Hey Horror Nation! I was fortunate to get an Interview with A.R. Wise Author of Deadlocked and 314 Series. he just happens to be one of my favorite authors out there. If you're into Zombies or just creepy mind bending stories in General have a look. Enjoy the Interview
I remember in reading the Deadlocked series you mentioned you used writing to get through a tough time in your life. How has it affected you, and the situation you were going through do you think it helped to express yourself?
Absolutely. I've been writing ever since I was very, very young, but I always did it with the intention of making a career at it. As I look back on that, I think it was a mistake to think of writing as a career path. Not to say that it can't be, and not to say that I'm not overjoyed that I can now call myself a full time author, but rather because it's a creativity-stifling mindset. If you're only reason to write is to make money at it, then I think your work is going to suffer. Since writing Deadlocked, I've decided to try to accomplish something with each book. I try to challenge myself, and grow as a writer in some way or another. Sometimes I do it by tackling a challenging story structure (314 for instance), and other times I dig deep into personal feelings and work through them on paper (Deadlocked 3 comes to mind).
For me, and I suspect for a lot of other authors, writing represents a safe environment to push through some of your own emotions. Feeling depressed? Write a story about a depressed character and let them become your avatar. Explore the emotions, and take them to places you'd never dare go in real life. If you're lucky, other people will relate to your feelings, and perhaps even get strength from reading your story.
What was something you learned while creating your books that surprised you?
The biggest surprise has got to be the reaction the books have received. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but was constantly assaulted with negativity about how the publishing industry was in shambles and people just weren't reading anymore. Don't pay attention to any of that. The self publishing revolution is one of the most exciting things to happen to literature in decades. Readers are ravenous for fresh, new authors, and are willing to give your book a try. It was a pleasant surprise, and I learned to ignore all of the people that had anything negative to say about literature in this day and age. There has NEVER been a better time to be a new author.
In the deadlocked series you get into Military,Virology, and firearm's Where do you usually go for your research into these things are they something you have previous knowledge of, or do you have professional resources that help you out?
I remember reading, in multiple 'How To Get Published' type of books I used to devour, that you should only write what you know. It's a pretty common advise that gets thrown out there to aspiring authors. Well, I think it's total BS. Far better advise is this: Learn What You Write. In other words, never allow your ignorance on a subject to keep you from writing about it. Go study the subject, and then write about it. Sure, if you're goal is to write courtroom thrillers but have never cracked a law book in your life, you're going to have trouble telling a competent story. However, if you want to write a horror story about an aquatic monster, it wouldn't hurt to study up on the biology of denizens of the deep. So far, that's the way I approach writing. For instance, in Deadlocked 6 one of the characters is revealed to have extensive knowledge of building bombs out of household material. I'm no bomb expert, but it only took ten minutes of research to write the scene in a way that made the character come off as competent. That's all it really requires: convince the reader that what's being said is plausible, and they won't challenge you. To that point, if you ever choose to write about guns and the military, be prepared to get a few angry emails from gun fanatics about a wrong detail here or there! lol, Everyone's passionate about something.
How has your success changed your life has it been all positive as we know writing takes up a lot of time.
100% positive. I work a lot, but that's a small price to pay. I currently work 7 days a week, for about 6 - 8 hours a day. My wife frequently reminds me that most people take time off, but we both realize that I'm pretty darn lucky to be doing what I love, making a living at it, and getting to stay at home. In my previous life as a corporate ladder climber, I worked 60 hours a week, and was often staying nights in hotels in various places across the nation. Since becoming a full time author, I have yet to sleep in a bed without my wife beside me - I have yet to wake up without a chance to hug my daughters. That's pretty awesome.
In your downtime what do you enjoy doing any other hobbies or special interests?
I used to be a bit of a fitness nut, and there's always been a hunger to get back to that lifestyle. I love the rush you get after a great strength training workout, but I let myself drift away from my previous daily workout regime. Lately I've been taking advantage of the fact that I don't have to clock in and out anywhere, and I'll leave my writing desk occasionally to go work out a little.
And to complete the dichotomy, I'm also a pretty avid gamer. I love video games, and have since I was a little kid. Nothing is more soothing to me than sitting down to get absorbed in a great game. It's my escape mechanism.
What were the challenges ( research,literary, psychological and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Self doubt. If there's one demon I've never quashed, it's self doubt. Every book I've ever written has been a struggle to push past what I call the 'mid-book malaise'. It seems that whenever I get about halfway through a book, it all seems like utter crap to me. I think it could be better, and start to think of a million reasons I should scrap the book and start over. I used to follow that notion, which is why it took me 34 years to finally publish a book! I have stacks upon stacks of old books that I made it halfway through before stopping and starting over. I can't speak for other writers, but for me that is the worst thing to do. Whenever I get to that point now, where I'm certain the book is broken, I just keep writing. More often than not, when the book is finished, I realize that it's just fine, and that all my concerns were for not.
What do you do when and if you ever face the dreaded Writers block?
Keep writing. Personally, I don't believe in writer's block, at least not for people that do this professionally. For the casual writer, most of the pages produced are done during those blessed moments of inspiration, but those moments can't be relied on, and you certainly shouldn't hope to build a career off them. Anyone looking at this as a career need to realize that they can't be saddled by the need for inspiration. When was the last time the mechanic changing the oil in your car told you he couldn't finish because he wasn't feeling inspired today? Can you imagine that? I don't buy into the idea that a writer can only produce work when they are visited by the muse, because the muse is a finicky girl, and likes to sleep a little too late some days. Best to get your butt out of bed and get to the computer to do your job - all that clickety-clacking on the keyboard will wake the muse up eventually.
In the deadlocked series is there a character you relate with? or maybe all of them and could you share why?
I think the easiest to relate to for myself was David from the first book. However, I get fantastically bored with writers that fill their books with fictionalized versions of themselves. It's almost inescapable that authors will do that at some point, but it's a boring and grossly self-indulgent exercise. I prefer to fill my books with personalities that are vastly divergent from my own, and then work to understand them. That sort of thing is exciting to me. For instance, I have next to nothing in common with Hero from the Deadlocked series, yet he has become one of my very favorite people to write. I enjoy every page whenever he's the focus, and as the series has progressed I've had the pleasure of getting to know him, which is how I hope the readers feel as well.
Author of the Deadlocked series
Deadlocked 1 available for free on Amazon!
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