I am very excited about this interview with Armand Rosamilia. The incredibly talented horror author welcomed this intrusion, allowing me to probe into his personal and professional life. So it is with much delight that I share with you the interrogation I put Armand through.
Ladies andGentleman - meet Armand Rosamilia!
Quinn - Could I ask you tell me a little about yourself? Are you married? Do you have any children?
Armand - I am happily divorced, twice. But I have three great kids from the second marriage, so there is that.
Quinn – I like that-happily divorced. I would imagine that’s the best kind of divorce. I have four kids and I think that kids are one of the best byproducts of a marriage/relationship. It’s our ‘spin off’, if you will. Not that being a parent gives you much time to unwind but what do you do for relaxation Armand?
Armand - I'm not familiar with the term. I write all the time, unless I'm reading or hanging out with my friends or kids.
Quinn – Sounds like you have your priorities straight. Myself, I have an awful time trying to balance all of my responsibilities. You mention reading as a precedence, are there any recent works (books) that you admire?
Armand - I just finished "Containment Room 7" by Bryan Hall today. It was amazing, but everything I've read by him is so far.
Quinn – Seems like you admire Bryan Hall a great deal but that said…I know it’s a difficult question…but who is your favorite author?
Armand - As a kid I read everything Dean Koontz put out. Robert E Howard was a big influence as well as HP Lovecraft. They are the go-to authors. I'm a big Brian Keene fan.
Quinn – I’m a huge Dean Koontz fan as well and I love Stephen King, but I have never read anything by Robert E Howard or Brian Keene, I’ll have to check them out. Are there similarities between you and your favorite author(s)?
Armand - Yes. They are brilliant and I try to emulate them. They set the bar for me as an author in style and finding my own voice.
Quinn – In my opinion, and I’m sure your fans will agree, you’ve done a great job developing your own creative style and finding your individual artistic voice. We already know that you spend the majority of your time writing, but tell me, what is a typical working day like for you?
Armand - I go to Java Joint in Flagler Beach Florida every week morning at 8 am and get my coffee fix and good food fix in, and attempt to write 2,000 words a day until I have to leave. I watch the customers in and out, chat with the great people who work there, and stare at the ocean and look for dolphins. It is a tough, stressful job but I force myself to get out of bed each morning.
Quinn – Yes, that must be really hard! LOL I wish I could conform to such a productive schedule. That’s top on my ‘to accomplish’ list, something I really must concentrate on doing. Many authors spend quite a bit of time doing research as they prepare to write their book. What kind of research do you do for your books?
Armand – Since I write mostly zombie books, I walk around and randomly bite people to get reactions from them. I try to limit research when I'm doing a first draft, just pencil in some question marks so I can go back to it with the next draft. It tends to slow me down and pull me out of the creation process.
Quinn - Thanks for the warning Armand! I’ll be sure to stay clear of you while you conduct your research. I’m in knee deep now so I might as well take the plunge-How do you conceive your plot ideas?
Armand – All stories begin as a ‘What if’ idea. It’s as simple as that. I find ideas all around me, whether it's having a conversation on a Face Book post or looking out the window. I have enough ideas to write a thousand books, but not enough time in the day to write them.
Quinn – I guess you’d better get to work then! And I might just have to warn your Face Book friend’s to watch their P’s and Q’s. I’m just teasing you. But that’s an interesting concept, the stories you could pen that originated on Face Book. Imagine that! Okay, sorry, I’ll get back to the interview. J When naming your characters do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
Armand - As a young writer I used to try for cool names like Mr. Scratch or John Dark or any other cliché you can think of. Now I just try to give them a unique name you will remember as the story progresses and not get caught up in what a name translates to.
Quinn – You’ve grown up Armand. Evolved you might say, and in the right direction. What are the major themes of your work?
Armand – I tend to write my stories being very character - driven. I like taking normal everyday people and throwing them into extraordinary situations and seeing how they can cope with it. I think superhero-type people are boring and want to imagine how I could get out of the situation.
Quinn – As a writer you can most surely weave an internal struggle into your storyline and the reader may not realize it until the end. That's when your audience has that sudden realization - Oh yeah, I didn't see that coming. Do you know what I mean? Is that something you do often? A writing style you prefer? Or are your stories an “open book” so to speak?
Armand – I never try to be 'cute' when I write and add some deeper meaning into my stories. I try to tell the story, although I feel my better realized stories tend to have a certain undercurrent I miss in the first draft and I'm able to accentuate subtly in the next drafts, whether it's a theme or just a progression of a certain character. When I find them I get excited, because it wasn't a consciously planned move.
Quinn – Oh Armand, you’re cute and you know it! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. No more joking around. Who are your target readers?
Armand – Mostly horror fans, I assume. When I start writing I don’t try to figure out who will be reading it, I just try to finish it and tell a genuine story. When I was younger I would write and keep thinking who my target audience was. That never works.
Quinn – And what do you think readers search for in a book?
Armand – The ability to get lost in another world with characters they can relate to and situations they've never been in. They want to imagine themselves fighting off demons or monsters or the serial killer living next door.
Quinn – Yes, I totally agree. Readers and fantasy’s, ours and theirs alike, are what keep authors writing, it’s all a big part of what drives us. At least that’s my belief. What is your favorite part of a book?
Armand - All of it, I love a book that hooks me from the first chapter and keeps me motivated to read the rest of the story. The worst part is getting to the end and wanting to read more about these characters.
Quinn – I feel the same way. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Armand – The distractions from writing. The need to constantly be online and checking Face Book and Twitter instead of reaching my daily goal. And even when I hit my mark of 2,000 words I feel like I should be going for 3,000 or 4,000 a day.
Quinn – I feel your pain Armand. I never seem to have enough time for my writing and I get cranky when I don’t reach my anticipated word count! What do you think is the best thing about being an author?
Armand – The freedom, setting my own hours as a full-time author, and being able to do what I have wanted to do for a job since I was 12 years old.
Quinn – That’s wonderful. You are living your lifelong dream! Many authors listen to music while they write, do you?
Armand – On occasion, when I hang out with author Tim Baker he listens to blues, and it makes for a nice background noise. I usually write sitting in Java Joint and they play reggae music, which I'm not a big fan of but it helps me to relax because I'm not familiar with most of it and it sets a mood.
Quinn- That’s really interesting. It really is. You are a complex man Armand, and unique. I wonder if perhaps you can be counted amongst the minority, not the majority when something unfamiliar can relax you. I think, and I believe that most of those who read this would also assume that it is the familiar things surrounding us put us at ease. But then again, your comment about the unfamiliar music setting the mood does sort of tie it into the genre you write in. Does that make sense? Do you understand where I’m coming from? What and/or who inspires you?
Armand – The growing stack of bills on my table is a great motivator to keep writing. Seriously, the great positive people in my life are what motivate me to keep creating and writing. They help me by always being there for me.
Quinn – That’s great, positive support and encouragement is priceless!
Have you collaborated on a book? If so, who was the other author? How did you collaborate with that author? What writing process did you use?
Armand – Tim Baker (author of Pump It Up) and I wrote Dying Days: The Siege of European Village together and it was amazing to do. We wrote the bulk of it in two days, sitting in the same room and trading off characters and/or chapters and talking the story out as we went along. We combined characters from his thriller books set in Flagler Beach with my Dying Days zombie characters set in the same locale. His characters crossed over into my world. It was great fun and we're already planning a sequel at some point in 2013.
Quinn – That’s fantastic, that your collaborative venture was a positive experience. I don’t believe it’s an easy thing to do and I don’t think just any author can collaborate. I think it takes someone selfless, someone not vying for the spot light. If you wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Armand – Wow, Was I A Geek In High School - And How I Haven't Grown Much Since (A Love Story)
Quinn – Sounds fascinating. Would you care to fill me in on the story line at all? I'll understand if you don't.
Armand - Miami Spy Games is a thriller that deals with the ACES team and their work in Miami Florida monitoring foreign agents on our shores. When a Russian-made weapon capable of turning innocent people into raging face-biting killers is let loose on the streets, they are called into action to stop it.
Quinn – That is interesting! What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview but never have?
Armand - Why am I so damn sexy?
Quinn (laughing hysterically) – Now that’s a loaded question, how would you answer that question?
Armand – It's an unfair universe. Only some of us can be this damn sexy.
Check this out!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyx6JDQCslE (link to LMFAO - Sexy and I know it video)
Quinn – Let me get serious again, just for a bit. As a horror writer, if you were going to commit the perfect murder, how would you go about it?
Armand – I can't tell you about the three I've committed already, but I can say the next one will involve a wood chipper, a farm with pigs and banana bread beer.
Quinn (hands covering her ears) – No, please don’t! I don’t want to be an accessory after the fact! And I’m glad you didn’t go into more detail about the wood chipper! Perhaps someday you’ll divulge your perfect murder in one of your novels.
Is there anything you would like add?
Armand - I thank you for the interview! I hope people learned something about me today. If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com
Quinn – One last question, what do you consider your best accomplishment?
Armand – In real life? Three wonderful children. My cool answer? To be able to write full-time for a living. My dream came true. I just need to sustain it now.
Thank you for agreeing to do this interview Armand and allowing us the privilege of getting to know you better. I purchased, and have started to read your Dying Days Collection and I’d like to add my perspective - I don’t believe for one minute that you won’t be able to keep on living your dream. You have the talent, ability and imagination to continue to create stories of the same superb quality of your already published books! I look forward to seeing what new terrors will spring forth from your mind. Thank you again for sharing a piece of you with us!