II’ve decided to allow for a few guest interviews and blog posts from authors interested in a blog tour.
Up first is Robert van Dusen, author of several books.
Thank you Robert for sharing a bit of who you are with my followers.
• Tell me a little bit about who you are as an author and why you write within your genre?
Who I am as an author? I just like telling a good story. I’m not really not out to write the next Great American Novel or anything so pretentious as that. If you pick up one of my books and you had an enjoyable couple of hours or however long it takes you to finish it then I’ve done my job. Reading should be fun, a break from all the serious stuff you’ve got going on in your life. If it happens to make you think a little bit then…hey that’s great too.
As far as the genres I work in I’ve been a fan of zombie movies ever since I saw the original Night of the Living Dead when I was about twelve or so. Never mind the zombies, who were scary in their own right. What really shook me was watching these strangers thrown together in that farmhouse eventually tearing each other apart. Zombies are stupid. People are smart, prone to panic and you never quite know what they’re going to do if you follow me.
The very first book I ever wrote was a Fantasy novel so I guess you can say right now I’m kind of returning to my first love. I grew up reading the old Conan the Cimmerian stories and of course Tolkien. I absolutely adore the old stories of heroes like Beowulf and Achilles and Hercules as well so I draw from those as well.
• What is your book about?
My series of Zombie Fiction is primarily about my main characters trying to at first survive and later thrive in a world that tears itself apart under the weight of an (un)natural disaster. I tried very hard to make my stories more character driven rather than the nonstop gorefest that some zombie stories can fall into. Don’t get me wrong: horrible things do happen to my characters and they do some horrible things themselves but it’s not the focus of the story if you follow me.
• Why did you write this book?
The first book in my series, Outbreak: Boston, started as a D20 Modern game (a pen and paper roleplaying game) that a friend of mine was running and I had been playing in. The game had fallen apart due to players missing sessions but I felt a need to take up the narrative and run with it, so to speak. Something about the characters and the setting just grabbed my interest so I started work on a draft of a manuscript. Before I really knew it the tale grew in the telling and I ended up with two more novels and a handful of short stories before I felt it had run its course.
• What is your favorite aspect of your book? And why?
Favorite aspect of my books? That’s kind of a tough question…I’d probably have to say I’m proudest of the way my characters interact with each other and the world they’re forced to live in. I’m a former service member (I refuse to call myself a Veteran as I’ve never deployed overseas) with ten years in service between Active Duty and Reserve sides of the U.S. Army so I used a lot of my own experiences in forming both my characters’ personalities and how they’d react to the situations presented them.
• What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m working on what looks like it’s going to be a series of Fantasy novels set in a realm vaguely reminiscent of the late Roman Empire. So far there’s two different plots going on simultaneously: a party of adventurers are on a quest to find a holy relic hidden in the burned out ruins of a city on the far side of the Empire while in the north a barbarian warlord (or jumped up cutthroat if you prefer) is rising in rebellion against the Lords of the Greenwood.
I’m also publishing short stories off and on set in the same world and starring some of the characters from the new novel(s) as sort of teasers to try and generate interest for the new project.
• Where can readers find your work and you?
I can be found on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/robvandusen109) and I have an Author’s Page on Amazon (amazon.com/author/robertvandusen) where you can buy my eBooks. You can also read my blog (https://robertvandusen.wordpress.com) as well.