What can I tell you about John O’Brien. He’s the kind of guy you want to have a beer with. He’s one of those people that plays it pretty close to the vest, until he’s got something to say, then WHAM. You’re laughing for days. Or crying. Or terrified. Of all the folks on the Summer of Zombies Blog Tour, John O’Brien is the one I’d most like to go on a double date with. Because he’s the kind of guy you want as your wingman, and when I get drunk and start talking smack to a bunch of marines, I know he’d be standing right behind me.
Of course, he’d probably be laughing. Or holding me down.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, John.
Kirk: How do you come up with a character’s personality, and what tricks do you use to stay in character when writing? As an author, sometimes I find myself reading something that one character said, and realizing it doesn’t sound like that person at all…
John: You know, for me, the character assumes their characteristics as I write about them. They form into what they are as the words are put, well, not down on paper, but on the screen. The main character, Jack, I took a little of myself to from him and I would have to say some of the other characters are parts of myself, at least initially. The others, well, as I mentioned, they just kind of happened and formed into who they are as the story went along. Some that were meant to be placeholders became major characters. I like that style of writing where I’m just as surprised as the reader at what happens and how the characters come out.
Kirk: When you read, do you prefer `one strong character or more of an ensemble cast? (IE, the difference between Iron Man and Avengers)
That really depends on the character development. I do enjoy seeing a story unfold from multiple viewpoints.
Kirk: What advice would you offer to someone who is new to writing? And Ixnay on the “write every day” advice, I’ve given that one a bazillion times myself.
Push through the times when the story stalls. Just keep writing through it and it will break through.
Kirk: Have you ever written a leading character of the opposite sex? What challenges did you find in doing that, or if you have not, what has kept you from doing so?
I have several main characters that are the opposite sex. As a matter of fact, thinking on it, I may have more female than male characters. To be honest, I don’t really find it a challenge to write from that perspective, at least with this series. However, they are women in combat so perhaps that makes it a little easier.
Kirk: Could you ever write a “good-guy” type character that was unattractive?
I never really thought about the attractiveness aspect when writing the characters in the series. They are just who they are. Each person forms the character in their own mind and I try not to describe them in too much detail. I like the individual reader to picture their own image.
Kirk: Are you a “Zombie Author4Lyfe” or are you multi-genre? How do you keep from getting type-cast and/or pigeonholed?
I’m not really sure to be perfectly honest. I really enjoy writing about the survival aspect and the creatures/zombies increase the dangers presented. I know the next series I write will have them in it. I do have the start of a fantasy book gathering dust on the hard drive – yeah, if that’s even possible.
Do you think it’s possible to write a ‘unique’ story with the classic Romero style undead?
I do think it’s possible, perhaps not in the style of the undead creatures, but in the story line. That is fairly unlimited in its possibilities.
Kirk: What is the name of your latest book, and where can people find it?
The newest book, (click for Amazon) A New World: Takedown, was released at the end of April.
Kirk: What is your next project? How will we know when it is available?
I am currently working on the eighth book in the series, along with a collaboration novel with Mark Tufo. I really have no idea when either will be published but the best place to find update is on my Facebook page:
Where can people read more, find out more, or contact you?
Amazon author page:
I would like to give a huge thanks to all of the readers and fans. Your inspiring messages and support are truly humbling.
Thank you for having me on, Kirk, and I wish you tremendous success on your books.