Today is kind of special. I get to interview a friend and an awesome author. This guy has helped me succeed in so many ways…I can’t even begin to start. He’s put his own projects on hold in order to push mine to the head of the line, just so I could meet a deadline that…well, it wouldn’t profit him at all. Not many people will do that.
When I first got started and knew even less than I know now, Todd did a quick author interview of me and put it on his blog. It helped to get my name out there amongst his followers and I’m sure boosted my sales before Phoenix ever hit Amazon. It does me great pleasure to be able to finally return the favor. He helped me to build a brand, a name amongst readers and now I have my own small, but faithful following. So, for those who aren’t already familiar with TW Brown, you’re in for a treat.
So let’s get this party started. Everybody, meet Todd (TW) Brown. We’re going to start with some standard boilerpot questions and then get a little more personal. So…
Me: Tell me, what is your writing style? Are you a plotter or a seat of the pantser?
Todd: I definitely let the story unfold as it goes. So I guess that makes me a seat-of-the-pantser. I just believe that an outline can make a writer too linear and predictable.
Me: Thank goodness you said that. I thought I was the only one until I talked with a couple of others. One agreed with me. The others were all classical plotters. I felt like the odd man out. Okay, so when did you first decide to start writing? What influenced you to go the indie/small press route?
Todd: It just sort of happened, and at the perfect time. I think 2009-2012 will be looked at in many ways as the start of the Indie revolution. Folks keep saying it will die…but I think they are wrong. Traditional pub got too predictable and I believe the Indie scene is rife with amazing storytellers.
Me: I’d have to agree with you. There are tons of awesome storytellers out there that we might never have heard of had they not had this opportunity. And thank goodness we can. So, where are you from and does it influence your writing?
Todd: I live in the Pacific Northwest. I would not say that it influenced me, but I do enjoy using it as a backdrop.
Me: Beautiful country up that way. I wouldn’t mind living there again, myself. So, let’s move on to your writing. What’s the title of your latest release?
Todd: DEAD: Spring, book 9 of the DEAD series is my latest release, and Next, on a very special That Ghoul Ava is just around the corner.
Me: Sweet! Can you give us a spoiler-free quick description of it? And I say spoiler free because you know how readers can be…
Todd: With book 9 of the DEAD series, my best spoiler free description is that we have just crossed the first year anniversary of the zombie apocalypse. The survivors are now more concerned with the remaining humanity than the zombies at this point.
Me: Sometimes I think the real monsters are the humans. The zombies? They’re just doing what zombies do. But tell us about Ava…
Todd: With Next on a very special That Ghoul Ava, Ava learns more about what makes a ghoul special. There are not as many jokes or one-liners, but this will set of the next several books of the series. Also, Ava might find a possible love interest.
Me: That’s different. We’re used to Ava stories being lighter and definitely laced with humor. I can see how the title applies. So, what (if anything) makes these unique?
Todd: I would say that I give the readers a reward for sticking with me this long. Also, it is my longest work to date at almost 180,000 words.
Me: Woah, that’s like two books in one. Literally. And Ava?
Todd: For Ava, it will not be as funny or joke-driven as the previous books. I wanted to set some framework for her as a character and give her an arc that has legs.
Me: Okay. Well, I look forward to diving into it and seeing where you take her. Alright. For those aren’t totally familiar with your DEAD series, tell us about your zombies? Why do did you choose the classic Romero type over the faster viral zombie?
Todd: They are mostly the classic variety. And while I won’t say that I invented the idea, I do have an immunity factor as well as something extra creepy involving zombie children that add a nice twist.
Me: What was your first experience with zombie media (movie, book, comic, etc)? Was that experience what drew you into writing the genre?
Todd: I saw the original Dawn of the Dead in the theater at age 14. A girl two rows in front of me puked during the opening scene in the ghetto apartments. What could be cooler to a fourteen-year-old boy?
Me: Okay…I’m sorry. But if it were me? Rather than drawing me closer to zombies, it probably would have turned me completely off popcorn! LOL
Pop Quiz Time: The dead rise now and you can choose ONE weapon as your only weapon during the Zombie Apocalypse. What is it and what do you think are your chances at survival are?
Todd: I go with an aluminum baseball bat. No reloads, no re-sharpening…and REALLY durable. I think my odds are good.
Me: Finally! Somebody else who believes in the effectiveness of blunt force trauma!
Okay, how about a list of authors who most heavily influenced your work.
Todd: Stephen King tops the list. If he wrote nothing other than The Stand, I would say the same thing. Beyond that, I would say Kim Harrison covers my modern influence and is somebody I look at as having the perfect blueprint for a female targeted series.
Me: Good choices. My favorite King works was his Gunslinger series. Okay, now to get personal. We’ve talked before about the future and what it holds. You’ve also mentioned Podcasting. With the big push so many authors are making toward audiobooks, what part do you see podcasting playing in it and how do you plan to incorporate it?
Todd: I have a background in actual radio. I have hosted talk shows in a top 25 market. I think it is simply a step in the evolution of promotion. This is where indie authors excel. Their readers get to connect much more personally to them. As far as audiobooks, I remember when everybody dismissed the ebook format. We live in a busy world. I would love to read more, but at least I can put a book in my ear while shopping or doing yard work.
I do plan to build a recording studio this fall. I will be making a go at my own audiobook shortly thereafter. This will put my hat in the ring with many other artists. Also, I will always be available as a narrator who will do the “Royalty Split” option with anybody that is published under the MDP banner (provided that I pass the audition process).
Me: I doubt you’ll have any problems meeting their requirements. I’ve read through them and they give you everything necessary. It sounds to me like you have a lot of really cool stuff in the works. Although, I’ll have to admit, with all the stuff on your plate already, somebody had better add more hours to the day!
And there you have it folks. My friend, editor, adviser and all around good guy, TW Brown. If you haven’t already checked out his works, go to Amazon and give it a spin. I think you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised.
If you have the overwhelming desire to contact him…
His blog can be found at:
You can contact him at:
You can follow him on twitter @maydecpub and on Facebook under Todd Brown, Author TW Brown, and also under May December Publications.