Interview With Author/Publisher A.P. Fuchs
I’ve written so much it’s almost hard to find a starting place. I mean, I’ve got, like, 20-plus books under my belt, whether that’s novels, novellas, collaborations, anthologies.
Hmmm . . . how about the most recent?
My latest release is called Possession of the Dead, and it’s the second book in my shoot ’em up zombie trilogy, Undead World. It takes place immediately after the first book in the series, Blood of the Dead.
Possession of the Dead continues the journey with Joe, Billie and August, and leads you into a world where the walking dead isn’t your only problem, but also giant zombies fifteen stories tall, demons, angels and danger at every turn.
I also released in summer of 2010 my first short story collection, Magic Man Plus 15 Tales of Terror, which includes the origin tale of the sadistic villain, Magic Man, along with 15 other spooktacular stories of serial killers, monsters, suicide, kidnappings, hauntings and more.
As well, earlier last year I released Zombie Fight Night: Battles of the Dead, which is like Bloodsport meets Night of the Living Dead meets Mortal Kombat. It’s a fight book that follows a guy named Mick who had gambled away too much on these zombie fights and now is in the hole deep. In order to get out, he’s given a chance to bet fast and big on fights like zombies vs. werewolves, or zombies vs. robots, superheroes, samurai, kick boxers, pirates and more. Each fight is told from the fighter’s point-of-view, so you get a brief history of what led them to the ring and a chance to care about them before watching them duke it out with the undead. To complicate things, they fight both Shambler and Sprinter zombies and the fighter doesn’t know who they’re going to get, so it does make for interesting battles.
What inspired you to write those things?
It all goes back to my love of superheroes and comic books. When I write a book–whether one about zombies or serial killers or superheroes–I pretty much distill it down to “here are my good guys, here are the bad guys, let’s see them face off.” Sounds simple, but I also add layers of character depth, theme, emotion, snappy dialogue and do the best I can with each outing.
For me, when it comes to the zombie stuff, sure, I view them as monsters, but I also view them as a solid supervillain and treat them as such when I have my protagonists go up against them.
Do you have a favorite thing that you’ve ever written?
My Axiom-man series–of which there are four books, one comic and one short story so far–is really near and dear to me because it’s my love letter to the genre I love so much and it’s my way of sharing with readers a story I’ve had in my head since I was 13 or so.
So, to lead into the next question . . .
Do you have a favorite character that you write about? If so, who is it, what makes it your favorite and tell us about the character.
Undoubtedly it is Axiom-man or, as he’s called under the mask, Gabriel Garrison, who’s a cross between Clark Kent and Peter Parker.
Almost every writer is inspired by someone else. Does anyone inspire you?
Lately I’ve been trying to soak up inspiration from everything and everyone. I can’t narrow it down to a single writer or two anymore. In the beginning, it was Stephen King and Alan Moore and Terry Goodkind. Nowadays, it’s underground writers and artists like Robert Crumb, Eric S. Brown, Keith Gouveia, Alec Longstreth, Terry Moore, Dave Sim and a plethora of others.
How long have you been writing?
Nearly 11 years.
When did you start writing?
Back when I was in animation school. The school stopped teaching us part way through the course, so I turned to writing comic scripts as a way to fill the creative need in my life. One thing led to another and here we are, over 20 books and a load of short stories later, and a successful publishing company (Coscom Entertainment) to boot.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever written? Why
There’s actually one project I abandoned years ago because it was too dark, too controversial. I won’t give details but it involved a psycho with a thing for kids.
Some authors have said that their parents were supportive of their efforts when young, and some have said they had to sneak around and hide. What was
the case with you?
When I was young, I used to live in a world of superheroes, whether in my imagination and me running around in a Superman costume, or playing action figures with my brother. Then one terrible morning he and I woke up and our superhero toys were gone. Suddenly, fantasy was taboo in my household. So, yeah, I had to keep it all internal and just do the superhero thing in my head.
In grade eleven, I got into comics and I remember coming home and hiding them for fear of getting scolded for having them. Then slowly but surely, I left them around my room–one here, one there–and though they were asked about, I didn’t get into trouble. I started drawing all the time and my main goal was to work in comics.
Eventually the decision to do something creative as my life’s work created enormous tension in my household. My parents are good people, mind you, and are very supportive of me now, but back then, all this creative stuff was a “side” thing and I was expected to go out and get a suit-and-tie career. There was also other stuff going on in my life at the time, but let’s just say those days were pretty dark.
I’ve fought a long and hard battle to use my creativity for a living, even so far as being homeless for a brief period.
But it’s paid off now and I’m reaping what I’ve sowed over the years.
Who drives the story, you or your characters?
90% the characters, maybe 10% me, as each of my characters are me in some way.
Who proofreads and critiques your work?
I do three drafts then it goes to an editor. Once I get his edits back, I go over them and accept and reject where appropriate (and I usually accept about 95% of them; the remainder are just word preference/taste stuff). Then I edit the book again, and then my wife comes along and reads it as a first reader outside of me and my editor. She focuses on the story, but if any errors jump out, she’ll make a note. After that, we go to press.
Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere. Lame answer, but a true one. Could be a line in a movie; could be a news story; could be a personal issue; could be an image I see. My subconscious then takes those things and works behind-the-scenes to form a more or less solid idea. Then things start going from there and, soon, the book writes itself.
Where do you write?
Used to always be at a desk on the computer. I wrote one book in a coffee shop in a notebook. Never again. It took me eight months to type it all out because doing so was so tedious. I bought a laptop last year because there were so many times I was inspired to write something but had to go upstairs, turn the computer on, wait for it to load, pull up Word . . . . Now I usually write in my basement on the couch, feet up, a cup of coffee or something beside me.
When do you write – set times or as the mood moves you?
Back when I had a regular day job, I had to write in the evenings or right after work. That habit has stuck, so though I’ve written during the day, it’s evenings that I find myself more focused, so usually write after 8 o’clock after the kids have gone to bed. That’s usually when the creative bug, er, bugs me.
If you could take a character from someone else’s book on a date, who would it be and where would you take him/her/it?
Do comics count?
I have a thing for Wonder Woman. She’s beautiful, strong, smart–man . . .
Even though she’s very independent and has an inner strength that would cripple my own, I’d ask her if I could make my princess for an evening, the kind of evening where we’d go to an elegant yet down-to-earth place here in town. I’d open the door for her, pull her out chair, and try and make her smile. My hope would be to unearth the vulnerability we all have underneath our tough-guy masks and get to know the tender woman within.
If you could invite any other writer to dinner who would ask and why?
Probably Stephen King. We have similar histories in that we’re both blue-collar-workers-turned-writers. I think out of all the super successful writers out there, he’s the most down-to-earth and humble. That connecting point, I’m sure, would make for interesting stories about wondering how we’re going to support our families on a low wage, staying up all night writing, hoping for the dream . . .
Do you use the Internet to check facts, or the library?
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
Read comics, draw comics, watch movies, play PS3, cook.
Do you ever have a problem with writer’s block?
Only happened once while I was writing my first book. That was over 10 years ago. Never been an issue since.
Who’s your favorite author (other than yourself)? Why?
I really like Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. Though it can get a bit preachy at times, his use of detail and description is unrivaled. I get a great deal of inspiration from that.
What’s your favorite book (other than one of your own)? Why?
Batman: Knightfall by Dennis O’Neil. Read it three times. It was the first superhero novel I read and it brought you into Batman’s life and headspace in a way comics didn’t thanks to the descriptions of feeling and inner monologue.
What’s the last book, other than your own, that you read and really enjoyed?
The Black Cat and the Ghoul by Edgar Allan Poe and Keith Gouveia. It’s part of my company’s monster novella line and I just sent it to press as of this writing. Really well done and well written. Real moody.
Some writers say that they have to write a certain amount of words every day. Do you do this? Why or why not?
When I’ve set a to-be-done-by goal, yeah, I try for an absolute minimum of 2,000 words, but I aim for 4,000 or more.
If you could be any character (other than one of your own) from a book or movie who would it be? Why?
Superman. Do I have to say why?
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’m serializing a novel on my blog called, Zomtropolis, which is a story set in a futuristic society where there’s been a zombie outbreak. It’s also an intense love story about one man pining over someone he lost before the plague hit. It’s about love, heartbreak and the sometimes obsessive need we have to be the person we lost. One new chapter a week, every Friday. Please check it out at www.canisterx.com.
Likewise, I’m a constant Tweeter, so follow me at www.twitter.com/ap_fuchs
And, of course, I’m really proud of everything my company, Coscom Entertainment, has published, and it’s because of reader support we can keep putting out new and exciting fiction in the monster, horror and superhero genres. Please take a moment and look at our catalog at www.coscomentertainment.com/webstore.html. Everything we do is available on Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, etc., and in paperback via Amazon or your favorite online retailer.
Thanks in advance for your support, and thanks for interviewing me.
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