Welcome to a Tattered Remains Interview
I recently had the privilege to correspond with T.W. Piperbrook. I discovered this author about a year ago when I saw Contamination Boxed Set (Books 0-3 in the series) for free. (As a side note it still is.) I decided too take a chance on it. I was immediately hooked and since then I have read the entire Contamination series consisting of 9 books. Many, many nights of insomnia reading this series but worth every minute of lost sleep. So without further delay here is the interview with T.W. Piperbrook:
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
A: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, I used to submit stories to publishing houses, and I was lucky enough to receive some personalized responses. I can remember one rejection letter I received when I was about ten years old. It read something like: “Thanks for submitting George and the Robot. While George is certainly a memorable character, and you are very ambitious for a ten-year-old, we won’t be making an offer to publish at this time.” LOL.
How long does it take you to write a book set in the Contamination world?
A: I spend a lot of time thinking about writing when I’m not typing up stories. So, by the time I start writing, I generally have a pretty good idea of the plot. I can usually complete a CONTAMINATION book within a few months. With that said, sometimes I’ll start on a book, get stuck, and work on another project to clear my head. Then I’ll go back and finish it later.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
A: I have a five-year-old son in school and a wife who works in an office, so I try to keep regular hours Monday-Friday from 9AM – 5PM. With that said, it’s dangerous having a laptop around. I always end up working nights and weekends. But that goes with the territory. J
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
A: When I get stuck during a chapter, you might catch me running to the basement to play electronic drums or guitar to clear my head LOL.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
A: My ideas come from a lot of places. The idea for CONTAMINATION originally came from an article I read on Yahoo. The article was titled: “The smallest town in America for sale to the highest bidder.” The article was about a man from a small town in Wyoming called Buford—the smallest town in the United States, actually, with a population of 1. He was the town’s only resident, and he was auctioning off his town. Because the town had a “post office”, it qualified him for an actual zip code. That’s how I came up with the character of Sam Cook from CONTAMINATION 1: THE ONSET. I imagined this lonely guy living there by himself after losing his family. That became the genesis of the series. And then I had another idea. What if the zombie apocalypse started in a small town, rather than a major city? What if the infection was a trial run for something larger? Those ideas merged and became CONTAMINATION.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
A: When I’m not writing, I’m playing with my son and hanging with my wife, reading a book, or playing guitar or drums. In a former life, I was a touring musician in a hardcore/punk band. We were on the road a lot (one year I think we played 260 shows or something!) I miss those days, but it’s good to be home with my family.
What does your family think of your writing?
A: I’ve been lucky in that most of my family has been supportive since the beginning. My wife and brother read my first few books and gave me some great advice and feedback. My Dad inspired a scene in THE LAST SURVIVORS.
I probably won’t let my son read anything of mine for a while, though, haha.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
A: I’ve been lucky enough to receive a lot of really cool emails from my readers. One of the greatest parts of being an author, to me, is being able to interact with people. The questions I receive are everything from “When’s the next book?” to “your books helped me through a hard time”. Those emails are very rewarding. I recently sent a batch of books to a Middle School library, which was really cool. And I sent some to a person in Australia that was going through some hardships. To me, those are the best parts of being a writer.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A: To be a writer. Always.
How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
A: I’ve been reading and writing for most of my life, and I’ve always had it in mind that I wanted to be an author. When I went to college, I majored in English Literature. With that said, I got away from writing for a while in my twenties and early thirties. I worked various jobs, everything from an insurance claims adjuster, to an inside salesperson, to a landscaper, to a business analyst/process manager at a Fortune 500 company. My favorite job (other than writing) was touring as a full-time musician. I got to see all of the US, Canada, the UK, and a good chunk of Europe. That was a great gig, but we barely made enough money to survive, so that part was tough.
What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
A: Growing up, I was a huge fan of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Christopher Pike. I’m sure their influences show up in my writing more than I realize. These days, I’m a huge fan of anything dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and horror. I love Blake Crouch’s work. I think he’s one of the best modern writers around. I’ve been reading a lot of Brian Keene.
What is the name of your favorite book?
A: One of the first books that stuck with me is Dean Koontz’s Twilight Eyes. I really loved that book, though I haven’t gone back and reread it in a while. I loved Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Is that two already? Darn. Haha.
Do you write every single day?
A: I try to write at least 2500 words Monday-Friday, and spend the weekends with my family. With that said, there are a lot of other administrative tasks and things that I end up doing on nights and weekends, as well. When the inspiration strikes, you have to go with it!
What’s the worst job you’ve had?
A: Like everyone, I’ve had bad days and good days at every job. But I tell my wife, “the worst day I have as a writer is better than my best day at the previous company I worked for.” J I remember landscaping one time and getting stuck in the pouring rain with a broken aerator that was too heavy to get back in the work truck. That was awful.
How did you come up with the titles for your books?
A: CONTAMINATION just kind of came to me, and when it did, I knew I had the premise of that series. OUTAGE was based on a real-life snowstorm and power outage we had here in CT in 2011. Half the state lost power and the governor declared a state of emergency. Then I added in werewolves. J
What do you like to read in your free time?
A: Anything post-apocalyptic, dystopian, sci-fi, or horror. My tastes range from pulpy titles to things that make you think.
Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?
A: I still play a lot of music (guitar and drums, primarily, though any “real drummer” would laugh at me). I love taking walks and hikes, and watching movies and TV.
Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc.)
A: Because I keep a normal work schedule, I usually dive in and get things done when I have to. But as I mentioned, I’ll often take a few minutes and play guitar and drums. I love taking walks and hikes, as those are great for thinking and plotting. I don’t usually listen to music while writing, except for when I’m editing or doing administrative stuff.
Are you working on anything presently?
A: Yep! I’m currently working on the final book in THE LAST SURVIVORS series with my buddy Bobby Adair. Aside from that, I’m working on a Sci-Fi novel called SANDSTORM, and what might be a trilogy called ALIVE AGAIN, based on a zombie story I wrote for an anthology a few years ago. There’s a possibility I’ll do more stuff with CONTAMINATION, too.
What is your writing space like?
A: I have an office, but I oftentimes find myself working at the kitchen table. My wife will come home from work and say, “You’re still here? Why don’t you use the office?” I don’t know. I guess I just get into the mode and never leave LOL. Or I migrate to a mudroom that has a small desk overlooking my wooded backyard. That’s usually pretty inspiring, and occasionally I get to see a black bear or a family of wild turkeys.
I hope everyone enjoyed reading the interview and getting to know a little more about T.W. Piperbrook. I have also included the impressive anthology of T.W. Piperbrook in the author biography section.
T.W. Piperbrook lives in Connecticut with his wife and son. He is the author of the CONTAMINATION series, the OUTAGE series, and co-author of THE LAST SURVIVORS. In his former lives, he has worked as as a claims adjuster, an inside salesman, and a business analyst for a Fortune 500 company. He has also spent time touring across the US, Canada, and Europe as a full-time musician.
Now he spends his days fighting zombies, battling werewolves, and roaming Ancient cities.
OUTAGE HORROR SUSPENSE SERIES (Complete):
Outage 2: The Awakening
Outage 3: Vengeance
Outage 4: The Reckoning
Outage 5: The Change (THE FINAL BOOK JUST RELEASED JAN 2016!)
Outage: Control (SHORT STORY TO BE READ AT END OF SERIES)
THE LAST SURVIVORS SERIES (w/Bobby Adair):
The Last Survivors (Book One)
The Last Escape (Book Two)
The Last Humanity (Book Three)
The Last Command – (Book Four)
The Last Refuge (Book Five) JUST RELEASED APRIL 2016!
The Last Conquest (Book Six) FINAL BOOK COMING SUMMER 2016!
For NEW RELEASE ALERTS AND A FREE STORY, sign up for the author’s mailing list at: http://eepurl.com/qy_SH
LIKE him on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/twpiperbrook
All the novels can be purchased from the Amazon page for T.W. Piperbrook .
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