All writers live peculiar lives. This is just one.
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Armand Rosamilia, a New Jersey boy
currently living in sunny Florida. I'm into horror, heavy metal,
zombies and steampunk. I have over 40 releases to date and hope to
keep adding to them and people keep buying and reading my work.
When did you start writing and how
long was it before you were published?
I started writing when I was eleven or
twelve, but it was all rubbish. I got semi-serious in my early
twenties and had a short story or two published, but
not for any real money. I started my
own mag, Black Moon Magazine, in the mid-90's and it lasted a few
issues and a few years.
Tell us about your latest book and
what inspired it.
My very latest work is actually not a
zombie book. "Bones. Death. Cenote" is a three-story
release set in South America, featuring an unnamed reporter who finds
in strange and occult settings. The
first story I wrote with him was featured in the Skeletal Remains
anthology,and then I wrote the next two because I thought he had
more to say about his adventures.
What genre do you write in, if any?
How do you feel about the genre, the future of it, and the authors in
I write horror (mostly). Most of my
latest books are in the zombie subgenre, and I've written non-fiction
heavy metal books, a thriller/horror novella... I try to simply
write and then classify it later. I
think horror is a strong but smaller community, and their are some
outstanding authors putting out quality books in it, and the fanbase for horror is great. Fans of zombie
stories are a small but rabid group as well.
What/who do you read for pleasure?
I read three or four books a week via
my Kindle. I have to read at least an hour before I can sleep,
sometimes two. I read horror, but I will read anything that sounds interesting. Right now I'm reading the
four books released by a local author, Tim Baker, and loving them so
far. It's a thriller set in St. Augustine, Florida (where, coincidentally, my "Dying Days"
zombie books are set), and his writing is topnotch. I hope he puts
out more of these thrillride releases.
Is writing pleasure or work for you?
Pleasure. To read along as a character
does something unexpected or tells you what they want to do is
amazing. When the story is flowing, and you finish that chapter, and can't wait to start the next one and
see what happens is pure joy.
If you had to exchange your writing
life with another writer, who would that writer be and why?
I wish I was as prolific as Scott
Nicholson, and had the respect he garnered over the years. People
consider him a horror writer, but he is so much more. he dabbles
in and out of genres (sometimes within
the samestory!) that it's hard to pigeonhole him into one thing. And
he's a great writer, always willing to help others with
writing, answers questions, and seems
like a great guy. I hope to meet him someday and personally thank him
for all he's done for me, whether he knows it or not. I'm such a fanboy, lol...
How do your friends and family cope
knowing you have such dark thoughts?
They're used to me. One of the first
times Kim and I dated we were standing on this balcony overlooking
Daytona Beach, the waves crashing and kids playing in the surf, blue skies and sailboats... in my mind,
creatures were creeping from the water and ripping people apart. She
thought I was nuts when I told her, and wasn't surprised when a scene like that showed up in a
zombie story a couple years later.
How supportive is your spouse and
Supportive within reason. I have a very
addictive personality, so when I jump into something it's 110% and I
don't care about anything else. When I'm writing I want to be left alone. Completely. I can be a jerk
at times (most times) and it's trying for others in my life. I have
kids, and I know I sometimes ignore them when I'm in the zone for six straight hours. It's stressful,
plus I hate doing housework, so I get yelled at a lot like I'm on of
What inspires you? Or triggers a
Anything and everything. I could be
reading a story about satanists and an idea will pop up about a
motorcycle gang for no reason. I file the thought in my head and if it was good enough it will come back to
me later. People in line in Walmart make me laugh and give me some
good characters. I'll tell Kim all the time that these people will be in the next zombie book.
What has been the most
difficult/painful/surreal story to write, and why?
Years ago I wrote an unpublished short
story based on my uncle Armand. He was my father's brother, and made
some mistakes in his life. He was a Vietnam Veteran and got hooked on drugs and was an alcoholic
who left his family and moved to Las Vegas, where he lived for years
as a pit boss in a casino until he died. I wrote a story about him as he died that night and one of
his Vietnam buddies was there as a ghost to walk him through his
life. It was emotional. I wrote it for me and never to be published, but it is a great story.
How do you see the story in your
mind as it's created? Is it like making a plan, seeing a mental
movie, or do you just write down what the voices in your head tell
When it's working, I see it like a
movie and it flows. Sometimes a certain look to it, like a scene,
will emerge. Then I know I'm onto something.
Now that traditional publishing vs
digital publishing has taken really different turns lately, how do
you feel about authors going the small press or traditonal publishing
route over the digital route? Indie or Traditional for you or both
I think each author has their own
goals, and we all now have the means to do it, which is great. I've
never been one of those writers who wanted a huge contract, book
tours, awards, and all that. Call me stupid,
but I just wanted to write. Digital publishing gave me the means to
release my work, when I wanted, how I wanted, and let people judge my work and see if they wanted to read
more of it. So far, most people want to read more of it. But authors
who sign with traditional publishers are following their dreams and their own paths, and I applaud
What's the best book you ever read?
As a kid (eleven or twelve) Phantoms
from Dean Koontz scared me, especially the beginning. As I got older,
an author named Phil Rickman (Curfew, December, Candlenight) was amazing. I just started talking on
goodreads to another person who was a huge Rickman fan, and that was
Who are your influences in
I grew up on Koontz (not King too
much), R.E. Howard, and a ton of dog-eared paperback horror books my
mom read and let me read.
Do you feel traditional publishing
may become a niche? Is digital publishing going to reach a bubble
stage that could burst, much to the detriment of authors?
There's always a ceiling. With the
changes in the last year and a half, who knows what the next year or
even six months will have for us? Amazon could pull out a completely
new game-changer again. I don't think
traditional publishing will ever go away, but it needs to change to
survive. So far I don't see it.
What is your education and job,
other than writing?
High school diploma, did amazing on my
SAT's and then... nothing. I wasted my intelligence, I was a slacker
who just got by instead of getting straight A's and doing something. I had a change to go to
Seton Hall University but opted for the easier community college
instead. I got bored and dropped out, never to return. Instead I took a twenty year journey into the horrors
of retail. My last job was as a retail store manager. When that ended
in September 2011 I decided to take a serious shot at writing full-time. So far it's the best
job I ever had, but it doesn't pay as much!
Do you ever, like Truman Capote
confessed doing, take from real life, friends, and family situations
or characters to use in your fiction? If so, do you tell them or keep
I take and let them know. I've written
several people into the "Dying Days" series, I even have an
indigogo setup right now where, for a donation to me, you become a character in the next book. I think
it's fun, it helps with fresh ideas, and people get a kick out of
seeing themselves in these situations.
Do you belong to any writer's
organizations? If so, which ones, and how do you feel about
I belong to a loose collective known as
Florida Horror Writers. We don't have meetings, dues or anything, we
just help one another out on facebook, if anyone has a book signing, or stuff like that. Jeff Strand,
Richard Lee Byers, and Bruce Boston are the better-known members. We
used to gather at Florida conventions just to chat, but never organized. Hopefully this summer
something can get put together, even a picnic and we can all sit and
Do you think networking on social
sites has helped your career and sales?
Tremendously. Twitter has been a great
thing for me, with so many readers retweeting my posts and my blog
(http://armandrosamilia.com) getting hits all day. Facebook is fun but it's more casual, so I tend to
meet people there and if they really want to buy a book or learn more
about me, I push them to Twitter or the blog.
What is the hardest thing you've
ever had to do concerning your work as a writer?
I had a publisher like my novel but
want a complete change in the second act of it. He wanted a rewrite
in five days. 25,000 words. I did it but it wasn't fun with such
a crazy deadline. And the book is still
sitting on his desk four months later.
What/who do you read for pleasure?
I read anything and everything I can
get my hands on. I'm a big believer in reading other indie author's
works and reviewing it and helping the community grow.
I love pointing out new author's I've
found and helping them out, and hoping they do the same.
Writing fiction is important to all
authors, but how much does it mean to you? If there were no outlets
for fiction of any kind, how would that feel? If for some reason you
could not write anymore, what would you do instead?
Writing is a huge part of my life. I
get antsy when I'm not writing or at least jotting down notes. I
can't imagine not writing. I always have several ideas and stories in
my head at the same time, and need to get them
What three things should our world
have that would make it a better place?
More book readers, more tolerance/less
racism, and everyone should have a pair of comfortable shoes.
a speculative fiction author with nine published books and several
short stories in multiple genres (dystopia, allegory, horror, erotic
horror, and space opera). I have a Bachelor’s degree in English,
having graduated Magna Cum Laude in UNLV’s largest graduating class
did you start writing and how long was it before you were published?
started writing at the tender age of eight, making numerous failed
attempts at publication throughout my youth. I wrote my first novel
when I was in my early teens, although that manuscript has long been
lost. I finally made my small-press publishing debut in 2008 with a
couple of anthology short stories, and sold my first novel soon
us about your latest book and what inspired it.
is the result of a couple of factors that came into play at just the
right time. I had recently finished reading Foe,
by J. M. Coetzee, which is a retelling of a famous novel through the
point of view of a character who never made it into the original
book. I had also finished reading several Edgar Allan Poe works and
had done some research on Poe’s mysterious death and “The
Lighthouse,” the short story he never had the chance to finish,
when the muses suddenly hit me with the question: What
if an unwritten character from “The Lighthouse” retold the story
from her point of view?
genre do you write in, if any? How do you feel about the genre, the
future of it, and the authors in it?
write a wide range of speculative fiction, my favorites being
dystopia and horror. I think the future looks positive for both.
While dystopia has suffered a lull over the past decades, with some
authors even attempting to reinvent the genre (with happy
endings—ugh!), I do think the time has come for it to find its
place back—in its original form—in the forefront. The success of
dystopia comes about when enough of the population is ready to
address the social and political issues that have been weighing them
down for far too long, and I think people are ready to pull their
heads out of the sand and face their current issues head-on. As far
as horror is concerned, I think it’s been going strong for decades
and, based on some of the most recent works I’ve read, the genre is
being upheld by some really great talent.
do you read for pleasure?
do all of my reading for review these days, so pleasure reading only
comes when I’m fortunate enough to be reviewing a talented author.
With that said, I’ve been fortunate enough to come across some
writing pleasure or work for you?
Writing is like air to me; without it, I think I’d die. At the
same time, it’s not always a cakewalk and sometimes it takes a good
amount of motivation and discipline to get through a given scene or
draft. Editing is the hardest, and it’s definitely the most
tedious part of the process. Luckily, I’m a perfectionist, so
there is that drive to continue pushing through that part of it even
if it isn’t so pleasant.
you had to exchange your writing life with another writer, who would
that writer be and why?
wouldn’t trade any aspect of my life for anyone else’s, no matter
how successful they were. I’ve been through enough to know that no
one’s life is perfect, and even with my minimal success, I love
being me and I love the books I’ve written. I wouldn’t trade any
of that for all the success in the world.
do your friends and family cope knowing you have such dark or unusual
husband knows it’s just a part of my being a writer, and he’s
gotten to the point where nothing I write surprises him anymore. He
has come to understand that being haunted by muses, sometimes very
dark and disturbing muses, is part of what I do—part of who I
am—and he is very encouraging of my need and desire to release what
those muses demand through the written word. Most of the rest of my
family would rather not know just how dark my thoughts can get.
supportive is your spouse and/or your family?
husband is the most supportive person I’ve ever known—and he’s
probably also my biggest fan. I have a few family members who are
supportive of what I do, but most of them are awful, awful people who
would rather see me fail than succeed, regardless of my endeavors. I
jokingly call myself the Meg (Family
of my family; there’s really no rhyme or reason to my family’s
seeming need to a) single me out and b) be the antithesis of support,
but I’ve gotten to the point where it just doesn’t matter
anymore. Some people are just a**holes, and I happen to be related
to several of them. On the positive, they helped me to develop a
very thick skin, and for that, I’m grateful.
inspires you? Or triggers a story idea?
story can come from anywhere. It can come from a word, the
envisioning of a character, or even an ambiance. Muses nearly always
surround me, each of them fighting over the others to get their story
told. Life inspires me, as do dreams, nightmares, and even personal
fantasies. The key is finding a balance between all of those and
moving between enough projects at any given time to keep the ideas
fresh and exciting enough to see them each through to completion.
has been the most difficult/painful/surreal story to write, and why?
and on, I have worked on my own narrative nonfiction, which is a
painful retelling of my childhood and young adult life. It is a work
that I will not likely publish for many years, as revisiting many
parts of my past has been difficult and I don’t think I’ll be
able to find the eloquence necessary to tell it right until a few
more of my scars have healed. I grew up with an absent adopted
father, a sociopathic mother, and a family that punished me for . . .
well, for being me. In my young adult life, I went from one bad
relationship to the next, one of which left me with a cracked skull,
head-to-toe bruises, and many emotional scars. It is a story that I
do feel the need to share, but it has been painful to revisit the
misery that led up to the joy that is my current life.
do you see the story in your mind as it's created? Is it like making
a plan, seeing a mental movie, or do you just write down what the
voices in your head tell you?
definitely comes as a movie that plays within my mind’s eye. I see
every detail, and sometimes it is all I can do to keep up with the
visuals given to me by the muses as I attempt to relay them in simple
that traditional publishing vs. digital publishing have taken really
different turns lately, how do you feel about authors going the small
press or traditional publishing route over the digital route? Indie
or Traditional for you or both and why?
all for the Indie route. While I got my start in (and am very
supportive of) small press, I think there are so many talented
authors who have self-published that I can’t help but see them as
the future in publishing. I’ve personally found an amazing support
network within the Indie community, incredibly talented people who
know what they’re doing and have decided to take complete charge of
their publishing future. These people are willing to peer edit,
recommend cover artists, and do everything in their power to assist
their fellow Indie writer in his or her road to success. They have
taken the power away from the gatekeepers of generations past, and
I’m very proud to be a part of that.
the best book you ever read?
is a tough one, as I’ve read many amazing books that deserve
mention; however, while it’s completely out of my preferred genre,
the best book I’ve ever read has likely been The
Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse,
by Louise Erdrich. It’s just brilliant.
are your influences in literature?
King, Kurt Vonnegut, H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Isaac Asimov, Olaf
Stapledon, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rice, Dean Koontz,
Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, Franz Kafka, and Roald Dahl
immediately come to mind, although I know there are many others I
wish I had room to mention.
you feel traditional publishing may become a niche?
do. With so many options available to authors these days, I really
do believe that the Big Six will be a phantom of the past, and that
their books will have no notable advantage over the many amazing
books now being published by the best of the best Indie authors.
you ever, like Truman Capote confessed doing, take from real life,
friends, and family situations or characters to use in your fiction?
If so, do you tell them or keep it secret?
I don’t think any author can keep from incorporating some aspects
to his or her collective experiences into the fictional realm, I do
try to refrain from meshing personal history with my fiction.
Someday, I will finish my autobiography. . . .
you think networking on social sites has helped your career and
networking may not have had a significant impact on my sales, but it
has had a definite impact on my sense of community. For once in my
life, I feel as though I belong somewhere. It is an amazing feeling.
fiction is important to all authors, but how much does it mean to
you? If there were no outlets for fiction of any kind, how would that
feel? If for some reason you could not write anymore, what would you
would wither away and die. While I do find some creative outlet in
singing, drawing, and painting, writing is what keeps me going. It
is my reason for getting up in the morning, for reviewing others, and
for staying connected to the rest of the world. Without my writing,
I would eventually cease to exist.
three things should our world have that would make it a better place?
across the board would solve just about every ill in our world. If
others could find it in themselves just to care about their fellow
human being—and their fellow animal—our world might be nearly
perfect. It pains me that there are so many people in this world,
even in my own country, who are starving, abused, and alone; it is
just as upsetting to me that there are countless animals who must
suffer, or even die an early and unnecessary death, just as much
because not enough people care about their plight. Better education
would improve our world dramatically. There are plenty of smart
people out there, but without the direction and critical thinking
that comes with formal education, that intelligence goes to waste.
Finally, greater religious tolerance would make an incredible
difference in our world. Far too many people allow themselves to
view the world though the narrow lens of their particular religious
beliefs, which encourages segregation, judgment, and ignorance. If
humanity could see the similarities between us all rather than focus
on our differences, we might actually see something that resembles
is the question you wish an interviewer would ask you? What is it
you'd like to say that no one has asked about?
What is something you’ve never before shared in an author
Ever since my ex cracked my skull, I have had a condition called
synesthesia. In my case, I “see” loud and unexpected sounds.
Most sounds take on the appearance of a sudden flash of light,
typically black and white and similar in appearance to a
checkerboard, but every sound has its own unique pattern—and it
appears on the side I most dominantly hear it. Some sounds show in
color, and some show in unusual patterns, but they all come and go as
quickly as the sound itself presents. At this point in my life, I
have become accustomed this strange mesh of sight and sound and would
feel somewhat lost without it.