Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A. R.'s Interview with Shells Walter

I met Shells Walter when I reviewed her novel, Dead Practices, for Niteblade magazine and then added her on Facebook. She started writing at eleven, poetry at first. Shy by nature, Shells put together her poetry as a diary, mostly dark poems. She frightened her school, who thought she was a threat, a mark of every great horror author! She forged on with her writing after reading her first story by Edgar Allen Poe at the same age.

Fascinated with horror, it became an addiction. Later, she got into writing science fiction and other genres.

Now she writes stories, flashes, micros, screenplays, plays, novels and novellas. She also freelances for a living.

Her interest in learning more about Jack the Ripper has found her in many a site and adventure.

Shells has a few novellas coming soon, and she doesn't plan on ever slowing down.

A.R.: Hi Shells. Thanks for being my guest. I know you’ve just released Dead Practices, a humorous zombie novel. I love humor in horror, by the way. Can you tell those that haven’t perused it a little about the book?

S. W.: Thank you for having me. I could not agree more. I love the scary things in horror, things that challenge me, but I do love the humor in horror as well. A sarcastic character will grab my attention every time.

Dead Practices is about a lawyer, not just any lawyer but a zombie lawyer or more a 'Zombie Citizen.' His name is Jerrod. Jerrod falls apart at times, rides a Harley and does lawyerly things, like taking on clients and defending them; however, one of his clients breaks free from jail with a horde of zombies that he converts back to the attack and eat types. What happens next is an adventure that involves the President, Jerrod and his cop friend Rusty who also is a Zombie Citizen and a lot of super-glue which, that part, I won't give away (laughs).

It is available on sonar4publications.com as an e-book and print, on Amazon as Kindle and print and also several online retailers.

A. R.: Is this your first novel, and are there plans for more books? Where are you going as far as content?

S. W.: This is my first zombie book. I wrote this as a standalone book, however, I do love the Jerrod character and did leave it open for more books pertaining to him. Content wise there normally is some sarcasm in any book I do. It just seems to float into it. I do write some gory things, bizarre things at times too, and those may or may not include humor. As for things not pertaining to Jerrod, I have some ideas in the works. One I am currently working on is based on a short story of mine called Tooth Decay involving vampires and zombies competing for humans. It is a novella collaboration involving three novellas, one human side, one vampire and one zombie side with Matt Nord and Jessica Weiss coming from Wicked East Press sometime in the future.

A. R.: What books/short stories/authors influenced you, and why?

S. W.: There are several horror authors that have influenced me, at times really too many to list. As for books, many, but I think Catcher in the Rye was one of the most influential. It depicts a person dealing with society in a way that is all their own. Edgar Allan Poe and Lovecraft have influenced me in ways that help me get past my shyness when I was young and troubles that had been ahead. They have also given me the desire to go beyond the scope or wall that has horror writers saying this can't work or it should not be in horror and write, jumping through that wall or stereotypes.

A. R.: What are your favorite horror movies, and what do you think about the state of the macabre flick today?

S. W.: My favorite series are the Hellraiser films, the Evil Dead trilogy, Hostel I & II, zombie flicks and the Saw films. I also love the classic films as well and with those there are way too many to count. What I want to see with any horror movies today is something new. I'm growing tired of the remakes of certain films. I would love to see more new screenplays instead of adapting from books all the time. I think with horror there are so much people can do with it and they are focused on redoing something that worked a long time ago and might not today.

A.R.: Great answer! I love Evil Dead 1 & 2 and both Hostel films. What are your thoughts on Print on Demand and e-books taking over?

S. W.: I don't mind e-books, though I'm a print type of gal. As for Print on Demand, I see nothing wrong with it, especially in regards to small publishers, independent publishers who don't have the money for costs in printing and possibly distribution. It allows authors to get their work out there in ways that weren't accessible a long time ago.

E-books are the future in so many cases. With little devices coming and going, it allows people to read on the go wherever they are. I am hoping they don't take over totally. I still love having a book in my hand where I can turn the page myself and feel it in my fingertips.

A.R.: How many hours a day do you write? What education did you acquire for this work?

S. W.: I don't believe in setting a certain amount of time a day to write. For me it is when the moment strikes. If I try to force it out at times it will be the worst writing I have ever done. I know this works for some people to have a schedule, with me it really depends. For freelance work of course I will focus on a schedule and if I have a deadline creatively, I will as well, but for me it has to do with a feeling, an urge to write.

Education wise I have taken creative writing classes and I have a B.A. in a different area of study that has helped my writing immensely. I just lived in society and for most that is tons of education not acquired in schooling.

A. R.: Did you go the agent route, sign with a publisher or self-publish?

S. W.: When Dead Practices came out I was with a publisher. I don't currently have an agent but am looking for one and we will see how that goes.

A. R.: Are you a crafter (must get paid for your stories) or are you an artist (does it for the love of the genre)?

S. W.: I believe I am both. I think it depends on the content, theme, or publishing venture I am looking at. I love the genre no matter what and do have some of my work in the 'for the love markets.' For me I look at several factors and where my writing may fit the best at.

A. R.: Will you ever podcast your stories or write a graphic novel?

S. W: That is something I am thinking about in the future to podcast my stories. The market seems to be pretty new yet and it is an avenue where people can download stuff at their leisure and I really love the old type radio atmosphere that can come with podcasts. As for a graphic novel, someday I hope to get one of my stories there. I do love to write comic scripts, I am an artist, but feel there are better artists out there and if someone wanted to work with me on the graphic novel adaptation of one of my stories I would love it.

A. R.: What do you envision for the future of horror?

S. W.: Zombies. Zombies are making a huge impact on the world of horror these days and mainstream is picking up on it. The only hope is that they don't wear it down and suddenly zombies are not as grand for horror as they used to be. I also see a trend forming with bringing back classic monsters. I'm just afraid that being Hollywood and mainstream publishing as it, it will forget what horror was meant to be, being scared, having fun at it and wanting to have that happen again.

A. R.: What is your Web site address and blog addie so we can check out your work?

S. W.: People can find more about me on my website which includes a blog at www.shellswalter.com. I am also on Facebook.

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