"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Tour & Interview with Author Brett Davis - Mama Lona's Man

Welcome to Immortality and Beyond. May I offer you a drink?
  • Vampires Wind
  • Witches Brew
  • Zombie Blast

Of those three, of course I have to choose Zombie Blast. Thank you. Whew, it has a little kick to it! Thank you for having me here today.

BK: Thank you for taking time to chat with us. Just wait until later Brett, when they really sneak up on you! When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Since I was pretty young. For a while there it was a tossup between being a writer or being an artist, but writer won out.

BK: Please tell us a little bit about your current release...

It’s a paranormal romance about a young woman who accompanies her father on a secret government mission to a remote Caribbean island, only to run into a legendary zombie that she happens to fall in love with. I describe it as a bit James Bond, a bit “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and a dash of “Night of the Living Dead.”

BK: It sounds fantastic, and right up my alley. What inspired this particular novel/book?

My initial inspiration for this book was a series of James Bond books printed in the 1950s and 1960s that my uncle gave me a long time ago. They are quite different in tone from the films, a little more like travelogues rather than action-packed books, although there’s plenty of action as well. I wanted to try to capture a little bit of that by creating a secret-agent type hero who not only isn’t killed, he literally can’t be killed because he’s already dead. When I decided to make it a paranormal romance, it all came together.

BK: How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

I don’t try to write differently from anyone else, I just think of stories that interest me and then kick them around for a while in my head, making sure they are strong enough to support a long-form narrative. It has to be something that can hold my attention for months, even years, and then I hope it can have the same effect on others.

BK: What was the hardest thing about writing this story?

I think finding the true center of the story was the hardest. Initially I wrote it purely as a James Bond-style adventure, but it wasn’t until I recentered it around a romance between my leading characters that it truly came to life and gained a beating heart.

BK: Hmmm. A Zombie with a beating heart *tapping finger on chin* Interesting. Which character was your favorite to write for in this story? Why?

Do I have to give back my Zombie Blast if I cheat and say the two lead characters? My zombie man was fun because I created a new type of zombie, one that’s not all rotting, and my leading lady was inspiring because of the choice she has to make at the end.

BK: I promise you can keep your drink, LOL. I love the whole surmise. Tell us about the one scene you had the most fun writing…

The last fight scene. It was fun because I had invented a new bit of zombie lore, and was able to put it into use in that scene. I don’t want to give away too much, but I’ll tease it by saying that because of this voodoo thing I invented, my zombie man can fly!

BK: OMG, I cannot wait to read it. Will this become a series? If so, what inspired it to be a series? OR If it is a series, what inspired it to become a series?

As I mentioned, my initial inspiration for this book was a series of James Bond books, so I had always intended for this to be a short series. I do have a definite end in mind, I just want to have some fun getting from here to there. And visit some interesting places along the way.

BK: I love it! Now for a little fun, and into your everyday life, What is a day in your life like?

Busy. I edit a magazine devoted to robots and unmanned systems, and do communications related to that as well, so that occupies most of my day. I also get to travel as part of that, and am hoping to tap some of those experiences for this series. Each book in a new, exotic locale!

BK: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Last year I wrote a movie script and decided just to shoot it myself. So I was lucky enough to assemble a talented team of actors and we shot it. Now I need to edit it and get it out there. It’s kind of “Dracula” meets “The Jersey Shore.”

BK: Okay, you've sold me. I'm a fan already! Multi-talented! Brilliant! What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

I can answer the ancient question, what is the sound of one hand clapping? Seriously, I can clap with one hand. It’s something you really have to see in person. If you see me at a convention somewhere, ask me about it.

BK: I most definitely will *chuckles*. What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I read very widely and randomly so it’s hard to pick out one thing or one author. I might read Jane Austen one day and Stephen King the next. Right now I’m reading Game of Thrones and enjoying it greatly. It’s been keeping me up at night.

BK: I love those kind of books! What is one piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers/authors?

Don’t give up. If you enjoy the writing process, there’s no reason to stop doing it, even though it can be rough at times. You may get discouraged but as long as you enjoy the journey, it’s worth taking. And, try to write as often as possible, daily if you can do it.

BK: What are you currently working on?

The next adventure in the “Mama Lona’s Man” series. And the one after that. And my movie.

BK: Where can readers connect with you?

My blog is located at http://mamalonasman.blogspot.com/. Please stop by! And thank you again for this opportunity.

BK: I can't wait to check out your book, and hopefully we'll get to see your movie on the big screen one day! It was great getting to know you better Brett! We wish you much success, and invite you to come back when the next book is out OR you're movie is out :).

About the Author

Brett O’Neal Davis is a native of Florence, Ala., and attended the same high school as Sam Phillips, who discovered Elvis Presley. He studied journalism at the University of North Alabama and the University of Missouri, writing about music whenever possible. He also briefly “fronted” the one-man punk band Screwhead. Despite clearing $1.50 in profit on consignment sales of the band’s lone album at Salt of the Earth Records in Columbia, Mo., he turned to the slightly more stable world of aerospace and defense journalism, working today in the field of unmanned systems and robotics in Washington, D.C.

He is the author of four science fiction and fantasy novels, all published by Baen Books. The first, The Faery Convention, was listed among the best fantasy novels for 1995 by Science Fiction Chronicle, and Two Tiny Claws was named to the 2000 Books for the Teen Age List by the New York Public Library. An occasional panelist at area science fiction conventions, he also has discussed fiction writing at National Press Club events and at literary festivals, including the annual T.S. Stribling celebration at the University of North Alabama. Mama Lona’s Man is his first foray into paranormal romance, but it won’t be the last.

Mama Lona's Man
The Straw Man Series Book One
Brett O'Neal Davis

Genre: Paranormal Romance

ISBN: 9781301347049

Number of pages: 219
Word Count: 74,000

Cover Artist: Cate Meyers

Book Description:

Mama Lona’s Man combines a Caribbean love story with a zombie thriller. It’s a bit James Bond, a bit "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and a dash of "Night of the Living Dead.

The leading man is a ex-Navy SEAL controlled by a witch doctor. When he meets an American girl caught up in island intrigue, they fall in love even though he's been dead longer than she's been alive.

Excerpt One

Abigail cautiously opened the bathroom door. The large men were gone. A guard rushed down the hallway past her without even glancing in her direction. She heard shouts echoing off the walls. She was beginning to think she wasn't going to get that ride home after all.

She heard what sounded like machine gun fire down the hall, coming from what she thought was the outside of the house. Looking behind her she saw that while the bathroom was large it offered no place to hide. She could sit on the toilet and try to wait out whatever was going on, or she could go deeper into the mansion and find a place to hide or a way out. Another machine gun burst, this one accompanied by the grunt of a man in pain, settled the question. She opened the door and ran down the hall, heading for what she hoped would be safety.

Having some knowledge of how the president's house was laid out would have been helpful. After a few minutes, Abigail realized that she was just circling around a large inner courtyard where fighting was taking place. She hid behind a sizable marble column and peeked around it. The president's guards—she recognized them from their uniforms—were arrayed against what looked like a ragtag militia, although one that was equally well armed. The militia members had no uniforms, just ratty T-shirts and stained khaki pants. The guards were hidden behind the furniture, including several overturned tables, and fired wildly through the front windows and doors. Everything was in tatters. The windows and doors were now nearly nonexistent, the drapes looked like moths the size of Mothra had eaten them and the furniture was riddled with bullets, although it was holding up surprisingly well. The guards no doubt were glad that their boss had not cheaped out on the décor.

The militia was not making much progress. One of its members would briefly appear in a window or door, get off a shot or two and fall back. The guards, for all their firing, did not seem to actually hit anything and the militia members were no better. The noise was incredible, like an indoor thunderstorm, but as far as Abigail could see hardly anybody had actually been hit yet. She was just about to try to find her way out through the back of the mansion, leaving the guards and militia men to their target practice, when something amazing happened.

One of the militia men went suddenly went flying to the side, losing his rifle in the process. He didn't seem to be shot. It looked like someone had just grabbed him from behind and flung him into the air. A few seconds later, a man walked right through the middle of the room. The combatants were so stunned by his presence, and his audacity, that they stopped firing. He was unusual not just for standing up in the middle of a firefight but because he was the only white man in the room. He was young, about Abigail's age, with straight, sandy-blonde hair that was a little disheveled. He wore a stained blue T-shirt and dark green pants but no shoes or socks. He seemed to have no weapons of any kind except his muscles—the T-shirt and pants revealed that he was lean and fit. Abigail was pretty sure he was also about to be dead, but still no one fired. The man stood still and gazed around the room as if in a daze. He did not seem surprised, or even particularly interested, to find himself in the middle of a small war. Not finding anything in the room of interest to him, he started to move on, heading for the doorway just to Abigail's right. That was when one of the guards remembered that he was supposed to keep people out of the house. He stood up and fired two shots into the man's chest.

Abigail squeezed her eyes shut, not wanting to see her first dead body. She waited for the thump of the young man falling to the floor but it didn't happen. She opened one eye; he was still on his feet. Maybe those weren't muscles showing through his shirt, maybe they were actually the ridges of a bulletproof vest. The man walked over to the guard, who had a stunned look on his face, picked him up by his lapels and hurled him against the wall as if he weighed only a couple of pounds. The guard sagged to the floor and lay still. The man continued on his way. Another guard rose from behind his hiding place, an overturned table, and fired a shot right into the man’s back. There was no bulletproof vest—with her own horrified eyes, Abigail saw a hole appear in the front of the man's shirt as the bullet punched through; though oddly there was no blood, just a yellowish stain. Still the man did not fall or even break stride. He completely ignored the fact that he had just been shot three times.

He stepped through the doorway and noticed her crouching behind the column. His eyes, so dead in the other room, suddenly seemed to flare to life. He seemed surprised to see her.
“You should come with me.”

He extended a hand but she just stared at it, not knowing what else to do. The firing renewed in the front room. A bullet dug into the column above her head, showering her with dust.

“I'm pretty sure that's not real marble,” he said. “You should come with me.”

His voice was calm and even, just a little bit scratchy, and had more than a hint of the American South.


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for stopping in Brett :)

Brett Davis said...

Thank you! I enjoyed my Zombie Blast.

Unknown said...

great interview and the book souns really different!

Unknown said...

Great interview! :)

Brett Davis said...

Thanks! If you check it out, I hope you enjoy it.

Unknown said...

Enjoyed the interview!

Teddy Rose said...

I love the cover! Great Interview as well!

Brett Davis said...

Thank you! I'll pass along your kind words to the artist, too.

Cate said...

Artist Cate here- thanks for the compliment! It's always a pleasure to work with Brett.