Rich's Zed's World series is gripping and un-put-downable. Book Four is in progress and as our Author of the Day, Rich gives us a peek behind the scenes into what it took to write Book Three - No Way Out.
Please give us a short introduction to what No Way Out is about.
No Way Out is the third book in the Zed’s World Series. It continues the events of the collapse of the world into a zombie filled nightmare.
What inspired you to write a series that takes place in an apocalyptic world?
Everything is reset to zero, and survival becomes the most important priority. All the trappings of modern live are gone.
Did you plan from the start to make this into a series?
It started as an online serial project, so yes, it was always going to be a series. After 19 or so episodes I decided to novelize it and kill the online series.
Tell us more about Kyle Puckett - what makes him tick?
He’s just a normal guy with a normal job, but circumstance has theirs him into a position where he’s responsible for a group of people and all the issues they bring with them.
Why, do you think, would humans turn savage if society crumbles?
We’re not that far from it today. Just look at the news - people are clashing in the streets over who they prefer politically, or over what ideals they believe in. If it came down to survival in an apocalypse, I think there are people who would quickly turn savage.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I make some mean pancakes.
Why a zombie plague - what drew you to this scenario?
I’ve always liked the genre since I saw Return of the Living Dead in 1985. When Walking Dead started taking off, I thought “I could write something better than this,’ so I decided to put up or shut up.
The books contain quite a couple of twists - do you plan them out before you start writing, or do some of them just "happen" along the way?
A little of both. I start with a plan but often as I write something else pops up that is better than my original idea so I take it in that direction.
How does the next book in the series tie in with this one? Can they be read as standalones?
The first two really should be read together. I keep them separate because I often offer the first one as a free novella, but in print and Audio I bundled them together. Three can be read as a standalone, but I think you’ll get more out of it if you read them all. Of course I’d say that, right? I’m trying to sell books here! LOL
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day for you? Favorite time of the day to write, favorite writing spot?
Since I have a day job, writing means lots of early mornings and late nights. I have a good office set up so most of the magic happens at home. I don’t know if the habits are all that interesting. You really have to treat it like a job if you want to keep content flowing, so that means writing even when you don’t feel like it.
What is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Writing when you don’t feel like it.
Do reviews and reader feedback shape your work? Or do you feel like it's better to avoid the feedback—both positive and negative—so that it won't interfere with your vision?
Reviews are critical for visibility, but you can’t write to please your fans or you’re no longer writing YOUR story. I do listen to feedback about character development, or if someone wants to learn more backstory, might weave some of that in future works, but the story is mine. I do write stories I would like to read, and that seems to resonate with people.
What are you working on right now?
On July 4th a novel I wrote with four other authors will be released. It’s called Five Roads To Texas and it is EPIC. I’m currently writing the next book in the Zed’s World Series, and then my solo follow up to my part of the Five Roads story. I have a sci fi book in the works too, so there’s a lot in the queue right now!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I’m on Facebook (facebook.com/rbakerbooks) and Twitter (@rbakerbooks) and my website is rbakerbooks.com. Or, they can email me at [email protected]