JP: Before I get started Armand, I have to tell you it’s a good feeling to have a fellow New Jersey horror writer aboard. But I understand you’re a resident of Florida now. What does the Sunshine State have that the Garden State doesn’t, and does it serve as an influence to your writing itself?
AR: Florida serves me well right now because the Dying Days series is set here in Florida, around the St. Augustine area. I like Florida, like not shoveling snow, but I’ll always be a Jersey boy. My roots are there, my attitude is still from there, and I miss it.
JP: Don’t give away the goods, man, but tell me about Dying Days 2.
AR: OK, here’s the surprise ending for it… actually, it’s a continuation of Dying Days, with Darlene Bobich still the main focus, but a few old friends and new characters get some of the spotlight as well. I wanted to make it fresh and not just rehash everything that happened in Dying Days. There are still zombies trying to kill and violate you, but Darlene and friends have so many other problems as well.
JP: So why doesn’t it end with Dying Days?
AR: There was more story to tell. Originally the idea was to be a stand-alone book like Highway To Hell was (the actual first novella in the Dying Days world), but I didn’t want to neatly tie up all loose ends in the last few chapters and be done with it. I thought it would look rushed. Now my mind is open for endless possibilities.
JP: A little gremlin told me Dying Days 3 could be in the works. Is it true, Armand, or was the critter guilty of eating too much after midnight?
AR: Don’t get him wet! Yes, eventually that storyline will be expanded on, that’s a given. Thanks to this blog tour and so many great responses for Dying Days 2, there has to be at least one more. In the meantime, I’m working on Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days, which will be 13 short stories featuring some characters from Dying Days 2 in prequels as well as a couple of new characters that might eventually turn up.
JP: Your main character is Darlene Bobich. How does a cute and fluffy chick turn into a gun-toting bad-ass? How natural was it for you from the beginning to write your protagonist as a woman?
AR: The first time I wrote her was just a flash fiction piece and didn’t think anything more about her. But then a zombie short story needed a lead and she was there. She’s normal, and that’s what I like about her. She still has panic attacks, still cries, and still wears her emotions on her sleeve.
AR: She’s trained to shoot a Desert Eagle only because her dad worked in the factory that made them in Maine and gave it to her and the skills to use it. My fiancé Kim’s dad (and the inspiration for Murph in the Dying Days books) has one and showed it to me. I’m not into guns but research for future books is fun, and it just looked bad-ass.
JP: You’ve written more than your share of Undead books. Where does the love come from, Armand?
AR: The Rising by Brian Keene made me realize you can write unique zombie fiction, and my love of zombie films growing up. I now read as many zombie stories as I can find.
JP: Congratulations! I’ve read that Reality’s Edge Film has optioned rights to do a film release of Dying Days! How did that come about?
AR: Jeff Freeman did a film called Island of the Cannibal Death Gods, an homage to those great 80′s horror films we grew up on. One of the actors, Steve Brack, happens to be the best friend of Kim. We got to talking, I got in contact with Jeff, we hit it off, he read and loved Dying Days, and we worked out an option for the film. I’m currently writing the first draft of the screenplay this month.
JP: Do you have anything else in the works with Rymfire Books?
AR: Always. Undead Tales 2 zombie anthology should be out by the time you read this, and I have Carl R. Moore’s Slash of Crimson horror novella coming soon, as well as continuing the State of Horror series, and whatever else I can finish up and get edited and ready for sale. I’m always busy.
JP: Alright, I’m one of the big publishing houses…give me your best pitch and tell me why I can’t afford to pass on Dying Days 2.
AR: Think there’s nothing new to say about zombies? Sick of the tried and true (but boring) survivor stories, surrounded by undead with no escape? Sink your teeth into Dying Days, an extreme zombie series where they don’t want to just bite you… they want to violate you. Soon to be a Disney film… (OK, I’d maybe not pitch that last line)…
JP: Armand, it’s been great having you aboard. Good luck to you, Dying Days 2 and all your current and future works!
Free Book Give-away From Armand
Want to know more about the “Dying Days” series? Want to win free eBooks and maybe print books of them? My contest is simple: e-mail me at armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com with DYING DAYS in the subject line and I’ll enter you into the daily giveaway… also, post a comment here and you get another chance… follow my blog at http://armandrosamilia.com for yet another chance, and friend me on Twitter (@ArmandAuthor) and simply post DYING DAYS to me, and you’ll get another shot… nice and easy, right? If I get enough people joining in the giveaway there will be a print book given away that day!
“Dying Days” series information can be found here: