While sitting down to write my review for Ushers Inc., a few questions popped into my head so I wrote them down and sent them to Rusty. He happily obliged to answering my nonsense. Thanks Rusty!
Q. What started you on your Zombie kick?
A. Two words: Under dog. (Or is it one?) Either way, when I finally got serious about writing supernatural YA last year, it was vampires, vampires, vampires. All the time, nothing but vamps!
They were like the “cool kids” at school; I never fit in with that crowd, really. I’m more the underdog type – hmm, I guess it is one word after all – and I tend to write for kids who can relate to being – or at least knowing – the underdog type as well.
For me, zombies are the ultimate underdog supernatural hero: not so pretty to look, no real “cool” powers, everybody running in the other direction, so… it was the natural place to try and make zombies the “cool kids” for once.
Q. Do you watch Zombie related movies?
A. Yes, absolutely, no question. For years I watched them for fun, but now I tend to watch them as research. You know: How does this movie handle that? How does that movie handle this? But, either way, I watch them with a passion. I can’t think of a single zombie movie I’ve missed in the last decade or so. Lots are bad; cheesy bad. Some are just plain bad. But many, many of them are really cool, unique, inventive and fun; those are the ones I like the best, something that add something to the genre as opposed to just ripping it off.
Q. If you couldn’t write about Zombies, what would your second choice be?
Well, I also write about vampires and werewolves – and the occasional demon or ghoul – but I always keep coming back to zombies for some reason.
Frankly, all monsters are fun to write about. I enjoy writing about vampires because there is so much already written that it’s fun to play with what’s there and try to do it differently; same with werewolves. But I guess I keep coming back to zombies because they’re a blank canvas and I feel a lot freer to try new things with them.
Q. What inspires you to write?
Growing up, the best friends I ever had were books. Whether I was reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary or Stephen King and Dean Koontz, I was just always able to escape into another world no matter what I was feeling.
So, wanting to help others have that same experience inspires me to write, and wanting teens and young adults, in particular, inspires me to write YA.
Q. How do you do your writing? For example – do you need silence or can you write with music in the background? Computer, type writer, or pen to paper?
A. I have a new stand-up desk now, so my whole writing “MO” is pretty new. But I still need some soft, mellow, smooth jazz Christmas music playing in the background, I’m still on a desktop computer – not so much a laptop – and I rarely use pen and paper anymore!
Q. Could you give us a glimpse into any of your future projects?
A. Coming soon is Vamplayers, about a trio of BFFs who hunt special vampires on high school campuses around the globe. Also forthcoming is Panty Raid @ Zombie High, about two best friends who go into the scariest place on earth to rescue their gal pal. And then there’s My Big, Fat, Hairy Werewolf Intervention about a girl who may or may not be a werewolf – and the monster-hunting team who’s filming her family try to convince her that she is.
I hope one, or all three of them, appeal to the folks who’ve already read Zombies Don’t Cry or Ushers, Inc.!
About the author: Rusty Fischer is the author of several YA supernatural novels, including Zombies Don’t Cry, Ushers, Inc., Becca Bloom & the Drumsticks of Doom, I Heart Zombie and Panty Raid @ Zombie High. Visit his blog for news, reviews, cover leaks, writing and publishing advice, book excerpts and more! Please visit Rusty at his website, Zombies Don’t Blog.