First Time Dead, Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy, Vampires Aren’t Pretty, and Night Gypsy: Journey into Darkness. His website is johnrambles.com.
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was in the 4th grade. I didn’t think, “I can do that…” I thought, “I want to do that…”
How did you come up with the idea for your story in Strangely Funny II?
I first intended “Labor Eco-nom-nom-ics” as a fairly direct homage to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” – one of my favorite short stories. I thought the concept of a zombie nobody cared about, in place of an angel, had potential. As I developed it, my preconceptions of what I wanted to happen in my story changed significantly, and while it may no longer bear much of a resemblance to Marquez’s story, I certainly owe its existence to the Marquez story.
Do you think certain genres lend themselves to a humorous twist?
I definitely think some of the horror sub-genres (zombie and vampire fiction, in particular) are rife with potential for humor. In all honesty, zombies are pretty absurd. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them, but it also doesn’t take much of a tilt in perspective to find the humor there. I have a sardonic way of looking at most things in the real world. I find mixing zombies in there actually helps mask my attitude a bit.
Plotter or pantser?
I’m a little of both. Usually I’ll work from at least a basic outline, but one of the most enjoyable aspects of writing is a story taking shape in ways you didn’t anticipate. Then I’ll completely ignore the outline where appropriate.
Which author do you most admire, and why?
I swear this isn’t a shameless plug for a friend, but I most admire Eric Pollarine, a self-published author I’ve done some editing for. First off, Eric writes stories that he wants to write, and I admire that confidence. His ability to write – to push through all the mental blocks and doubts, and get words on the screen – is a gift. I have been fortunate to have been a small part of his process and have learned so much from that. I take inspiration from his work ethic, and value the opportunities I’ve had to work with him.
Okay, so you're an author. What do you enjoy reading?
I broke the habit of only reading authors with names everyone recognizes several years ago. Now I enjoy finding stories from independent publishers and self-published authors that I think will interest me. They aren’t necessarily going to be the most polished books you’ll find, but for originality, edge, and sensibility, few bestsellers compare. Genre-wise I tend to read horror (mostly zombie horror), sci-fi, bizarro, humor, and thrillers – usually my favorite books have been blends of more than one of these. Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series is an excellent example.
Thank you for talking with us!
Strangely Funny II is now available in print or Kindle from Amazon, plus it is also available on Smashwords. Our Goodreads Giveaway only has a couples of days left, so if you want in, now's the time to enter!