Friday, March 29, 2013

Dueling Banjos, by William Todd Rose

C. Dulaney is an enigma, wrapped in a mystery... and bacon. She lives in the middle of nowhere and spins yarns about the end of things as we know it. William Todd Rose asks her questions here, and by God, she answers!

I’ll start with a pretty standard interview question:  tell us a little bit about your new book.  Where did its inspiration come from and how many more books do you foresee in the series?

Murphy’s Law is the second book in the Roads Less Traveled series. It picks up about six months where the first book, The Plan, left off. It’s only been out for a couple of months so I don’t want to spoil too much, but I will say the pacing is faster and the tone is a little darker than the first book. I’ve been told that it’s even gruesome at some points. We meet new characters, some of them live and some of them are murdered by yours truly. The location changes; Kasey and the group do a good bit of traveling in this one. I think the feel of this book can be summed up by the title. The first book was all about executing The Plan when it hit the fan. In this second one, however, we find out pretty quickly that if something can go wrong, it will. But really, how often does anything go right in a zombie apocalypse?

I think the inspiration for this one came from the first book. I didn’t use an outline for either; just wrote from the hip, so to speak. So each event built on the one before. Most of the time I had no idea what was going to happen next. By the time I started writing the second book, I just continued that. There’s only one more book after Murphy’s Law, and at this time there are no plans for anything more than a trilogy. Roads Less Traveled: Shades of Gray is tentatively scheduled for release in June, 2013.

Is there one character in particular whom you really identify with and, if so, why?

If you ask people who know me, they would immediately say Kasey, the main protagonist. Personally, I can’t see it. In my opinion, I feel like I can really relate to all of them. Each character in the main group has a little piece of me inside them. A little bit here, a little bit there. Kasey’s organization, Jake’s temper, Mia’s loyalty, Nancy’s “mothering,” and Zack’s reasoning. Over time, after the characters finally fleshed themselves out, they obviously took on personalities of their own. By the time you get to the third book, you see less and less of me in them. Which is a good thing. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

When I do interviews on my personal blog, there’s a question I always ask which helps give readers a glimpse of the interviewee’s creative side, so I’m going to borrow that question for this interview as well.  Here it goes: there’s a train rocketing through the night with nearly a hundred people staring out the windows.  The only person actually sitting in a seat is a small child who gazes unwaveringly at the floor.  What is going on with these people?

The first thing I thought of was Blaine the Mono in Stephen King’s third Dark Tower book. I’ll add to that by saying I don’t think that kid is a kid at all. He’s an extension of the train, and the train is insane. Alive and insane. So this crazy train (ha) is rocketing through the dark, holding all these people hostage. Maybe the kid/train wants something, and the people aren’t going to give it. So now they’re staring out, defeated, having accepted their imminent and most likely firey death. And the kid is just sitting there in “sleep mode.”

Or it’s a train full of zombies, and they’re being transported to a zombie farm where we use them like domesticated animals. so. Heel! Good zombie.
What is the most satisfying part of being an author for you?  And, on the flip side, what are the more challenging aspects?

I get paid to lie? No, wait. I think when I meet someone who enjoyed reading a story I’ve written as much as I enjoyed writing it. That’s pretty satisfying. The more challenging aspects I think would be promotion, promotion, and promotion. I don’t think any of us particularly like that part.

In one of your books was made into a movie, who would you want to direct it?  Alternately (or additionally, your choice) who would you like to see star in it?

Joss Whedon. And me, of course! What, it could happen.

Can you remember the first piece of fiction you ever wrote?  If so, what was it about?

Yes, and honestly the only thing I can really remember is it was about a stinky dog. Oh, and we had to stand up in front of the class and read them out loud. I definitely remember that.

If you could travel through time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Oh, wow. Good question. If I could give myself only one piece, it would have to be the old “don’t sweat the small stuff” line. Unless you, in fact, sweat over every minute thing that happens on a daily basis, you’ll never understand how that cheesy cliché could be capable of changing someone’s life, if they’d only learned it very early on. Learned it, and put it into practice. So yeah, that’s what I would tell myself. Then I would pound myself over the head with it until it sank in. And then I would force myself to get it tattooed somewhere on my body, so I’d have a constant reminder.

Slightly better advice than this.
Let’s say you’ve been asked to not only take part in an author panel, but you also get to hand pick the authors whom you’d like to share the panel with.  Who would you pick and why?

First, I’d pick all the other Permuted Ladies, so I wouldn’t be the only one sitting up there. Second, I’d pick Peter Clines. I’ve heard he can be quite verbose, so if we could get him talking, we wouldn’t have to. Third, I’d pick Iain McKinnon, the only other Permuted author whose accent is harder to understand than mine (We love you, Iain). Fourth, I’d pick you, because you’re interviewing me and it would be rude of me to leave you out of my pretend panel.

What are you currently working on?

With the RLT trilogy finally out of my hands, I’ve started on another full-length. It takes place in the RLT universe, but it’s a totally different take on it. If I had to “classify” it, I guess it would be an urban fantasy, pre-apocalyptic, thriller, who-done-it type of thing? That’s really all I’m going to say about it right now. I know it’s going to be a different type of story than what I’m used to writing, but I also think it’s going to be a lot of fun too. The working title is From the Ashes.

Lastly, can you let us know where we can find more information about you and your work?

I sure can. You can check out my website,, or you can find information on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by and giving me the opportunity to pick your brain!

Next time, C Dulaney interviews R. Thomas Riley in a duel of first initials!

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