Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sean T Page on Zombies, Aliens, the Apocalypse and Mrs Emma Peel [Interview]

Sean T Page is one of my favorite authors...he's writing style is a mix of Max Brooks and Monty Python. Two of my favorite Page books are War Against The Walking Dead and Meta-Horde, but he is best known for his series of Haynes survival guides.

Sean is also known for traveling from one country to another, as well as his responsibilities with the Ministry of Zombies. However, I was able to lure him into the Lair for a chat about his ever-growing writing career...

You are something of a world traveler. Any particular place you call home?

I’m one of those people who grew in up in the same small town as my parents. Growing up my world was pretty small. All my family lived within a few miles of my house. But, I’ve lived in London for now for years so London’s home. I’m a Londoner!

How, if at all, do your adventures abroad influence your writing?

I think they have. I’ve certainly keep notes whilst travelling. I think being exposed to different environments certainly helps your writing. In a recent titled 1975, which was published by Infected Books, what better way to understand being trapped in a bunker, than being sealed in a bunker yourself. I’m not clever enough to write about stuff completely alien to me.

Do you remember when you first felt like a “real” author?

Honestly, it never came. I think serious horror writers think my guides and manuals are all a bit child-like – fair point I suppose – I do write for a wide range of readers. I don’t tend to get invited to write for many anthologies and things like that.

You’ve written in more than one genre…do you have a favorite? Is there a particular writing style and/or format that you prefer?

I suppose the zombie stuff is where I started and I still love it. However, I do enjoy alien and time travel tales to. I’ve not really written science fiction as such but I enjoy reading it. I also tried something more serious but by all accounts it wasn’t great!

What are your most recent projects? I heard your working on another guide…

The rumours are true – I’m working a few bits – I have to limit what I do as I’m working and studying.  My next project is around post-apoc transport…more to follow but it does involve converting a big red London Bus into the ultimate zombie-busting form of transport….

Is there any one book that was more challenging to write than the others?

I have sketched out my time travel manual - it’s not slated yet for release but the science was bewildering and took some real focus to master. Although I didn’t manage to get my time machine fully working, I did send a sandwich toaster back to 1945. I do wonder how that affected the timeline?

Which book was the easiest to write? Why is that?

Zombie, zombie, zombie stuff.  We loves it. We knows it. We read all the books. We all love the genre. I’ve got a ready-created universe for stories.

Is there anything you wouldn’t write?

I think I struggle with dialogue. To be fair, I’ve never really been trained it. I like to use ‘He said’ then ‘She said’ then ‘He quipped’ then ‘she joked’. You get the idea. I think I’d struggle with a serious book – some horror authors think apoc fiction should be gritty real. My apoc fiction is like a cross between an episode of Sherlock Holmes and The Avengers (1960s tv series). What better way to face the end of the world than with a cup of tea, Mrs Peel by your side and a joined bowler hat.

What do your friends and family think of your writing career?

My wife gets it but the rest are not sure. I think they see it as a bit of a weird niche thing. The only time they really mention it (this will be familiar to many writers) is when:
a)      They spot your book in a shop
b)      They read about the new Harry Potter film and suggest “making a movie” as a great way to make a bundle of cash.

Do you interact with your fans at conventions? What kind of people make up your fan base? One kind or a mix?

I used to do a lot but family commitments make it more difficult now. I realized loads of kids around 10/11/12 read my books so I try to ensure everything is good for them. There are a real mix – young, old, alien, human… certainly not one kind.

Do you think there’s a difference, if any, between American readers and British readers?

Good question. I’m a bad person to answer this. I reckon I’ve sold 95% of my stuff here in the UK and Ireland. I’ve never really cracked America. I’m a bit like Marmite I expect. I’ll probably always be a bit of a niche player in the US.

My alien manual has recently been translated into Chinese and I suspect I now sell more books in China than in the US.

If I’m honest, I don’t really know why. Maybe I should avoid using words like Marmite that no-one outside the UK understands…

Is there anything else you want to share to entice new fans?

Only really that I write to provide a bit of entertainment. I honestly don’t want readers to have nightmares. My books are full of survival content that’s real – I don’t make the survival elements up – I consult with real experts to help me get things right.  Remember, if you want a British-style apoc then I’m probably a good bet.

Thanks for stopping by!

Those of you who are interested, I strongly recommend Sean T. Page for your reading pleasure…

As always,

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