Friday, July 8, 2011

Interview with Zombie and Serial Killer Novelist Jack Wallen

Tamworth Grice: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jack Wallen: I was an actor for a very long time. I performed on Broadway, off Broadway, in various Shakespeare companies across the country, and everything in between. I have a BS in theatre and communications and an MFA in acting. If I could afford it, I’d be a professional student for the rest of my life. I’ve also been a hair stylist, a computer engineer, and just about everything in between. My truest career love is creating on an emotional and artistic level.

TG:  What inspired you to write in the horror genre?

JW: I’ve been a fan of horror since I was a young boy. I love to be scared and to scare. And I’ve found no better way to connect to the primal or get to the truthful core of existence than with fear.

TG:  You’re known for writing about zombies and serial killers, and your next book is something very different. Tell us what it's about.

JW:  My next book to be released is Shero, and it’s a departure from what I normally write. Shero is a superhero satire about a transgendered super hero. The book has camp, fashion, and a smart-mouthed narrator. It's pure fun. But after that will come the second in the I Zombie I series, called My Zombie My.

TG: What inspired you to write Shero?

JW: Shero was inspired because I know a lot of transgendered people who need a hero to prove to society they are nothing more than misunderstood people.

TG: Your books are available as print-on-demand paperbacks, and also as ebooks. How did you decide to publish in the eBook format?

JW: I love the creative process so much that it made sense for me to go the epub route. This way I can do my own covers and have the final say over everything. On top of that—I don't have to worry so much about being so narrow-minded about genre.

TG: What do you mean by that, by not worrying about being narrow-minded about genre.

JW: The thing is, the traditional publishers only ever make room for specific (and fairly narrow) genres. When titles crosses genres, the traditional publishers have trouble marketing them, so they turn them down. As an indie author I can cross genres all I want and even create new genres, if I feel so inclined.

TG: You mentioned that you do your own covers. I’ve had many people advise indie authors to hire an artist, unless they have training in art or graphics. Do you have an art or graphics background?

JW: When I was in undergrad working on a BS In theatre and communications from the University of Indianapolis, I had to study design. Between then and now, I became quite adept with various desktop publishing applications, which included graphics applications. But I would say the design classes I took in undergrad really helped a lot, because I learned quite a bit about space, use of space, and translating emotion to design.

Jack Wallen
TG: What are you working on now?

JW: I’m waiting for my beta readers to finish with My Zombie My, which will then (once I do some rewrites) go to the editor. At the same time I’m three-quarters of the way done with Die Zombie Die, which is the final book in the trilogy. I’ll be sad when this one is done, because I’ve enjoyed writing it immensely.

TG: Aww, don’t be sad. To make you happy, we’ll buy your books!

Jack Wallen’s paperbacks, I Zombie I, A Blade Away, and Gothica, are available at . They’re also all available as ebooks on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

You can find Jack on Twitter as @JLWallen and on Facebook at Also, check out his web site, Get Jack'd at

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