Please welcome the brilliant Michael Madden to the StudioBlog. Mike has written a rather cool book about zombies, aiming to get kids off their games consoles and back to reading. What a brilliant idea! So, without further ado, let’s get this interview going!

Studioenp: Silence or noise when writing?

Michael Madden: Background noise is ok (I often write on plane trips), not sure I could work in total silence.

Studioenp: Oooh, writing on a plane sounds delightful. What’s your latest release?

Michael Madden: The History of Zombies.

Studioenp: Well now, that sounds right up our alley. How did the plot come about for it?

Michael Madden: The whole concept is aimed at young teens to get them off their Xbox and into a book, using a subject (zombies) that they are familiar with.

Studioenp: I can imagine there are a lot of teens interested in zombies, what with The Walking Dead. How long did it take you to write it?

Michael Madden: I usually work on several projects at a time, so this one is probably about eighteen months. Its only 28k words, so the actual time spent is probably three to six months.

Studioenp: Marv! The perfect sized book for children, we’d say. What’s next on your writing list?

Michael Madden: I am going to do a series of short horror stories. I would also like to write a sequel to The History of Zombies, and to finish off my rock and roll musical!

Studioenp: Yay for more zombies, and oooh at a musical! Are you a plotter or panster?

Michael Madden: Definitely edging towards panster, though I do like to have a vague idea about where the story is heading.

Studioenp: Vague is good! What is your go-to form of procrastination?

Michael Madden: I juggle lots of things in my head—the plates are always spinning. If I really want to put something on hold I just spin up a couple of extra plates. Love shuffling things up and down my to-do list.

Studioenp: Brilliant. A busy man, then. How many hours per week do you write?

Michael Madden: Not enough. Some weeks zero—the perils of having a day job. Some weeks it can be twenty to thirty, very rarely more than that.

Studioenp: That’s still a superb amount of hours. And day jobs getting in the way of writing is the pits. What’s one genre you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t—and will you ever write it?

Michael Madden: Horror. I read a lot of Stephen King and I like to predict the ‘switch’ that he uses to go from the ordinary to the bizarre and horrific. I have often thought about writing horror—and it is next on my to-do list.

Studioenp: Whoo! Em’s a King fan. What’s the best book you’ve written?

Michael Madden: My personal favourite is Stags! It made me more money than any other title, and I proved to myself that adult humorous fiction (it’s a kind of ladlit), is popular. In fact, most of the fan mail I got from that book came from women. However, the most accomplished is definitely Mike Sanchez Big Town Playboy. It is an authorised biography with contributions by Robert Plant, Bill Wyman, Jeff Beck, Andy Fairweather-Low, etc.

Studioenp: Oooh, get you! There is a star author in our midst! Thank you so much for joining us here today, and we look forward to speaking with you again in the future.

And now, dear readers, please feast your seeing orbs on a snippet from Michael’s book!

Blurb for The History of Zombies

Zak and Jimmy loved their X-Boxes, they loved their war games, and they loved shooting virtual zombies. A chance encounter in a local graveyard changed all of that when one of their school friends showed signs of being not quite normal, though not quite a zombie either. That is when the fun really started. They discovered that Jimmy’s dad is an expert on zombies, and his acquaintance, the fabled Joshua Lordsmith, is a self-styled zombie hunter. They got to know all about The History of Zombies as the outbreak spread, placing Zak. Jimmy, his dad, and Joshua in great danger.

Aimed at young teens in the hope of getting them off their X-Box and into a book.

Excerpt for The History of Zombies:

‘It is never nice to find out these things, but be sure that what I am about to tell you is the absolute truth. Zombies are very real. Not the zombies from your game. I mean pitiful creatures that once were human, and in some cases they can be cured. They are not all crazed, flesh-eating demons that can be killed with a single bullet. And they do not become zombies overnight. I need to show you my chart. Come on.’

He opened the kitchen door, and with his long strides he quickly reached the bottom of the garden. Jimmy was a few paces behind, and I was close by. I was genuinely thrilled by Mr. Gibson’s chart, and the prospect of meeting real zombies, as long as there was no danger involved, of course!

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