Saturday, July 18, 2015

T.C. Ricks, Author of Grenademan vs the Zombies

Grenademan, Zombies, Games of Chance, Fairies, Apocalypse, Humor, Superheroes, tc ricks, urban fantasy novel

Today we are interviewing T.C. Ricks, author of the urban fantasy novel "Grenademan vs the Zombies."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have a very varied background.  I started out getting an English degree but when I got back from Venezuela, thought I'd go into science.  That was...very hard, but I eventually go my bachelor's...in Microbiology, somehow and then proceeded to try and get my Masters. Didn't happen but I've been keeping the lights on since then as a  Project Manager/Business Analyst.  But the writing is where my passion is.  I started taking it seriously about 15 years ago, and started work on my first novel.  Then I eventually moved to this one and have done two since.  I enjoy a lot of things, including table top gaming, reading, writing, poetry, science, and exploration. My wife and I travel quite a bit and just recently moved from Charlotte, NC to Miami, Florida.

Describe the plot of “Grenademan vs the Zombies” in a few sentences.
It's really more a story about hubris and the smack gaming groups talk to each other about all the time, and what would happen if one of the more insane people in some groups could take it to the extreme they'd like to prove a point.  Grenademan and the Zombies are really forces around that, though it is a story of good vs evil.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

People who like both Super Heroes, Humor and Zombies.

What inspired you to write a novel about zombie apocalypse that is set in motion by a bet?

A bet.  My step father has a writer that he likes a lot that had close links to a publisher a few years back who put out an open call for Zombie stories.  My step dad wanted me to enter it, and while  I had a script for Grenademan, there weren't zombies in it.  Skip pitched the title to me, and I agreed to do it if he'd proof it.  He did, and at that point it kind of wrote itself.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Grenademan.

Grenademan is...unique.  He is insane, but more sane than you might think.  He's very smart, but his true power comes in that thumb tack on his helmet that looks ridiculous.  It's forged from the Golden Helmet of Mambrino, which only the mad can wear and wield.

Zombie fans will be delighted to learn there are a variety of different kinds of zombies in this novel. Can you tell us about the different kinds? Do you have a favorite?

There are seven different kinds.  I will save some as a surprise but my favorite are Snark Zombies, which are really a mental construct; an analogy to those people who wander through life on auto pilot.  Purists will love the actually dead dead zombies who are...you know.  Dead.  There are also blood zombies akin to the zombies of 28 Days Later.

There’s a fair amount of humor in this book. Has humor always been part of your writing? Or is it something that developed as your writing progressed?

I have always had a fair degree of humor in my writing but my first novel also took itself 'very seriously' and such.  The second novel had dark humor in it is as well but the characters in it are all assholes.  I'm not sure if either of them is salvageable to be honest.

Who was your favorite character to write?

Grenademan is, of course, my Mickey Mouse.  He's definitely my Hermione or Harry Dresden...my alter ego.  He is the most FUN to write, though to be honest? I think my favorite to write at this point might just be Ghost from Forever West.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?

Terry Pratchet, Jim Butcher, Elizabeth Moon, Roger Zelazny, George R R Martin.

Tell us about your creative process, from initial idea to published manuscript.

Sure.  I start out by producing utter unreadable crap and getting friends and family members to have their eyes bleed, then rewrite many times, then get an editor, then rework it a lot more times, then proof it.  Though....was that what you meant?

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?

In a novel the part between the beginning and the middle sucks.  A lot.

Outside of writing, you have a podcast, Tossing Grenades at Windmills. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Absolutely, I set it up to have SOME kind of an audience for my writing.  I read the fourth novel on it, and we've got some from this one.  I also have some short stories and poetry.  There were sound problems but we're fixing those.  Just got a new bumper which is really neat.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

The next literal project is a chapbook with my poetry as Emmit Other called Spiders in the Sugar Factory.  My fifth novel, “Forever West” is being proofed right now and will likely come out late this year or Early next year.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?

Yes. I firmly deny that if you read it, it will give you super powers. It will not.  And please ask others to stop spreading rumors that it does.

"Grenademan vs the Zombies" book blurb:
Order and Chaos have fought their little chess matches on world after world, often coming to draw. so when Order found a new, and powerful champion in a n insane superhero, Chaos had to step up his game. And he found it in an ambitious would be sorcerer called Jarvi who had bet his gaming group t hat they could not survive the Zombie Apocalypse and really MEANT it. now Jarvi would start an apocalypse just to prove them wrong.

And somehow, Grenademan had to stop it. While the Circle of Gamers regard him a insane, the government trying to kill him and his own sanity quite questionable, Grenademan has to keep four people alive while seven different kinds of zombies are trying to ill them.
More Information
Buy "Grenademan vs the Zombies" on Smashwords
The Tossing Grenades at Windmills podcast
Buy "Grenademan vs the Zombies" on Amazon

Check out the Tossing Grenades at Windmills podcast on Stitcher

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