Hello folks today we have an interview with author Ray Wallace
“Ray Wallace hails from Brandon, FL, a suburb of Tampa where he composes electronic music with his brother and writes his fiction. His debut novel, THE NAMELESS, was released by Black Death Books in the winter of 2009. He has published more than twenty stories in such magazines and anthologies as The Blackest Death Vol. 1 & 2, Chimeraworld 4, Small Bites, Erotic Fantasy: Tales of the Paranormal, Monster’s Ink, Trip the Light Horrific, Whispers from the Shattered Forum, and at Bloodfetish, Dark Muse, and Delirium Online. His story “One of the Six” took first place in Chizine’s second annual fiction contest. He wrote a long running book review column for The Twilight Showcase webzine and now writes reviews for Chizine and SFReader.com.”
GNOH – Hi Ray, how are things withyou?
Thingsare great. Thanks for asking.
GNOH – Can you tell the readers a bitabout yourself?
I grewup in the Pittsburgh, PA area, moved to the Tampa, FL area in my late teens,and have been here ever since. In my twenties, I was in a few metal bands, gotmore into electronic music production in my thirties, and now dedicate most ofmy creative efforts toward my writing “career”.
GNOH – So what is the appeal of horrorfor you?
I thinkit has to do with the extremes to which you can go within the genre. Horrorallows you to do pretty much anything your twisted little mind can dreamup. There are few boundaries. And,thanks to guys like Ed Lee and Jack Ketchum, practically no taboos. You put ascene with deviant sex or over-the-top violence or extremely questionablemorality in your mainstream or sword-and-sorcery book; you’re going to incitesome level of backlash. But if it’s a horror novel, you can get away with it.If it’s done well, of course. Not that this should be your sole reason forwanting to write a horror novel. But if generally acceptable boundaries needpushed to get your story across, then the horror genre’s the place to do it.
GNOH – Can you remember what firstsparked the love for the genre?
I don’tknow if it was any one thing. When I was young, I mostly read fantasy andsci-fi. I was probably fifteen or so when I read my first horror novel. StephenKing’s PET SEMATARY. After that, I gradually read more and more within thegenre. Went through my Lovecraft phase. And have fostered a growing love forhorror fiction ever since.
GNOH – How do you think the currentstate of the genre holds up to years gone buy?
I thinkit holds up pretty well. Especially where indie publishing is concerned. Thereare a number of “small” presses currently releasing all kinds of qualitywriting. What Shane is doing at Delirium and Brett is doing over at Chizineimmediately come to mind. If you’re into reading horror fiction, there’s noshortage of it out there for you to track down.
GNOH – Can you remember what firstcaused you to put pen to paper?
Notreally. It just sort of happened. Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who was awriter. At a certain point I became an obsessive reader and I think the desireto write just stemmed from that.
GNOH – How hard was the journey fromwannabe writer to becoming an actual published writer?
Notthat hard, to be honest. In my twenties I wrote a few short stories, submittedthem–mainly to some of the bigger publications like Cemetery Dance–and gotrejected. Not surprising, really, as the stories weren’t very good. Then Iwrote a story called “One of the Six.” At around the same time, I cameacross a cool new online zine called The Chiaroscuro. They were having theirsecond fiction contest and Brett–the site’s creator–suggested that I submit astory. So I sent him “Six” and was floored a couple weeks later when I wastold that I had won the contest. Since then, I’ve published more than two dozenshort stories, a novel (THE NAMELESS), and have two more published novelscoming out in the near future. So things have gone pretty well so far, allthings considered.
GNOH – Do you have any advice youwould like to impart to upcoming writers?
Read. Alot. And write. A lot. The more of both you do the better writer you’ll become.And learn to accept rejection. It’s going to happen, more often than you wouldlike. Best to just learn to live with it.
GNOH – As well as writing you alsoreview books for CHiZine, like me you only review books you enjoy. What do you say to those who might claim thatfolk like us like everything? Believe methe recycling rate in our area has gone through the roof, with all the recycledbooks.
Ifpeople could only see the number of books I have with bookmarks in them…Books that just didn’t grab me enough to finish them… I have to admit,though, that it’s fairly uncommon for me to come across a book I think justoutright sucks. Maybe it’s because I’ve become more and more selective in myreading habits over the years. I tend to steer clear of self publishedbooks–unless it’s from an established author or someone I’m at least familiarwith. I’m of the mindset that if it came from a fairly reputable publisher thenat least it went through a submission process and was edited. Although, everyonce in a while you do have to wonder how certain books went through all ofthat and ended up getting released anyway.
GNOH – Have you ever felt a pang ofjealousy when reviewing a book?
Sure.More often than I’d like to admit. There are a lot of talented writers outthere. And when you read as much as I end up doing, it’s inevitable that you’regoing to come across stories that make you think, “Damn, I hope I can writethat well at some point!” Or, “Oh, man, I wish I’d come up with thatidea!” I tend to think that it’s a feeling that will probably never goaway completely.
GNOH – What would you say has beenyour favourite book of the year so far?
Wow,that’s a tough one. There are a number to choose from. But if I had to pickjust one off the top of my head… I really enjoyed Heath Lowrance’s THEBASTARD HAND. A tightly plotted thriller with interesting and unique characters,a consistently inventive plot, and just a touch of the supernatural. Lookingforward to more from that guy.
GNOH – Your debut novel, The Nameless,was first published by Black Death Books in 2009. Can you tell us about the book?
I hadwritten a short story some years ago entitled “The Nameless.” I sold it toa magazine which ended up going under and then an anthology that never got
released. At this point I’m wondering, “What the hell? Is this some sort ofcursed story?” But then Black Death Books accepted it for their anthology THEBLACKEST DEATH: VOL. 1. I was then informed that they would be interested in anovel length version of the story. At this point in time, I had been writingshort stories exclusively. The thought of sitting down and writing a novel mademe a little nervous. What if I put all that time into it and it never saw thelight of day? Typical writer insecurity nonsense. The interest from Black DeathBooks was the inspiration I needed to sit down and finally write my firstnovel. When it was finished, they accepted it and released it. Since then, I’vetaken to almost exclusively writing novel length stories. Funny how things likethat work out.
GNOH – Can you tell the readers aboutthe vampires in the book?
Iwanted my vampires to be more extreme than what most readers had encounteredbefore. Thanks to Anne Rice, vampires had been beautified and romanticized tothe point where anyone reading one of her books would wish that they couldbecome one of them. I thought to myself: At what point would people not want tobe one of these beautiful, immortal creatures? What if they had to do more thansimply drink the blood of the living to survive? What if they had to devour theflesh as well? I decided to not hold back on the gore, to show what theseNameless had to do to stave off Final Death. At times, it’s definitely notpretty. In certain scenes I really tried to rub the reader’s face in it, so tospeak. And I have to admit, the book was a lot of fun to write.
GNOH – How do you think the Vampirehas fared in recent years? I think theyhave lost a lot of their sparkle. (Sorryfolks that pun was intended, once I’ve done this interview I’ll go in stand inthe corner)
I wouldagree. Discerning readers are being forced to dig more and more for palatablevampire fare. Although, I have to say that, so far, I’ve been enjoying DelToro/Hogan’s Strain Trilogy. Not the most original concept ever put forward,but inventive and creepy enough that I’m looking forward to the third and finalbook when it comes out.
GNOH – Apart from The D himself, whichin your opinion is the best representation of the Vampire?
I’m abig fan of Lucius Shepard’s THE GOLDEN. The vampires there are so much largerthan life. They seem almost alien. Unknowable. Gothic in the best sense of theword. Beautifully written. Should be on every vampire lover’s reading list.
GNOH – What’s your take on TrueBlood? Personally I can’t get past allthe sex. I think it’s a great idearuined by shagging?
Ithought season 1 was great. Season 2 downright irritating at times. Seasonthree tolerable. And this last season the best one since the first. The show isfar from perfect–its primary flaw having to do with an overabundance ofplot–but, overall, it’s been entertaining enough to keep me watching. And,yes, there is definitely no shortage of gratuitous sex. The show has pulled bigratings, though, so apparently the people at HBO know what they’re doing.
GNOH – Will there be any more booksset in The Nameless Universe?
I wantthere to be. I actually have general plot outlines for two sequels and I’vewritten a number of scenes for a standalone book. It all comes down to findingthe time, sitting down and making it happen.
GNOH – You have two new books comingout in the next few months, ESCAPE FROM ZOMBIE CITY (A ONE WAY OUT NOVEL, andThe Hell Season. Can you tell us aboutthese books?
ZOMBIECITY is a Choose Your Own Adventure style book. I used to love those books whenI was in elementary school and always wanted to write one. Then I came up withthe idea of a One Way Out book, a horror CYOA in which every ending leads tothe reader’s demise except one. It seemed like a no brainer–no punintended–to set my first attempt at one in the midst of a zombie outbreak. Ithought it turned out well and so did the people at Apex Publishing/TZF Presswho offered me a contract and will be releasing the book in mid/late October ofthis year.
THEHELL SEASON begins with the main character waking up one fine morning todiscover that his wife and children have inexplicably vanished during thenight. In a panic, he heads outside just in time to see the sky start to rainblood. And it’s all downhill from there. I consider HELL SEASON my “kitchensink” novel because I included just about every type of strange andhorrifying scenario I could think of to put the characters through. It will bereleased sometime within the next few months
GNOH – There is a discussion going onat the moment about shooting zombie fiction in the head, what would you say tothat?
Idisagree. It’s up to the market to decide when a particular idea has run itscourse. If and when people stop buying zombie books then people will stopwriting and publishing them. And as long as writers can find new andinteresting things to say about a seemingly worn out subject, then I say bringit on. You never know when something like Justin Cronin’s THE PASSAGE will comealong.
GNOH- You called Hell Seasonyour kitchen sink novel, did you ever think about cutting parts out, becausehere was so much going on?
No. Itwas the approach I took when I started writing the book. I wanted to see howmany ideas I could pack into it. I managed to get quite a few in there.
GNOH – The sky rainingblood, sounds really interesting, can you tell us any more about it?
Sure. Iguess THE HELL SEASON, at its core, would be considered a “survivalhorror” novel. Not only has the protagonist’s family disappeared, but sohas nearly everyone else in town. Those who were not taken, for whateverreason, must band together in order to survive the trials and tribulationsbeset upon them. Are these people the victims of a Biblical apocalypse? Or issomething else going on? More importantly, will they be able to find a way tosurvive THE HELL SEASON?
GNOH – What would you saywas the main inspiration for the novel?
I’m notsure, to be perfectly honest. It all just kind of came out of that image of thesky starting to rain blood one day, and then it was aone-thing-leads-to-another scenario. I just wanted to see what sort ofhorrifying and bizarre situations I could put my characters through whilekeeping the story believable. I guess it will be up to the readers to decide ifI succeeded or not.
GNOH – Who will bepublishing it and more importantly will it be available in the UK?
SeveredPress will be releasing THE HELL SEASON. As of now, I don’t have a lot ofdetails concerning where and when it will be available. I assume it will get aUK release but I don’t know that for sure.
GNOH – Do these books have a differentstyle of writing, or would you say that anyone who picks them up would be ableto tell that they are a Ray Wallace book?
I thinkthat people would be able to tell that they are Ray Wallace books if they’repaying close enough attention. I did not set out to intentionally write any ofthese books with a different style. Maybe down the road I’ll try something likethat. It will depend on whether or not the story calls for it. As of this pointin time, my style is what
GNOH – You are having a dinner party,and you must invite five characters from your fiction who and why would theybe?
Nicolae,Ariella, Jake, Mary, and Judith from THE NAMELESS. Because they would probablyhunt me down and kill me if I didn’t. And the women are really hot. Well, in afigurative sense. Physically, they’re rather cold.
GNOH – And what would you serve?
I guessI would have to abduct somebody and offer that person as the main course. Ormaybe send out an extra invitation to someone I really didn’t like. Otherwise,I’d be the only source of food at the party and that would be bad. Really bad.
GNOH – Can you tell us about any otherfuture projects?
I’mclose to completing two more novels. One, entitled A MAN POSSESSED isabout–yep, you guessed it–a man possessed by a demon who goes on a rampageand must be stopped by a cop on the verge of retirement and a middle aged womanwho’s been visited by an entity claiming to be an angel. The other is a plaguestory set in a fantasy world called ACROSS THE DEADLANDS. Kind of like THESTAND meets LORD OF THE RINGS. But not really. Both should be completed withinthe next couple of months. Also, I’m putting together a collection of shortstories I’ve written over the years. Many of them have been out of print for awhile and I look forward to getting then back out where people can read them.
The Nameless can be purchased by clicking the link below
They move through the city streets under cover of darkness, claiming human prey. Powerful. Flesh-hungry. Immortal. One short of the thirteen that would make their Coven strong. But the Master Nicolae has seen in a vision the face of a mortal woman, young, beautiful, who will claim the vacant position within the Coven. But first she must become Nameless.
Ariella is no stranger to pain. Having lost everyone close to her, she has finally ended her relationship with on-again, off-again boyfriend, Jake. She loves him too much, and there is no way she can face heartbreak again. But Jake cannot let Ariella go. They were meant to be together, of this he is certain. And he will do anything to keep her. Anything. Even follow her into the dark and hidden world of the Nameless.
Nameless. It’s what they are, what they’ve always been. And they will stop at nothing to keep it that way.
AND ESCAPE FROM ZOMBIE CITY CAN BE PRE ORDERED BY CLICKING HERE AND BE IN FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A KINDLE
Hungry and mobile!
You are one of the last survivors in a city overrun by the walking dead. The news reports say it’s the result of a government experiment gone wrong, and advise citizens to remain indoors to wait for aid. But you’re not getting any safer, and you’d be wise to get out of town while you can.
The zombies aren’t your only concern, however.
Thieves, cults, roadblocks, gun-nut survivors, and military defenses are just some of what you’ll have to deal with as you make your escape. It’s the one little thing you don’t expect, one wrong turn, one bad decision that will get you killed.
It’s going to take more than guts and a gun to get you out alive. Use your knowledge of the event, your instincts, and every ounce of your luck.
Maybe it will be enough.
Maybe you’ll find the one way out.