Welcome to a Tattered Remains Interview
It’s always been a real privilege when you get to ask one of your favorite prolific authors whatever questions that you can conjure from the dark corners of your mind.
I recently reached out to the seasoned writing veteran Armand Rosamilia for an interview. He quickly and cordially replied “I would love to.” As an author of over 150 stories you know the man is hard at work. I have about 150 questions I would have loved to ask him but I trimmed the bulky list down to 20 questions. I hope you enjoy getting to know him a little better as much as I did.
Enjoy the interview…
What inspired you to write your first novel?
A: I’ve been writing short stories since my early teens. All of them were horrible but I kept going and arguably got better. My first actual novel wasn’t written until I’d written and published over 100 shorts and novellas. Chelsea Avenue took me many years to write but I’m damn proud of it. I’ve since written several novels and prefer the challenge of writing a longer piece over anything right now.
Describe your office and writing area?
A: I have the front room of my house so I can see the damn neighborhood kids on my lawn and yell at them. I have two tables set up with my computers and writing things. Two dry erase boards on the wall to keep track of stuff. A wall behind me filled with books, cool stuff fans have sent me over the years and some of my Red Sox baseball cards. The walls have Marvel comics posters and other cool stuff like a set of Jaws figures. My wife calls it my little kid room, and it is very true.
Armand and Cthulhu hanging out…
What was the first horror book/story you remember reading?
A: Phantoms by Dean Koontz was the paperback I remember reading as a kid that freaked me out and gave me my first really cool nightmare from reading. I was hooked on Koontz at twelve. My mother had a huge horror paperback collection I would blow through as a kid.
What was your first introduction to horror literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?
A: Again, Dean Koontz. My mother introduced me to so many great horror books when I was growing up once she saw how much I shared her love for reading. We still pass books back and forth although she isn’t a huge fan of some of the newer horror stuff out there.
How did you come up with the title for Dying Days?
A: I blatantly stole it from a short movie we recorded in high school on a snow day. My buddy Frank always wanted to do a horror movie, so a bunch of us got together and filmed Dying Day, about a masked killer in a house killing teens. I was the killer in it. It was about 1988 so you know it was super cheese but super awesome. At least I think so. I remembered the title all those years later. The books were supposed to be Dying Day but when the cover artist did the original cover she put Dying Days and I liked it, so it stuck.
What was it like to write “United States of Apocalypse” with Mark Tufo?
A: Amazing. While we both have a different approach to first drafts and how we write, the end result is we have similar styles when it comes to the finished story. I’m looking forward to keeping the series going with Mark and seeing where he takes Mike Talbot and where I take Darlene Bobich in the next book or two.
What current books/projects are you currently working on?
A: I’m currently writing a few things. I always have 3-5 projects going at once: Dying Days 7, Dirty Deeds 3, Green River Blend 2, Shocker 3 (with co-author Frank Edler), Middletown Apocalypse 2 short (with co-author Jaime Johnesee) and a Dying Days YA novella as well.
Where do you as an author draw the line on a gory description when writing?
A: It depends on the book I’m writing. With Dying Days, I didn’t hold anything back at first. The zombies don’t want to just bite you; they want to sexually violate you. I never went into graphic detail but it was out there for the reader to imagine. With Dirty Deeds, a crime thriller, I scaled it back on purpose. I left out the profanity, the over the top violence and sexual situations so the character and plot was the main focus. With Shocker there are some crazy moments and nothing is held back. At all.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
A: I read a lot of nonfiction. Binge-watch TV shows with my wife. Watch Red Sox games. Eat out way too much. I like to usually stay at home and hide in my office-cave.
Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?
A: I do slip in some phobias and fears into my stories. Generally, I just see where the story and characters are taking me. Some autobiographical stuff slips in but it isn’t usually a conscious decision to do. I have a ton of quirks and fears that make for great story quirks.
What is your favorite food?
A: Buffet. I love a good Chinese buffet. Pizza buffet. Mexican buffet. Anything with the word buffet attached to it. No idea why I’m so overweight.
Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?
A: I wrote a story many years ago, maybe around 1995, that crossed a line and freaked me out that I’d even thought it up. I actually deleted it from my word processor, the only time I’d ever done that. When I had kids of my own it brought back to mind what I’d written and I was glad I never published it.
What was it like to write “The Enemy Held Near” with Jay Wilburn?
A: Horrible. Just kidding. Jay is an amazing and prolific author. We’d worked together with Jack Wallen and Brent Abell when the four of us did the Hellmouth trilogy. Jay was a big fan of Chelsea Avenue and wanted me to write more of that kind of traditional horror book with paranormal elements. He had an idea for a haunted house story and we talked about it at a convention we were both at. I jumped on the chance to work with him and I think it might be the strongest story I’ve ever written.
What scares you?
A: Dogs. No matter how big or small. I don’t remember ever getting attacked by a dog as a kid or why I have this fear but I can never get comfortable when a dog is around, even if it’s in the next room sleeping.
Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A: I am actually this sexy inside as I am on the outside. They did an X-ray and one of the nurses fainted. I’m not sure there is much mystery to me at this point. I tend to spill my guts about all of the weird quirks and things on my Arm Cast Podcast each week, telling listeners about what I’m doing and what I’ve done. Good or bad. I talk too much and I’m an over-sharing kinda guy, I guess.
Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite horror book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of the horror genre?
A: My favorite book of all-time is Watership Down by Richard Adams. I guess technically it’s not a horror book but it has some amazing elements in it. Very dark. I read it as a kid, thinking it was about fluffy bunnies. It is not. The Rising by Brian Keene got me into zombie fiction. It was a huge influence on Dying Days.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
A: Dean Koontz growing up because he wrote not just horror but action thrillers and so much more. Someone recently commented they see some of that in my work, which is a huge compliment. I was never a Stephen King reader. Always Koontz. Once his stuff got to be formulaic I moved on to other horror authors and found some great authors like Scott Nicholson, JA Konrath, Brian Keene, Joe McKinney… I could list a hundred others.
What do you see as the influences on your writing?
A: The world around me. My mind is always at work, filing conversations and scenes in my head for future use. If I’m having a conversation with you I’m also writing it out in my head. It will end up in a story at some point.
The perception of the horror writer is that he/she is just a little bit weirder than most. Do you find yourself — and other horror writers — to be more idiosyncratic than the average person?
A: Yes. I just returned from Scares That Care Weekend in VA and watching the rest of the authors there, you can see how quirky and weird we all are. I’m no exception, either. I’m as introverted and odd as everyone else in the room. We’re not usually socially accepted people and we struggle to maintain the veil of normalcy. I love it.
What new author has grasped your interest?
A: Definitely Chuck Buda. He’s hungry and his first releases show so much promise and I like his storytelling ability. This guy is only going to get better and he’s worlds further along than I was at this point in my career. He’s also a really nice guy who wants advice and wants to know not just the good but the bad about this business. Keep an eye out on Chuck Buda.
Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life…
He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.
He runs a very successful podcast on Project iRadio, too…
Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast – interviewing fellow authors as well as filmmakers, musicians, etc.
He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool.
You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes!
You can also e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal: firstname.lastname@example.org
DYING DAYS (6 BOOK SERIES)
Sunny Florida, beautiful beaches, no traffic on A1A… Zombies roaming the dunes in search of the living… Darlene Bobich in a fight to survive, find food, safety and ammo for her Desert Eagle before its too late… the undead are coming to exterminate the human race…
Dying Days are upon us… The Undead Roam the Earth… Searching for the living in an apocalyptic wasteland.
UNITED STATES OF APOCALYPSE (MARK TUFO & ARMAND ROSAMILIA)
When World War 3 erupts on American soil it is up to some less than likely heroes to band together and stand tall against any and all comers as a once proud nation is brought to her knees.
Cowardly terrorist attacks and indifferent Global communities have isolated America as she spirals into a desperate bid for survival.
Follow Darlene Bobich, and her group on the west coast along with Michael Talbot on the east coast as they do everything in their power to thwart those that would take everything that they and all of us are, away.
THE ENEMY HELD NEAR (ARMAND ROSAMILIA & JAY WILBURN)
Foster and Ruthie Turner tried to save each other, their marriage, and their family. Every house is haunted with the past of the people who live there. When one tries to stay and the other tries to leave, everyone will face the dire consequences of both those choices.
Armand Rosamilia and Jay Wilburn have crafted an emotional haunted house story that cuts deep and true to the realities of trying to make family work. The Enemy Held Near is a haunting which mirrors the struggle of a relationship coming apart. Everyone carries with them the ghosts of their past. Every family carries the baggage of history which always goes deeper than anyone can imagine.
Foster and Ruthie must find a way to survive the home they have built for themselves even if they can’t do so together.
DIRTY DEEDS SERIES
I get paid to erase problems.
Did your extramarital affair produce an unwanted complication? Family problems? Just want to enjoy your midlife crisis by yourself?
That’s where I come in. For a fee I’ll take care of it. A big fee.
Only, I’m not going to do what you think. I’m not going to save you from them, I’m going to save them from you.
GREEN RIVER BLEND
Nothing exciting ever happens in a small town… Especially in the sleepy Florida beachside stretch known as Hammond Beach, nestled between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine. Free from corporate businesses and a slew of tourists descending upon the quaint former fishing village, Hammond Beach is like a painting. Locals run the businesses on Main Street. Even when a new coffee shop opens, the owner hires only Hammond Beach locals, including manager Betty. She’s born and raised in Hammond Beach and knows everyone. But when the latest and greatest coffee is put out, Green River Blend, strange things begin to happen to the residents of Hammond Beach…
BOOK ONE: SHOCKER is the horror humor story of a prisoner, a religious idol, monsters and mayhem.
Vito “The Shocker” Shocketti has been locked away in Rahway State Penitentiary for twenty years of his life sentence. In that time not one cellmate has endured being quartered with him for very long. That all changes when a young kid, Manny “Dirty” Sanchez, gets put with The Shocker.
A star struck Manny begs “The Shocker” to tell him his legendary story of crime and murder. Vito decides to unload on the kid, who becomes more and more engrossed in The Shocker’s tales of living life on the edge in the seedy heavy metal club scene in 1980’s New Jersey.
The Shocker, impressed that Dirty has not begged the guards to move him from the cell, drops a bombshell. All the murders The Shocker committed were directed at the behest of Baby Jesus. The Shockers tales devolve into the weird and insane.
Could The Shocker be making it all up to make Manny think he is criminally insane or is the Baby Jesus real and has a higher plan for the both of them?
Seasoned writing veteran Armand Rosamilia teams up with hungry newcomer, Frank J Edler to tell this darkly funny story of reckless behavior, oddball monsters and the cherubic Baby Jesus. The two Jersey boys spin a thick flavor of heavy metal life in New Jersey that will make the most bad-ass of metalheads cringe with delight. This story should come with a pair of tight black leather pants and a can of Aqua Net.
The second installment (Comprised of two volumes) in the SHOCKER trilogy continues. Vito “Shocker” Shocketti is on a mission to find the only woman he’s ever loved. His long, lost son is tagging along to help find her. The Baby Jesus told them to.
After being locked away for thirty years, Shocker finds his worst enemy is time. He’s unleashed upon a world that’s moved on since he was locked away. There are cell phones, internet’s, digital apps and no hair bands on the radio. Worst of all, every rock club he ever claimed as his turf is nowhere to be found.
Shocker 2: Love Gun is the story of a man out of time, a boy and his father and the woman they both need in their lives. Shocker and his son, Manny “Dirty” Sanchez must face the worst this new world throws at them to reunite their family. Under the ever watchful eye of The Baby Jesus they carry around in a backpack they stand a fighting chance to reunite their family. But the seedy underground boss, Gonzo, and the limitless cadre of monsters at his disposal will stop at nothing to put an end to the family reunion.
Armand Rosamilia and Frank J. Edler return with their leather pants, cut open shirts and cases of hair spray to continue the tale of the badass long hair from New Jersey, So gas up the IROC, crank up the tape player to 11 and throw up them horns for the next part of the story that’s sure to make your eyes bleed!
What happens when you give eleven of the best modern-day apocalyptic writers the same idea for a story and allow their twisted imaginations to go wild?
Middletown Apocalypse… that’s what.
Set in America’s heartland, these stories begin with chemistry student Charlie Noble and wind their way through the infected landscape of middletown America.
Abel, Chesser, Evans, McKinney, O’Brien, Rosamilia, Shelman, Stallcup, Tufo, Wallen, Wilburn.
Are you ready for this?
These are just some of the novels that can be purchased from the Amazon page for Armand Rosamilia
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