AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Permuted Press Author Daniel Cotton has a sit down with me:
1. The first question is, are you tired of answering the same old questions in interviews?
This is my first interview.
2. Have you always wanted to be a writer, or did you just kind of fall into it?
I wouldn’t say I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I’ve always been interested in finding new creative outlets.
3. What’s your process? Do you have a set writing schedule, or do you wing it?
Everything I have written begins as notes and a rough draft, mostly done at work. I am a CNC operator in a factory, it doesn’t lend much time so this phase takes a while, scribbling between machine cycles, but I’m able to daydream. Pen doesn’t touch paper until I’ve worked out the story start to finish in my head and played it like a movie only I can see, over and over. Then, once I feel ready, I start waking even earlier so I can type the rough draft before work. This gets printed and brought back to the factory with a red pen so I can read through it and edit. I don’t have a lot of time after work to do much, I have two energetic boys keeping me busy, but I do what I can during the weekends when I have them off.
4. What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
I don’t have a favorite genre for either. I love end of the world stories, dystopias, science fiction, dark humor, anything unconventional with unique characters.
5. What was the first book you wrote, and how successful was it?
Life Among the Dead is the first book I have ever written. It wasn’t originally intended to be a book. LATD is actually based on a screenplay I wrote that I had signed an option with a producer but ultimately it went nowhere. I took some of the principal characters and scenes and turned it into my book. After that it took on a life of its own and continued to grow in my head leading into the sequels.
Life Among the Dead was released independently and I’d say it was pretty successful, there were months where it was earning me more than my day job.
6. How do you spend your time when you are not writing? Do you have any interesting hobbies?
Writing is my hobby, and most of it is done while at work. I try to fill what limited downtime I have with my wife and kids.
7. Does your family support your writing dreams/career/goals?
They are very supportive. If not for them I would have given up by now.
8. How many books have you written, and which one is your absolute favorite?
Eight official books. The three Life Among the Deads and 5 indies. My self released books are admittedly in rough shape editorially speaking but I love them all the same. They have simple, handmade covers that probably deter most readers but I feel if someone judges my book by their covers they are the ones missing out. I don’t have one particular favorite, each is special to me. My most recent is Fortune Cookie. It’s a coming of age, devilishly funny tale about a kid and Chinese vampires known as jiang-shi.
9. Do you read reviews of your books? How do they affect you, whether positive or negative?
A good review will have me walking on air for days. The bad ones pull the rug out from under me.
10. You know the last question always is: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? So yeah, answer that, but then tell us (whether you write in the genre or not) your plan for riding out the zombie apocalypse.
Anyone wanting to write should just do it. All you need is a pen and some paper to get started and the world is yours.
As far as the zom-poc I have no real plan other than getting to my wife and kids. This question reminds me of a guy I had to train at work once who asked “if you could have three items in the event of a zombie apocalypse what would they be?” I instantly looked around me since a wish list can’t help anyone, I decided step one would be to use items at hand. “All I need are my car keys, that hammer, and that roll of duct tape.” I told him.
He understood the need for the keys and the hammer, but why the duct tape?
“Body armor” I said simply. “Applied properly, and liberally, it’ll protect my exposed forearms.” Some may debate the truth behind whether a zombie can bite through thick layers of duct tape or not, I stand behind it since I wouldn’t plan on letting one use me as a rawhide bone.
Point is, plan all you want, you have to be able to get to those bunkers and bug-out bags. What you really need is to know how to handle yourself where ever you are. In Life Among the Dead I have a character that uses the tape trick, and my main character is always having to improvise in order to survive. I found myself writing him into a corner just to see how he’d get out of a sticky situation.
--Check out Life Among the Dead on Kindle--