Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Interview with Chris Philbrook.

Full Name:
Chris Philbrook.  Middle name will cost ya extra.
How much extra?  I don’t really have a budget for the blog and it doesn’t generate any revenue.  But since you’re being coy about it, now I’m kind of curious.
My father's name is Arthur.  When I was born, my mom was already dead set on Chris, but my dad wanted a "junior."  Thus my middle name was born!  I have my father's old beer stein that is engraved with King Arthur.  Good times.
You could’ve done worse.  Arthur’s not bad as far as middle names go.

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
I've never had a nickname that stuck.  Some dicks in seventh grade called me 'Slim' because I was overweight, but then I went crazy one day on a kid at the bus stop and broke his jaw.  No one called me Slim after that.
Oh my…
Remind me never to call you “Slim”.
Deal.  Although to be clear, I didn't lose it on him because he called me Slim.
So why did you go crazy on those dicks?
One of them thought I was trying to steal his girlfriend.  He came at me with a nail file and cut my arm open, and I went off on him.  I faced several charges but wound up getting off when witnesses came forward.  However, it was a big wake up call.
I like to say that “I don’t start fights, but I do finish them.”  Sounds like you do the same.

Nashua New Hampshire, aka NashVegas, or Trashua.
Did you make those nicknames up?
No, those are local nicknames for Nashua.  Gotta love it!
I actually kind of do.

Current hometown:
The urban metropolis of Hillsboro New Hampshire.

Favorite city and why?
Shit that’s a tough one.  I fucking LOVE London.  It feels old and new at the same time.  I'd also say Austin, Texas and Portland, Maine are up there too.  I don't think I could pick one city though.
That’s fair.  I don’t mind that you turned it into a top three list.

Birthday / Age:
September 19th, and as of this writing, I'm 37 years post uterus.
Woo!  What’s up fellow Virgo?  Did you alphabetize your CD collection too?
I’m a year and a day ahead of you.  Next September we should throw a week long blinder and make 2014 the year of the Virgo!  Are you with me?
Deal!  My general level of organization is absurdly high.  I can tell you where papers that I wrote stuff on in high school are right now, in storage, that I haven't looked at in a year.  Year of the Virgo ftw!
I’m not astrologically predisposed but I think it’s fun to parody.  I think that a high level of organization makes a successful writer.  You have to have a better than average ability to keep track of where you are and where you’re going and what you want to say between where you are and where you’re headed and I think that’s part of the magic.
You can't afford to rely only on memory, because when you get to a certain volume of words, you need to be able to track it all.  Who talked to who and when, who hates who, who loves who, were you left items in the story.  Organization prevents many mistakes, and mistakes are the sign of a bad author.

How would you describe yourself physically?
I am a meat popsicle.
So, like a strip of beef teriyaki?
More of a corn dog.  On a stick.

How would someone else describe you physically?
I am told I am large a lot.  Like, large in that way that makes people very polite to me, and makes my friends feel safe.  I rarely think that of myself, but hey, I'll take it.  Every so often, my friends describe me as a meat popsicle.
I get that too.  I think it’s relative.  When you’re a big guy, you don’t think of yourself as a big guy.  Especially when you know people bigger than you.  Back when I used to go to a lot of shows, sometimes girls would ask me to walk them to their car so they wouldn’t get raped, and my response was usually, “That’s all fine and well, but who’s going to walk me back so I don’t get raped on my way back?”  Unfortunately, my size and the fact that I’m a male kind of pigeon-holed me during my career in the mental health/human services career field.  I’d often get hired as a goon to work at locked facilities and assigned to critical response teams.  I mean, granted, it’s true that I can handle myself physically and handle other people physically when necessary, but it always kind of annoyed me that when the shit went down all of the pretty girls would scatter and I’d have to block kicks and punches from assaultive patients with my shins and forearms.  It kind of gets old getting rugburn on your elbows because some girl doesn’t want to get her hair pulled or accidentally break a nail during a restraint.  So much for that whole “gender equality in the workplace” deal.
I do very similar work right now.  I used to be on our Support team (crisis team), but now I run a dorm filled with kids.  Thankfully most of our guys are safe right now, but we have spans where I'm called five times a night to come in and deal with an aggressive student.
That’s almost always a bad day.  I remember working on a locked adolescent ward.  Some of the kids were sent there for fucking up staff at their residential placements.  They’d show up and start sizing up the staff and I knew we’d have to have at least one physical incident before they settled in and went with the flow.  Mostly it was just annoying.  I know that they had to test the water and see if our staff was capable of handling their physical acting out, but, come on, this is what I do for a living, all day, every day.  You may be a tough guy where you come from, but here, we’re all tough guys.  You’re fifteen and angry, but I’m 30, and I’ve got fifteen years of experience and built up anger and a hundred pounds on you.  You don’t scare me.  Not a whit.  I’m just worried that you’ll accidentally get hurt when you decide to start launching a wide haymaker at my head from five steps away and I put down my coffee and aikido you into a wall.  The place had nice sturdy walls because it had to.  I’m not proud that I jacked up teenagers for a living for a couple years, but jacking them up wasn’t what I did the job for.  I would much rather have a quiet night and teach someone to play chess than try to avoid hurting them accidentally as I drag them to their room and strap them into a four-point restraint until they stop hulking out.  But, unfortunately, that was part of the job sometimes.
Couldn't agree more.  Most of the kids love me where I am now, but there's always one who wants to take a run at the Ivory Tower.  So far no one's gotten close, and as much as I hate to say it, I'm always amused when they try and fail.
That’s also part of the job.  There’s always the “There’s two ways to do this.  The easy way and the hard way.  The easy way, you get up on your own and punk me off and go back to your room and slam stuff around for a while until you work that wild hair out of your ass.  The hard way is I drag you kicking and screaming back to your room and you lose all of your privileges for a few days.  Your call.  I get paid either way.” moment.

The first thing people notice about you is…
The enormous lump in my crotch.  I smuggle plums for the fruit cartel as a side gig.
Are those plums in your pants or are you just glad to see me?  Oh… plums.
Occasionally Mandarin Oranges.
Guess it depends on the season.  Sometimes I’ve got a summer sausage, sometimes a cocktail weenie.  I’m not a big fan of cold weather.

Sexual orientation?
I am sexually opportunistic, and it gets worse when I'm not getting it steady.  Fortunately, my lovely girlfriend has kept me straight.
Interesting answer.
I am an interesting guy!

Religion, if any?
I am fascinated by faiths and religions, but practice none.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I used to be incredibly superstitious, but then too much random shit happened, even when I followed my superstitions.  Now, I'm all like “whatever happens, happens.”   And as far as phobias are concerned, I hate deep water that I can't see to the bottom of.  Don't know if I'm phobic, or just scared shitless though.  I blame Peter Benchley and Steven Spielberg.
I don’t hardly blame you.  I think that’s a hard-wired thing for our species.  I don’t mind swimming a few feet away from foot-touching-bottom, but if I can’t touch bottom when I want to, the panic is instant and dire.

Do you smoke / drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I do not smoke, and I love beer and wine.  As far as bad habits go, I frigging love video games, so I MUST monitor my play time, and I have a sweet tooth.
I don’t mean to trigger your addiction, but what video games do you play?
MMOs are my bane.  I was a big Star Wars Galaxie guy back in the day, and did my fair share of WoW.  I currently have  a PS3, and like the Dragon's Age stuff, Borderlands, Infamous, BioShock, etc.
Bioshock was a nearly perfect game.  Replayability was a bit limited, but as a one and done gaming experience it was well worth the price of purchase.  I’m a huge fan of the Bethesda Software RPGs.  The Fallout and Elder Scrolls series.  I still have a copy of Morrowind for PC I bootlegged that I like to play when I’m not working on anything, but, either fortunately or unfortunately I haven’t had the time to play it for the past couple months.  But I do miss it and it really helps with my occasional bouts of stark black depression.  Comfort food for the brain.
Fallout 3 was a real big problem for me.  I sank over a hundred hours into two playthroughs, and could easily have done more.
I was always trying to have “the perfect game” and I think I finally managed to do so a couple times after they released the expansion pack that raised the level cap from 20 to 30.  Although I think that the main story line ended pretty abruptly and you didn’t get nearly enough time to play around in the power armor that they made such a big fucking deal about.  “Oh, great, thanks for the armor that eats almost all of my encumberance.  So much for that whole gather, salvage, and trade deal.  Might as well have just given me a tank.  Or a giant robot.  Oh, wait, you’re going to give me a giant robot!  Awesome!  Oh, wait, I don’t get to pilot the giant robot?  Dicks!  I call shenanigans!”

Current occupation / Dream job:
I work full time as a residential counselor with troubled kids.  I'm transitioning over slowly to a full time writer as sales of my books continue to climb.
Weird coincidence since I kind of already touched on that.  Do you find that since people think that you’re a big guy that you get picked to be the goon/enforcer in conflict situations?
Best of luck with transitioning over to writing.
At what point do you think you’ll be able to transition over to writing exclusively or is that your goal?
See above.  At work I am constantly called on for dire problems.  I enjoy the adrenaline rush.  My prior career in security and bodyguard work gave me a small taste for the adrenaline bursts you get, and this gives me a small shot of that, in a far safer environment.
As far as moving over, if current sales of my books trend and stay just steady, I'll be able to fall back to part time by late Spring, and be a full time author by year's end.  Having said that, who the hell knows what'll happen.  I can't predict the market.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Eat, play games, masturbate, and trick my girlfriend into having sex with me.  I also do dishes, and pay my exorbitant college loans.  Dicks.
Sounds like a nice life.
I had to remind my student loan representative that by law they’re only allowed to call once per day to remain within the guidelines set forth within the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act enacted by the Federal Trade Commission in 1996, or they will be in a legally actionable position, and since I had call records of them calling three times in one day, I was contemplating organizing a class-action suit against their agency.  They haven’t called for the last few days.  I’m not so sure if that’s a good thing, but it’s been a nice break.  I usually work third shifts and am nocturnal by nature so whenever they call it wakes me up and interrupts my sleep cycle.  When you owe as much as I do and have owed it as long as I have, you have to learn your legal rights to be able to protect yourself from abusive/harassing behavior on the part of your creditors.  I don’t have anything against paying back my student loans, but if I have to choose between paying off my student loans and being able to afford to pay my rent and feed myself a survival diet I’m always going to choose the latter over the former.  I’ve even been “homeless” a couple times over the last ten years, so, yeah, my student loans can fuck right off and wait their turn until I’m finally rich and famous.
I feel ya.  I haven't had it quite that bad yet, but there have been some tough moments.  Luckily I manage to stay current, and I'm eating away at other bits of debt.  I'm only a few payments away from paying off my car, which is super exciting.
One of the times that I was electively homeless was when I was working on that locked adolescent unit.  I had a gym membership so that handled the whole shit/shave/shower issue and I got to work out to boot.  I’d work sixty hours a week so I’d get twenty hours a week of overtime pay because working was better than killing time in my Camry.  In my off time I’d re-read the small 25 book library that I’ve held onto till this day.  If I had a laptop and had talked myself into being a writer I’d probably have a lot more work in print, but instead I maintained a written journal that my friend Rick is holding onto for me.   I did that for around four months, and paid off a $3,500 credit card balance and $2,000 towards my car note, paying it off just in time for it to die on me.  If I had stuck with it, I probably would have had my student loans paid off in a year, but some of my friends at work found out and they talked me into getting an apartment and my girlfriend at the time moved in with me with her fat obnoxious friend and fucked that right up so I moved in with some friends from work that needed a room-mate and the rest is history.
Life is paradise my friend.  At least you made it through it.  I've always said, I'll make more money.  There's always a way as long as you're willing to work hard.  See my favorite quote.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Read Adrian's Undead Diary.  I wrote an eight book series detailing most of my survival plan.
I’m not a huge fan of that answer, but it’s a fair one.
The whole interview is supposed to be a pitch for you and your writing, so I don’t figure it would hurt to give a straight answer, especially since the books are already available for purchase, but if you want to play it coy, you’re entitled to do so.  If you don’t want to give the potential readers of this interview a little taste of what they’re buying when they buy your book series I can’t make you.
Fair…  Okay here goes.  I think in order to survive any kind of zombie outbreak, avoiding the initial short term chaos is crucial.  There will be inordinate amounts of violence in that time frame not only by the dead by also by the living, that there is no reason to risk being anywhere public.  I think early isolation is key.  I also think securing fresh water is important, be it a lake, or artesian well, or even collecting rain water.  Whatever happens, you need to prepare for the long term.  It won't be enough to steal canned goods, you need to plant and grow what you want to survive on.
Much better answer.  I think we’re pretty much eye-to-eye except for the isolation part but that’s the grace note, and will make our zompoc books different.
Yay variety!
It’s the spice of life!  The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel. The Spacing Guild and its navigators, who the spice has mutated over four-thousand years, use the orange spice gas, which gives them the ability to fold space. That is, travel to any part of the Universe without moving. Oh yes, I forget to tell you. The spice exists on only one planet in the entire Universe. A desolate, dry planet with vast deserts. Hidden away within the rocks of these deserts are a people known as the Fremen, who have long held a prophecy, that a man would come, a messiah, who would lead them to true freedom. The planet is Arrakis. Also known as Dune.

Weapon of choice:
The halligan.

Do you have any special skills?
If they gave out black belts for sarcasm, I'd be like, fifth degree at least.  I'm also a good shooter, I almost never panic, and I can go for days without eating vegetables if I have to.
I used to be really sarcastic, but then I realized it means you have to say everything twice.  For example…
Someone: “Would you like a nice cold glass of lemonade?”
Sarcastic Person: *dryly* “Why would I want something to drink?  It’s only, like ninety-five degrees out, I’m perfectly comfortable sweating all of my bodily fluids out of every pore in my body at the same time.”
Someone: “So… you don’t want a nice cold glass of lemonade?”
Sarcastic Person: “Of course I want a nice cold glass of lemonade!”
Ha, so true.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
Twice bitches!  I have an Associates in business, and a Bachelors in Psychology.
So you’d probably be pretty good at business psychology.  Ever thought of being an H.R. person?
Yeah.  I fucking hate legal tape though, and that job is wrapped up in it hard.
True.  Plus you don’t want to be a Toby Flenderson.
I don't want to hated like Toby, or deal with the nitwits that he had to deal with.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
See above.  The goddamn FedLoan vampires have both teeth firmly lodged in my financial ass.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
I share two Devon Rex cats with my girlfriend.  Marvin, and Gilbert.
For a second there, I thought your girlfriend’s name was “Marvin, and Gilbert”.  Thusly further proving the importance of proper punctuation.

What is your favorite animal?
The skunk.  Think about it.  SKUNKS.
One time, I was up late/early, you know, up all night till dawn.  I heard a knocking on the outside of my house and I grabbed a knife and looked out my window and a skunk with a yogurt cup stuck on its head like a delicious little plastic space helmet was scampering in circles and knocking against the side of my house.  I decided to go out and help the little striped stink-cat.  I grabbed a clothes hanger, figuring I could use it to kind of hook the yogurt cup off of its head.  I played this alternate universe version of whack-a-mole for about half-an-hour before deciding that I would just reach down and yank the yogurt cup of its head.  I reached down and grabbed the cup and tugged and the skunk was understandably startled and backed up and raised its tail.  I said, “Listen you little fucker.  I could’ve just let you wander around and starve with that fucking yogurt helmet on your stupid fucking head, but I decided to come out and help you.  If you spray me, I will stomp your stupid fucking head clean off of your body.”
Apparently I can speak skunk, because the skunk just shrugged it off and went on its way.  If I was doing this interview and answering the “What is the best thing you’ve ever done?” question, I would be sorely pressed to find a better answer.
Haha, that's awesome.  I once had a native American shaman read my totem spirits, and he said the hawk and the skunk were my most two prominent.
I’ll have to try that sometime.  But with my luck I’d get the platypus. When I’m really more of a displacer beast.
Tentacles included?
Let’s be honest.  A displacer beast without its tentacles is just a panther.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
When people ask a question, then don't listen to the fucking answer.  Oh my God.
I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.  But, seriously, eye-to-eye.
I particularly hate when people ask, “How are you?” and then don’t wait for the answer.  Maybe next time just don’t fuck up a beautiful thing like silence by making useless noise with your mouth hole.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
I love Indian food.  As far as least favorite… I don't think I have any.  I would describe myself as a foodie, for sure.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. - Calvin Coolidge
That’s not bad as far as quotation / motto / sayings go.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
How the hell do you answer that question?  I mean, losing your virginity is great.  Swell time.  Holding my first printed novel was like, life changing.  Getting married on a Bermudan beach was phenomenal.  Granted, that marriage didn't work out, but still, in the moment...
That does sound like a really nice moment.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
I dislocated my right foot when I was about 22.  You wanna talk about fucking awful…  Soft tissue damage to every ligament and tendon in the ankle meant months of casts, boots, and physical therapy.  Sumbich never healed right.
That does sound like the sucks.  You still got a limp?
When the humidity is real high, or when a big storm is rolling in, I get the limp.  Otherwise, I'm able to move about normally.
Yeah, my L-3-5 vertebrae are my human barometer.  If my back tightens up you can be sure that some meteorological shit is about to go down.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
My ex wife and I broke up because she wanted to party, and she felt I was overweight.  Of course she was meeting other dudes for dinner before we broke up, so whatever.  I hope she's happy, and I mean that genuinely.  I'm happier now, and we had far too many good years for me to hold a grudge.
Well, they say the living well is the best revenge and it sounds like you managed to move on so at least there’s that.  And as Augustine of Hippo said, “Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies.”
It's such a true statement.

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
I don't think so.  I'm usually a pretty nice guy.
What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Writing AUD.  The more time goes on, the more I realize those books are bottled lightning.  True greatness I couldn't appreciate as I wrote it, and still struggle to.  Hell, it's the highest rated horror book on ALL OF AMAZON.  And I wrote it.
And modest too!  *laughs*  In all seriousness, congratulations!
Does it ever feel a bit weird though?  I mean, I’m sure that the book series is a good read, but I mean… Stephen King?  Clive Barker?  How did you knock them out of the top slot?
Dude, it's weird as shit.  Like, I look at it, and every time I think someone is playing a fierce joke on me.  As far as how I managed to do it, I don't know.  I wrote it, edited it, liked it enough to share, and people for whatever reason, continue to read it, and write me five star reviews.  I wish I knew how it all came together.  I'm thankful.
I wish you knew how too.  If you want to rep my next book project for a slice of the cake let me know, because whatever you’re doing is obviously working.  You can still be number one though, no reason to be greedy.

Haha.  If I can repeat my success on my next different project, then we can talk.  I really think I might be dealing with a one-hit wonder, which isn’t the worst problem, but it's sad that most of my other writing hasn't taken off like AUD has.  However, AUD has been more than profitable and successful, and there are a lot of very happy people that only accomplished a single thing.  Like JK.
Yeah and that Tolkien asshole.  Who does that prick think he is?

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I have had years of being a bad person, and I'd rather not revisit that.  Let's just leave it that there are a lot of people who I owe an apology to, and I make sure to be a better person today, because some of those people are long since out of touch.
Ah, well maybe those bridges are better burned.  And if it really grates against your conscience you could always do a Twelve-Step style reckoning.  Even if it’s only in print.  Maybe call it, “Sorry I Was An Asshole Sometimes” by Chris Philbrook.
There's a title for any autobiography I write.
You like it?  Keep it.  It’s yours.  Just cut me in on the royalties.  I think 5% is fair.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
That weird prick in North Korea.
You mean the one that looks at everything like he wants to eat it?
Yep, that's the one.

What do you do?
I'm a writer.  And a gamer.
…and a lover… and a fighter.

How did you get started doing what you do?
I was a game developer part time for years.  I wrote short stories to fluff up game settings, and when I got out of it, I craved the element of creativity.  Writing is, for all intents and purposes, a way to be creative that is free.
I know!  I keep trying to remind people of that!
I never understand when people pay to go to school to learn how to write.
I’m not a juggler.  I tried to juggle, but I could never make it work.  I admire people that have the coordination to juggle but I don’t envy them, and I certainly wouldn’t pay to go to juggling school.  All you need is blank paper and a writing instrument.
If you have a computer to use as a word processor, even better.
A lot of aspiring writers approach writing the way that I approached skateboarding.  I never learned how to ollie, and I never rode a ramp or dove into an empty swimming pool, but I stayed on more often than I fell off after some practice and I could go down a steep hill without falling off the board so I guess I was decent and I still have a skateboard to this day and every now and then I like to go outside and push around.
But I would never say that I was an aspiring skateboarder.  I learned how to do it, and I was good enough at it that I could have fun with it and that’s all I expected of it.  I never expected to be a professional skateboarder or to get famous for my skateboarding.
Perhaps I’m belaboring the metaphor.  I think that everyone gets the point.
But it seems to me that a lot of “aspiring writers” decide that they’re writers before they’ve ever finished anything.  What is your opinion about the preceding?
I still don't consider myself a writer, at least in the professional sense.  In a purely romantic, I lock myself away and write about my demons sense, sure, I'm a writer.  Until I am able to purely support myself through writing, I think I'll always be that struggling, no-talent hack that has managed to trick a few people into buying his poorly written book.
Well, it can’t be that poorly written.  King Mob has a way of letting the world know that you’re trying to pass off your birthday suit as a three-piece suit.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
There is no substitute for hard work.  It's not enough to hope.
Yeah… I guess I should’ve read ahead to this question.
That being said, I definitely agree.  Everyone that I’ve interviewed that has managed to transition to supporting themselves with their writing pretty much boils it down to “Writers write.  You want to be a writer write?  If not, don’t.”

Yeah.  I want to be a writer because I love doing it.  Not because I want to get rich and I think I'm good enough to get rich doing it.  I want to do it well enough to do it as a job.
Oh, that’s where we differ.  I think I’m good enough that I deserve to get rich doing it.  I don’t want to be the next Stephen King, I want to be the first Scott Lefebvre.  For the meanwhile I’ll settle for being able to mentally masturbate in print for a living.  But I’d love to be able to buy a house some day.
I'd like to be able to buy another house.  The first went the way of the dodo with the divorce.
Of course it did.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
I've written eight novels set in my zombie apocalypse series Adrian's Undead Diary.  I also created an entire fantasy setting called Elmoryn, and it's the home of my Kinless Trilogy of books.  Book One in that series is called The Wrath of the Orphans.  I've also written a really good urban fantasy book titled A Dragon Among Us.  If anything, I'm prolific.
How long, approximately, is each book in the Adrian's Undead Diary series?
Most are between 90 and 110k words.  Book three got all uppity and made it to 145k words.  Ornery sumbitch.
So at eight books, around 100K per, your series is twice as long as Stephen King’s The Stand?  You magnificent bastard!
A little over 840,000 words.  All written.  Books 5-8 still need some proper finishing touches, but that's very minimal.

What projects are you working on now?
I'm halfway done with The Motive for Massacre, Elmoryn book two, and I'm working diligently on getting the remainder of AUD into print.
How many more books do you think you’re going to write for the Adrian's Undead Diary series?  Or have you wrapped the series at eight books and you’re spacing out the releases?
As of right now AUD is the eight book series.  However, I am formulating plans to write possibly as many as 3 or 4 more.  I don't want to say too much more, but I'm very excited for the future of Adrian Ring and his world.

What are you watching?
The lady and I are powering through Breaking Bad.
Excellent choice!  I won’t try to ask where you are in the series because I don’t want to ruin it for you with any spoilers, but if you haven’t finished it yet, you’re in for a treat!
Midway through season three.
Oh shit!  I can’t wait till you get to the end of Season Four!
Me either!

What are you listening to?
As I write this, The Decembrists, but before that, it was Calvin Harris, Krewella, and Knife Party.  Last night I listened to Enya before bed.  I'm all over the damn place.

What are you reading?
The Red Circle, a novel written about SEALs, by a SEAL.  I also just finished Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill.  Terrific.
I didn’t know seals could write books.  What, with their stubby little paws.  I kid!
I’ll have to check out some of Joe Hill’s work.  I’ve heard good things about Heart Shaped Box and NOS4A2.
They write with their mouths.  And Joe Hill's stuff is great.  Definitely worth reading.

Favorite author / book?
Wrong question to ask me.  I have so many damn favorites.  I almost always go back to The Stand by Stephen King.  I've read it about six times, and each time I love it a little bit more.
Good choice!  And also a pretty popular one.  I’m listening to the audio book adaptation of the unabridged version to try to figure out why and how the novel works because I’m working on an epic-length post-apocalyptic zombie-epidemic book project.  My goal is to reach around a 400,000 word count because that’s about how long The Stand was and I know that I can get there if I just keep pushing towards my goal.  I’ve already got 40,000 words towards the project and that’s just the prologue, the sample story and two character/contributor stories.  And I still have eight character/contributor stories to write and two NPC stories that I’m working on, so when I shuffle them all together so that readers can spend a few pages with each character until I weave their stories together then I should be about halfway there.  I won’t be too disappointed if I only make it to 300,000 words or so, but I think I can go the whole distance/length.
I can't even imagine trying to control the plot of a single book that large.  I tend to cap out at 110.  I'm more fast paced I suppose.
Uh, in case you hadn’t noticed, you already have.  Unless I’m completely misinterpreting the predominant theme of AUD and it’s not a series of stories told through the perspective of this “Adrian” person.

Touché I suppose.  Even though a ton of it is through Adrian's eyes.  You gotta read it.  It's interesting stuff.
I plan to… as long as you can send me PDFs.  I’d buy the books but I’m poor.

Favorite band / song?
Band is probably The Prodigy, but I don't listen to them nearly as much as I used to.  No favorite song.

Least favorite band / song?
Not a fan of most classic rock, or opera.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
I would write, if that's an option.  Failing that, I would love to do something that's still creative, like go back to being an underpaid game developer.
Writing is totally an option.  Although being a game designer sounds pretty rad too.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive. Dead. Fictional.
I would love to shoot the shit with Christopher Walken.  I'd give almost anything to spend one more day with my dad again.  And as far as fictional characters, I'd love to meet Tesser, the dragon in A Dragon Among Us.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Being a writer is easily the best.  As far as worse, I was once a customer service rep for an electronics company.   A woman I worked with was a huge, self important, arrogant asswipe who barely finished high school, and my boss was literally the biggest dink I've ever met.  On my second day of work he called me into his office and told me "who was the boss."  I loathed him.  I made it there eight months.
Chalk it up to experience.  At least you’re not still there grinding the hours away.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
This is pretty comprehensive, nice job!
Aw, well thanks!
I wanted to try to design a survey that would delve a bit deeper than your usual “Twenty Questions With…”  interview or the usual press release.  I kind of wanted to give readers the chance to get to know a bit more about the people that create the things that they enjoy.  Hopefully it works out okay, it seems to be working out so far.
It's fun.  That's huge.

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Kirk Allmond, Mark Clodi, and John O'Brien.
I sent a friend request to Kirk, couldn’t find Mark for whatever reason, and, coincidentally, I conducted an interview with John a couple months back:

Here's Mark.

Got any questions for me?
Do you ever… 'take' a poop anywhere?  Generally, I leave them.  I never take them when I'm done.
I don’t take any shit.  It’s pretty universally applicable.

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
You're welcome, and it's my pleasure.
Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisPhilbrookAuthor
Twitter: @adriansdiary
Website:  http://thechrisphilbrook.com/
I also run: 

About the Interviewee:
I am the creator and author of A Dragon Among Us as well as Elmoryn and Adrian's Undead Diary.  Elmoryn is a decade old game setting and system I developed for commercial sale and development that I am now sharing on the internet, and through the publication of The Kinless Trilogy.  As the books set in the Elmoryn universe are released, hopefully interest in the game will grow as well, and that side of Elmoryn will come to light.
A Dragon Among Us was inspired by decade old Role Playing sessions with my friend Alan MacRaffen, and has been percolating ever since.  It's currently online, and once completed will be farmed into publishing.  Not sure if I'll submit it to a big house, or keep it my own.  Time will tell.
Adrian's Undead Diary is my mammoth zombie epic that more than likely brought you here.  Originally published online AUD grew to almost 10,000 active registered users before I decided to publish it.  Adrian Ring's story of survival and humanity in a world gone mad has been critically acclaimed and been an unbelievable success online, so seeing what it'll do in print is exciting for me.
I'm also the owner of Tier One Games LLC, my old game development company. If you buy something from AUD, Elmoryn, or A Dragon Among Us, you'll likely see the sale credited to Tier One Games.  Don't worry, it's legit.
I've gone to a LOT of college.  I've got a Business degree as well as a Psychology degree, and I've done the full program at the school of hard knocks.  I've been a printing press operator, bouncer, purchasing agent, bodyguard, customer service representative, mental health counselor, and more.  I can write about weird shit because I've done weird shit.  Trust me.
I call the wonderful state of New Hampshire my home, but I love to travel. I love to read, write, play role playing games, miniatures games, video games, and Magic: The Gathering.  When I find the time to be active, I like to hike, play basketball, and play football.  I've got a lovely girlfriend right now, and two Devon Rex cats, Gilbert and Marvin.
Check out my Goodreads author page here:
Check out my Amazon author page here:

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and 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.
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: theendoftheworldisnighbook.blogspot.com
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here: www.facebook.com/TheEndOfTheWorldIsNighBook
Check his author profile at: www.amazon.com/Scott-Lefebvre/e/B001TQ2W9G
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here: http://burntofferingsbooks.blogspot.com/
Check out his electronic music here: soundcloud.com/master_control
And here: master-control.bandcamp.com
Check out his videos at: www.youtube.com/user/doctornapoleon
Check out his IMDB profile here: www.imdb.com/name/nm3678959
Follow his Twitter here: twitter.com/TheLefebvre or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here: thelefebvre.tumblr.com
Check out his Etsy here: www.etsy.com/shop/ScottLefebvreArt
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheLefebvre
E-mail him at: Scott_Lefebvre@hotmail.com

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