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Friday, January 30, 2015

Apocalypse Weird: Kevin G. Summers talk about his book, The Bleak December, and what it is like to live on a farm

Three of the 5 books coming out February 23 !!!

Are you guys getting excited? Because I am!! Mike Corley is working hard at making us all shiny new covers, look at what he did so far!

Today my AW author guest is Kevin G. Summers, author of The Bell Curse, The Man Who Shot John Wilkes Booth, and Legendarium (the latter co-written with Michael Bunker). Kevin is here today to tell us about his story set in the Apocalypse Weird world, a one of a kind project started by a guild of independent authors who got together and decided to make their own brand world (more info on AW at the end of the post).

 Welcome to CHIMERAS, Kevin!

 EEG: How did you get involved in the AW project? 

KGS: Michael Bunker had been hinting to me for several weeks that he was working on some big secret project but he was too busy to talk about it. He spends every waking moment rolling cigars, posting on social media and writing (all at the same time) so this was understandable. After about a week of threatening to come down to Texas he finally agreed to tell me the big secret. We had a Skype call where he pitched the AW concept and my story sprang to life in my mind almost instantly. I didn't even have to think about it. I wrote it all down and sent my pitch to Nick Cole the next day. Nick is about the nicest guy in North America and he green-lit the project just like that. Then he started talking about deadlines and I started to get nervous. But here I am, almost two months into the manuscript and I've killed half the people in a little town in Coos County, New Hampshire.

EEG: Tell us a little bit about your AW story and its premise.

KGS: My story arc is called the Winter Wasteland and the first book is The Bleak December. It's set in New Hampshire, where the snow starts falling and just never stops. The state is snowed under, the power goes out, and then all hell breaks loose. There's a religious cult that has been secretly infiltrating NH for years and they choose this moment to seize control of the state. Any anyone that opposes them... they get killed by demonic ice zombies. It's like if Our Town were set on the other side of The Wall in A Game of Thrones.

EEG: Who is Joshua Webb and what inspired you to write his story?

KGS: Webb is the protagonist of my weird western, The Man Who Shot John Wilkes Booth. He's the editor of a rag newspaper called the Paradise Ledger and he's pretty much the most ridiculed man in Colorado. He write stories about the supernatural and conspiracy theories, and that's how he gets connected with Boston Corbett, Booth's killer. Together they are swept up into a conspiracy with agents of a secret society out to silence them forever.

This story actually started out as a comic book. I had a really talented artist and we were under contract with a small but respectable publisher. But things were moving too slowly and the project got cancelled. I had these finished scripts just gathering dust so I decided to turn them into a novel. Part 1 is out now and Part 2 should be out by the end of the month. Part 3 will be out after I finish the manuscript for my Apocalypse Weird novel.

EEG: What do you like about Westerns?

KGS: I didn't grow up loving westerns... it all happened by accident. I went through this phase where I was watching every Jimmy Stewart movie. After It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington and Harvey, I happened to see The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. I loved it and I was hooked. Westerns are American mythology and the setting for many of our greatest stories. I just finished reading Lonesome Dove and it was one of the best books I've ever read. Just brilliant.

EEG: You live in a 100+ year old farm and together with your family you raise your own food. How many animals do you have and what's an ordinary day like in the Summers household?

KGS: I'm not sure how many animals we have at any given time. We raise meat chickens during the warmer months so the number is a lot higher in the summer. We raise everything on grass and sunshine and out in the open, none of that industrial stuff like you see in Food Inc.

A typical day on Crowfoot Farm looks like this: Get up, drink some coffee and read a chapter of Ecclesiastes, have breakfast with the kids and then head out for chores. Chores take about an hour every day. I feed hogs, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys while my wife milks the cow and feeds the sheep. Then I'll split firewood for a little while before I sit down and write for about 2 hours. Then it's on to whatever project await me that day (I do the writing first so I'm fresh).

Afternoon chores around 6pm and then it's supper, family time and off to bed. My kids all have to do chores because it's good for them to have responsibilities. And probably 95% of what we eat is grown on the farm. We also don't have TV coming into the house. We watch DVDs, mostly of older movies and shows. And we read together at least a couple of times every week.

EEG: Wow, that's really awesome. So, what's the best life lesson that farm life teaches?

KGS: To everything there is a season. Sometimes you work from sunup to sunset with no time to rest (or write). Other times you can put your feet up and relax a little. We just go with the season of the day and try not to fret about things we'd rather be doing. There will be a season for those things down the road. Also, don't name a sow Misery.

EEG: Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Kevin.

Don't forget to check out Kevin's books on his website, Facebook page, Amazon page, and Twitter.

Intrigued by Apocalypse Weird? Then read the first book, The Red King, by Nick Cole, which is completely free and sets the world of Apocalypse Weird. You can also sign up for our mailing list to make sure you don't miss the big launch on february 23rd. And you can join us on Facebook, too.

Michael Bunker also has a great post about Apocalypse Weird on his blog.

 Author Hank Garner is also doing a series of podcasts on Apocalypse Weird: last week he interviewed Nick Cole, and this week Hank just posted a new podcast in which Michael Bunker talks about his AW book, Digger, the first in his Texocalypse world.

 And if you are a writer and you would like to take part in the Apocalypse Weird project, Nick has a wonderful post where he explains how to apply.

Apocalypse Weird Authors: Ellen Campbell (editor) Stefan Bolz Christopher Boore Michael Bunker Nick Cole Jennifer Ellis Hank Garner E.E. Giorgi Tim Grahl Weston Ochse David Parish-Whittaker Lyndon Perry Chris Pourteau Steven Savile Daniel Smith Lesley Smith Kevin Summers Eric Tozzi Kim Wells Forbes West

Texocalypse Now by M.Bunker and N.Cole


  1. Great interview. Apocalypse Weird looks like so much fun!

  2. Sergeant Boston Corbett was the soldier who shot John Wilkes Booth, while Booth was hiding in a burning barn near Bowling Green in Caroline County, VA. It will be interesting to see how Kevin describes him as Corbett was, in a word, weird.

    1. Thanks Mike, I had to go read his Wikipedia page, he was a bit, er extravagant. :-)

  3. Great interview! I think it's so cool how a project that was once destined to be a comic is being resurrected as a novel. (I plan to do the reverse with some of my stories, LOL.) And wow, life on a farm sounds so overwhelming. I don't think I'd have enough determination for that!

    1. Your webcomic was originally a book, Heather?

    2. Echo Effect has always been just a webcomic. A lot of other projects were written as novels, though. (I quit novel-writing in 2012.) I'd love to revive those novels as webcomics someday...


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