Book Name and Description: The Nightmare Man: A Russian Zombie Novel
The Nightmare Man is one of Russia’s most dangerous prisoners. He is serving a life sentence in isolation. He escapes his prison cell and flees across the frozen wilderness of Siberia, determined to cross thousands of kilometres on foot.
He is closely pursued by a psychopathic KGB agent and the brutal prison warden. Two seasoned killers who are tracking his every move.
This is survival at any cost. Always just one step ahead of the men pursuing him he finally returns to his home, only to find a city under siege … the dead have returned to life.
What gave you the idea for The Nightmare Man?
I spent quite a lot of time travelling in Russia, which by the way is a truly amazing place. I have visited almost all the locations in the story. One day I was standing out in the snow in Siberia and it was like minus thirty eight degrees, it was painful just to breathe, and I was wondering how anyone could survive out there so the idea for the story came from that. I really enjoyed my time in Russia and I tried to make the tone of the book reflect the atmosphere of Russia; there’s a pleasant craziness there, a sense that literally anything can happen, there is a real pride in the Russian identity, and at the same time there is a feeling that you had better respect their rules.
What got you into writing in this genre?
I always loved zombie movies. My favourite is the original Dawn of the Dead, 1978 set in the shopping mall. It was years ahead of its time, I love the final battle with the bikers, the zombies and the heroes. I must have watched that film a hundred times. I love the idea too that if the people just worked together and took the threat seriously they would have been alright.
So, I’m basically writing the stuff that I myself enjoy.
How long have you been writing?
All my life. I wrote lots of stuff for various magazines and I have been attending writing groups for years but I have only had my first novel published recently.
What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like? What have been the biggest influences on your writing?
I work at least 5 days a week so I write whenever I can, although I prefer mornings. I used to have a one hour train journey each way to work so I wrote most of The Nightmare Man on the train. Now I work closer to home so I just try to do some writing every day, even if it is to just jot down a few ideas, like a skeleton of how I want the story to be. I can always go back later to add more.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
You must be able to take criticism objectively. I know that people can sometimes be very negative and unhelpful but generally there is a lot of great advice available if you’re ready to listen.
You need to love what you’re doing. I think it really shows through in the writing if a story is dead to the writer, or they have no passion for it.
You need to be constantly trying to hone your craft, so instead of asking “what’s the best way to advertise my book?” a much better question is “how do I become really good?”
Apart from that you need to have access to people who will give you feedback, or at least someone you can hire who do that for you.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Editing is everything.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I’m still very new to all this but I have found two things that work really well, firstly I reached out to other authors and said that I would read their books and leave reviews if they could do the same for me. The amount of conversations and feedback I got from doing this has taught me an incredible amount –I have learned a real lot from the authors TJ Weeks, Susanne Lambdin, Dane Hatchell and most recently Roma Gray. They are all much better writers than me who have also had the kindness to show me around the industry and try to help a new author.
As far as paid advertising goes I recommend Facebook. It allows a lot of scope for targeting the groups you want to reach and also customer participation –as an example if you advertise your book on Facebook and someone shares that post on your page that person’s friends are likely to respond very well.
What are you doing next?
A follow up to The Nightmare Man. I was going to write the novelization of my zombie series on YouTube ‘Psychopaths’ which is gangsters vs zombies, but I have found that there is a much bigger story for me to tell about Russia, so I’ll go with that first.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Join a writing club. If there’s not one in your area, start one yourself. I began my own writing club in a pub, we meet up for a few hours one night a week and each person brings two or three pages of what they want to read aloud and have critiqued. Once you’ve read your piece everyone has a turn saying what they think you can improve on and what they liked. They write plenty of notes for you too. I learned a great deal this way. The honest feedback really helps.
Former oil rig medic Mick Franklin has worked in over 30 different countries and is now working on writing zombie novels. He also makes short zombie films. Mick is Australian but lives in Scotland.
The Nightmare Man: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y5GZX7S
Gangsters vs Zombies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E0zq8Re-mI