I’m interviewing Alex Laybourne, author of zombie horror “Diaries of the Damned”. Welcome to my blog, Alex, and thanks for answering my questions.
1) What’s the hardest part of being an author?
For me, the hardest part about being an author is simply finding the time to sit down and write. I work a full time job which takes about 50-60 hours out of my week, not including the commute. I travel quite frequently for it also, which means 18 hour days. I have four young children, and also like to spend some time with my wife. Being a writer takes sacrifice, it means you stay in when others go out, you don’t sleep enough and are often a slave to the muse. When she wakes and tells you to write, there is very little you can do to convince her otherwise. We do it gladly, because we know what it takes, we understand that being a writer is a commitment, it is something serious and we all strive to achieve the success we seek. Explaining this to people who do not write, and not having them look at you as if you had a screw loose is something else entirely.
2) Can you give us a short synopsis of Diaries of the Damned?
The Diaries of the Damned is a horror novel that takes place before during and after the zombie outbreak. Told from varying viewpoints, each story adds a little piece to the puzzle, until the group of survivors telling their tales get not only answers to the questions they had, but the truth to the points everybody was afraid to ask. Where did the virus come from, and why.
3) Is this part of a series, or stand-alone?
The story was originally part of a chapter series. I wrote and released one a week. However once it was finished I decided to re-publish it as a single novel. Each character viewpoint is three chapters long, and tells a complete tale, so the book can be read in multiple sittings. Each character has their own complete story line to follow, with one central story running through the books as a single read.
4) How many hours per day do you spend writing?
I spent as many hours as I can writing. It would depend who you ask. My wife would say too many, I would say not enough. In all honest, I get up at 4.20 every morning and write before the kids wake up – which with my kids is damned early – I then write during my lunch break and work, and in the evening I try to write for an hour or so, but recently things have been so busy that sitting has slipped away. I can normally get 1500 words written a day, on average.
5) What is your favorite book in the same genre as yours?
I am a huge Clive Barker fan, and love the Books of Blood series of short stories. The certainly inspired me no end, and opened my eyes to the true meaning of horror, and what it can be used for. I have also recently read The Venus Complex by the talented Barbie Wilde, while there area two fellow British horror writers who I highly recommend people look out for. Michael Bray and Paul Flewitt. Both are fantastic writers, and their books well worth a read.
6) What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the third installment of my Highway to Hell series. It will be the final chapter and poses to be quite the epic in terms of story and scope. It is nice going back to such old and familiar characters. Parts I and II have already been published. I am also waiting on the final comments to come back from editor on a vampire novel I have written. None of that lovey-dovey stuff mind you. This is a hardcore horror tale that I hope brings the bite back to the vampire genre.
About The Book
Title: Diaries of the Damned
Author: Alex Laybourne
Genre: Zombie Horror
The dead have risen and a desperate struggle for power has begun. The military are evacuating all survivors in passenger planes. With their destination unknown, one group of survivors led by a journalist named Paul Larkin, decide to share their experiences with the hope that when combined, their stories will reveal some answers that the government had not been willing to give themselves.
Nine survivors have banded together, determined to tell their tale of survival. None of them realized that as they stood to tell their tales that they stood on the brink of discovering a conspiracy the likes of which the world has never seen.
Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that I became a horror writer.
From an early age I was sent to schools which were at least 30 minutes drive away and so spent the most of my free time alone, as the friends I did have lived too far away for me to be able to hang out with them in the weekends or holidays.
I have been a writer as long as I can remember and have always had a vivid imagination. To this very day I find it all too easy to just drift away into my own mind and explore the world I create, where the conditions always seem to be just perfect for the cultivation of ideas, plots, scenes, characters and lines of dialogue everything basically, and when the time is right, I can simply pluck them from the allotment of my mind serve them up on the pages of whatever work is to be their home.
I am married and have four children and my biggest dream for them is that they grow up and spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is.
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