Monday, October 1, 2012

Author Spotlight - Beck Sherman, author of 'Revamp'

We kick off our month of Zombies, Killers & Thrillers with an Author Interview with Beck Sherman, author of Revamp. Earlier this year, I was given the chance to read Revamp for review, and loved this novel. Check out the review here.

Revamp was one scary novel that kept me up that night, huddled under blankets. And there is no better month than October to recommend this creepy and thought provoking read.  

We look forward to announcing some winners of this novel, as Beck Sherman has been generous enough to put up 5 ecopies for a Giveaway on Friday Oct. 5th so don't forget to come back to enter!!!

1. Did you always want to be a writer? What drew you to writing?

I think I've always been a writer. When I was first learning to make sentences, Spot didn't just sit and bark. He jumped over the fence, ran down the street, chased a couple of cars, and had a full day of events before that punctual period. Writing is just in me. I only started to think of it as a possible career, well, since I started writing Revamp (in early 2000). I've worked many (many) jobs in my life, and I believe I needed to do that before I could see what was always right in front of me.

2. What inspired you to write Revamp?

Revamp was born of a combination of ideas. I started writing it just after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, so terrorism and patriotism both play big roles in this book. Vampires had been an obsession of mine since seeing The Lost Boys in 1987, one of my favorite movies. Another one of my top movies is Aliens and I wanted to make a character that lived up to Ripley. Emma’s probably a bit quirkier than Ripley, but she chews bubblegum and kicks ass. I guess I draw a lot of inspiration from film.

 3. I find your cover interesting. What made you choose it?

Vintage photographs have always intrigued me. Because they're creepy, of course. I initially wanted to find an old photograph of a boy or girl dressed up as Dracula. After scouring the internet, no luck. So, I picked up my camera, hired a friend's son to model, and went to work. My friend's son is autistic and didn't enjoy wearing the mask, so I had a very limited window to get it right. He ended up fidgeting with the mask a lot, which you'll notice in the cover photo, and I think it fit with the plot of Revamp and forced vampirism on society. An Australian friend, Chris Deal, did the rest, and it was unexpected and exactly what I never knew I wanted. 

On a side note, I used the same mask in the book trailer. I had purchased 20 of them online. In the trailer, I wanted to capture regular people going about their daily business, as vampires. I was living in South Boston at the time, so I hit the streets, asking random strangers to wear the mask for a photograph. The Boston cop agreeing to it was a pleasant surprise.   

I can't believe you bought 20 masks and got random people on the street to wear them! That is hilarious!!! 

Yeah, there were a few awkward moments but overall it was fun!

4. The novel is definitely left open for continuation. Are you currently working on a sequel, or other projects? Can you tell us a bit about them?

Yes, I wanted to leave it open, but not too open. A sequel is possible, but I can say with all assuredness that Revamp will never be a trilogy. I do have another book written, set to be released next year. It's not a vampire novel. This book's about a nice guy who's having a very bad day and it only gets worse. You'll feel bad for him even when he turns into a monster. There is a supernatural element thrown in there. My third book, which I'll start writing this November, will be straight New Adult Suspense/Action. The main protagonist will undergo a HUGE metamorphosis between the first and last page. It's going to be challenging, but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to her.  

5. What made you decide to publish independently?

The time had come, and I was ready to open the cage and let Revamp out. Self-publishing is immediate. I was also attracted to the idea that everything was up to me. Whether Revamp succeeded or failed, it would be because of the decisions that I made. I also like being able to have both hands in the entire process. Self-publishing=freedom.     

6. What is your personal favorite genres/authors to read?

I read, write, and watch horror, mostly. You can't beat being scared. Stephen King, Scott Smith (where's another book already?), Robert McCammon, Simon Clark, and Dean Koontz. But I also love Nick Hornby, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite books. His writing style fascinates me.    

7. As a debut writer, how would you summarize your experience so far?

Like jumping off a cliff holding something precious and with no more than a hunch. You might be able to fly. Guess you'll just have to see.  

8. What is your personal advice for other authors working on their debuts?

Don't read "how to" writing books (except for Stephen King's On Writing). They'll only make you feel bad about yourself. Just write. 

Thank you, Beck, for taking the time to answer some questions.

Giveaway will be up on Friday, so don't forget to pop in then to enter to win your very own ecopy of 'ReVamp'!!


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