Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Interview with Sean Liebling.

Full Name:
Sean Liebling

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

Saginaw, Michigan

Current hometown:
Newaygo, Michigan
How does one pronounce that?  “New-Way-Go”?
Yes, Perfect!

Favorite city and why?
South Beach, FL - Because of all the gorgeous babes on the beach.
I’ll have to check it out, you know, for research purposes…
What I always say.  There is quite an amazing amount of research to do there in my opinion.

Birthday / Age:
Aug 28th / 50

How would you describe yourself physically?
Very fit.

How would someone else describe you physically?
Very fit and look younger than my actual age. Hear it all the time.
How old do people think you are?  And what’s your secret?
Most think I am around 40.  Secret?  Eat good and exercise regularly.  Oh yeah, going easy on the booze helps also.

The first thing people notice about you is…
My friendly attitude.

Sexual orientation?

Religion, if any?
Maybe a cross between Methodist and Baptist.

Are you superstitious at all?  Any phobias?

Do you smoke / drink?  If so, what? Any bad habits?
Drink and smoke occasionally, cigars only now and then.  Mich Light and Red Stag are my two favorites.

Current occupation / Dream job:
Retired, own my own business, now write.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Play with the kids.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Bug in and pull the community together.  I know everyone here.

Weapon of choice:
HK91 and Taurus PT 12/24 OSS

Do you have any special skills?
Black Belt way back, Boxed for a few years, Superb marksman with almost any weapon including crossbow.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?

Two degrees.  First was in Electrical Engineering, the second, recently was in Marketing.
Do you find that your study in marketing helps with promoting your books?
Yes. I've only just begun also.  There are many things you can't do with only a couple works out there.  For successful Author marketing, I feel you really need several moderately bestselling titles.  It helps and opens additional avenues for promotion, self and otherwise.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?

Paid as I went. Did receive a few grants because I consistently stayed with a cumulative GPA over 3.5

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
My kids.

What is your favorite animal?
Badger, then dogs.
The Honey Badger?
LOL. The Badger is one of the most fearless creatures out there and a native of Michigan.  They are unbelievably protective of their children and they never fight fair. You pick a fight with a Badger, you're in for a world of hurt.  That sums me up also, quite nicely in fact.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
People who purchase a novel where the first line of the description says that it contains explicit sex, then leave a one-star review complaining only about the explicit sex.  That really gets me going.
Yeah, I heard you were having a little trouble with that.  In your defense, they can’t say that they weren’t warned.  The first book I published from my imprint Burnt Offerings Books, I included the following disclaimer, “This book is truly vile and should be destroyed.  It is a piece of dark conjectural reality fiction written from the darkest possible perspective with the worst of possible intentions.  It is not for the weak-hearted or weak-minded or people that have problems distinguishing between art and reality.  Individuals predisposed to suicidal or homicidal urges should not read this book.  Also individuals under the age of 18 should not read this book.  Most people should not read this book.”  Despite, or maybe because of the disclaimer, it’s doing decent business on Kindle.  I get a return every now and then but the Amazon reviews have been pretty solid.
Good Point, and to their credit if you were to read my 4 and 5 star reviews of my first novel you would find many that stated they purchased the book because of the 1-stars, that so many, when it was already mentioned in the description disclaimer indicated it was probably good.  I have no complaints and over 2500 fans on my mailing list, which grows daily.  My biggest problem from fans seems to be many want me to increase the amount of sex in my books.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
Pizza, Lasagna and subway. Least is boiled spinach.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?

By far my favorite is: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
My children were born.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?

Boot camp in the U.S.M.C. but worth it.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Helped at disability clinics and arranged additional security for our schools here.
What kind of additional security?  Are you a security consultant?
Not a security consultant, no.  I do teach federal class 3 firearms safety courses but that is it.  I arranged grants for chain link fencing, security clamshell doors, and remote CTV surveillance.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?

Depends on your point of view.  In Somalia the response would be different, here in America? Probably beat someone up when I was a teen.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
Not sayin.  I'm already on several watch lists just by the books I write and the research I do writing them.
Oh man!  I totally sympathize.  I secretly fear that I’m on an NSA watchlist for googling military bases and firearms and diseases and explosives while researching.  I saved maps charting the routes I want the characters to take so that the directions will be legitimate.  So it looks like I’m planning a road trip from military base to military base heading west with a bunch of firearms and explosives.  Which, I assure you I am not.  Unless the zombie apocalypse happens tomorrow, in which case, I am.
I think I'm safe from the midnight yank me out of my shower by the hair and throw me to the ground thing, but you never know.  I have been on many military bases recently and have a great many friends all over.  If they are actually monitoring my works, to the professional at that end, it's easy to see I deliberately modify tactics and explosives formula so that the reader CANNOT cook the stuff up in their home, or use current tactics that work, because I deliberately shy away from that.
Oh, I don’t shy away from that at all.  If I can find that stuff on the internet anyone can.  I downloaded the entire library of FM Field Manuals for research purposes.  Of particular use will be the MOUT (Military Operations On Urban Terrain) and the SURVIVAL guide.  I’m not shouting, that’s just how it’s always listed.  IN ALL CAPS.  SURVIVAL!!!
Actually I downloaded the entire FM manuals also. True on the rest. Ok, while you can indeed look up how to make homemade plastique in your kitchen I still won't print all the ingredients.  As far as tactics.  I talk to a LOT of current military and sometimes over beers things are shared.  I don't share what's shared.

What do you do?
Now I am a writer.

How did you get started doing what you do?
Good question.  I have a lot of professional friends and we're always swapping books or even loaning kindle purchases.  That short list includes a medical doctor, a doctor of psychology, a sergeant in the local police department (two actually), and a few others.  We just get together once a month to hang out, play some cards and, of course, drink.  One day we were complaining about a recent zombie book we'd all heard decent reviews on, then purchased only to find the premise and physiology of their zombies, along with the completely unreal nature of human dynamics to be so god-awful that they turned to me and said, "Sean, you're a smart guy and retired.  Why don't you write it properly?"  So I did.  Many people complain about the addition of sexual situations to include graphic sex in my novels, but every psychologist will tell you instantly that intercourse at a minimum, quadruples during any national or regional crises.  All of history shows us this and every single study done to date confirms it.  Still there are those that hate sex and they are very vocal in their hate.
I don’t mind a bit of sex in my horror, as long as it’s integrated well and serves to move the plot forward.  Taking time out and making your characters practice making babies can be a bit distracting.  I’ll have to check out what you did and how you did it.  Send over a PDF and I’ll add it to my review queue.
There you go. Bear in mind, the main plot, deliberately written is of a main character who is basically a player.  When the apocalypse occurs, he forced to grow up but does so somewhat reluctantly and slowly.  In the end he just kicks ass.
Sounds like you did it the right way.  I’ll have to check it out.
The second book is much better.  As a new author, in essence, I am learning how to write what most people prefer along with the themes I promote.  Still, the first is a damn good read all its own and if you don't shed a tear or six reading it them you are not human.
Oh, don’t tempt me with a good read.  I’m a sucker for a good book.  I’ll let you know if I make it through with dry eyes.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Do your homework, your research.  Get your facts correct and don't cross genre, by that I mean, turn your zombies into vampires or some other weird shit that just pisses off most of the readers out there.  If you want to write about vampires or werewolves then do so.  Build your fan base above all.  Use a website and not FB.  I have a mailing list of almost 5 times more people that friended me on FB.  It's that simple.  Understand your demographic and if you want to make money, then write for that demo.  Nothing gets a possible customer to read the blurb of your book and buy it better than a fantastic cover, so don't put a shitty cover on your new masterpiece.  Blurbs, another good one.  Do it right and include all the keywords for the genre and audience you're writing for.  Simple marketing stuff really.
How did you set up and maintain your e-mail list?  I’ve been meaning to set one up for my publishing imprint but I don’t know where to start.
I use a WordPress site as I have dozens out there and frankly, you can set up one n minutes.  The program I use is called "Newsletter for WordPress" and is free and easy to work with.  If you have any issues holler and we'll fix it in seconds.
I truly appreciate that.  I’ve been thinking of cloning my Blogspot blogs over to WordPress, but I want to generate a bit more sustainable revenue from my publishing endeavors before I start branching out.
I think it looks more professional to have a site titled to be honest.  You can always make every page on your site a blog but I wouldn't recommend that.  WP is great for having a website and blog all in one with thousands of cool apps that work within it.  For advertising they have great SEO applications that work hand in hand with your own content and any advertiser you place on there.  Currently on my site I advertise for friends only and receive about 650 unique visitors a week.
That’s not bad at all.  I get around that many page views for the interview blog, but I could use the extra eyes on the sites for my publishing imprints.  I’ll add it to my “To Do” list.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past?
Give us a little history if you will.
Blood, Brains and Bullets, Legacy of the living, The Reaper: No Mercy

What projects are you working on now?
Soon to be released: The Reaper: Avenging Wraith and Blood, Brains and Bullets 3 Sacrifice of the Damned.  Both are almost done.  Five days to Avenging Wraith.
Oh cool!  Sounds like you’ve been keeping busy!  How do you keep the pace?  Do you have some sort of discipline that you hold yourself to for your writing?  Is there a certain word count you set as a goal each day or do you just throw words at your writing projects when the whim strikes?
Good question.  I have a routine even though I'm retired. I sleep 4-5 hours a night, BUT, I get up at 7am, get the kids to school, and write while watching my just turned 3yr old Emma.  Around 2pm I catch an hour nap when she gets her 2 hour nap, then pick the kids up at 3:30. Homework, dinner, funtime with the kids and a strictly enforced 8pm bedtime (9pm weekends) then I'm writing again until 2-3am.
As far as word count.  Anywhere from 3,000 a day usually to 11,000 a day.  When I'm on a roll it's around 5500-7500 per day.  I write every single day.  I found after my first book that when you put it off and take a vacation, it's hard to get back into it and everything has a habit of sounding like crap then.
I love interviewing someone with my own work ethic.  My big plan for 2014 is to go twelve for twelve.  Twelve novel-length books in twelve months.  We’ll have to keep in touch and trade word counts.  I love some healthy competition.
HOLY CRAP.  Good luck.  Okay I might just do that also.  I did The Reaper: No Mercy 85K in exactly 23 days.  The Reaper:Avenging Wraith in 27 days and 104K.  The latest will top at around 110-120K words and hopefully be done in 30.  Of course I'm also over 150K into Sacrifice of the Damned: BBB3 but that book is so intense with 5 separate plots, some with subplots, I needed a break so doing the Reaper thing right now.
I thrive on competition.
I’ll add you to the Twelve in Twelve group on Facebook.

What are you watching?
I prefer Stargate.

What are you listening to?
Heavy metal mostly, some softer stuff I listen too when I write dying scenes in my novels, like Lindsey Sterling.
What kind of heavy metal do you listen to?  I’m a bit of a fan myself.
Metallica, Guns & Roses, Talking Heads, Queen, Journey, AC/DC, Linkin Park, Aerosmith, Alice in Chains, you name it.  My criteria is that it has to have a heavy beat and not crazy loud lyrics unless I'm writing a fighting/dying scene.

What are you reading?
Nothing, at the moment.  I never read when writing a novel because I do not wish my dialog to suddenly start sounding like David Forsyth's.
That’s totally understandable.  I adhere to the same philosophy.  Unfortunately, since I’ve been taking my writing career seriously as of late, I haven’t had the time to read anything by anyone else and my book review queue keeps increasing.  I know it’s kind of a dick move on my part but I can either be reading someone else’s books, or writing my own.  Usually authors understand and don’t mind waiting for me to get around to reading the stuff they send over.
I certainly would not and I don't feel it's a dick move either. There are only so many hours in the day.  When I finish a book, I'll take a week off and only (when I do write) work on new characters, I'll flesh them out a bit, but while doing that I'll read a dozen books in that week.
That’s my plan too.  I started my twelve for twelve timeline January first and I’m pulling a twelve hour writing jag tomorrow to finish January’s novel.  I’m going to launch the next book project, then try to read five books from my review queue to keep my book review blog active.  Then I’m onto February’s novel, and trying to organize February’s anthologies from my publishing imprints.
Don't get me wrong.  I also break it up.  Twice this month I took 1 or 2 days off because sometimes you get a little burnt when you whip out 10k words in one day. But even on a day off, I usually will do around 1500 just piddling during the day in between movies or something when the mood strikes me.
Yeah, I need to take a day off after doing a 10K day too.  I usually get caught up on my interview homework, either for my own interview blog or pending interviews or guest blogs for other people’s blogs.  I also like to paint in my practically nonexistent spare time.  So that’s my other “hobby”.  I make about $50 a month from my art work, and it pays for itself, which is all I ask of it.  The writing world is competitive enough without my trying to break into the art world too.

Favorite author / book?
John Ringo, David Weber, they’re all good.

Favorite band / song?
Probably Metallica.

Least favorite band / song?
No clue.  I don't listen to what I do not like long enough to get their name.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Become a writer.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.

Michael Bay hands down.
I want to chew his ass for hiring that freakin model he became infatuated with in Transformers three. Rosie Huntington - Hypen - Whiteley. She almost ruined the movie and the plot change that was needed was pathetic. Still a good movie, if you didn't watch her.
Michael Bay is still alive and hopefully learned his lesson from the massive number of negative reviews on his choice of female cast. One who did not even have to audition.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Car Wash.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
I'm good.

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Shawn Chesser, David Forsyth.

Got any questions for me?
Yes!  Why do you continue writing? Since I'm retired, I write to get a greater message out. Patriotism in America and tolerance for your fellow man and woman.

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
Thank you for the interview.

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.

Amazon: Blood, Brains and bullets:
Amazon: Legacy of the Living:
The Reaper: No Mercy:

About the Interviewee:
*ATTENTION* I respond to all emails. Just hit my website up at and send me one, or friend me on Face Book or simply email me at
All of my books are about HOPE!  Yet not only hope but also about self-sacrifice for fellow man/woman/child and protection of the innocent.  I believe in God, Country and Patriotism.  I write a strong dose of 'punch in your gut' non-stop fighting action accompanied by a 100% intolerance for racism or hatred of alternate lifestyle living.  By the same token I am fairly conservative in most other areas.  Not an oxymoron, just common sense.  I also write with realism as in how it may likely be.  Many will disagree and I enjoy the discourse.
Served twice in the USMC who incarcerated me in Beirut, Iraq, Panama, Somalia and a few other places until I was barely discharged for good behavior.
I have fun and I'm rarely serious.  About these novels I wrote and am writing.  I do it because I simply have to, and honestly I'm having fun while not taking myself too seriously.  I've found I really enjoy writing, whether or not I have the skills necessary.  Everything in my books actually works and my scenario's depict how it would probably be in any real life end game scenario, depending on a great many factors of course.  This I know from my own experiences and those of my closest friends who number doctors and psychologists to name a few.  I also know this because I'm a history nut and history definitely repeats itself with great frequency.
I'm approachable so if you enjoyed my book and feel like dropping me a line go right ahead. I will respond to each and every one.  I've met a great many of my fans now and all were a pleasure to talk to. I also love criticism.  My feeling on that, is it helps me become a better writer. I can only improve, is my thinking.
You can also find me on Face Book at:
Take care and God Bless!

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:
E-mail him at:

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