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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Author Interview & Contest with Stefan Petrucha

My author guest this week is Stefan Petrucha!

His Hessius Mann series is on my wishlist and if you like zombies you may just want to add it to yours as well!

Take a look at the interview and get to know more about the books and author then enter this weeks contest and maybe you will a copy of Stefan's new release, Dead Mann Running. There are two signed copies up for grabs!


Amber - Hello Stefan! Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog. It is great to have you on the blog. Maybe you can start things off by telling us a little about your new book, HESSIUS MANN series?

Stefan - Homicide detective Hessius Mann, wrongly accused of killing his wife, was executed for murder. When DNA evidence exonerates him, thanks to a new procedure, he’s sort of brought back to life. The process leaves him rotting, forgetful, and part of a new zombie underclass. If any of them get too despondent they go feral, and it’s Romero Time.

In the first book, Dead Mann Walking, Hess, with the help of his liveblood assistant, Misty, a former crack addict, encounters his wife’s killer with some surprising results.

In the new book, Dead Mann Running, thanks to a zombie riot, things have gotten much worse for people like Hess. They’re forced to register with the government, and at any sign of depression, tossed into concentration camps. When a severed arm drops a briefcase off at his office, Hess finds himself in the middle of a case with huge implications about himself and the world he’s stuck in.

Amber - How did you come up with the idea for HESSIUS MANN series?

Stefan - I’ve been interested in zombies since college, and actually shot a satire of the original Dawn of the Dead back in 1978, called Afternoon of the Airheads. I’ve always wanted to write a zombie book, but couldn’t come up with anything I considered worthwhile, something beyond the typical zombie-apocalypse story that focused on a misfit band of survivors.

One day, I was listening to a discussion about the death penalty on the radio. One of the commentators said something like, “Obviously, the reason the death penalty is so controversial is because you can’t take it back.”

And I thought to myself, “Hmmm… what if you could?”

Noir and zombies seemed such a natural fit, the rest fell together very quickly in my fetid mind. Thus was born Hessius Mann.

Amber - What is next? Are you working on anything else or just concentrating on HESSIUS MANN?

Stefan - I recently handed in the sequel to a Young Adult book I’d written for Philomel/Penguin, called RIPPER, about Jack the Ripper’s son. I’m also teaching and online class through the University of Massachusetts called Writing for a Living. It’s a very unique writing class, I think, in that students form publishing groups and reject/accept each other’s queries. So far, it’s a lot of fun!

Amber - I am sure that being an author has its ups and downs. What experiences have you had so far?

Stefan - I’ve had the best of times, I’ve had the worst of times! There’ve been hits along the way, but also huge disappointments, massive delays in payment, and on and on. I’m obviously not in it for the money – especially with the e-book revolution going on. But it’s also always exciting.

Over time, I’ve developed some emotional distance, not from the work, but from the industry. I’m thrilled, for instance, that there’s a Dead Mann TV series being developed by some big names, but I’m not holding my breath for the premiere, either. The rights to some of my books have reverted, so I’m looking forward to self-publishing them as e-books.

Amber - Did you always wanted to be an author? What made you want to be a writer? Were there any books or authors that had an influence on you?

Stefan - Since fifth grade, I had an easy time creating sentences, telling stories, so part of it came naturally. I started off loving comics, then added genre novels, and all sorts of literature.

In terms of influence, I’m currently reading Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck – the sequel to Cannery Row – to my daughter, and I’m still blown away by Steinbeck’s prose, a perfect balance between description, character and story.

For the Hess series, my influences are Hammett (notably The Glass Key), Chandler, and George Romero. I also love anything Joss Whedon does.

Amber - What has been taking up your free time lately? Read any good books? Watching anything worth recommending?

Stefan - Free time? Oh yeah, that. I am loving Breaking Bad, looking forward to Doctor Who and playing a bit of Civ 5.

Amber - What's your favourite zombie movie of all time?

Stefan – There’s been some great stuff since, but for my money no one’s ever topped the original Night of the Living Dead. The opening graveyard sequence alone is brilliant. It’s also got a great noir feel.

Past that, I enjoyed the Dawn of the Dead remake, Shaun of the Dead, The Walking Dead (art by my former X-Files partner Charlie Adlard!) and Monster Island by David Wellington.

Amber - If you could be any famous person, alive or dead, who would you be? and why?

Stefan - Much as I like being myself, and would never switch, Joss Whedon. Especially now.

Amber - Thank you for being a guest!

Stefan - Thanks for having me!


Contest Time!

Stefan has two signed copies of Dead Mann Running to give away! (Only open to readers in the US)

How To Enter

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the contest.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site.

Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners you must claim your prize within 7 days of the winner being announced!

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Barbara E. said...

Zombies! Like them or hate them they are everywhere! Which zombies have made an impact on you? (book, TV or film)
I have mixed feelings about zombies. I like them in books, some in movies but not so much TV. My favorite zombie movies are Night of the Comet and Omega Man (or I Am Legend) and in books, my favorite is Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield.

Bethany C. said...

I was never a big fan of zombies in the past, but I like The Walking Dead.

Bethany C. said...

I'm kind of confused about the rules for posting. To start the rafflecopter you need to leave a comment. If you click the last entry option to sign up for the newsletter, it says you need to include the beginning of your email address in the post. Is this a rule for the original blog post comment? Because if I didn't subscribe to your newsletter or had no intention to I never would have seen asking to provide this info. Could you please clarify? Thanks.

Unknown said...

@ Bethany - You only have to leave the beginning of your email address if you subscribe to the newsletter and want to enter and get those entries. Otherwise I can't confirm that you are actually a subscriber.

debbie said...

I really like zombies in books and movies. From the original night of the living dead (which was actually a metaphor for our society's racial problems) to 28 days later series and shaun of the dead.

Anonymous said...

I have to say television and movies. I haven't really read zombie books but I would like to very much. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. Tore923@aol.com

Birgit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SandyG265 said...

I like the original Night of the Living Dead movie. And I enjoyed Mira Grant's series of Zombie books

Nikki said...

I like zombies from Walking Dead and from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

off2europe2005 said...

The Walking Dead. Actually love zombies and just bouight the series 1.

off2europe2005 said...

The Walking Dead. Actually love zombies and just bouight the series 1.