Monday, January 27, 2014

Interview with Derek J. Goodman.

Full Name:
Derek John Goodman

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?

Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Current hometown:
Watertown, Wisconsin

Favorite city and why?
Denver.  I lived there for four years during my first attempt at college and only left because it was too expensive.  There’s nothing quite like waking up every day and being able to see the mountains in the distance.

Birthday / Age:
11-12-79, age 34

How would you describe yourself physically?
Too many extra pounds and furry like a sasquatch.

How would someone else describe you physically?
A giant teddy bear.

The first thing people notice about you is…
I get told my eyes a lot.

Sexual orientation?
Straight but not narrow.

Religion, if any?
No thank you, I’m good.
Just figured it was polite to offer.  You know there are starving kids in Africa that would give their left arm for some religion.
I know, but I do hear that there’s some organizations that can support a kid for only half a religion a day.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I’ve been afraid of dogs ever since I was a child even though I’ve never really had that bad of an experience with one.
I think in a past life you were a cat.  Or a telephone pole.  Or a fire hydrant.
Also could have been a mailman. Or a squeaky toy. Or all five at once. That would suck.

Do you smoke/drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
No smoking, only drink on occasion.  I do have a problem with stress eating, though.

Current occupation / Dream job:
My current job and my dream job are the same thing - librarian by day and writer by night.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Besides lots of reading, I like to do anything creative - painting and community theater being big ones.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I’ll be that guy arguing for zombie rights right up until they eat my face off.
There’s one in every crowd. 

Weapon of choice:
Anything around you can and should be used as a weapon if you get into a jam.

Do you have any special skills?
Um, does customer service count?  Because I can smile in the face of raging customers like a champ.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
My first attempt was the Colorado Institute of Art where I was going for Industrial Design.  When that didn’t work out I eventually went to Madison Area Technical College and got just enough education to get my current job.  If I can ever afford to continue I’ll be going back for Library and Information Science.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
Nope, still working on that fourteen years later.

What is your favorite animal?
Sloths.  Because they always look like they know something they’re not telling you.

Any pets?

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
The misuse of the word “unique.”  It’s an absolute.  Something cannot be “very unique.”  Either it is or it isn’t!

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
I like anything Italian.  Not too big on ham.
That’s okay.   Ham is big on its own.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
“All knowledge is worth having,” from Kushiel’s Dart by Jaqueline Carey.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Don’t know if I can really put my finger on any one thing.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
I’m not comfortable talking about that one.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Yes, but that’s really between me and her.

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Yes.  In my defense I was seventeen and had no idea what the hell I was doing when it came to the proper way to split with someone.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
When I was a teenager I went to summer camp and broke my foot on one of the first days.  I was upset that I thought I wouldn’t be able to do anything else, but two days later, with my foot in a cast, I climbed to the top of the camp’s rock wall with only one foot.  It seems like a silly little thing, but that one little event did a lot to affect my world view.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
I don’t think I personally hate anyone enough to want them dead.  Not that I don’t think there aren’t people out there that don’t deserve it, I just don’t think I have the knowledge or the right to make that decision.

What do you do?
Other than being a librarian, I’m a writer, mostly horror and science fiction.

How did you get started doing what you do?
After my first aborted attempt at college, I was kind of adrift with no clue what to do next.  I was living in a tiny crappy apartment in Denver, and to top it all off most of my possessions got stolen, including my art supplies.  So there I was, an artist who couldn’t afford to actually do art, and I didn’t have anything to actually occupy my time, and I needed to do something to keep from going crazy.  So I grabbed a paper and pen.  I’d tried to write before but never seriously, but I thought writing a novel or something couldn’t possibly be that hard, right?  And I could make a lot of money off it?  By the time I realized how very, very wrong I had been I was hooked.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Don’t make excuses about not having time.  Nobody has the time.  People who do it professionally don’t have the time.  They do it anyway because not making the time would be unthinkable.
I posted an open call for an anthology I’m planning on putting out at the end of Februrary.  In response to the line in the call that says
"If you can’t write a short story in a month, you may want to consider submitting to another publisher." Someone commented “Are you sure you don't want to just haul off and nut-punch anyone with kids or a day-job?” to which I replied “Most writers write 2K per day.  That is, those that take their craft seriously.  As stated, "If you can’t write a short story in a month, you may want to consider submitting to another publisher."  Your kids and your day job aren't the publisher's problem.  They work full-time jobs too.”  And I meant it too.
Yeah, I agree.  Even writing something like 200 words a day will get you a five thousand word story in 25 days, and I write 200 words in about 15 minutes.  If you want to be a writer, it’s all about making it a priority, and that’s the same with anything worth doing.  You may have work, the kids’ soccer practice, dinner, spend some quality time with the spouse, all of that, but there’s somewhere in there where you can fit something.  Write during your break at work.  Type out some words instead of watching reality television. Set aside half an hour before bed.  The time is there.  It’s really a matter of how badly you want to find it.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on / finished in the past?
Give us a little history if you will.
I spent a lot of time with short stories and have a number of them on my bibliography, but honestly there’s a large number of them that I probably don’t want anyone else to see anymore because they’re so bad.  I first started to have some success when I wrote a comedic urban fantasy novel called The Apocalypse Shift that got picked up through a very small press.  But a lot of the people there were friends with people at Permuted Press, which eventually got me an in there.  I’m still producing things with them.

What projects are you working on now?
My first zombie novel with Permuted Press, The Reanimation of Edward Schuett, didn’t sell huge numbers but had enough of a critical reception that I was able to do two sequels and make it a trilogy.  I just turned in the second book, The Contamination of Sandra Wolfe, and am currently working on the third, The Siege of Seven City.

What are you watching?
At the exact moment I type this I’m watching Iron Man 3.  In terms of shows I’m currently working my way through Supernatural and Person of Interest.

What are you listening to?
I don’t really listen to music as much as I used to.  I’m writing in most of my free time and prefer to do that in silence.  I think the last thing I listened to was Lindsey Stirling.

What are you reading?
I’ve got a massive stack of partially read books next to my bed.  A casual glance at the top of the stack shows The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett, Odds On by Michael Crichton, The Terror by Dan Simmons, and Summer Knight by Jim Butcher.
Oh, you’re in for a treat with The Thin Man.  That’s a great book.  I don’t really get physical copies of books for review anymore, but my PDFs to read and review folder is eighteen files thick and grows each day.  The work of a reviewer is never done.

Favorite author / book?
Stephen King with a side of Neil Gaiman.  I would not be a writer today if it wasn’t for the books of these two.

Favorite band / song?
I’m partial to Garbage, but again my listening habits aren’t what they used to be.

Least favorite band / song?
The Barney Theme Song.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
I’m sure that in another life I would have completed my Industrial Design degree and gone on to build animatronics for the Jim Henson Creature Shop.
Hey, it’s not too late…
Yeah, they’ve got that new show on Syfy I could always try for.  Jim Henson was always a big influence on me.  Even if I couldn’t go on to actually build creatures, I see that the various Henson properties are popping up in various media tie-ins like novels and comic books.  If I was ever offered a chance to do that I would jump at it.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Alive-Stephen King.
Dead- Jim Henson.
Fictional- Peter Parker (to whom I would apologize for the idiotic crap that has happened to him over the last five or six years thanks to shitty editorial decisions.)

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Best job- I’ve got it right now. There’s nothing greater than being surrounded by books every day.
Worst job- I worked the graveyard shift for a year at a 7-11 in a seedy section of Denver.  It sucked, but it was never dull.  And at least I got some ideas out of it- that job became the basis for my first novel, The Apocalypse Shift.

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.
My publisher’s page for The Reanimation of Edward Schuett-

About the Interviewee:
Derek J. Goodman studied Industrial Design at the Art Institute of Colorado but left when he decided writing was his true calling.  He is the author of The Reanimation of Edward Schuett from Permuted Press and the young adult novel I Was A Teenage Mad Scientist.  When he's not writing he's a librarian in Wisconsin.

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island, and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
He is currently working on ten novel-length book projects which will be released in 2014.
He also publishes themed collections of interviews from his interview blog You Are Entitled To My Opinion.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces electronic music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here:
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
Check his author profile at:
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here:
Check out his electronic music here:
And here:
Check out his videos at:
Check out his IMDB profile here:
Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here:
Check out his Etsy here:
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at:
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