Happy Wednesday, lovely readers! It’s that time of week already when you expand your to-be-read list after meeting a new author and hearing all about their book. You are in for a treat today. I’d like to introduce, Chick Chapman. He’s here to talk about his young adult novel, Zombie Anatomy 101.
Welcome, Chick! Let’s start by hearing a little about you.
I’m Chick Chapman. I was born and raised in Illinois where I was grabbed by cornstalks and held hostage for a long, long time. I finally broke free and now I live in The French Quarter, New Orleans with my wife, Poppy, and our 5 cats. I’ve been a songwriter since I was 10 years old. I’ve written and produced several musicals, was commissioned to write a pop/funk ballet of “Alice and Wonderland”, and I’ve composed so many songs I can’t even find them all. I wrote my first novel about 8 years ago, determined to actually complete a book. It’s still hanging around and will come in to play, along with quite a few others, but it is not the first one I published. My first published work is Zombie Anatomy 101, the first in a YA series. I’m currently waiting on artwork for 3 other books that I’m planning to publish before 2021. I’m pretty excited about all of them… “Wally Eye Corpse Club” (an adult book that takes place right here in The Quarter… filled with all kinds of supernatural elements), “Camp Cryptid” (a fun, monster-filled book about a young girl figuring out who and what she is), and the sequel to Zombie Anatomy 101, aptly entitled “Zombie Anatomy 102”.
I’ve always thought there was a close association with song writing and book writing. It’s all storytelling, isn’t it? I love, love, love the cover of Zombie Anatomy 101. Tell us more about it.
“Zombie Anatomy 101” is about two brothers, Sam and Penchant Moss, who survive the initial onslaught of zombies that has taken over the world. They build themselves a nearly impenetrable fortress in their parent’s junkyard. In their town, Marrisville, IL, there is a devoted gang of the undead that wander aimlessly outside the gates, intent on getting to and snacking on the boys. Sam, a mechanical genius of sorts, devises a plan to protect them. He is convinced that zombies are not the mindless monsters that movies, books or TV portray them to be. Believing that they have some intelligence, he and his brother reach out to the leader of the gang, a zombie wearing military garb who Sam later names Captain Right Wing, and proposes a truce. The undead are rotting and constantly losing body parts, so Sam agrees to build them new appendages in return for their protection against other roving bands of the undead. The truce is made and Sam and Penchant form an alliance with The Captain and the others. When a young girl from a neighboring town arrives, announcing that a band of wild, hungry zombies are on her trail, the truce is tested for the first, but not the last, time.
Throughout the series the question is raised: Just how active are the brains of the undead? They appear to have abilities beyond our own, abilities which might just be useful.
Book one is available now on Amazon in Ebook and paperback format.
What inspired you to write this book
I am always drawn to the supernatural, believing that anything beyond our understanding is a great escape from our, sometimes, mundane lives. Quite honestly, I like zombies, I don’t LOVE zombies. I actually always preferred monsters that were a little more cunning and interesting… not quite so stupid. I’m also aware that literature and film is saturated with stories about the apocalypse. So, I didn’t necessarily want to write a zombie novel… until I had the idea for ZA101. One night, while lying in bed, I considered what it is that the undead might want or need and the idea was born. I told my wife about it and she came up with the name and I began writing. So, as far as inspiration, I’m intensely inspired by any original twist, any unique idea that a writer brings to the table.
I love that! That’s exactly how I came up with my Super Villain Academy series. Though the superhero market was already loaded with books, one day I asked myself, “Who trains the bad guys?” Those twists are fun to find.
Okay, now let’s have a little fun. We want our readers to get to know you better. Give us your top 3 responses to the following:
Top 3 sources of character inspiration:
People I’ve encountered (I’ve had massive inspiration by the real-life characters of New Orleans.)
People I’d like to know or people I’d like to be.
My cats? I’ve actually named characters after them. (Well… my baby girl cat is named Anne G.G. - the character in the book came first.)
Ha ha – I named our bearded dragon after the bad guy in one of my middle grade novels. Must be an author thing J
Top 3 places you like to write:
Spitfire Coffee or any other coffee shop (as long as the brew is good.)
My desk upstairs in the attic which has a big poster of Zombie Anatomy hanging over it and a picture from one of my musicals (I’m going to add to that wall!)
Anywhere else… Anytime an idea strikes!
Top 3 character traits you like to add to all or most of your characters
I want them to always be relatable, whether good or bad. The good ones, I want people to absolutely love them and root for them. The bad ones, I want readers to want them gone.
A sense of humor always helps. Many of my characters are goofy or witty or just plain moronic.
Honestly, in a lot of my work, I infuse a character with my own traits so they’re a part of me. In ZA101, it’s Penchant. He’s artistic and quirky and his brother doesn’t understand why he does the things he does.
Thanks for joining us today, Chick. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and your book sounds great! Where can readers connect with you?
My website/blog (which includes true encounters with ghosts and other un-understood entities) is www.chickchapman.com. I have a page on Facebook where I post fairly regularly. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.