To begin, please introduce yourself to our audience. What is your name? Who are you? What books have you written? Etc,.
- Brian Parker, I’m an Active Duty Army soldier currently stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. I’ve got four books under contract with Permuted Press; the first one to be released will be Enduring Armageddon in May 2015. Then my three-book series, Washington, Dead City will begin releasing with GNASH in February 2016, and books two and three, REND and SEVER will release in March and April.
- I’ve currently got four self-published books available. Origins of the Outbreak is a series of short stories that follows the spread of a zombie virus from patient zero to full-on epidemic; The Collective Protocol is a paranormal thriller about mind control; my children’s picture book Zombie in the Basement is a story about acceptance of others; and finally, I wrote a self-publishing how-to guide called Self-Publishing the Hard Way.
What first inspired you to become a writer? And what compels you to continue your career as an author?
- I’ve always been a creative person. I wrote and drew as a kid but as I got older I realized that my talents really didn’t lie with drawing! When I turned eighteen, I joined the Army and stopped writing. I fell into the mental trap that I had a career and didn’t have time to dedicate to writing. Then, I read Day by Day Armageddon by fellow Permuted author J.L. Bourne and learned that he was also a full-time military officer in the Navy. I decided that if he could carve out the time, I could as well. Instead of relaxing at the end of a stressful day by watching some crappy television show, now I write and actually get more relaxed as I lose myself in the storyline.
What is the first book you read that made you fall in love with literature?
- I was a voracious reader as a child, so I’m not entirely sure which books that made me love literature, but some certainly stand out in my mind: the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Shannara series, and 1984 to name a few. However, the books that made me fall in love with the idea of writing my own novels are the ones by Victor Gischler: Gun Monkeys, Shotgun Opera and Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse. I just really like his style and the way he lets the reader fill in the blanks instead of spoon-feeding them every little detail.
What do you think is the most difficult part of being a writer? What is the most rewarding part?
- The most difficult part of being a writer is finding the time and then managing my time appropriately when I do have some time available to sit in front of my computer. The most rewarding, without a doubt, is hearing from readers who like your work. It’s awesome when I get feedback from total strangers who tell me that they loved one of my books or that a scene made them feel a strong emotion. While I don’t seek validation from others, it’s nice to be appreciated.
What is your most recent work? What can audiences expect from this book or series?
- I’m currently writing SEVER, which is the final book in my Washington, Dead City series. The first two books give the reader hope that the good guys will overcome the odds and win in the end – even if they don’t all survive the journey. SEVER is already shaping up to be a different kind of book (I’m not an outliner, I get surprised where the story goes each time). It’s grittier and the population is more worn down from the constant warfare of the zombie war.
What do you think are the most common misconceptions about writers?
- A big misconception is that we’re all recluses. We’re just a cross-section of society, some people like to keep to themselves and some are gregarious. We’re all individuals, please don’t lump us together!
Why did you decide to join Permuted Press?
- I’d released my first book GNASH and gotten a medium-sized following and made what I considered good sales through my own promoting and word of mouth, but I began to wonder if there was a wider audience that I could potentially reach that loved the type of stuff I was writing. So I submitted to Permuted and here we are! I’m extremely thankful that Permuted is giving me a shot.
What are your dreams for the future as a writer?
- I’d pretty much like to rule the world… That, or have a great group of fans that follow what I write and appreciate how my craft evolves over time – but don’t want to break my ankles with a sledgehammer.
Is there anything else that you would like for people to know about yourself and your work?
- I’ve got some really great ideas for some novels that I’ll write next and they’re all in different genres. The next story I plan to write after I finish SEVER is a military fiction very loosely based on some experiences that I’ve had in Iraq and Afghanistan, no horror theme to it whatsoever. Then, I want to write a noir paranormal investigator book. Of course, I would love to revisit my children’s book as well, but due to the cost of production, I’ve set strict goals for that before I allow myself to pursue a sequel.
Do you have any events coming up such as conventions or book signings?
- When I return from Afghanistan, where I’m deployed right now, I plan on attending several Texas conventions. I hope to be back in time to attend STAPLE! in Austin, I did that last year and had a blast, it was a small, quirky venue with quirky people… it was absolutely great.
Where can people find more information about you?
- I’m on social media here:
o Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrianParkerAuthor
o Twitter: @BParker_Author
o Web: www.BrianParkerAuthor.com