Ginger Nuts of Horror
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I consider myself a part time writer but that’s not to say it’s not something I love. With three kids and a full time career I really have to pick my spots when to write. I’ve never thought to write for money or to sell a ton of books, I just really try and write what I want to read then hope others will enjoy it as well. I look forward to entertaining people and hope my work accomplishes that.
Do you prefer the term Horror, Weird Fiction or Dark Fiction?
I little of all three I think but my latest work, The hand that feeds, is primarily horror. I will say there is a hint of dark humour as well which I think brings a lot to the story that you might not get from other works in the zombie category.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I’ve forgotten more authors than I can remember but off the top of my head I would say; J.R.R. Tolkien, Arthur C. Clark, H.P. Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, Robert E. Howard, Orson Scott Card, and Philip K. Dick to name a few.
What are you reading now?
I’m in the middle of The road to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansiga. I read the first book in the story and enjoyed it a great deal. My wife and I have been fans of the Walking Dead show since it started so getting to read some history about the characters is very interesting.
How would you describe your writing style?
I’m always working on multiple stories at the same time. I’ve never been able to write something beginning to end without touching anything else (I would probably be faster if I could!). Multiple projects allow me to keep my interest and not get worn out on any one thing.
Describe a typical day spent writing. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
My time spent writing is never typical. As a part time writer with a full time job I have to take the time to write whenever it presents itself. If you include the attention needs of my three children, my best times to write usually include after bed times and the occasional early in the morning session before anyone gets up.
I’ve been told my process is a little out of the ordinary but not obsessive. My first draft is always just a way to get the main idea and movement of the story down on paper. For me, the real challenge starts once the draft is written and the endless bouts of edits begins.
What’s your favourite food?
I stick to a pretty strict diet but when I really want to tear into something I can always go for a good medium-rear steak.
What’s your favourite album?
I’m an old school heavy metal fan. My favourite album, without a doubt, is Piece of Mind by Iron Maiden.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned about writing?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned and would pass on to anyone who writes is to have a thick skin. The truth is that your work is never as good or bad as you might think it is and more important, even if it’s great that doesn’t mean anyone in the business is going to be willing to take a chance on you. You have to roll with the punches and keep trying.
..fame and fortune, or respect?
None really, I just want to write what I can be proud of no matter the genre. If I had to pick one, I’d choose respect. If someone respected my work I would assume they enjoyed it for the most part.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
That’s a hard one for me. As I stated in my most important lesson learned, I’ve worked hard to keep a thick skin and a part of that is not falling in love with anything I write. The one thing that stands out would be the first short story I ever published. It was for a website that’s no longer up but I remember at the time how good it felt to read my name in the by-line for all to see.
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My last book is still my current book. The hand that feeds is due out the first week of September 2013 from Severed Press. I went into writing it with a growing bore of a large section of zombie novels. I wanted to keep away from the standard; infection starts, infection spreads, infection stopped model and try and create an interesting and in depth story involving believable and relatable characters. I think the book description sums it up best:
How far will a parent go to keep their child alive?
John and Angela Mason’s lives are brought to a tormenting halt when their ten year old son is reduced to a lifeless shell. John watches his wife slip into madness as his son rises from the dead. He realizes they must escape the terrifying infection in order to survive but how can he choose between the insanity consuming his wife and the undying hunger of his son.
An appetite for death will come in one form or another and it will be left to John to decide on the hand that feeds.
I’m currently working on a few items including a follow up to, The hand that feeds as well as shopping around a YA-Fantasy novel entitled, The last shadow gate.
An excerpt from The hand that feeds, by Michael W. Garza
They crept down the hall on their hands and knees. The scratching grew louder. Two distinct shadows formed in the space beneath the bedroom door. Alex was standing there and both John and Angela knew it.
They reached the end of the hall and stopped. Angela looked over at him with pleading eyes. John’s mind screamed at him to back away and he had to force himself to reach for the doorknob. He felt the cold metal with his fingers and paused. The scratching on the other side of the door stopped before he turned the knob.
John froze. He and Angela sat at the door for several agonizing minutes, listening for anything. John could hear his heart beating over everything else. The next sound they heard was something hitting the ground. It was far enough from the door not to break the light underneath. A moment later, something slid across the floor. John held his breath until it came to a stop.
Angela reached for the doorknob, wrapped her hand over John’s, and turned. Hesitantly, they pushed. A rush of stench engulfed them as the door opened. Angela turned away; John had to put his hand over his nose to keep from gagging. He kept his eyes on the room, waiting for anything to move. Both of them stepped through the doorway and the sight of blood smeared on the hardwood floor struck them. Small handprints dotted the maroon colored mess.
Chunks of dark brown fur clung to the floorboards. A hacking gag from Angela pulled John’s eyes to the corner of the room directly across from the door. There on the floor lay the remains of the family dog, Rex. There was little left to identify the animal. All that remained was a mix of blood and exposed organs dotted by patches of soaked fur.
“My, God,” John said.
The smell intensified once he could see the remains of the dog. Nauseous, his head spun as the aroma of death filled his senses. He wanted to get back out into the hallway as quickly as he could. He couldn’t fathom what was happening to his son, and the only thing he knew for sure was that the thing that awoke on Alex’s bed, wasn’t a boy, it was a monster. He felt his legs shaking beneath him and he couldn’t make them stop.
His concentration was broken. A new sound crept across the bedroom floor and grabbed a hold of him. John recognized it at once. The low, guttural growl was the same as it had been when Alex lay on his bed. John felt Angela’s fingernails dig into his arm. He looked down at her hand and back up at her face. She wasn’t looking at him. Her face was pale and her eyes widened beyond their limits.
John found himself unwilling to look. He knew she’d found where Alex was and John wasn’t sure he wanted to know. He was more willing to leave the room and never open the door again. Slowly, he forced himself to follow her stare. He turned on his heels and gazed back at the small bed. It took him a moment to see them. John was drawn down to the dark space underneath the bed. What he found there would haunt him every time he closed his eyes. Looking back at them, watching every move from within the darkness, were the soulless eyes of his son.
Learn More About Michael Here