An Interview with Adam Sifre

Today’s interview is with brilliant author, Adam Sifre, whose newly released novel, I’ve Been Deader, puts a hilarious spin on zombie literature.

 Being undead never felt more alive. Fred’s just an ordinary zombie until one day he learns a trick.

The undead had a good run at the beginning, but once the breathers get organized, it’s only a matter of time before zombies go the way of pet rocks and sea monkeys. They need a hero. They need Fred. Fred is a natural dead leader with a flair for poetry and a fierce love for his son, Timmy. Unfortunately, as far as the undead are concerned, the only good Timmy is a dead Timmy.

Things look grim for the undead until Fred flies into a rage trying to make popcorn and discovers he has a talent for controlling zombies. Now the undead are organized and, like the unions, in a position to destroy America. Is there no one who can stop them? More importantly, do we want them to?

Tricia: Adam, thank you so much for speaking with us about your work. For starters, when did you begin writing? Is this something you’ve always wanted to do?

Adam: Hi! I started writing when I was fifteen, stopped for a few years when EverQuest came out on the computer, and started again a few years ago. I haven’t always wanted to write. This morning, for example, I wanted to sleep and watch cartoons. That’s how it goes about 70% of the time.

T: You’re quite famous in the Harper Collins authonomy.com community. Can you tell us about your collaborative efforts with other writers on the site?

A: For a few years I ran a weekly Friday Flash Fiction contest that people seemed to enjoy. In addition to inspiring hundreds of great pieces of flash fiction, some even by writers other than me, it resulted in the publication of two anthologies. 416 is a collection of horror stories, all of which are exactly 416 words long. That contest was one of the more popular ones and I still receive the occasional email from a writer asking if they can submit a story. It is available for free here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/97935 .

The other anthology, The Endz is a collection of flash fiction pieces with a post apocalyptic theme. It’s posted on my Authonomy author page: http://www.authonomy.com/books/38584/the-endz/. There’s a lot of talent on Authonomy and I’m always happy to exploit it.

I also run AuthonoDome. It’s like ThunderDome, only with pens instead of chainsaws. One writer challenges another. They both submit a story to me and I post it in the “Arena” for everyone on Authonomy to vote on. Winner gets bragging rights and a place in the Winner’s Circle thread.

Inside My Shorts: 30 Quickies
T: I’ve tried to think of a way to phrase this question without giving my website an ‘adult’ rating…Can you tell us about Inside My Shorts: 30 Quickies?

A: There are places Inside My Shorts which are dark and scary, and other places where you’ll laugh. Just like college. Many of the short stories in the book started off as entries in my Flash Fiction Friday contest and AuthonoDome challenges. I’m a big believer in the power of flash faction. To create a world, set a mood and tell a complete story in a thousand words or so takes more effort than you might think. The book actually contains thirty-one stories, so when you think about it, you’re actually making money on the deal. Inside My Shorts: 30 Quickies is available on Amazon for Americans and here for the other guys: Amazon UK.  

T: In your novel, I’ve Been Deader, Fred is not your typical zombie. What sets him apart from the shuffling, brain-munching masses?

A: Fred’s just an ordinary zombie, until one day he learns a trick. He’s a central character in I’ve Been Deader. I don’t know if I’d call him the protagonist, but it’s between him and Jon Tanner, a serial killer. What makes Fred unique is his ability to think (but not speak), his ability to control other zombies, and his love for Aleta. Other than that, he’s just like you or me.

T: I’ve read many zombie books, but your book is definitely unique in its comedic approach to the undead. How did you come up with the idea for I’ve Been Deader?

A: I’ve Been Deader started out as a piece of flash fiction. Chapter one, “Commute” was originally a short story that I wrote for reasons I can’t recall. A lot of people seemed to like it. I’m one of those rare writers who likes to be liked, so I thought “why not write more.” So I decided to write a series of flash fiction pieces which both tell their own story and contribute to the story of the entire novel. In other words, you should be able to read any chapter of the book and walk away with a complete story, more or less. My thinking was that today’s reader is used to jumping on the net, getting their information and entertainment quick and moving on to something else. That kind of reader is not “traditional novel” friendly. I’ve Been Deader is written for people who don’t want to wade through have a book to get to the money shot. Every chapter is a money shot.

T: What was the greatest challenge to self-publishing your books?

A: Choosing to do it. I won’t lie. My first choice was to find a great publisher. Shocking, I know. I’ve Been Deader generated a lot of interest from agents and publishers, but not enough. I had to choose between letting the novel languish in the hopes that someone with more muscle than me would come to their senses, or biting the bullet and self publishing. In the end, I decided it would be unfair to withhold all this undead goodness from the world any longer. The book should be available for download by the time this interview is published.

T: Tell us about your current projects. What’s next?

A: I’m currently working on three projects. Take A Breather is the prequel to I’ve Been Deader. The book takes place weeks before the zombie apocalypse in the sleepy little town of Comfort, Colorado. In the first ninety pages, I treat you to three serial killers, high school angst, one old, angry mail man, and the darker side of Twitter. The second half of the book brings the zombies back. The few ‘beta readers’ that have read it were enthusiastic. Not about the book, necessarily.

I’m also working on a “How To” parody called “My Life On Facebook: And Other Truths, Half-Truths and Outright Lies.” That’s in the early stages and very funny, if I do say so myself.

The third project is a humorous autobiography of Jesus. It starts in the womb and goes past the tomb. I expect to have all three projects done by the end of the year.

T: Any other links you’d care to share?

A: Yes! Did you know you can get free porn on the internet? Oh, you mean links to my stuff.

I suppose you can come visit me on I’ve Been Deader’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ive-Been-Deader/111989752147332 I’ve worked out a deal with Facebook. The more people that like my page, the happier I get.

I’ve also got a new blog up. I’m starting off slow but it’s worth following. I mean, it’s not like it will cost you anything. Plus I have a Magic 8-ball there. http://ivebeendeader.blogspot.com/

Anyway, thank you so much for interviewing me. And thanks to everyone who has purchased or will purchase one of my books. As for the rest of you…

For anyone interested in learning more about Adam Sifre’s work, or if you would like to purchase his books, here’s a list of links:
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Categories: interview, interviews, zombies

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