven and the plot revolved around a haunted lunchbox. Today I think I’ve moved past that. I more of a haunted refrigerator type of guy these days.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
I have a number of friends who are writers and one of the most practical things I was ever told was to keep a pad with you at all times to jot down ideas. Well I do this and it works, but I have had several mornings when I wake up, look at the pad, and see something like “greed basketball with hair” written down and can’t remember wtf I was thinking.
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
Perhaps one of my favourite characters from my zombie novels is a guy named Spud. He’s just a local loser who never really fit in before the end of the world, but really finds his groove after facebook, twitter, and everything else goes away. Of course he is a scoundrel, but isn’t everyone on the inside?
How about your least favourite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
The ball breakers. In my book Last Stand on Zombie Island, several individuals have to make those hard decisions about life and death. Who makes it, who doesn’t. The world needs those people, but never has to like them.
Fame, fortune, or respect?
Respect of course. Fame and fortune are fleeting.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
I did a short story that has appeared in a few places both online and in print called ‘Hokahey’ about zombies at Custer’s Last Stand. It sounds goofy when I say it aloud but I really bled into that story. My grandfather was half Native American and we often went back to the reservation to see his people. It really meant something to me to tell the story from the native standpoint.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My last book was a prequel novella entitled Chimera 44, which is set before the universe created by Last Stand on Zombie Island. It’s a short 10,000-word piece that explores where the virus that basically brings modern Armageddon to the world came from.
My next book is Pirates of the Zombie Coast and picks up where LSZI left off. You have the last city on earth being attacked by roving bands of…well, modern day pirates while of course still having the whole nuclear winter/zombie horde/starvation thing to worry about.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do?
Favourite color? I mean really?
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