Introduce yourself and your credits.
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 himself
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 it?
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.
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 your family?
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 the kids.
What inspires you? Or triggers a story idea?
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 you?
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 and why?
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 them.
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 neat.
Who are your influences in literature?
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 it secret?
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 professional organizations?
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 chat.
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 out.
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.DYING DAYS by Armand Rosamilia
BONES. DEATH. CENOTE.
HIGHWAY TO HELL