So an amazing follow up interview with Ricky Fleet! He is such an amazing writer and man! Love his books and always enjoy our conversations. So please take a moment and see what he has been up to lately!
1. It’s been awhile since we talked what new books do you have out now? Latest release?
After the release of the first in my zompoc series, Hellspawn, I have released 2 more in the series. The first novel introduces the reader to the main characters as they hunker down in their home during the outbreak. Books 2 and 3 follow them as they struggle to reach a more secure sanctuary; Arundel Castle. A thousand-year old bastion of safety and power which may be their only hope of long-term survival. The stone walls may be able to keep the zombies at bay, but the human danger is infinitely worse.
I have also released Infernal – Emergence, which is the first in my new demon series about a young man who is destined to do battle with the legions of Hell. It was a great opportunity to let my imagination run wild which isn’t always possible within the constraints of a zombie infested world.
My final release is alongside several other great writers in an Optimus Maximus Publishing horror anthology. I have 2 stories featured; one is about the Pandora’s Box that is genetic engineering, and the other is a campfire tale of ghosts and ghouls.
2. If you could pick any author alive or dead to have lunch with who would it be? Why?
I would love to have a get together with all the great guys who have supported me in my first year. Shawn Chesser, Eric Shelman, Mike Evans, James Wallace, Peter McKiernon, Matt Hickman, MC and Will Allen etc. It would be a riot. If I had to pick a single author who I have read over and over it would be Dean Koontz. I would love to pick his brain about how he approaches the craft and any advice he could give to an aspiring author.
3. What is the strangest thing a fan has ever done?
Thankfully I’m not popular enough to have a fan do something crazy. In time I would like groupies who bawl and faint as I pass in a limousine, waving at them with an air of haughty disdain. Who am I kidding, I’d just be grateful for a hello.
4. What is the one thing you dread to do when writing?
The synopsis and blurb every time. 100k words, no problem. 300 words that sum up the whole book without giving too much away… not happening.
5. Did you have imaginary friends growing up? Tell me about them
I didn’t have imaginary friends but I loved my He-Man, Thundercats and Star Wars figures. It’s a shame that children today haven’t had that opportunity to let their imagination run wild because of technology. An Ipad is no substitute to digging trenches in the garden with your friends and going to war with make-believe creatures.
6. Do you go to conventions? If not why?
I haven’t been to any yet but I am hopefully going to attend Scares that Care in July. I can’t wait to meet a lot of my American friends. There are going to be so many shenanigans. If anyone knows the details of a good lawyer that can get me out of trouble that would be great.
I am planning on starting to attend UK conventions now that I have a few books out, but I am a complete noob and don’t really know where to start or which ones are the best for a newcomer. I was lucky enough to receive some advice from another zompoc author which I hope will help me decide. I am excited and nervous in equal measures about appearing in public behind a small table with my wares on display. I expect the bigger authors will gather round and bully me as the new guy. I will probably cry in the toilet but not in front of them.
7. How many times did you have to submit your first story before it was accepted?
I did about 6 full edits on Hellspawn which allowed me to learn a great deal about story flow and cutting away the unnecessary. I still went a bit too far with the descriptions in the book and my later works are, I hope, more concise. As a writer, I am constantly striving to improve my art so the reader gets the best experience possible.
8. Ever consider not writing? If so what made you continue?
There are times when I am sitting at the keyboard and I wonder if all the hard work is worth it. Despite what people sometimes think, we certainly aren’t rich and sleeping on beds of used £50 notes. Then I shake myself and get back to work because I love writing. I don’t think the stories in my head will let me keep them bottled up either.
One of the things that gets me through the funk is my amazing friends and readers with their words of support and encouragement. I also do it for my children so they can see that sticking with something you enjoy is worthwhile.
9. Ever thought about writing in a different category?
I have a few ideas for thrillers, sci fi and a fantasy series, but my horror material will keep me writing for many years to come without needing to diversify. I hear erotica sells well too. The main problem with that is I would be giggling and blushing through any sex scene I wrote so I think that’s off the agenda. I would also focus far too much on boobs and 90% of the book would be nothing but breast talk. Maybe I could corner the male market? Hmmm.
10. Any new additions to the family?
Not in the real world. I am a proud father to 3 incredible children and that is my limit. My clothes spending limit is already below £100 a year for myself and if I had another kid I wouldn’t even spend that. I’d need to go around naked and I wouldn’t inflict that on anyone! Plus it’s cold… honest.
In my literary world, however, the character list just keep growing and growing. Some people will love them (I hope) and some people will loathe them. They all take on a life of their own and I have to try to keep them on the straight and narrow. Some refuse to behave and end up dead despite my best efforts.
11. What is coming up next for you?
I am close to completion of Hellspawn 4 and after that I am probably going to do the second in the Infernal series. I find it impossible to write 2 series simultaneously as I get into a zone with the characters and world. I am also considering a standalone book which isn’t part of a series. I will probably toss a coin to decide as I will think on it far too much otherwise. I read a review the other day complaining about the greed of authors releasing multiple titles in a series. My argument is that some stories simply can’t be told in one book.
12. Do you do release parties? Do you think they work?
I have done several release parties and have been lucky enough to be invited to be a guest on many more. I love getting together with everyone but the biggest problem is that normally it is a core group of people who support Indies brilliantly. As a tool to reach new readers I’m not too sure if it works. As a way of saying thanks to our existing readers it is fantastic!
13. Do you have crazy stalker fans? Have you ever had one you wish would go away?
Not yet and hopefully never will. I’d hate to have to block someone but I know that these people do exist and at some point I may have to deal with one.
14. Do you still have a “day job”? If so what do you do?
I still have a day job which is teaching plumbing and heating at a local college. I would love to be able to write full-time but I also like to have the security of a salary coming in as well. Combining the two doesn’t leave a great deal of free time to relax which is the tradeoff. Anyone that wants to make it in writing needs 110% commitment and a lot of patience.
15. What is your process for writing? Do you have a voice in your head?
I have tried setting a regime and x amount of words per day but I find the more I push my brain to comply the more it shuts down and says get stuffed. I’ve found it is best to write when the mood is on me which can result in some good numbers. If I have a day free I try to aim for 3k but have done 6 – 8k on occasion. Some authors can do 15k a day which is superhuman and well beyond my ability.
When I am writing I often find myself daydreaming and finding myself in a certain situation with my characters. The way they react isn’t always the way I was expecting and the story changes repeatedly. My drafts go out of the window within 2 paragraphs.
16. Is there a book you want to make a sequel to you haven’t yet?
I am eager to get the sequel to Infernal completed. It will see Malachi begin the war against Hell and their earthbound cohorts. The gore and mayhem will be every bit as graphic as the first book.
Thank you for doing a follow up interview interview!
You’re more than welcome and thank you for the opportunity to do it J I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and read my works. If any of you feel like popping a review on Amazon for me that would be awesome! I understand that people can be reluctant but even a few words and the star rating helps me to get exposure.
I look forward to horrifying you for the foreseeable future. Mwuahaahhahaaha!!!