|Three of the 5 books coming on February 23|
Today my AW author guest writes "fiction with a dash of the fantastic": Lyndon Perry is a prolific writer, with many cozy mysteries, thrillers and short stories published and many more in the works. Lyndon 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, Lyndon!
EEG: How did you get involved in the AW project?
LP: Like a lot of writers, I rely on networking, timing, and luck for finding new opportunities and venues in which to tell stories. One great thing about indie publishing is the fantastic friendships that can develop over time. For example, I knew Michael Bunker from our silo days (fan fiction stories based on Hugh Howey’s Wool). So I was already familiar with his projects. That’s networking.
Then, when I saw him and a bunch of other online writing friends share a post calling for writers to get in on the ground level of this big, crazy thing called Apocalypse Weird, I thought the timing was right for me to give it a shot. I love challenges and decided I’d read Nick Cole’s The Red King to see if the concept interested me. And yes it did!
So I pitched my story. The powers-that-be seemed to like it and here I am. I feel very lucky to be a part of this grand experiment in multi-novel, multi-writer, multi-year post-apocalyptic story telling. It’s going to be a great ride!
EEG: Tell us a bit about your AW story.
LP: The story I pitched is about a group of families facing a “stiffening” plague of some kind in Enid, OK. A fly-over state disaster story, if you will. Or, how’s this for a blurb: a heart-wrenching tale of survival in America’s heartland. Well, you get the idea. ;)
The central family concerned is a mom and son, Marilyn and Danny Boone; and their crisis centers on the detrimental effects of waste-chemicals so prevalent in the industry of fracking. (That is, the drilling for oil and gas using hydraulic pumping and waste-water disposal). The geological and ecological ramifications are significant.
I think everyone has heard of the increase in earthquakes in northern Oklahoma and south-central Kansas. Many believe this is a direct result of fracking. So it’s not too far a stretch to imagine those chemicals infiltrating our drinking water…and producing all sorts of post-apocalyptic scenarios.
One result: a mysterious stiffening that turns ordinary citizens into something less than human. But is this stiffening a natural by-product of an industry run amok or a result of some conspiracy? Is the disaster due to the machinations of a powerful multinational corporation? And will it remain local or will the effects become wide-spread? Could it be that the apocalypse has actually been unleashed upon the world and it all started in the middle of North America? And, of course, will Danny and his mother and friends survive? You’ll have to read the novel, The Walking Death, to find out!
EEG: You've written books in many different genres -- do you have a favorite one?
LP: Hmm, I do not have a favorite genre. I enjoy mystery and thriller, science fiction and fantasy, supernatural suspense (paranormal and mild horror), oddball humor, and literary stories.
The reason I write in a variety of genres is because I read a wide variety of literature. I guess I’m eclectic, like we all are to one degree or another. What’s great, though, is that in this new age of independent publishing, one can experiment writing mash-ups and within all sorts of subgenres and thus produce books that would never find a place in traditional bookstores.
EEG: What's the hardest genre for you to write?
LP: I think historical fantasy is hardest for me – I want to get the facts of history right and the setting portrayed accurately, so I stress over including enough details to give the story verisimilitude versus going overboard with info dump and exposition. I enjoy doing a bit of research, but research is not writing so there has to be a stopping point eventually. The story should take precedence, in my opinion. So I take comfort in the fact that writers basically makes stuff up! Although I want to get my historical facts straight, I also simply want to tell a story. Getting that balance is a challenge for me.
EEG: Where do you seek inspiration for your stories?
LP: Ideas are a dime a dozen. They’re everywhere. Inspiration isn’t something I wait for, it’s a never ending well from which to draw. I don’t have enough lifetimes to write all the stories that are floating around in my head and swirling all around me. I see people walking at the mall doing something odd and there’s a story there. A headline in the newspaper or on the evening news – another story. An opportunity like Apocalypse Weird comes along…boom!
Now personally, I enjoy spiritually related themes. I like interpersonal and intrapersonal struggle. I think characters surviving catastrophe and finding meaning, redemption, and significance are essential to quality storytelling. So all I really need is a character in a setting with a problem to solve or challenge to overcome and I’m off to the races.
EEG: That sounds perfect for Apocalypse Weird! ;-) What are you currently working on (besides the AW story)?
LP: Because ideas are everywhere, I have dozens of projects in the works. This is probably not ideal. I need to focus! So in addition to The Walking Death, I have three projects that are on the front burner – all are collaborations that we need to finish, and soon.
The first one is a series of thrillers with Joe Konrath, the mystery/thriller writer who created Lt. Jack Daniels, a female homicide detective from Chicago. I’ve written two Jack Daniels stories for him and have a third one to finish which will mark the end of a larger story arc. This novella is called Confessions and should be done this spring.
Then I’m in the midst of a middle grade adventure series, sort of an alt-history, steampunk novel in 3 episodes called The Adventures of Max McCannor. My co-writer is T. M. Hunter, the author of the Aston West space opera stories. Our first published episode features orphans Max and his friend Sadie and is called, Escape!
Another episodic novel I’m working on is a supernatural suspense titled Tremble Town; the first published novella is called Accidents. My co-writer here is Stoney M. Setzer, the author of numerous “Twilight Zone”-like tales I edited for him called Zero Hour.
Tremble town is psychological sci-fi horror but without the gore. Think Fringe meets American Horror Story. And I’m actually considering expanding it, like Apocalypse Weird, into a multi-author, multi-storyline series of books. If writers are interested in finding out more information about this project, they can email me.
EEG: That's a lot on your plate, congratulations! Thanks for chatting with us today.
LP: Thanks for interviewing me. If anyone wants to get in touch, they can visit lyndonperrywriter.com and/or find me on FB.
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